Marlins Park

AAC officially introduces the Miami Beach Bowl


A few months or so after it was first reported as a likelihood, the American Football Conference has announced just what college football needs: yet another bowl game.

In a press release, the AAC introduced what will be called the Miami Beach Bowl. The game will be played beginning in December of 2014 and will be held at Marlin Park, the home stadium of MLB’s Miami Marlins.

The AAC, which states it will hire a full-time operations staff that will be based in Marlins Park, will be tied to the bowl on a yearly basis.  The conferences will face teams from either Conference USA, the Sun Belt or the MAC.  The release adds that “[i]nstitutions from other conference across the country will also have the ability to participate.”

“We are excited to bring postseason football back to Miami,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “And we are equally excited to be able to provide this experience to our student-athletes and fans. The Miami Beach Bowl fulfills our goal of providing postseason opportunities in desirable locations that are easily accessible for our fans. This state-of-the art venue will provide a great stage for our student-athletes and institutions.”

As for how the stick-and-ball park will be configured for a football game, the Miami Beach Bowl shared this photo via its newly-created Twitter account to give you an idea:

Marlins Park

With the creation of this postseason game, the AAC now has future tie-ins with (take a deep breath) the Military Bowl, the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg, the BBVA Compass Bowl, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, the Boca Raton Bowl and the Bahamas Bowl. The latter two bowl games are also new creations as the non-Big Five conferences seek to avoid being diminished in the postseason thanks to the fallout from the new College Football Playoff system.

(Photo credit: Miami Marlins)

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.