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Is a 9-game conference schedule coming to the ACC?

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ACC athletic directors are scheduled to meet in North Carolina this week to discuss a number of topics, including whether or not to expand the ACC schedule from eight games to nine. It’s possible the ADs assembled could vote to adopt a nine-game conference scheduling initiative for future schedules, decide to stay put with the status quo of eight games or just table the entire discussion for a later point in time. It’s anyone’s guess, really.

In 2014, ACC athletic directors voted in favor of sticking with an eight-game conference scheduling format with the stipulation each member must schedule one non-conference game against another power conference opponent. With Notre Dame attached on a rotating schedule and a number of annual rivalries with SEC programs, this was not a huge problem for much of the ACC, although it still led to the possibility of Wake Forest and North Carolina scheduling a non-conference series against each other. Tacking on an extra conference game may not have much support considering the Notre Dame rotating schedule and annual rivalry games against SEC opponents, but as the ACC moves toward launching an ACC Network, the case can be made for improving the inventory of games by doing so would benefit the entire conference.

According to a report from David Teel of The Daily Press in Virginia, there is a split opinion on what scheduling format is most suitable for the ACC. From Teel;

Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Duke appear to staunchly prefer 8+2. That’s five of the seven votes this option needs — a 7-all deadlock means the ACC remains at eight conference games and adds the second required Power Five contest. Commissioner John Swofford does not become Vice President Biden in the Senate and break the tie.

Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina State, Wake Forest and Boston College are likely committed to 9+1. That’s six of the eight votes required.

Left to cast deciding votes would be ADs at Virginia Tech, Pitt and Syracuse. Notre Dame does not get a say in this decision as they are not an official football-playing member of the conference. Teel notes Pitt AD Scot Barnes and Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock could lean in favor of a 9+1 model that would expand the conference schedule to nine games and still inlcude one mandated game against another power conference opponent. One other model on the table could be an eight-game schedule with two required games against power conference opponents. With 14 teams in the SEC, Big Ten and ACC and so few non-conference games to fill between all conferences, that model could be tricky to pull off. Scheduling in college football is done so far in advance, that it becomes difficult to satisfy all of the requirements a conference may place on its members.

The Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten each use a nine-game conference schedule. The Big 12 uses a nine-game schedule for a full conference-wide round-robin schedule in which each Big 12 school plays the entire conference. The Big Ten just started using a nine-game conference schedule this season and will mandate that Big Ten schools schedule one game against another power conference or approved opponent (BYU, UConn, Cincinnati etc.) in addition to not scheduling games against FCS opponents. The SEC plays an eight-game schedule and requires members to schedule one non-conference game each year against a power conference or approved (Notre Dame, BYU, Army) opponent.

Arkansas starting QB Austin Allen could miss another couple weeks

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It appears Arkansas will be without its starting quarterback for a while longer than just one week.

An injury to his right (throwing) shoulder in the Week 6 loss to South Carolina knocked Austin Allen out of the game.  After some initial uncertainty in the week leading up to the Week 7 game against top-ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Allen was indeed ruled out for what turned into a 41-9 loss.

With No. 21 Auburn up next, Bret Bielema all but ruled the senior out of the Week 7 matchup.  Additionally, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has reported that Allen could miss up to three more weeks after being sidelined last weekend.

“If it came to a point later in the week where he could practice Thursday, I think there’s merit to (Allen returning this week),” Bielema said. “Where he’s at right now, I’d say we’re still a couple of weeks away, but Austin is a guy who surprises a lot of people and if he can go and do things, it’s a positive for us.”

Should the three-week timeline come into play, he would miss the AU game as well as contests against Ole Miss and Coastal Carolina before returning for the road trip to LSU Nov. 11.

If Allen is indeed sidelined, Cole Kelley (pictured) would again take his place.  Making his first career start, the redshirt freshman completed 23-of-42 passes for 200 yards, one touchdown and one interception on the road against the vaunted Crimson Tide.

Butch Jones says the most Butch Jones quote of all time

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It’s become a theory among some in the media that Butch Jones is conducting a social experiment or participating some sort of performance art. While that’s the more charitable and fun interpretation, I tend to think the Tennessee head coach is just frighteningly insecure and, thus, fighting for every inch of public approval he can in a likely doomed attempt to keep his job.

That approach has backed him into some verbal corners that, in the long run, make his job more difficult on himself.

I’m talking about the “Champions of Life” quote of last season or, in February, actually stating that he didn’t want 5-star players, he wanted 5-star hearts.

This season has seen Jones go on an odd rant blaming the media for negative recruiting and saying Tennessee had one of the best bye weeks ever last week.

It wasn’t one of the best bye weeks ever, because Tennessee lost at home to South Carolina, 15-9. And you’re not going to believe Jones’s explanation for why Tennessee loss. Scratch that. You will believe his explanation, and that’s the problem here, isn’t it?

Here’s the full quote.

Jones is 33-24 in his four-plus seasons in Knoxville, and 14-21 in the SEC. Those numbers will likely fall to 33-25 and 14-22 after Saturday, when the Vols face No. 1 Alabama. The end is likely near.

And here’s the grand irony of Jones’s everything’s-sunny-here p.r. strategy: his attempt to keep his job by stating blatantly cliche quotes in the state of the obvious will live on much longer than Jones’s actual tenure. Two and three years from now, when Jones is working on someone else’s staff or sitting on his buyout money, the next time an on-the-hot-seat coach says his team won the game everywhere except the scoreboard, we’ll see he Pulled a Butch.

Houston Nutt settles lawsuit with Ole Miss

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Houston Nutt wanted money and an apology from Ole Miss. He’ll have to settle for the second of the two — and a largely different future for the program he used to lead.

It was Nutt’s lawsuit, remember, which exposed the documents that led to a Mississippi State fan finding Hugh Freeze‘s call to a Tampa escort service, which led to Freeze’s resignation, which led to… we have no idea what it will lead to, but, whatever that future is, it will be wildly different than if Freeze was still the Rebels’ coach.

Nutt amended his lawsuit in August to seek simply an apology from Ole Miss, and that apology finally came on Monday.

Each side released their own bitter, short statements.

Nutt will go on, with his apology but without any monetary compensation, while Ole Miss will play out the string of this season, hire a new coach, and move into a future that will be immeasurably different that the one it would have lived had it apologized to Nutt in the first place.

Washington loses LT Adams, CB Miller for the season

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No. 12 Washington’s loss to Arizona State was a disaster on the field — for more reasons than one.

The Huskies not only put their College Football Playoff hopes in danger — they’ll need to sweep their next six games, including a finishing kick that calls for games against No. 22 Stanford, No. 15 Washington State and, presumably, No. 11 USC, two of them away from Seattle. But the road to get there became noticeably more difficult after losing two starters.

Left tackle Trey Adams suffered a torn ACL in his right knee, and cornerback Jordan Miller sustained a broken ankle. Head coach Chris Petersen confirmed Monday that both will be lost for the season. Miller is the third Husky this season to suffer a broken ankle.

The Seattle Times noted that Washington is also without another starting corner in Byron Murphy, who is expected to return later this year from a broken foot. The Huskies are expected to replace Miller with either a pair of true freshmen or a converted running back.

But Adams may be the bigger loss for the Huskies. A junior, Adams was widely expected to be a first round pick in this spring’s NFL Draft. It’s the second straight season Washington has lost a key player in the trenches to a season-ending injury; a year ago, it was linebackers Joe Mathis, who finished one sack away from the team lead despite playing in only seven games, and third-leading tackler Azeem Victor.