At least five are dead so far as Hurricane Harvey has completely submerged much of the city of Houston. While that is obviously the most pressing issue on authorities’ minds in Space City, there are football matters that need attending. Rice is in a holding pattern in Los Angeles, Houston has vacated the city for Austin and the Texans are camped out in Dallas.
Meanwhile, BYU and No. 13 LSU are scheduled to play at the Texans’ NRG Stadium just six short days from today.
According to SB Nation, officials from both schools are in talks to move the game from Houston to New Orleans’s Mercedes-Benz Superdome. From the report:
Officials from both schools will meet with ESPN on Sunday to discuss moving the game away from Houston’s NRG Stadium. Two potential relocation sites are LSU’s Tiger Stadium or New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome. A source told SB Nation both schools are committed to playing the game Saturday in a different city. BYU does not allow its athletic teams to play on Sundays, per university policy in accordance with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The AdvoCare game is owned by a subsidiary of ESPN, meaning the network will have the final decision on relocation, with input from the schools.
While it may be logistically possible to play the game as scheduled come Saturday, there is the ethical question of whether it’s proper to send thousands of Tigers and Cougars fans to a city not equipped for tourists at the moment while also requiring the use of first responders — police officers for traffic control, ambulances at the ready in case of injury — when they are quite obviously needed elsewhere for the time being.
This is the third straight season LSU has dealt with a weather-related logistical crisis. The Tigers’ 2015 opener with McNeese State was canceled due to inclement weather, and its 2016 Florida game was famously delayed and moved to Baton Rouge due to Hurricane Matthew, canceling a scheduled game with South Alabama in the process.
So much for that wagering momentum, I guess.
Entering the 2017 season as not only the reigning winner but also as seemingly an afterthought, a pair of scintillating performances to open the year pushed Lamar Jackson to the head of Bovada.lv‘s Heisman Trophy pack. Coming off a 26-point Week 3 loss to now-No. 2 Clemson in which he totaled nearly 400 yards of offense and three touchdowns, the Louisville quarterback has seen his odds lengthen a bit from 7/4 a week ago to 11/2 in Bovada‘s latest Heisman release.
Bovada’s new betting front-runner? Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who went from 4/1 to 7/4. Sam Darnold, 6/1, also saw his odds shorten slightly to a Jackson-match 11/2.
Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph, 10/1 in the previous odds release, is now at 9/1, same as the holding-steady-from-a-week-ago Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
There’s also, interestingly, one true freshman on the board: J.K. Dobbins. The Ohio State running back went from off the board to 40/1 odds. His starting quarterback, J.T. Barrett, saw his odds go from 25/1 to 33/1.
Below is the latest set of 2017 Heisman Trophy odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Illinois has an immediate addition to its quarterback room. Or its wide receivers room, depending on how things play out.
Pete DiNovo confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times Monday that he has decided to transfer to the Illini. The acknowledgment comes a month after DiNovo decided to transfer from Central Florida.
As a graduate transfer, DiNovo would be eligible to play immediately this season. Per the player, a former high school teammate and former high school coach currently at Illinois played a role in his decision.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way everything turned out,” DiNovo told the Times. “I can come up here and learn from Lovie (Smith) and everyone else on the coaching staff.”
DiNovo began his Knights career as a quarterback — he replaced Blake Bortles as UCF’s starter before being quickly replaced himself — before being moved to wide receiver before being moved back under center this offseason. How the Illini will use DiNovo, who has an eye on a career in coaching after his playing days are over, remains to be seen.
Not surprisingly, UTEP will stay in-house following its in-season dismissal of one of its coordinators.
The Miners confirmed Sunday that offensive coordinator Brent Pease had been fired. A day later, the football program announced that Brian Natkin has been given the keys to the offense by Sean Kugler and will call the plays moving forward.
Natkin began the season as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. He was an All-American tight end at UTEP a decade-and-a-half ago and became a full-time assistant at his alma mater in 2011.
Through three games, UTEP ranks second-to-last nationally in total offense at 204.7 yards per game and in yards per play (3.89). The Miners are also 125th (out of 130 teams) in scoring at 13 points per game.
The promotion of Natkin also means there will be some additional adjustments to Kugler’s staff. Wide receivers coach Chuck Veliz will take over Pease’s other role as quarterbacks coach, while safeties coach Don Yanowsky assume Natkin’s duties as special teams coordinator.
Natkin will continue in his role as tight ends coach.
Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton was taken away on a stretcher after a tackle left him motionless on the Reser Stadium turf on Saturday.
Family members were called to the field, where medical professionals stabilized an apparently unconscious Luton and removed his face mask. The game continued, of course, as Oregon State lost to Washington State 52-23 despite Luton’s 179 passing yards and 22 rushing yards.
Luton tweeted on Saturday night that he’ll “be back.”
Luton has since been discharged from the hospital, according to The Oregonian, though his father posted a message stating Luton was probably dealing with a “thoracic spine fracture.”
Oregon State is off Saturday before hosting Washington on Sept. 30.