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Clemson, Dabo Swinney agree to new eight-year, $54 million contract

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Undeniably, winning has its rewards.  Case in point: Dabo Swinney.

In January, Swinney led Clemson to the football program’s first national championship in more than three decades.  Seven months later, the university announced that Swinney has agreed to a new eight-year contract that would keep the head coach with the Tigers through 2024.  The deal is worth a total of $54 million, an average of $6.75 million annually.

“Dabo’s impact on our football program, our university and our community is immeasurable and goes well beyond the on-field successes and national championship,” said athletic director Dan Radakovich in a statement. “This new agreement demonstrates our strong commitment to Dabo and our confidence in his leadership now—and in the future—and his long-term commitment to Clemson. We are thrilled that he and his family will be a part of the Clemson Family for years to come.”

Swinney will be paid a total of $7.5 million in the first year of the deal — $6 million in salary, $1.5 million as a signing bonus.  That figure will make him the second-highest paid coach in college football in 2017, behind only Alabama’s Nick Saban ($11 million), the man he beat for the 2016 College Football Playoff title.

In 2018 and 2019, Swinney will be paid $6.2 million in total compensation, with his 2020 salary jumping to $6.3 million.  He will receive annual raises of $100,000 through 2023, pushing his compensation to $6.6 million that year.  He’ll make the same number in the final year of the deal.

Additionally, Swinney will be eligible for a retention bonus of $1 million if he’s still the Tigers coach on March 1, 2019.  Another retention bonus of $70,000 would be triggered on the same date two years later.

Swinney could also earn annual bonuses of up to $1 million, including $250,000 for a national championship and $200,000 for a championship game appearance.

Conversely, Swinney would owe the university a $6 million buyout if he leaves anytime between now and Dec. 31, 2018.  That number would then drop to $4 million if he leaves before Dec. 31, 2019, then drops by $1 million each year through the same date in 2022.  If he were to be fired without cause, Swinney would be owed the number of years remaining on his deal times $5 million.

“I want to thank President Clements, Dan Radakovich and his team, the Board of Trustees, and the entire Clemson family,” Swinney said. “My family and I have been extremely blessed to be part of such an incredible university and community for the past 14 years. This contract makes a strong statement. It is a mutual commitment reflective of the program we have built and continue to build at Clemson. The Clemson family does so much to support our program and I couldn’t be more proud to be your head coach.”

In his nine seasons as coach, Swinney has compiled an 89-28 record overall and 54-15 mark in ACC play.  The Tigers have won 10 or more games in each of the past six seasons, including back-to-back 14-win years.  Prior to Swinney’s arrival, Clemson had just seven 10-win seasons total the previous 106 years.

Swinney also has three ACC championships and five Atlantic division titles during that time.

Scott Frost adds AP Coach of the Year to award haul

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Scott Frost will have to make room for a little more hardware as he moves to Nebraska. On Monday, the Associated Press named Frost its coach of the year for the 2017 season.

Frost received 21 first-place votes and 100 total points in the voting consisting of 57 voters in the AP Top 25. Frost beat out Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney for the award following an undefeated 12-0 season at UCF that ended with an AAC championship and a berth in the Peach Bowl as the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion. Despite already being hired to be the head coach at Nebraska and UCF hiring a new head coach, Frost has stayed committed to coaching the Knights in the bowl game even if it makes for some long days flying between Lincoln and Orlando as he pulls double duty.

Frost turned UCF football around in short order. After inheriting a team that had gone 0-12 just prior to his arrival, Frost reinvigorated the mindset of the program and led UCF to a 6-7 season in his debut as UCF head coach in 2016. To follow that up in 2017, Frost led UCF to an undefeated season and conference championship to help return the program to a big bowl game for the first time since facing Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl with Blake Bortles at quarterback.

Frost already collected a few coach of the year honors with the Eddie Robinson Award from the Football Writers Association of America and the Home Depot Coach of the Year award.

West Virginia WR David Sills V to return in 2018

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Watch out Big 12, because West Virginia has a very dangerous combination confirmed to be returning in 2018. Days after quarterback Will Grier announced his intention to return to Morgantown for another season, his top wide receiver says he will be there too. David Sills V announced his decision to return for the 2018 season on Monday, giving West Virginia the most potent passing combo in the Big 12 heading into next season.

