Warren Sapp

Is this the year for Derrick Thomas? College Football Hall of Fame ballot released

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The ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 has been revealed by the National Football Foundation. In all, there are 75 names from the world of the FBS, including Oklahoma’s Brian Bosworth, Miami’s Warren Sapp (pictured), Ray Lewis and Jerome Brown, Penn State’s Shane Conlan, SMU’s Eric Dickerson, TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson, Texas’s Ricky Williams and Colorado’s Rashaan Salaam. One other name on the ballot is Alabama’s Derrick Thomas, who appears to be this year’s successor to Nebraska’s Tommie Frazier after long being overlooked on the ballot.

The official class will be announced in May, honored in December and formally inducted at a time to be determined in 2015. Votes will be submitted by members of the National Football Foundation and hall of fame members.

FBS PLAYERS

Trev Alberts, LB, Nebraska

Eric Bieniemy, RB, Colorado

Dre Bly, DB, North Carolina

Tony Boselli, OT, USC

Brian Bosworth, LB, Oklahoma

Bob Breunig, LB, Arizona State

Jerome Brown, DT, Miami

Ruben Brown, OT, Pitt

Larry Burton, WR, Purdue

Dave Butz, DT, Purdue

Freddie Carr, LB, UTEP

Mark Carrier, S, USC

Wes Chandler, WR, Florida

Shane Conlan, LB, Penn State

Tim Couch, QB, Kentucky

Tom Cousineau, LB, Ohio State

Bob Crable, LB, Notre Dame

Paul Crane, C/LB, Alabama

Eric Crouch, QB, Nebraska

Randall Cunningham, QB/P, UNLV

Troy Davis, RB, Iowa State

Eric Dickerson, RB, SMU

Mike Dirks, DT, Wyoming

D.J. Dozier, RB, Penn State

Tim Dwight, WR/Returner, Iowa

Jumbo Elliott, OT, Michigan

William Fuller, DT, North Carolina

Thom Gatewood, WR, Notre Dame

Willie Gault, WR, Tennessee

Kirk Gibson, WR, Michigan State

Charlie Gogolak, K, Princeton

Joe Hamilton, QB, Georgia Tech

Al Harris, DE, Arizona State

Dana Howard, LB, Illinois

Randy Hughes, DB, Oklahoma

Bobby Humphrey, RB, Alabama

Raghib Ismail, WR, Notre Dame

Roy Jefferson, WR, Utah

Ernie Jennings, WR, Air Force

Keyshawn Johnson, WR, USC

Clinton Jones, RB, Michigan State

Lincoln Kennedy, OT, Washington

Tim Krumrie, DT, Wisconsin

Greg Lewis, RB, Washington

Jesse Lewis, DT, Oregon State

Ray Lewis, LB, Miami

Robert Lytle, RB, Michigan

Bob McKay, OT, Texas

Cade McNown, QB, UCLA

Mark Messner, DL, Michigan

Darrin Nelson, RB, Stanford

Ken Norton Jr, LB, UCLA

Tom Nowatzke, FB, Indiana

Jim Otis, FB, Ohio State

Paul Palmer, RB, Temple

Antwaan Randle El, QB, Indiana

Simeon Rice, LB, Illinois

Ron Rivera, LB, Cal

Willie Roaf, OL, Louisiana Tech

Mike Ruth, NG, Boston College

Rashaan Salaam, RB, Colorado

Warren Sapp, DT, Miami

John Sciarra, QB, UCLA

Larry Seivers, WR, Tennessee

Sterling Sharpe, WR, South Carolina

Art Still, DE, Kentucky

Derrick Thomas, LB, Alabama

Zach Thomas, LB, Texas Tech

LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, TCU

Jackie Walker, LB, Tennessee

Wesley Walls, TE, Mississippi

Lorenzo White, RB, Michigan State

Clarence Williams, RB, Washington State

Ricky Williams, RB, Texas

Steve Wisniewski, OG, Penn State

FBS COACHES

Mike Belotti – Chico State, Oregon

Jim Carlen – West Virginia, Texas Tech, South Carolina

Pete Cawthon – Texas Tech

Danny Ford – Clemson, Arkansas

Billy Jack Murphy – Memphis

Darryl Rogers – Call State-Hayward, Fresno State, San Jose State, Michigan State, Arizona State

You can see the full ballot, which includes brief biographies and the list of FCS, Division 2, Division 3 and NAIA candidates as well via the National Football Foundation.

Cold Turkey: Big 12 bumps Texas-TCU form Thanksgiving to Black Friday

A Texas fan dressed up as a Thanksgiving turkey shows disappointment over the performance of the Longhorns during the first half of an NCAA college football game against TCU, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis
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The Big 12 announced a pair of adjustments to its 2016 conference schedule this morning. The more notable of the two changes is the move of Texas and TCU’s Thanksgiving night game to the next day, Black Friday. The game scheduled to be played in Austin on Thanksgiving night will now be played the following day as part of a request of television partners ESPN and FOX.

