Strength of schedule is going to likely be a key variable in the College Football Playoff equation starting this season, and conferences and schools are all taking that into consideration. That includes Florida head coach Will Muschamp, who said during the SEC meetings in Destin, Florida Tuesday the Gators may be looking to avoid games against FCS opponents in the coming years.
There is no scheduling policy in the SEC against scheduling FCS opponents, but it is a practice that some schools may look to avoid doing in order to boost strength of schedule for the individual program, but doing so would also boost the conference’s overall strength of schedule as well. That is part of the reason is mandating every school in the SEC to schedule one opponent from anther power conference. Florida meets that requirement with annual games against Florida State.
Muschamp’s quote is an interesting one considering how last season played out for the Gators. A dismal season hit a low point toward the end of the season when Florida was defeated at home by Georgia Southern, a program from the FCS that is making the move up to FBS in 2014. Muschamp also suggested he would be open to considering a neutral-site game against Miami, which has been an idea floating around recently.
Florida has one FCS opponent scheduled in upcoming years at the moment. The Gators will host Eastern Kentucky on November 22, a week before traveling to Tallahassee for the annual rivalry game against Florida State.
Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk is leaving Durham in search of a new place to play football in his final year of eligibility. Duke announced Monday morning Sirk will transfer in 2017.
Sirk was recently declared a no-go for Duke’s spring football practices as he returns from an Achilles injury suffered last season. Sirk was granted an extra year of eligibility, his sixth, from the NCAA last November. It will be his final year of eligibility.
Sirk was Duke’s leading passer in 2015 with 2,625 passing yards and 16 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He was also Duke’s leading rusher that season with 803 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Naturally, he will likely be a quality dual-threat option for whatever program lands his services in 2017. As a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play this fall at any FBS program.
With the rights to use “Row the Boat” successfully acquired through a deal with Western Michigan, Minnesota is going all in with the merchandising efforts to capitalize on the motto of P.J. Fleck. Aside from being able to use the motto for program-building measures, Minnesota has the rights to market the saying on merchandise, including an upcoming bobblehead featuring Minnesota’s Gopher mascot.
A limited edition University of Minnesota bobblehead featuring Goldy Gopher rowing a boat was unveiled on Friday by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. Though just an illustration now, it looks incredibly promising and I sort of want to add it to my bobblehead collection.
The bobbleheads are available for pre-order at a cost of $40.00. They should begin shipping in July of this year, in plenty of time for the first season of the Fleck era at Minnesota.
It appears one of Rutgers’ transferring quarterbacks has found a new home.
In late November, Chris Laviano became one of three Scarlet Knights signal-callers who decided to transfer from Chris Ash‘s football program. Over the weekend, as relayed by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Laviano has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at San Diego State.
As Laviano would be coming to the Mountain West program as a graduate transfer, he’d be eligible to play immediately in 2017. This coming season will be his final year of eligibility.
Laviano had started 18 consecutive games for the Scarlet Knights until he was benched in October of last year.
In 2015, Laviano completed nearly 61 percent of his passes for 2,247 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The completion percentage was the best for an RU player since 2008, while the yardage was good for eighth in school history.
Overall, he tossed 21 touchdowns and 15 picks during his time in Piscataway.
Doug Martin‘s 2017 on-field coaching staff will have a decidedly familiar feel to it, even as it’s in some ways brand-new.
New Mexico State announced that two coaches have been hired by Martin, Chase Holbrook and Kai Brown. The former will serve as tight ends coach, the latter as defensive ends coach.
Holbrook spent the 2016 season as a quality control coach for Mike Leach at Washington State. A former NMSU quarterback, he still owns the school’s single-season and career records for passing, passing attempts, completions, touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns.
Brown was a graduate assistant the past three seasons for the football program.
“We are really excited about Chase coming back to New Mexico State,” Martin said. “Having a former great quarterback that has his name written all over the Aggie record book will have a huge impact on us taking that next step. Chase really believes and cares deeply about the football program here. To have a coach of his talent join our staff makes us a better program immediately. …
“Kai has been a very loyal hard working coach for us as a GA and it gives me great pride to add him to our staff in a full time role. He brings a lot of enthusiasm to our program and has a great relationship with our players.”
This will be both coaches’ first foray into full-time coaching responsibilities at the FBS level.