Gary Patterson’s playoff plan? Ditch league title games

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One of the overriding factors in the Big 12 missing out on a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff was the lack of a conference championship game.  One of the coaches from that league has an idea for avoiding that situation in the future — and it doesn’t involve the Big 12 adding a title game.

In an interview with Chris Low of ESPN.com, Gary Patterson of TCU, along with Baylor one of the two teams snubbed by the CFP committee, discussed his ideas for improving on the current four-team playoff model.  One of those ideas is to push the playoff field to six teams, and his reasoning is sound: “[I]t makes no sense to have four playoff spots and then have five [power] conferences.”

With the six-team plan, the Power Five conferences would all be guaranteed a spot in the field, with the final spot going to an at-large team — either a Power Five or Group of Five team, whichever the committee selected. The top two seeds would get byes for the opening round of play the first weekend of December and… wait, aren’t the conference championship games played that weekend?

Of course they are, and this is where Patterson’s plan flies completely off the rails: he wants the other Power Five conferences to ditch their title games.

“I think you would probably make more money on the playoff games in December than you would with the conference championship games,” Patterson said. “Other than the SEC, there were a lot of empty seats that I saw at those conference championship games. The teams playing on New Year’s would have basically the same amount of time to get ready, and you wouldn’t take away from everybody’s recruiting or interfere with final exams.”

Patterson, Low writes, “said he plans to pitch his idea this spring at the Big 12 meetings and hopefully get some conversation going about it nationally.”

It’ll certainly get some conversation going as it’s an intriguing solution to what some perceive be a problem. Whether it gains any traction among the people who matter most is another issue entirely.

Here’s a hint, though: it won’t as the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC will not give up those games because of both the exposure and the money involved.  The only conversation that will gain traction is the Big 12 adding a championship game to get up to the level of the other Power Five conferences résumé-wise, either through expansion (unlikely) or a waiver to conduct a title game with only 10 members (more likely).  Well, that and getting a handle on the whole “One True Champion” thing.

Minnesota assistant Ed Warinner tweets he’s ‘never been contacted’ about Kent State job

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You just have to love the vagaries of the annual coaching rumor mill.

The offensive line coach and running-game coordinator at Minnesota, Ed Warinner has been mentioned as a potential replacement for Paul Haynes as the head coach at Kent State.  In fact, just yesterday, the former Ohio State and Notre Dame assistant had been labeled as a “strong candidate” for the opening.

Thursday night, however, FootballScoop.com tweeted that Warinner is no longer a candidate.

Less than 20 minutes after that tweet, Warinner took to his personal Twitter to confirm he is not only not a candidate for the job but claimed that he has “never been contacted by anyone involved with the school.” Left unsaid is whether those representing or associated with him had been in contact with the university.

Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen (HERE) and Syracuse offensive coordinator Sean Lewis (HERE) are the latest names du jour connected to the opening at the MAC school.

Kent State’s one of two jobs at the FBS level that remain open, although the other, Louisiana, could be closed in short order.

Report: Louisiana offers head coach job to Arizona State OC Billy Napier

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So much for that plan.

The odd marriage of Arizona State and long-time but not-in-a-long-time NFL coach Herm Edwards was made even odder by the fact that Edwards was retaining Todd Graham‘s entire offensive coaching staff.  Less than two weeks into his tenure, however, there could be a glitch in the plans to help ease Edwards’s return to coaching as 247Sports.com is reporting that Louisiana (the school formerly known as Louisiana-Lafayette) has offered its head-coaching job to Billy Napier.

The 38-year-old Napier had just completed his first season as ASU’s offensive coordinator.  He was also given the title of associate head coach upon Edwards’ hiring.

Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry was also one of the potential candidates for the Louisiana job who interviewed for the opening.

Whoever gets the job with the Ragin’ Cajuns will be replacing Mark Hudspeth, fired earlier this month after seven years with the program.

Arkansas assistant Vernon Hargreaves added to Mizzou’s staff

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Vernon Hargreaves wasn’t retained by the new coaching staff in Fayetteville, but he’ll end up remaining in the SEC anyway.

Missouri confirmed Thursday that Hargreaves has been hired by Barry Odom and added to the second-year head coach’s staff.  The veteran assistant will serve as Odom’s inside linebackers coach.

“I’ve known Vernon for a number of years and have always respected the way his position plays the game,” said Odom in a statement distributed by the school. “He will be a great teacher and mentor for our student-athletes. His experience will be so valuable for our program; I’m excited about Vernon and his family joining our Mizzou family.”

Hargreaves spent the past three seasons as the linebackers coach at Arkansas.  Most notably, he served in the same capacity at Miami from 1998-2005.

Hargreaves also spent time on staffs at Houston (2013-14), South Florida (2010-12), East Carolina (2007-09), Florida International (2006) and UConn (1985-97).  He was also the special teams coordinator at USF and ECU in addition to being a position coach.

Telly Lockette takes job at Florida State as TEs coach

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As Willie Taggart constructs his first coaching staff at Florida State, he’s added yet another familiar face.

Taggart, FSU announced earlier Thursday, has hired Telly Lockette as the Seminoles’ tight ends coach.  Lockette had spent the past three seasons as the running backs coach at Oregon State.

Prior to that, Lockette was a member of Taggart’s coaching staff at USF as running backs coach for two seasons and maintains deep ties to the fertile recruiting soil of South Florida.

“I’ve known Coach Lockette for a long time and am excited he is joining our staff at Florida State,” Taggart said. “He was an important part of my first staff at South Florida and has gained Power 5 experience with his last three seasons in the Pac-12. Coach Lockette is a tremendous recruiter and coach who does a phenomenal job developing student-athletes on and off the field. While we were at South Florida he was the primary recruiter for the Miami area and helped us sign a number of impact players, including Quinton Flowers, Khalid McGee and Deatrick Nichols. His expertise will benefit our current and future Seminoles.”

The job with Taggart at USF was Lockette’s first at any level of college football.  The first 10 years of his coaching career were spent at the high school level, including a five-year stint at Miami Central from 2008-12.