Randy Edsall

Maryland schedules future games with Syracuse, Temple, Towson

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Maryland is getting their future non-conference match-ups in order and as fate would have it they could be playing Syracuse more times by 2019 than some of Syracuse’s ACC rivals thanks to an expanded ACC conference and future schedule rotation between divisions. Maryland will visit Syracuse in 2014, Maryland’s first year as a Big Ten member, and the Orange will make a return visit in 2019. Plan accordingly. Maryland has also added future contests with Temple and local FCS foe Towson.

According to The Washington Post, Maryland will visit Syracuse on September 20, 2014, a week before playing their first Big Ten game in program history and a week after hosting West Virginia of the Big 12. Syracuse will visit Maryland on September 21, 2019. The week before hosting Syracuse that season, Maryland will play at Temple in Philadelphia. That will be the back-end of a home-and-home schedule agreement. Temple will play at Maryland on September 15, 2018.

Maryland’s game against Towson will be played on September 9, 2017. The two Maryland schools have played just once before, with Maryland winning a 2011 contest by a score of 28-3. The previous week Maryland will open their 2017 season on the road at Texas.

Maryland’s future games against FCS opponents (James Madison in 2014, Richmond in 2015, Howard in 2016 in addition to Towson in 2017) is a scheduling strategy the Big Ten is encouraging their members to avoid doing when possible. With the College Football Playoff era commencing in 2014 the playoff contenders will likely be evaluated using schedule strength as a part of the résumé. While individual strength of schedule may mean more to the selection committee, boosting the overall conference strength of schedule will be beneficial. The Big Ten does not prohibit schools from scheduling FCS opponents or teams from smaller conferences, but it is generally not the ideal tactic for the conference.

However, Maryland is not exactly taking it too easy with their schedule. Games against West Virginia and Texas will be challenging in addition to games against Big Ten East Division rivals Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State on an annual basis.

Half of all FBS signees lived between Texas and North Carolina

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 29: Johnny Jefferson #5 of the Baylor Bears carries while defended by Dominquie Green #26 and Des Lawrence #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half of the Russell Athletic Bowl game at Orlando Citrus Bowl on December 29, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton provided a massive public service through his Twitter account on Tuesday, releasing a data dump of fascinating information about the signing class of 2016.

In short, Texas was the most popular breeding ground for FBS prospects, but half of all signees came from a clean sweep from Texas, across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and up to North Carolina.

The Lone Star State produced 359 players, with nearly half of those heading to Power 5 institutions. In fact, Hamilton reports, 72 of 128 FBS programs and 38 of 64 Power 5’s signed at least one player from Texas.

Florida trailed with 327 players, followed by California with 248 players and Georgia with 225. For what it’s worth, Ohio was not included in the study.

Data dump, begin!

AAC releases 2016 conference schedule

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The American Athletic Conference released its 2016 conference schedule highlighted by, oddly enough, non-conference games that pit league gem Houston against Oklahoma (on opening day at Houston’s NRG Stadium) and Louisville (in Houston on Nov. 19).

Those two games, more than any others, will sink or swim the conference’s chances of not only grabbing the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six, but a spot in the College Football Playoff itself.

The 2016 conference slate kicks off with Navy meeting Connecticut on Sept. 10 and concludes with the second annual AAC title game on Dec. 3 at a to-be-determined campus site.

The AAC led the way in scheduling Power 5 opponents — highlighted by a Week 3 schedule that will see the entire East Division punching up a weight class — and includes the likes of Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State, Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma (for all intents and purposes) visiting AAC campuses.

View the full AAC slate here:

 

Former Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees hired as Chargers offensive assistant

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 02: Tommy Rees #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish passes against the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium on November 2, 2013 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Just like we all thought when watching him play at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees will be in the NFL in 2016. Just not as a quarterback.

The San Diego Chargers announced his hiring as an obnoxiously vague offensive assistant, assisting with the club’s offense in some form that they aren’t inclined to elaborate on.

After completing a career in which he threw for 7,670 yards with 61 touchdowns against 37 interceptions from 2010-13, Rees was cut by the Washington Redskins in 2014, then spent the 2014-15 seasons as a graduate assistant at Northwestern.

Report: Wisconsin DBs coach Daronte Jones leaving for Miami Dolphins

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 27:  Wisconsin Badgers cheerleader waves the flag after the team scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the South Florida Bulls on September 27, 2014 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the South Florida Bulls 27-10. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
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The post-National Signing Day coaching carousel is now in full tilt.

According to a report from Adam Caplan of ESPN, Wisconsin defensive backs coach Daronte Jones is leaving to become the assistant defensive backs coach for the Miami Dolphins.

The Badgers already endured a significant loss this winter after defensive coordinator Dave Aranda took a lateral position with LSU. He was replaced in January by former USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.

Jones spent but 13 months in Madison, a January 2015 addition to Paul Chryst‘s first staff after spending three seasons at Hawaii.

Wisconsin possessed one of college football’s top pass defenses in 2015; the Badgers ranked seventh nationally in pass defense, tied for sixth in yards per attempt allowed, placed third in opponent completion percentage and finished second in pass efficiency defense.