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Civil War among two Pac-12 games changing dates for 2017 season

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It’s a relatively slow news day on the college football front but not when it comes to Pac-12 scheduling news.

As announced by the schools on Thursday afternoon, two contests for the upcoming 2017 slate are moving dates this year. This comes in addition to the announcement that Arizona State has scheduled Wyoming in 2024.

The most notable schedule change comes to the annual Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State. The end of the regular season rivalry game was set to be played on Friday, November 24th but will now be moved back a day to Saturday. It is still set to be televised on ESPN but comes as a result of the PK80 basketball tournament being held earlier in the week up the road in Portland to honor the Ducks’ most famous booster, Phil Knight.

On the non-conference front, Arizona’s trip to UTEP during Week 3 is being moved up a day from Saturday to Friday, September 15. That game is also slated to be on ESPN with a kickoff time of 10:15 pm ET. Interestingly, the school notes that with their Pac-12 opener against Utah also on Friday the following week, the Wildcats will have three straight Saturday’s off given that they have a bye after taking on the Utes.

Additional TV times, network selections and the like are set to surface from the Pac-12 at a later date this summer but for now there appears to already be some preemptive schedule changes out West.

Texas OT announces transfer from Texas Longhorns

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The Texas Longhorns are a program many are expecting to see take a step forward in the first year with new head coach Tom Herman at the helm, but the Longhorns saw the depth on the offensive line just take a hit on Tuesday. Jean Delance, a former four-star recruit of the Longhorns, has announced via Twitter he is departing the program and has already been granted a release from his scholarship.

Reports out of Austin have suggested Delance was being moved around the offensive line with others competing for a spot on the line. Beyond looking for a fresh start, as Delance explains in his shared statement, the other factors leading to his decision have not been shared.

As for that fresh start, Delance will have to sit out the entire 2017 season if he transfers to another FBS program according to NCAA transfer rules. He would be ruled eligible to play this fall, however, if he transfers to a football program at the FCS level or below.

The Longhorns are already dealing with some offensive line concerns ahead of the start of the 2017 season. Elijah Rodriguez , a projected starter according to My San Antonio, will be missing some time due to an ankle issue that continues to linger.

Colorado and Northwestern line up future home-and-home series

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Colorado and Northwestern have lined up a future home-and-home series for those planning ahead. The two schools announced a home-and-home series that will be played in 2025 and 2026, with each game being played on home campuses. None of that neutral field nonsense here!

Northwestern of the Big Ten will host Colorado of the Pac-12 on September 19, 2026. The Wildcats will make the trip to Boulder, Colorado the following season on September 11, 2027. The two schools have faced each other twice before, with Northwestern securing a 35-11 victory in 1951 and Colorado blowing out the Wildcats by a score of 55-7 in 1978. Each team won a game on their home field.

“This will be a great series for several reasons,” Colorado athletic director Rick George said in a released statement.  “Not only is it a quality match-up between two great academic and Pac-12 and Big Ten institutions, it’s important for us to get to that part of the country and the Chicago area for our alumni we have there.”

You may remember a few years back, before the Big Ten expanded to 14 members and both conferences had 12 members, the Pac-12 backed out of an arrangement for a full conference vs. conference scheduling agreement with the Big Ten. That would have been fun to watch, similar to the various conference vs. conference series in college basketball, so any time we can get a Big Ten and Pac-12 team on the same field is to be praised.

As a Big Ten member, Northwestern is required to schedule one game per season against another power conference opponent. Northwestern has the power conference scheduling commitment fulfilled in 2017 with Duke, 2018 (Duke, Notre Dame), 2019 (at Stanford), 2021 (at Duke), 2022 (Duke), 2023 (at Duke), 2024 (Duke), 2026 (Colorado), and now in 2027 (at Colorado).

The Pac-12 has no similar scheduling requirement for Colorado.

Arkansas will use new $137 million multimedia rights deal to upgrade stadium wifi

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Arkansas just signed up for a new 10-year multimedia rights deal with IMG College for a whopping $137 million, and the fans attending Razorback games are expected to reap the benefits in the future.

According to a report from Sports Business Journal, the new multimedia rights deal with IMG College — which handles multimedia rights distribution for all Arkansas sports coverage on TV and radio —  will help Arkansas fund a stadium-wide networking upgrade to a handful of Arkansas athletics venues, including Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The upgrades will focus updating the wi-fi reception to allow for better connectivity for fans using their phones while attending games.

Now, if you are an Arkansas fan and feel as though you have heard about wireless upgrades before, that’s because you have. Arkansas announced plans to upgrade the wireless network status inside the stadium in 2014 as well. But anything upgraded in 2014 is already out of date by 2017 standards. It’s the same for mobile devices as it is the computer I am typing this one. Staying ahead of the curve in areas like this can be difficult, if not costly.

But with a brand spanking new multi media rights deal bringing in a dump truck of cash for Arkansas, the funds will be there to provide for the cost of upgrading the network inside the football stadium. So bring your phone, and your iPad, and whatever else you want to hook up to the network when you attend an Arkansas game. You might get improved service.

TCU lineman leaving program to stay closer to family

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TCU defensive lineman Isaiah Chambers is leaving Fort Worth in order to stay closer to his family in a time of need. In a statement share don his Twitter profile on Monday, Chambers said his aunt (his legal guardian) is currently sick and not doing well.

Chambers was a four-star prospect out of Houston. It is unknown at this time what program Chambers will be moving to next. If he transfers to another FBS program, Chambers would need a family hardship waiver from the NCAA to play football this fall. Otherwise, Chambers will be required to sit out the 2017 season due to NCAA transfer rules. He can play this season if he lands at a lower division program in the FCS or below. For now, football is not the primary focus for Chambers, and given his family history, it goes without saying nobody will be faulting him for this decision in any way.

From a football perspective, the loss of Chambers is a setback for the depth at TCU on the defensive line. Any time a four-star talent and one of the top recruits from the state leaves the program for whatever reason, it is a concern for the roster. How TCU head coach Gary Patterson works his defensive line will be something to watch as the 2017 season quickly approaches at this point.

Helmet sticker to Land Grant Gauntlet.