The war of words regarding the potential rescheduling of LSU’s game at Florida continued for the second straight week on Monday.
The contest was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew hitting the state over the weekend and the Tigers in particular have held firm that the game will not be played because the two schools do not share a common bye week. Many have expected that the two programs will find a way to either move or buyout their cupcake games against lower level opponents on November 19th in order to find a way to play, but that apparently is not going to happen if one side gets its way.
“What I said the other day about this game being very difficult to reschedule is still true,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said at a press conference on Monday. “One thing we’re going to hold very firm on is that we have a home game on Nov. 19 and we’re going to have a home game on Nov. 19. We are going to have a game on Nov. 19. We are not going to change that situation.”
LSU plays South Alabama in Baton Rouge on that date while Florida hosts Presbyterian. The cost to buyout both games is reportedly in the $2 million range but the Tigers are understandably holding a little firmer than the Gators on the matter because they bring in millions for a home game and don’t want to lose that revenue.
“The presidents and athletic directors from Florida and LSU agreed on Thursday that the schools and SEC Office would make every effort to find a scheduling solution to their postponed game,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a release. “As I have said, we need to play the game we need to have people come together to find a way to make that happen. We continue to work with the universities to play this game.”
“We understand the importance of playing this game and we want to play this game,” Florida AD Jeremy Foley added in a statement of his own. “We continue to work with the SEC and LSU to make that happen.”
Other dates being discussed include October 29th, when LSU is on a bye. That would prove to be problematic however as Florida plays their annual rivalry game against Georgia in Jacksonville and it’s doubtful the Tigers want to give up the open week before playing Alabama anyway. Playing the game on December 3rd and moving the SEC title game back a week has also been brought up but the scenario seems far-fetched given the logistical hurdles involved and the impact it will have on the postseason picture across the country.
While there’s still two months left in the season, the game between the two schools could have a big impact as to who wins both divisions. The SEC determines who plays in the championship game based on winning percentage, so there could be issues if either finished 6-1 in conference play — earning a trip to Atlanta over a 6-2 team that played all their SEC games.
It will be interesting to see what the SEC office decides to do with the matchup but it seems quite clear that both sides are really digging in to do what’s best for them when it comes to rescheduling the game.
Three Oregon players were hospitalized after grueling winter workouts conducted by new strength coach Irele Oderinde, and now the school has suspended Oderinde for one month without pay.
The original report from The Oregonian, which the school later confirmed, saw at least one player contract symptoms of rhabdomyolysis, a soft tissue condition triggered by overwork that can lead to kidney damage. Other players showed signs as well, according to the report.
The sources said that some players “passed out” and others later complained of discolored urine, which is a common symptom of rhabdomyolysis. After testing, others were found to have highly elevated levels of creatine kinase, an indicator of the syndrome.
As a result, Oderinde has been suspended and head coach Willie Taggart has issued an apology. Oderinde previously worked for Taggart at South Florida.
“I have visited with the three young men involved in the incidents in the past few days and I have been in constant contact with their families, offering my sincere apologies,” Taggart said in a statement. “As the head football coach, I hold myself responsible for all of our football-related activities and the safety of our students must come first. I have addressed the issue with our strength and conditioning staff, and I fully support the actions taken today by the university.
“I want to thank our medical staff and doctors for caring for all of our young men, and I want to apologize to the university, our students, alumni and fans.
Added AD Rob Mullens: “The university holds the health, safety and well-being of all of our students in high regard. We are confident that these athletes will soon return to full health, and we will continue to support them and their families in their recoveries.”
Additionally, Oderinde will now report to director of performance and sport science Andrew Murray instead of Taggart.
North Carolina’s eastern and western Group of 5 programs are going to rekindle their rivalry.
Appalachian State and East Carolina — or is that East Carolina and Appalachian State? — announced Tuesday plans to play a 4-game series in 2021 and then 2024-26.
The teams will meet on opening weekend (Sept. 4) of the 2021 season at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, then go home-and-home for the final three games of the series. East Carolina will host on Sept. 14, 2024, App State will take a turn on Sept. 6, 2025, and East Carolina will close the series on Sept. 5, 2026.
“On behalf of Appalachian State University, I would like to thank Will Webb, the Charlotte Sports Foundation, Jeff Compher and East Carolina University, the Carolina Panthers, and Bank of America Stadium for the opportunity to host a home game in downtown Charlotte,” App State AD Doug Gillin said in a statement Tuesday. “The chance for App State to host a home game in an NFL Stadium, in Charlotte where our largest alumni base is and against a program like East Carolina is a great opportunity for our students-athletes, alumni, and fans.”
“Both football programs have a rich history of success and outstanding fan support,” East Carolina AD Jeff Compher added. “I am especially excited for our future football student-athletes who will have an opportunity to play in such an exceptional NFL venue as Bank of America Stadium. We are grateful to Doug [Gillin] and our colleagues at Appalachian for working together in creating this four-game series.”
The two teams have met 31 times previously, but only twice since 1979. East Carolina has won each of the recent meetings — 29-24 to open the 2009 season and 35-13 to open ’12, both in Greenville — and holds a 19-12 all-time advantage with wins in the last six and nine of the last 11 matches.
Arkansas has promoted Paul Rhoads to defensive coordinator, the program has announced.
Like a college player going pro or a high schooler freshly offered a scholarship, Bret Bielema made the announcement through his Twitter account.
Rhoads ascends to the defensive coordinator spot after Robb Smith left the staff to take the same job at Minnesota. He spent the last season on staff as defensive backs coach, but he’ll have his work cut out for him as he moves to the big chair.
Arkansas concluded the 2016 season ranked 123rd nationally in yards per play allowed and 85th in scoring defense. The Razorbacks allowed 37.3 points per game and 7.87 yards per play in SEC games — which both stood as the worst in the conference.
Best known for his 7-year run as the head coach at Iowa State, Rhoads made his name in coaching as a successful defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh (2000-07) and Auburn (2008).
Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware is the quintessential “player you hate if he’s on the other team and player you love if he’s on your team.” Boulware constantly searches — often times outside the letter of the rule book — to look for an edge, and made no secret of his disdain for ESPN college football analyst Demsond Howard‘s disdain for Clemson’s linebackers.
Howard’s quote that started the one-sided feud, via The Clemson Insider:
“Defensively, when I watch Dalvin Cook, Florida State’s running back do … and he is an elite running back and there is no doubting that. He is a special talent. But they are supposed to have a special defense, too. I think their achilles heel may be their linebackers. They are good straight ahead, but as far as going east and west, sideline to sideline, Dalvin Cook turned the corner whenever he wanted to against that defense. I need to see the linebackers play a little better, too, from Clemson.”
That’s the kind of quote that the average viewer would consume and then never give a second thought, or, if you’re a Boulware, the kind you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life.
With Clemson’s national championship now in the bag, Boulware showed off his new strategically-placed tattoo on Twitter, tagging Howard in the process.
(By the way, Cook did rush for 169 yards and four touchdowns that night, though Clemson won the game, 37-34.)
Knowing Boulware, he’ll spend the rest of his days barefoot, hopping with his inked foot splayed in the air, begging each and every passerby to ask him how he got that tattoo.