Karl Benson, Jon Steinbrecher

If passed, when will an early signing period officially begin?


The decision on whether or not to allow for an early signing period will come soon enough, but one of the biggest questions regarding it is when exactly it would become an official on the recruiting calendar. If it is approved this summer, do not expect it to take place until the Class of 2016 recruiting calendar gets started.

Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson said it will take some time to work through the legislation before an early signing period would become official, which is to be expected. Benson suggests the earliest it could actually happen would be August 1, 2015.

“If there is a majority vote to move up the signing date, then that vote is conducted by the 32 conferences,” Benson told AL.com. “If that requires change in NCAA legislation, in terms of recruiting calendar, that then has to go through the NCAA process, which would more than likely go into the winter and early 2015. It’d be adopted, from my understanding, for implementation Aug. 1, 2015.”

While there appears to be plenty of open minds regarding the early signing period, there is a lack of consistency on how it should be added to the recruiting calendar. The SEC coaches are reluctant to add an early signing period but would prefer it to be just after Thanksgiving. The ACC has an earlier date in mind. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says there needs to be more discussion on the subject to properly evaluate the beat course of action.

The Conference Commissioners Association will meet later this month to discuss the early signing period concept and potential details.

No punishment from SEC for Bielema’s sideline interaction with Alabama player

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.

“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”

That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.

Temple announces rare football sellout

Jahad Thomas, Marcus Allen

In the midst of what could be a dream season in South Philadelphia, the Temple Owls announced a rare sellout for a football game this afternoon. The October 31 game at home against Notre Dame has sold out Lincoln Financial Field. This is the first time Temple has sold out two home games in the same season since 1976, when the Owls began playing home games in one of Philadelphia’s pro sports stadiums.

This is the second sellout of the season for Temple, but it is also worth mentioning who the opponents are for those two games; Penn State and Notre Dame. Penn State is always Temple’s biggest draw when they get a chance to host the Nittany Lions and their legions of fans in and around the Delaware Valley. Temple dominated Penn State in the season opener, snapping a long losing streak against the in-state power. Notre Dame is also a big draw everywhere the Irish go, and there is a solid fanbase in the southeastern part of Philadelphia as well.

It is also a rare trip to Philadelphia for Notre Dame. The Irish last played in Philadelphia in 1993 when they faced Navy in Veterans Stadium. Navy also hosted Notre Dame in Philadelphia in 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1974. Notre Dame and Temple have never played in Philadelphia, although they did face each other in the 2013 season opener. This year’s game is the second game of a home-and-home series.

The game could potentially prove to play a key role in the evolving College Football Playoff and Group of Five conversation as well. If Temple avoids slipping up this week against UCF and next week at East Carolina and USC holds off USC, then we could have an undefeated and top 25 Temple program hosting a top 15 or even potential top 10 Notre Dame on Halloween. Let’s not put the cart ahead of the horse here, but that could be a very attractive matchup worth paying attention to at the end of the month for many fanbases.