This will mark the second straight season TCU has played on Black Friday. Last season the Horned Frogs defeated Baylor in one of the sloppier weather games of the year. Playing on Thanksgiving had been a long-standing tradition for the Longhorns. Texas squared off with rival Texas A&M 69 times before the Aggies departed the conference for the SEC. Without the Aggies to play on Thanksgiving, Texas has kept that tradition going with games against either Texas Tech or TCU. However, the addition of a third game in primetime to the NFL schedule ahs created a bit of a stir when it comes to television partners. Knowing the NFL will grab the large majority of the football viewers on Thanksgiving night, the Big 12 now avoids being in the NFL’s dark, ominous shadow. Time will tell if this is a one-year deal, and hopefully it is. Some of us actually prefer watching college football on Thursday night.*

Texas Tech’s home game against Kansas has actually been moved up a couple of days to Thursday, September 29. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, October 1. Now it will get a chance to shine on primetime on either ESPN or FOX Sports 1. The Big 12’s television dates have not been announced, so it remains to be seen if this game will be aired on ESPN or FS1.

*Full disclosure: NBC will begin airing Thursday night NFL games this season, so this statement is voided in the event NBC is airing the Thanksgiving night NFL game because the almighty peacock would not look favorably upon me if I stood by that statement!

USC AD Pat Haden to retire

Southern California athletic director Pat Haden looks on during the second half of their NCAA college football game against Arizona, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in Los Angeles. USC won 38-31. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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USC athletics director Pat Haden is retiring, the school has announced. Haden, who has come under fire for a handful of reasons in recent years, will officially retire from his position as athletics director of USC on June 30, 2016. He will continue to work with USC for the next calendar year to assist with the renovations of the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Haden took on the role of AD at USC in 2010 after serving as a trustee of the university. Haden took on the job as USC looked to recover from fresh NCAA sanctions against the football and men’s basketball program (see: Reggie Bush). Haden made two coaching hires at USC, including the most recent hiring of Clay Helton after he had been an interim coach for the Trojans. The hiring of Steve Sarkisian ended up being a notable failure for Haden. USC also reworked its approach to academic standards under Haden’s leadership, which has proven to pay off with improved GPAs and graduation rates.

Haden was also one of the first members of the College Football Playoff selection committee. Haden stepped down from his position after receiving advice from a doctor to limit his involvement.

USC will now open a worldwide search for the next AD, which should be a search that attracts a number of high-profile candidates. USC president C.L. Max Nikias says he will work with Nick Brill, principal and co-founder of the Brill Neumann executive search firm in finding the new AD. There is no timeline for making a new hire, but there should be plenty of time to have a new permanent AD in place or ready to take over by the time Haden’s term as AD expires over the summer.

Post-signing day coaching shuffle is an annual tradition

In this photo taken Tuesday, June 3, 2014, visitors to the Como Town amusement park ride on the 100-year-old Cafesjian's Carousel in St. Paul, Minn. Parking at the Como Town and adjacent Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is free but there is a charge to ride the Carousel. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
AP Photo/Jim Mone
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It may just be a coincidence, but it never fails. As soon as the ink dries on the faxes from National Signing Day, assistant coaches change jobs left and right. Of course, this may be a coincidence because signing day still falls in the prime time for assistants to be on the move, which typically plays out in the months after head coaches switch jobs. Regardless, it leads to assistant coaches making the final sales pitches to recruits to come to schools they will end up not being employed by. It’s weird, but it is the reality of the game.

There were a flurry of post-signing day coaching changes that became official this week. Florida officially welcomed Torrian Gray as the new defensive backs coach after spending the last 10 seasons at Virginia Tech. Purdue added offensive line coach Darrell Funk to its staff. Oregon’s high school relations director, Sean Dillon, is joining former Oregon assistant-turned UCF head coach Scott Frost at UCF. Dillon takes on the title of director of player personnel at UCF.

Southern Miss is a little bit of a different situation given the late change in head coaches this year. Jay Hopson has reportedly informed multiple holdovers from the coaching staff they will not be retained (Jon Williams, Justin Roberts, Dayne Brown). That has to be a bit awkward for some of the newest additions to the program, although changes had to be expected for Southern Miss given the much more recent coaching change.

But hey, this happens in college football. Every. Single. Year.

Helmet sticker to Football Scoop.

Report says Florida moving QB Treon Harris to wide receiver

Florida quarterback Treon Harris (3) carries ahead of LSU defensive tackle Davon Godchaux (57) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
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When he was called upon to manage the offense following the suspension of Will Grier last season, Treon Harris struggled. That is why it appears he could be heading to a position change starting this spring.

Gridiron Now reporter Mike Huguenin reports Harris will begin transitioning to wide receiver for the Gators once spring practices open in Gainesville. Harris is more of a dual-threat passer, which does not typically fit in well with the style of offense trying to be run under head coach Jim McElwain. McElwain prefers to run with a pro-style offense. Given the remaining candidates for the starting quarterback job, it appears to be pro-style or bust for the Gators.

Harris completed just 50.9 percent of his pass attempts for 1,676 yards and nine touchdowns with six interceptions. He completed just 17 of his 45 pass attempts between the SEC Championship Game loss to Alabama and bowl loss to Michigan. Harris was also ineffective in a regular season finale against Florida State, in which the Gators scored just two points, and he completed just eight of 17 passes for 122 yards against FAU.

With Harris now supposedly moving to receiver, that leaves McElwain’s quarterback competition down to Luke Del Rio (perhaps the leader in the clubhouse after impressing the staff as a practice squad player), Purdue transfer Austin Appleby and freshman Feleipe Franks.