Quentin Williams, Caleb Bak

Concussion costs Gophers a starting lineman

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The lingering effects of significant blows to the head will cost Minnesota one of its most experienced and talented offensive linemen this coming season.

On his Twitter account Tuesday evening, right guard Caleb Bak announced he “won’t be returning for my final year of football.” Bak missed the final three games of the 2013 season due to a concussion, but attempted to come back this spring practice. After participating in three of the 15 spring sessions, Bak was sidelined as the concussion symptoms returned.

“[B]ig thanks to everyone that has supported me over the last 4 years,” Bak wrote in a tweet.

Beginning his Gophers career as a walk-on, Bak went on to start 20 consecutive games on the interior of the line before he was concussed late last season.

The St. Paul Pioneer PressMarcus Fuller notes that Bak is the third Gopher offensive lineman the past three years to be forced to retire from the game due to concussions.

Mark Dantonio quickly tosses aside South Carolina discussion

Mark Dantonio

Michigan State has become a national power under the coaching of Mark Dantonio. The grizzled and confident coach has put together a master plan in East Lansing and has taken the Spartans to the top of the Big Ten along the way, capturing a Big Ten title and victories in the Cotton Bowl and Rose Bowl as well as in-state dominance over the Michigan Wolverines. Danotnio is preparing his Spartans to take on the Wolverines this week, but with the new vacancy opening up at South Carolina following the sudden retirement of Steve Spurrier, Dantonio has already been presented with the question about his thoughts on coaching at South Carolina.

He did not seem all that interested in discussing the vacancy when meeting with Michigan State media this morning.

“Coach Spurrier’s had an outstanding career there, it’s alma mater, and we’re here to talk about Michigan,” Dantonio said when asked about it today. Video below from the Big Ten Network

Dantonio played defensive back for the Gamecocks in the mid 1970s, which helps make Dantonio an interesting name to mention in any coaching future discussion out of Columbia. While Dantonio may have played at South Carolina for Jim Carlen, Dantonio grew up in Ohio and has coached the bulk of his career within Ohio and the Big Ten. He is also one win away from picking up his 100th career coaching victory, 81 of which have come at Michigan State.

Dan Patrick: Spurrier brought personality to the SEC

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South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is stepping down as head coach of the Gamecocks, and that has the college football world reflecting on the impact he has had on the game of college football. Spurrier’s quips at rivals and revolutionary thoughts on where the sport has been heading were always on the mark, even when his team’s performance on the field was not.

Dan Patrick shared his reaction to the news of Spurrier retiring today on The Dan Patrick Show (simulcast on NBC Sports Network). As many have already suggested, Spurrier’s wit and charm brought a refreshing personality to the SEC.