Brandon reiterates no Mich. St., Ohio St. for Big House night games

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Michigan’s series with Notre Dame may be going on “hiatus” after next season, but the newly-minted night-game tradition at Michigan Stadium will continue.  Just don’t expect the Wolverines’ two biggest rivals to be playing under the Big House lights anytime soon.

As he has in the past, UM athletic director Dave Brandon reiterated that, while he wants to continue holding night games in Ann Arbor — the only two in the venerable stadium’s history have been against the Irish — they will not come against either Michigan State or Ohio State.  And Brandon is very succinct in his reasoning: fan behavior.

According to mlive.com, here’s the off-field tally of incidents that occurred Saturday night during the game against the Irish: 11 arrests, 72 ejections and 133 individuals treated by medical personnel.  Speaking specifically about UM’s in-state rival, the AD said those numbers could possibly triple with a night game against the Spartans and stretch the university’s resources way too thin.

“I know how many people get arrested, I know how many people get ejected from the stadium, I know how many people get carted off to the hospital. I know what it is on a typical game and I know what it is on a Michigan State game. And if you took a Michigan State game and moved it to 8 o’clock, you could take what we experience now and maybe double or triple it and I don’t want to do that,” Brandon told the website. “To me that’s not fun. That’s not what college football should be about.”

With no Notre Dames on future UM non-conference slates, Brandon is not averse to turning to other Big Ten schools for a night game in Ann Arbor.  Specifically, Brandon mentioned Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern and Penn State as possibilities to continue what he’d like to see become an annual tradition.

“That may very well be a conference game. It certainly doesn’t have to be a non-conference game,” Brandon said. “When we start conference play and we’re going to bring a big brand conference team for a big showdown game, we may make that the night game and make that be special. That’s kind of our plan. …

“These schools see the importance of playing us at their place at night, so once in a while maybe we’ll show them what that’s like at Michigan Stadium.”

VIDEO: LSU RB Derrius Guice squats 650 pounds

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Derrius Guice may be the most underrated player in college football.

Playing in the shadow of Leonard Fournette, Guice posted an eye-popping 8.55 yards per carry (51 rushes for 436 yards) as a freshman in 2015, then kept his big-play ability as his usage increased while Fournette battled injuries in his final college season. Guice rushed 183 times for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns; his 7.58 yards per carry average was the most among Power 5 rushers with at least 180 carries.

So, yes, Guice is really good. He’s also a physical freak.

LSU captured and tweeted video Friday of Guice squatting 650 pounds, more than three times his listed 212 pounds.

If — and this is a massive, Les Miles-firing if — LSU can consistently throw the ball in 2017, go ahead and make Guice your darkhorse Heisman contender in 2017.

(HT CBS Sports)

Former Miami TE Jovani Haskins headed to West Virginia

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Jovani Haskins announced two weeks ago he was leaving Miami for “somewhere else.” That somewhere else proved to be a favorite destination of other Sunshine State transfers: West Virginia.

“WVU is my new home and I can’t wait to perform in front of the fans of West Virginia!” he tweeted on Saturday.

A 3-star prospect out of Bergenfield, N.J.., Haskins was offered by West Virginia in the class of 2016 and most recruiting experts actually had him signing with the Mountaineers before a surprise commitment to Miami.

Haskins joins two former state of Florida players on WVU’s roster: starting quarterback Will Grier (Florida) and former Miami quarterback Jack Allison (Miami). The Mountaineers also employed Florida State transfer Clint Trickett at quarterback and Miami transfer Antonio Crawford at cornerback.

Haskins redshirted in 2016 and will presumably sit out 2017 before gaining eligibility in ’18. West Virginia could use the help immediately; the roster lists one scholarship tight end at present. WVU currently has two tight ends pledged for the 2018 class in addition to Haskins.

 

BYU wearing special patch in honor of LaVell Edwards

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BYU got the summer media day fun started on Friday with their football media day. BYU tends to pull out all the stops on its media day with coach and player interviews, alumni returning, and a handful of announcements about the future of the program. In addition to news about their relationship with ESPN, BYU also announced the football team will be sporting a patch this season in honor of the late LaVell Edwards.

In addition to players wearing the patch on their jerseys, BYU coaches will also wear the patch on their sleeves.

Edwards passed away in December at the age of 86. The BYU coaching legend spent 29 seasons on the sidelines in Provo and accumulated 257 wins along the way. Among those was a national championship season in 1984, which remains the most recent national championship to be claimed by a program not currently in a power conference. Edwards took 22 BYU teams to a bowl game.

Now if we can just keep getting BYU to stick to that lighter shade of blue as their main home uniform, we’ll be in great shape.

Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks found guilty of rape

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Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks was convicted by a jury on Friday for rape of a female Vanderbilt student. Following 15 hours of jury deliberations, the verdict of guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery was in.

”He’s shocked but understands that this is only the first part of this process, there’s a lot more to do from here on,” Banks’ lawyer, Mark Scruggs, said after the verdict. ”We have some really good issues to raise.”

Part of Banks’ defense was built on succumbing to peer pressure, suggesting he feared he may be beaten up by teammates if he did not participate in the scandalous activity. The jury, having reviewed videos and photos from the incident, some of which were shot by Banks, determined that was not a viable defense.

”Making fun of another person is not right, but we know it happens,” Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore said in closing arguments, according to the Associated Press. ”But it doesn’t give you a legal defense to commit a crime, particularly not an aggravated rape, an aggravated sexual battery. I mean if that’s the case, then we’d have the ‘football team defense.”’

Banks will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison. One count of aggravated rape has a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Other former Vanderbilt players had previously been convicted for their roles in the 2013 rape. Cory Batey was found guilty of aggravated rape and sentenced to 15-25 years in prison in April 2016. Brandon Vandenbeurg was found guilty and sentenced to 17 years in prison.