After wrapping up the American’s automatic BCS berth on Thursday night, thanks to Louisville’s victory over Cincinnati, the sense of urgency may nto be there for UCF this afternoon in Dallas. But don’t let that take away from what SMU is doing to UCF just yet. SMU needs to pick up a win this afternoon to become bowl eligible, and after one half they may be on their way to the postseason. SMU leads UCF 10-3 at the half in cold Dallas.
The only touchdown of the half came midway through the second quarter when Neal Burcham completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Holman. The score gave the Mustangs a 10-3 lead. UCF has been very limited in their offensive production against SMU, with quarterback Blake Bortles completing eight of 13 passes for 84 yards and Storm Johnson rushing eight times for 28 yards. UCF was held to just 122 yards of offense in the first half.
SMU entered the day a win shy of bowl eligibility status, so they will need a strong second half to finish this one off. UCF does not look like the same team they have been at times this season, but we have also seen the Knights overcome some sluggish starts in conference play for thrilling endings. Whether that happens today or not is anyone’s guess. If UCF does come back to win this one their bowl situation will not change. They will be the last conference champ seeded in the BCS bowl selection process, which could mean Fiesta Bowl, win or lose.
A win for UCF will win the outright championship rather than sharing the championship with Louisville. UCF owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Cardinals, which is why UCF has already clinched a spot in the BCS.
One day after it was revealed its head coach was the second-lowest paid in college football, Appalachian State announced a five-year contract extension for head coach Scott Satterfield.
“We have the right coach leading our football program in Scott Satterfield,” Appalachian State AD Doug Gillin said in a statement. “In nearly three years as head coach, he has stayed true to his convictions, built the program the right way and set Appalachian State football up for sustainable success both in the Sun Belt Conference and at the national level.”
Satterfield had earned $375,000 annually, ahead of only Louisiana-Monroe’s Todd Berry at $360,000 a year.
Satterfield, 42, is 14-14 in his third season at the Boone, N.C., school. He led the Mountaineers to a 7-5 mark in their debut Sun Belt season, and has the club at 3-1 to start the 2015 campaign.
“It’s exciting for my family and me to know that we’re going to be at Appalachian for the foreseeable future,” Satterfield added. “I’m living a dream by being the head coach at my alma mater and can’t wait to continue to work hard to help this program reach heights that it has never reached before.”
What has long been rumored became fact Friday, as Wisconsin announced a 10-year agreement with Under Armour.
“I am absolutely thrilled about our new partnership with Under Armour,” AD Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “Kevin Plank and his team have established a brand that fits perfectly with the Wisconsin athletics story and culture. Our primary focus at Wisconsin is, of course, our student-athletes, and Under Armour’s passion and commitment to high quality and innovation will benefit our student-athletes for years to come. Our entire department is looking forward to a long and mutually productive relationship with the Under Armour team.”
The new deal will pay the Badgers a total of $7 million in cash and product in 2015-16 and is valued at $96 million over the life of the contract, good for second in the Big Ten, trailing only Nike’s new contract with Michigan.
Hidden within the contract are two nuggets that UA offered to sway the Badgers away from Adidas, from the Portland Business Journal:
Wisconsin will get as much as $500,000 from Under Armour to “rebrand” athletic facilities. It’ll get $150,000 to build out an Under Armour retail space in a campus gift shop called Bucky’s Locker Room. It also gets two summer internships for students at Under Armour’s Baltimore headquarters.
“The University of Wisconsin is an institution built on the highest values of academic excellence, and we are extremely proud to be teaming up with one of the most vibrant, distinctive and successful athletic programs in the country to help elevate the performance of all Badgers with innovative footwear and apparel,” added Plank.
Wisconsin’s departure continues to weaken the stronghold Adidas had built in the Midwest after losing Michigan to Nike and Notre Dame to Under Armour in recent years (the company still owns apparel rights for Indiana and Nebraska). The Badgers are now the 41st Division I athletics department and 17th FBS program to join UA.