The Big Ten has slowly been warming up to the concept of playing night games in November. Could 2014 be the season the Big Ten plays under the primetime lights in the final month of the regular season?
“We’re more [amenable] to that first November Saturday,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith recently told ESPN.com, “and I think some of us will be willing to look at that second Saturday in November if the contest is right.”
Translation: The Big Ten is considering it, but not quite ready to make it official.
The Big Ten has long been against playing night games in November, primarily for weather concerns. It’s cold in the Big Ten in November, and temperatures only go down at night. Has the Big Ten suffered by not playing night games in November over time? Probably not, considering the big money media packages the conference has lined up, although not having some of the best teams and best games on in a national spotlight time slot does have an impact on how a particular team or the conference can be viewed by the public, or the media.
Night games bring a certain level of enthusiasm for games, and younger fans get fired up for them far more than a noon kickoff. Some night games have brought record attendance figures in the Big Ten as well, so there does seem to be a benefit to adding at least one more primetime game on the schedule if possible. It helps if the conference has a game worth placing in a prime time slot though. Looking at the Big Ten’s 2014 schedule, that does not appear to be the case as it things look right now on the first weekend of November, but Ohio State’s road trip to Michigan State on November 8 could be worth considering.
What can be said about the Big Ten is they are willing to embrace changes to conference philosophies. The Big Ten’s recent expansions (Nebraska in 2011, Maryland and Rutgers in 2014) helped lead to the extension of the regular season schedule and a conference championship game. That ended up stretching the Big Ten season to the final day of the season instead of being left idle while the SEC, ACC, Big 12 and Pac 12 were still playing games.
The Big Ten does not really need to play extra night games, but if there are a few extra bucks to be made you can bet Jim Delany and the conference will find a way to make it.
A significant development has gone under the radar at Auburn, until now. Junior wide receiver Eli Stove tore his ACL during Auburn’s first spring practice and underwent surgery last Tuesday, according to Brandon Marcello of Auburn Undercover.
As a sophomore in 2017, Stove caught 29 passes for 265 yards and rushed 30 times for 315 yards and two touchdowns, which made him the Tigers’ third-leading rusher.
Stove was expected to increase his portfolio heading into 2018, but now he’ll spend the foreseeable future working simply to get back on the field. No timetable has been set for Stove’s return.
Though Stove is one of Auburn’s most talented pass-catchers, the Tigers aren’t hurting for depth even in his absence. Nine wideouts caught a pass for Auburn last season, and not one of them was a senior.
With spring practice set to kick off this week, Florida Atlantic and Lane Kiffin have found their offensive line a little lighter than previously expected.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Jack Breshears is retiring from the sport and is no longer with the football program. The Post wrote that, according to a source, the lineman “no longer had the same passion he did for football when (former FAU head coach) Charlie Partridge was there.”
Kiffin will be entering his second season with the Owls, replacing the dismissed Partridge in December of 2016.
Breshears, who will remain on scholarship but won’t count against FAU’s 85-man limit, played in six games as a redshirt freshman in 2016 before suffering a season-ending injury. He played in two games this past season the shoulder issue surfaced again.
Prior to his decision to move on from the sport, Breshears had been a candidate for a starting job this season.
Alabama will kick off spring practice later on Tuesday, but the reigning national champions will do so without an integral piece of its offensive line.
The father of the lineman, David Womack, confirmed to Rivals.com that Matt Womack will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a broken bone in his right foot. As a result, the rising redshirt junior will miss all of the Crimson Tide’s 15 spring practice sessions.
Per David Womack, his son suffered the injury while jumping boxes during workouts.
Recovery time is expected to be in the range of six weeks, which means that, barring a setback, he’ll be fully healthy for the start of summer camp in early August.
Womack started all 14 games at right tackle in the Tide’s run to its 17th national championship last season. As a redshirt freshman the year before, Womack, a three-star member of UA’s 2015 signing class, played in nine games.
This might be the most Big 12 way ever to lose an assistant football coach.
According to both Rivals.com and the Lawrence Journal-World, Todd Bradford is leaving his post as Kansas’ linebackers coach. The reason? He’s returning to the oil business.
Bradford was fired as the defensive coordinator at Maryland in January of 2012, with that dismissal, and the health of his mother, leading to him leaving the coaching profession for a job in the oil field for the next four years.
“A guy that I was involved with and had business dealings when I was in the oil world before I was helping with my mom reached out to me,” Bradford told JayhawkSlant.com when it came to his decision-making process this time around. “He told me he had some companies that were doing really well and he needed someone to come in and help me run them. He asked if I was interested and I told him I was happy coaching.
“Then he called two more times after that and offered me the job after signing day. I turned it down twice. But each time the offer was getting a little bit better and by the third time financially it was oil world money.”
Bradford spent his first two seasons with the Jayhawks as linebackers coach. The football program had previously confirmed that he would coach safeties in 2018.