A.J. Ricker

Illini’s coaching loss is Mizzou’s gain

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Earlier this month, Missouri abruptly lost a long-time Gary Pinkel assistant. Less than two weeks later, they’ve apparently filled that coaching void… at the expense of another Power Five football program, as it turns out.

While nothing is official, multiple media outlets reported earlier this week that Mizzou is set to hire A.J. Ricker as Pinkel’s new offensive line coach. Ricker would replace Bruce Walker, who it was announced had decided to retire from coaching at the age of 53 one month before the start of summer camp.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Dave Matter wrote Wednesday that “Missouri is not expected to formally announce Ricker’s hiring for a few days, maybe not until next week.” While neither school has sent out a release confirming the arrival/departure, Illinois head coach Tim Beckman did acknowledge that he now has an opening to fill on his Illini staff.

He’s going to accept the opportunity to go to his alma mater,” Beckman told the Champaign News-Gazette. “We build a program and we talk about family, and he has an opportunity to go back to his family.”

Tigers fans will certainly recognize the name behind the hire when it’s officially announced.

From 2000-03, Ricker started 47 games at center for Mizzou. He served as the offensive line coach at Western Michigan in 2008 and then again from 2011-12. He spent his one and only season at Illinois in 2013.

(Photo credit: Illinois athletics)

Diagnosed with bovine leukemia, Bevo XIV retires immediately

Associated Press
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Turns out Steve Spurrier isn’t the only iconic college football figure to retire this week.

Texas announced Tuesday evening Bevo XIV has been diagnosed with bovine leukemia and has been retired to his pasture, effective immediately.

Bevo XIV missed Saturday’s stunning upset of then-No. 10 Oklahoma with what the school called a “life threatening” illness, and rumors circulated around the internet this week he had passed away.

Bevo XIV officially hangs up his horns with a 106-41 record with two national championship appearances.

There is no word at press time on a possible debut of Bevo XV.

Dabo Swinney won’t stop talking about “Clemsoning”

Dabo Swinney
Associated Press

Urban Dictionary defines “Clemsoning” as “the act of an inexplicably disappointing performance, usually within the context of a college football season.”

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was asked about the phenomenon following the Tigers’ destruction of Georgia Tech Saturday and promptly went off. The question, asked by ESPN’s David Hale, was in reference to Swinney’s program shaking the label – Saturday marked Clemson’s 34th straight win over an unranked opponent – but Swinney didn’t see it that way.

Armed with some new facts (Clemson SID Tim Bourret noted 50 teams have fallen as ranked opponents to unranked foes since the Tigers last did so on Nov. 19, 2011), Swinney again targeted the “Clemsoning” label.

“I think it’s an agenda. It’s just bias,” Swinney told the Charleston (S.C.) Post & Courier Tuesday. “People are uneducated. They’re just ignorant and lazy because they’re not looking at the facts. If they did, they’d be focused on other schools and not Clemson. They’d be dialed in on what Clemson has done. There aren’t three other schools in the country as consistent as Clemson, in all aspects.”

I hate to break it to you, Dabo: you are absolutely correct, but the term, as they say, has been coined.

Just go beat Florida State, beat South Carolina, win the ACC and win a national title and maybe Urban Dictionary will delete that pesky page out of a sign of respect.

Also, No. 5 Clemson hosts unranked Boston College on Saturday. This would be a very, very unfortunate time for the Tigers to suffer an upset.