Alabama ‘getting nervous about lack of response’ from Saban on new deal

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The story that shows no signs of going away seemingly adds another layer or two every hour on the hour.

Intertwined with the likely departure of Mack Brown from Texas at some point before the end of the week, speculation has once again centered on Nick Saban taking over as the Longhorns head coach.  A respected TCU beat writer, Stefan Stevenson, went so far as to state very plainly that the Alabama coach would be the next UT head coach, although he did soften that stance in a subsequent tweet by stating, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

There are also reports that, as expected, Alabama is working on a new deal for Saban, but even that is causing some frayed nerves in the Yellowhammer State.

Posted to ESPN.com very early Wednesday morning, radio personality Paul Finebaum wrote that “Saban has had a contract extension on his desk since Friday.”  The issue is that, nearly a week later, the new deal, which would bump the pay of what’s already the nation’s highest-paid head coach into the $7 million-a-year range, is still unsigned.

“[T]he longer it goes unsigned, the more uncomfortable Alabama officials grow. … Alabama officials are getting nervous about the lack of response,” Finebaum wrote.

Saban and his wife have consistently shot down reports over the past couple of months connecting the four-time BCS title-winning coach to a potential opening in Austin.  Thanks to the way his departure from the Miami Dolphins played out, his words have thus far rang hollow — and will continue to do so even if he comes out again and states he’s staying in Tuscaloosa.

For what it’s worth, ESPN‘s Kirk Herbstreit was very emphatic when asked about the Saban-to-Texas rumors, saying the Longhorns should “immediately scratch” him off their coaching to-do list and look elsewhere.

“There’s no chance. No chance of that happening,” Herbstriet told the Dallas Morning News. “Nick Saban will work TV sitting next to us on our set before he’ll be the head coach at Texas … He’ll be at Alabama for another five years, and then he’ll be working TV after that … I know Nick Saban better than anybody. It’s not going to happen.”

I tend to agree.  This appears to be nothing more than Saban’s agent leveraging UT’s obvious interest in his client into a sweeter deal from UA, as if that’s actually necessary.

But, then again, the longer the smoke lingers, the more whatever fire is burning below will be stoked by the always-churning rumor mill machine.

Syracuse makes hiring of ex-Wyoming DC official

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A week after it was first reported, the new hire for Dino Baber‘s coaching staff has been officially announced,

Syracuse confirmed in a release Friday that Steve Stanard has been hired by Babers.  Stanard will serve as the Orange’s defensive ends coach.

“Coach Stanard understands exactly what we want to do defensively,” Babers said in a statement. “Both his familiarity with our system and his experience running defenses at other places are tremendous assets for our program. We’re very excited to have Steve as part of our family.”

Stanard replaces Tom Kaufman, who left earlier this month for the defensive coordinator job at FCS Tennessee-Chattanooga.  Kaufman had served as the Orange’s linebackers coach in 2016, his first with the football program.

The past three seasons, Stanard was the coordinator at Wyoming, but wasn’t retained following the 2016 season.  This will mark his first job at a Power Five school.

“My family and I are excited and thankful to Coach Babers for this opportunity,” Stanard said. “The football tradition at Syracuse is second to none and I very much look forward to assisting Coach Babers in achieving the goals he’s set for this program – both on and off the field.”

Auburn, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech are Cal transfer’s final three

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We don’t yet know to where Aaron Cochran will transfer, but the potential landing spots have been narrowed.

Jake Trotter of ESPN.com revealed on Twitter that the Cal transfer has whittled his to-do list down to three: Auburn, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.  The offensive lineman is already known to have taken an official visit to the Cowboys nearly three weeks ago.

Per Trotter, he’ll visit The Plains this weekend, then Lubbock two weeks later.

In early February, Cochran announced that he would be transferring from Cal. As he is leaving Berkeley as a graduate transfer — he’s expected to graduate this spring — the lineman would have instant eligibility at another FBS school.

Cochran started 16 of the 28 games in which he played during his Cal career. 10 of those starts came this past season.

And, regardless of where he lands, his new school will be getting a very large human being.

For what it’s worth, Cochran is listed at 6-8, 350 pound on his official Cal bio page.

Second ex-Baylor football player arrested for 2013 gang rape

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For the second time in as many days, a former Baylor football player has been arrested for his connection to an alleged gang rape in 2013., according to The Dallas Morning NewsMyke Chatman, a former Baylor running back, was arrested Thursday by U.S. Marshals for suspected gang rape of a female Baylor student one day after former Baylor teammate Tre'Von Armstead was arrested and charged for the same incident.

Chatman and Armstead had previously been suspected of rape in 2013 but no charges were dropped at the time after the alleged victim chose not to pursue legal action against the football players. The woman filed charges against Baylor University in January and has since reached a settlement with the university. However, information from the lawsuit led to more information being revealed and shared with the authorities to contribute to ongoing investigations since these issues have been brought back to life in recent years.

Armstead was arrested for the second time this month, with the most recent arrest related to this 2013 incident. Earlier in March, Armstead was arrested for domestic battery, resisting arrest and damaging a police vehicle.

Report: LSU DL Isaiah Washington ruled ineliegible for spring

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Sophomore defensive end Isaiah Washington has been ruled ineligible for the spring practice season at LSU, according to Ross Dellenger of The Advocate.

Washington was a four-star recruit in LSU’s Class of 2015. The New Orleans native appeared in six games for the Tigers as a freshman. Washington did not play in the 2016 season due to a knee injury suffered in the summer. He was slated to be a backup linebacker and defensive end in 2016 prior to the injury. It is expected to be a backup option for LSU’s defensive line with all four starters back this season.