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.

Florida State planning new facility to catch up with Clemson

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Florida State completed a major facility overhaul not even three years ago. But the thing about arms races is that when someone pulls ahead of you it means you are behind.

And Clemson officially pulled ahead earlier this year with the opening of its glistening, slide-equipped new home.

As such, Jimbo Fisher told reporters Friday that Florida State now has plans to construct its own standalone facility, going as far as meeting with an architect.

“We need room. We need meeting space, player development areas. You’ve got to have those areas and also to show off your history. That’s what Florida State is known for, being a great football program,” Fisher told ESPN. “You can never stand still. If you’re not evolving and moving, people are going to bypass you. You’ve got to keep going. The great programs never settle. We’re always looking for that edge. It’s going to help recruiting. It’s going to help player development. We get a lot of guys that are three-and-out, so we’ve got to have space for them to get them developed as quickly as we can so we can get production out of them.”

While saying that it’s a “competitive” race and not an arms race, Fisher also tried to sell that the plans for the ‘Noles’ new home were unrelated to Clemson’s new facility.

“I don’t care what they’ve got,” Fisher said. “I’m worried about what we’ve got. If I don’t think it’s going to make a difference in our program for these kids to develop as people, students and players, I won’t ask. I didn’t grow up with a lot. I was taught if you need it, do what you’ve got to do to be successful but don’t waste. I’m not going to do that. But there’s things you’ve got to have to be successful and that’s the next step, in my opinion.”

Former Michigan TE Jake Butt says college players should be able to cash in on likenesses

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For the record, Jake Butt shouldn’t “be paid” in the strictest sense of the term — to receive a paycheck for services rendered. Rather, the former Michigan tight end believes players should be able to profit from their statuses as college athletes when the NCAA, its conferences and member schools are already doing the same.

(Having an extremely marketable last name probably contributed to the forming of this opinion.)

“Something needs to change,” Butt told ESPN.com at Michigan’s pro day. “I don’t want a check from the NCAA. I don’t know if that’s something that’s likely. But the big thing is they say you can’t use your name to benefit. I can’t go into my favorite breakfast spot, Benny’s, I can’t go in there and get a free breakfast because I’m only getting that because of my name.

“That’s not to say I can’t make friends with the owner because of the person I am. I’m a good guy, a really good guy — sociable guy, made a lot of friends. I can’t accept anything free for that. They said I can’t go down the street, the example one of them gave us is you can’t go to [get] tires and negotiate your price from $600 to $500 because that’s only because of your name. But Joe Schmo can go down the street and he can negotiate his price. It’s kind of ridiculous to me.”

Butt was a victim of the cruelest twist in circumstances possible for a college athlete — a season-ending injury at the end of his final season. A senior, Butt was one of the top tight ends on the draft board before suffering a torn ACL in the Wolverines’ Orange Bowl loss to Florida State. The Mackey Award winner as the nation’s top tight end will be drafted next month, but the damage to his bank account resulting from the injuries is significant. Being able to profit from his own name and image would have served as insurance against the loss of value he suffered due to the injury.

“I should be the example of why college athletes should be getting paid in college or why I can’t use my name to benefit off my likeness in college,” Butt said.

“Why can I see ‘I Like Jake Butt and I Cannot Lie,’ I see those shirts and I’m living paycheck-to-paycheck in college. Who knows? Heaven forbid something happens in the NFL, can I really benefit off of it when it was at the most? No, I can’t.”

Baylor strength coach apparently no longer with the program

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It seems every bit of news related to Baylor football nowadays has to do with the school’s on-going sexual assault scandal but it appears there is one bit of information coming out of the program that doesn’t have something to do with that.

A school spokesperson told ESPN on Friday that football strength coach Kaz Kazadi has been “reassigned to a role outside the athletic performance staff.” A report from the local ESPN Radio affiliate in Waco indicates that the move will eventually have the coach leaving the school altogether.

Kazadi spent nearly a decade with the Bears and played a big role in the team’s on-field turnaround under the former coaching staff. Several former players took to Twitter on Friday to express their shock over the loss of one of the cornerstones of the team in recent years.

After the hire of Matt Rhule this offseason, it isn’t too surprising to see some turnover among those staff members connected to the previous regime. Baylor’s new head coach brought most of his strength staff with him from Temple so it was probably only a matter of time before Kazadi moved on, though the timing of the quasi-announcement (the Bears started spring football last weekend) is somewhat interesting.

Either way, it appears Baylor will have a new direction in the weight room going forward.

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh has ditched his Dockers for another

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Peanut butter and jelly. Milk and cookies. Batman and Robin. Maize and blue. Jim Harbaugh and khakis.

All are iconic combinations, but it appears the latter is undergoing a few changes right now.

The Michigan head coach’s affinity for a pair of khakis has been so strong over the years that it’s become almost comical how much he likes the style of pant. Heck, he even got a commercial out of it a few years ago when he specifically started getting outfitted with Dockers brand khakis.

Despite being a paid endorser though, it appears that Harbaugh has dropped the famous Levi’s brand version of khakis to attack the day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind in another pair of pants.

Not only is the switch from Dockers to Lululemon result in a lot more comfort for the Wolverines coach, it’s probably a bit more of a hit to the ol’ wallet than dropping by Walmart for a pair of khakis off the shelf. It probably doesn’t make a huge difference for Harbaugh though given that he’s the highest paid coach in the country but it might result in a few more trips to the mall.

Either way, what it does mean is that now we demand a new commercial featuring Harbaugh and khakis. After all, if you’re upping the clothing game, you’ve got to up the ad game as well.