“After talking with my family and my coaches and taking time in prayer, I have decided to return for my senior season at West Virginia University,” Sills said in a released statement. “I look forward to our bowl game and having another year with my teammates here in Morgantown. It is important to me to finish what I started in the classroom and help our program win a Big 12 championship. WVU holds a special place in my heart, and I am looking forward to seeing what this team can accomplish next year.”

Sills V caught 60 passes for 980 yards and a nation-leading 18 touchdowns this season for West Virginia, leading to being named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award and multiple All-American nods.

“David proved this year that he can be one of the best receivers in college football,” West Virginia head football coach Dana Holgorsen said. “Another season will help him improve in all areas, and I know our fans will be excited  to see him team up with Will Grier for another year.”

Bovada likes Alabama to beat Georgia, but Oklahoma has odds in their favor

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Alabama has long been considered the favorite to win the national championship in college football according to Bovada this season, and that is not exactly changing with the College Football Playoff here. But if the Crimson Tide get paired up with Oklahoma, Alabama could be playing the role of underdog.

The latest odds released for each possible College Football Playoff national championship scenario have been updated by Bovada, and they continue to bode well for Alabama if they end up facing Georgia in Atlanta. Alabama is a 7/2 favorite against Georgia, while Georgia has been given 25/4 odds to beat the Crimson Tide. Georgia also has 13/2 odds against Clemson, while the Tigers have been given 4/1 odds against the Bulldogs.

The odds continue to bode well for Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma, however. The Sooners have been given 6/1 odds against Alabama and 7/1 odds against Clemson should Oklahoma get by Georgia in the Rose Bowl semifinal to play for their first College Football Playoff national championship.

Here are the different odds for the College Football Playoff national championship as updated by Bovada on Monday morning;

  • Alabama over Georgia – 7/2
  • Alabama over Oklahoma – 4/1
  • Clemson over Georgia – 4/1
  • Clemson over Oklahoma – 6/1
  • Georgia over Alabama – 25/4
  • Georgia over Clemson – 13/2
  • Oklahoma over Alabama 6/1
  • Oklahoma over Clemson – 7/1

Which bet do you like the most?

Crunch time for Temple’s on-campus stadium plans approaching quickly

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For about as long as anyone can probably remember at this point, Temple has been flirting with the idea of building an on-campus football stadium to serve as the home of the Owls. With the current lease agreement to play games in Lincoln Financial Field now set to expire at the end of the 2019 season, the idea of building an on-campus stadium has reached a point where it may be now or never.

According to a report from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Temple is expected to provide an update on the potential plans for an on-campus stadium during a board of trustees meeting on Tuesday. With the construction of a possible 35,000-seat stadium structure expected to take between 18 and 24 months, time is beginning to be more of a factor moving forward. If plans for an on-campus stadium fail to move forward soon, then Temple must work with the Philadelphia Eagles to secure Lincoln Financial Field as a site for home games. According to a previous report from Philly Voice, the Eagles had been asking for a 30-year lease at $2 million per year and $12 million upfront. Temple has been paying $1 million per year for use of the NFL stadium and has called it home since the building opened in 2003. The original lease was a 15-year agreement with two options to tack on two additional seasons.

Temple’s on-campus football stadium has lacked the support from the Temple community and the surrounding neighborhood the stadium would potentially be constructed, making this a decision that does not come easily for the Owls and the university. Despite some recent good seasons out of the Temple football program, the Owls historically have not fared well with packing stadiums for games. Unless Temple is hosting Penn State or Notre Dame, Temple has struggled to be a draw that brings in many fans. The thought is having an on-campus stadium may make it more accessible for the Temple community for less-marquee games, but that is not a fail-proof strategy at this time for Temple either.

Temple’s issues with an on-campus stadium are not unique to the Owls. Even Miami has similar issues with playing home games in an NFL stadium off campus. Despite a strong season of football, Miami took a while to fill the seats until they were playing Notre Dame in November. But Miami has many advantages that Temple does not. And simply having an on-campus stadium does not immediately translate into national success. South Florida plays in an NFL stadium and they have fared well the past few years. Cincinnati has an on-campus stadium, yet they have continued to struggle. Regardless of where the team plays, it all comes down to simply having the best combination of staff and players. Having the best facilities possible is a big factor in recruiting both.

An on-campus stadium for Temple has its perks, but it is not a perfect plan according to those with concerns in the community. We’ll see if anything comes out of this latest board meeting, if the stadium idea remains on the agenda.