The Pac 12 has struggled to fill all of their bowl spots in past seasons, but will not be the case this upcoming bowl season. As The Seattle Times notes, the Pac 12 already has eight teams eligible for postseason play to satisfy seven conference bowl affiliations, and that number could rise to as many as ten teams.
Oregon, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington are all eligible for postseason play out of the Pac 12 North. Washington State is one win away with two games to play to join them. In the Pac 12 South Arizona State, UCLA, USC and Arizona are all eligible and Utah needs to win their final two games to get there. California and Colorado have already been ruled ineligible.
Colorado had a chance to become bowl eligible wash away, figuratively speaking. An earlier game this season against Fresno State had to be postponed as floods ravaged through Colorado. It remains to be seen if that game will hurt Fresno State’s BCS plans or not, but it did cost Colorado a chance to play in a bowl game. Because Colorado had to reschedule with a different opponent, the Buffs scrambled to schedule a game against FCS Charleston Southern. This was the second FCS opponent on Colorado’s 2013 schedule, which means they needed to get to seven wins instead of the standard six wins according to NCAA postseason eligibility rules.
The Pac 12 champion heads to the Rose Bowl, of course. Other bowls in the Pac 12 line-up include the Sun Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Maaco Las Vegas Bowl and New Mexico Bowl. As it stands right now, the Pac 12 will have no problem filling all of those spots even if everything falls in to place (Alabama, Florida State, Baylor and/or Ohio State lose) and Oregon happens to make a BCS Championship Game appearance.
Lincoln Riley won’t be paid nearly as much as Bob Stoops was as Oklahoma’s head coach, but he’ll earn significantly more than he did as the Sooners’ offensive coordinator.
Oklahoma approved and released Riley’s new deal on Tuesday, a 5-year contract that pays him $3.1 million annually and rises $200,000 a year. Stoops made $5.5 million in his last season, according to USA Today, while Riley earned $900,000 as offensive coordinator.
Perks include 25 hours of private airplane use, not one but two private golf club membership, and bonuses ranging from $25,000 for winning Big 12 coach of the year honors to $250,000 for a national championship.
Riley is 3-0 in his young tenure, already proving himself to be a tremendous bargain for the Sooners.
The SEC released its 2018 slate on Tuesday, beginning the weekend of Sept. 1 and running through the SEC Championship on Saturday, Dec. 1. It would be entirely pointless to break down winners and losers of the ’18 slate considering we don’t really even know who’s good yet in 2017 — other than Alabama — and we especially don’t know who will be good in ’18 — other than ‘Bama, of course.
But we can point out some dates that look interesting as we sit here on Tuesday, Sept. 19, the year of our Lord 2017. And, no, intra-divisional games don’t count, since they are played every year.
- Auburn vs. Washington — Sept. 1 (at Atlanta)
- Alabama vs. Louisville — Sept. 1 (at Orlando)
- LSU vs. Miami — Sept. 1 (at Dallas)
- Tennessee vs. West Virginia (at Charlotte)
- Clemson at Texas A&M — Sept. 8
- Vanderbilt at Notre Dame — Sept. 15
- Florida at Mississippi State — Sept. 29
- Tennessee at Auburn — Oct. 13
Consult the full schedule here.
After reports had signaled it, it’s a done deal.
The “it” in this case is Louisville opening the 2021 season against Ole Miss, with the two programs confirming Tuesday that they will square off in one of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff games that year. The game will be played at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, although a date and kickoff time are still to be determined.
The 2021 game will mark the first-ever meeting between the football teams. Each has made one previous appearance in the Kickoff Game, Louisville in 2015 (31-24 loss to Auburn) and Ole Miss in 2014 (35-13 win over Boise State).
“To have the opportunity to play in this game again for the second time is a huge win for our program,” Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said in a statement. “We are honored to be welcomed back by the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, which is a tremendous testament to our loyal fan base, who helped pack the stadium in 2015. Our fans have a great history of traveling, and to have the opportunity to play a great program like Ole Miss in this brand-new facility will certainly be a hot ticket for the fans. Gary Stokan and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl group do a tremendous job with this game and we appreciate them selecting Louisville for what has become the premier game to kick off the season.”
“We are thrilled to once again be part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff. We always set the goal to end the regular season in Atlanta, so it’s only fitting that’s where we begin it,” Jurich’s Ole Miss counterpart, Ross Bjork, said in his. “With our strong alumni base in Georgia, Rebel Nation will arrive in full force to experience this premier matchup in the nation’s finest new stadium. In addition, the Atlanta market is a key recruiting area for our staff, and this trip offers a tremendous opportunity to compete in front of those prospects.”
Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Alabama and Miami would square off in the other Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game the opening weekend of the 2021 season.
There could be some good news on the injury front for Oregon. Maybe.
Charles Nelson suffered a lower-leg injury in UO’s win over Wyoming in Week 3. At the time, it was thought that the injury wasn’t as serious as it initially looked. Monday, Willie Taggart indicated that it wasn’t, although the head coach fell short of declaring the senior wide receiver ready to go for the Pc-12 opener against Arizona State in Week 4.
“Hopefully he’ll be back here soon and be ready to go,” the head coach said according to The Oregonian.
Nelson’s 15 catches for 243 yards are tops on the Ducks through the first three weeks of the 2017 season. He also has a rushing touchdown on one of his six carries.