AP Photo/April L. Brown

Arkansas adds Colorado State to 2018 schedule; SEC waiver issued

Leave a comment

The SEC has a scheduling policy in place to have all 14 members play at least one power conference opponent each season. Exceptions have and will be made when appropriate, and that is the case for Arkansas and its 2018 schedule. Arkansas has announced a 2018 home game against Colorado State of the Mountain West Conference. The game fills out the Arkansas schedule for 2018 without a power conference opponent on the non-conference schedule, but the SEC is giving the Razorbacks a pass.

The September 8, 2018 road game at Colorado State has been excused by the SEC after the Razorbacks were left in a bit of a bind with the schedule for 2018. Arkansas originally had a home-and-home series lined up with Michigan, but the Wolverines opted to buy out the contract in order to arrange for a home-and-home series with longtime rival Notre Dame. Arkansas attempted to fulfill its scheduling requirement for the SEC by tracking down a power conference opponent for the vacant spot on the schedule, but found no takers available. As a result, Arkansas worked out a deal with Colorado State to tack on an extra game to go with a 2019 home game already on the books. Rather than have Colorado State make two trips to Arkansas, the Rams may have held some bargaining power and were able to get the SEC program to head to Fort Collins for the first part in a home-and-home arrangement.

“Being able to bring an SEC opponent to Fort Collins speaks to the growth of our program and also speaks to the impact our new on-campus stadium is already making,” Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo said in a released statement. “We want to challenge ourselves in our non-conference schedule and also bring those quality opponents to our home field and our fans.”

For Colorado State, the level of difficulty for the schedule is just about as good as it can get for a midmajor program. In 2018, the Rams will face in-state rival Colorado, Arkansas, and Florida. Colorado State has lined up a good handful of power conference opponents for future schedules, including Vanderbilt (2020-2021, 2025-2026), Texas Tech (2025-2026) and Arizona (2027-2028). This upcoming season, the Rams play Colorado in Denver, at Alabama and at home against Oregon State.

The SEC allows games against Army, BYU and Notre Dame to count toward the conference’s power conference scheduling requirement and makes exemptions given the right set of circumstances when appropriate. Arkansas does already have the non-conference scheduling commitment satisfied for 2017 (TCU) and 2021 (Texas) but still has a spot to fill on its schedule for a power conference opponent every other season starting in 2019 (Portland State, Colorado State, San Jose State). If Arkansas cannot find another power conference opponent play in 2019, it may need to beg the SEC for forgiveness once more and hope Colorado State can be good enough for consideration.

All of those does bring an interesting question to the table. What happens if a school does not satisfy the conference’s power conference requirement on the schedule? Is there any actual punishment?

Transferring BYU QB Kody Wilstead finds new home at Kansas JUCO

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With eight quarterbacks on the roster, Kody Wilstead opted to leave the Cougars in mid-March.  A little over a month later, Wilstead has found a new home, albeit a little further down on the college football ladder.

According to the Deseret News, Wilstead has signed to play at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.  As Coffeyville is a junior college, the quarterback will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.

It’s expected that Wilstead will spend at least one season at the JUCO level before looking at making a move back up to the FBS.

Wilstead, a three-star 2015 signee, took a redshirt as a true freshman last season after serving an LDS mission the previous two years.

After Wilstead’s departure, the seven remaining Cougar signal-callers are, in alphabetical order, Stacy ConnerJoe CritchlowHayden GriffittsBeau HogeTanner MangumBaylor Romney and Zach Wilson. Mangum, last year’s starter, is recovering from an Achilles tendon injury he suffered in November of last year but remains on track to return for the start of summer camp in August.

Army’s Donovan Franklin tweets transfer to Kansas

Getty Images
1 Comment

This is something you don’t see all too often.

Donovan Franklin (pictured, No. 26) tweeted out late Tuesday night that, “[a]fter careful consideration I am happy to announce that I have decided to continue my academic and athletic career at the University of Kansas.” Franklin had spent the past two years at the United States Military Academy at West Point, playing his college football for the Army Black Knights.

It’s unclear what led the slotback to leave the service academy and head to the Big 12 school.

Franklin was a two-star prospect coming out of high school in Maryland in Army’s Class of 2015.  After playing in two games in 2016, he carried the ball one time for seven yards this past season.

The 5-9, 185-pound Franklin was listed as a defensive back coming out of high school, and could assume such a role yet again with the Jayhawks.  That likely won’t happen this season, however, as it’s expected he will have to sit out the 2018 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.

After committing to Oklahoma earlier this month, Notre Dame grad transfer Jay Hayes flips to Georgia

Getty Images
Leave a comment

That whole thing where Oklahoma landed a graduate transfer from Notre Dame?  Never mind.  Pretend it never happened.

April 15, a little over a week after he announced his transfer from Notre Dame, Jay Hayes took to Twitter to confirm that he had committed to continuing his collegiate playing career at Oklahoma.  Ten days later, the defensive lineman has done an about-face, taking to the same social media service to announce that he is flipping from OU to Georgia.

“This is it!” the lineman wrote, presumably meaning there will be no more flipping.

As a graduate transfer, Hayes will be eligible to play immediately for the Bulldogs in 2018.  This will be the lineman’s final season of eligibility.

Hayes, a four-star member of the Irish’s 2014 recruiting class, played in 26 games for the Irish over the last three seasons, including starts in all 13 games at defensive end in a 2017 season that saw him record 27 tackles and a sack.

Auburn lands UMass transfer lineman over UCLA, USC

UMass athletics
Leave a comment

At least in this graduate transfer battle, the SEC has gotten over on the Pac-12.

Tuesday, Jack Driscoll, who decided to transfer from UMass earlier this offseason, confirmed that he had narrowed his potential landing spots down to three — Auburn, UCLA and USC.  A day later, the offensive lineman took to Twitter to announce that he will be enrolling at AU and continuing his collegiate playing career with the Tigers.

Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 on The Plains.  The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.

After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017.  All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.