The ACC and the American have struck a deal for a football officiating alliance, the American announced Monday. The new program will see the two conferences cooperate on all things officiating, from training to scheduling to evaluation.
With the move, the ACC’s Dennis Hennigan will oversee the alliance, while the American’s Terry McAulay will step down as the league’s coordinator of football officiating and the American will hire a new supervisor of football officials.
“We are excited to partner with the ACC regarding the administration of our football officiating program,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “This alliance will provide both conferences with a deep roster of the best college football officials and will provide for greater efficiency and consistency in the training and evaluation of officials as well as enhanced opportunities for the recruitment of officials. We look forward to working with Dennis Hennigan, who was regarded as one of the top on-field officials in college football and has since become a leader on the administrative side. I also want to thank Commissioner John Swofford for his cooperation in reaching this mutually beneficial arrangement.”
The new alliance means ACC officials could oversee a Tulane-Tulsa game, while AAC officials would work a Clemson-Georgia Tech game. The ACC-AAC Alliance will go into effect for the 2018 season.
Nearly two years after leaving the Big Ten, AJ Bush is back.
Bush confirmed to 247Sports.com that he has decided to transfer to Illinois for his final season of eligibility. The quarterback will be coming to the Fighting Illini as a graduate transfer, meaning he’d be eligible to play immediately in 2018.
It would also mean he’d see his former team on the opposing sidelines this year as the Cornhuskers will play host to the Illini Nov. 10 this year.
This will mark Bush’s fourth college football team, joining Nebraska, an Iowa junior college and Virginia Tech on his winding football journey.
“It’s a great opportunity, just like every other one was great as well,” Bush told the website. “The decisions made before led me to where I am today. So at the end of the day, I can’t be nothing but optimistic about the future. I’m an optimistic person. I never have burned bridges with anybody. It’s always been respect for me wherever I went. I never had any regrets, but you only get one year and you only get one opportunity. I’m fortunately blessed with this one.”
Bush was a three-star 2014 member of Nebraska’s 2014 recruiting class, rated as the No. 44 dual-threat quarterback in the country coming out of high school in Georgia. He also held offers from, among others, Boston College, Cincinnati and Kansas State.
After taking a redshirt his true freshman season, Bush didn’t see the field in 2015 for the Cornhuskers. In August of 2016, Bush decided to transfer from NU, ultimately winding up at Iowa Western Community College not long after. After one season at the JUCO, he transferred to Virginia Tech.
In five games last season, Bush completed seven of his 11 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. He also ran the ball for 129 yards on 19 carries.
wilVirginia Tech’s offensive line got a boost this week as Kyle Chung revealed he will return to Blacksburg for a sixth season in 2018.
“Ya boy officially got the 6th year of eligibility,” he wrote in an Instagram post announcing the news.
Recruited as a tight end out of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Chung redshirted in 2013 while recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum. He returned to the lineup in 2014, but appeared in just one game and underwent a second surgery in January of 2015.
Chung recovered from there and has seen his playing time increase with each passing season. He appeared in four games as a sophomore in 2015, six in 2016 and then started in all 13 games in 2016.
The Hokies are set to lose their starting center and left guard, so keeping their right tackle will be a major boost for quarterback Josh Jackson‘s sophomore season.
Virginia Tech has extended head coach Justin Fuente for another season, the Hokies announced Tuesday. He now remains under contract through 2024.
“We are very committed to Coach Fuente and his staff on a long-term basis,” AD Whit Babcock said in a statement. “He has been very loyal and is a tremendous fit at Virginia Tech. We believe in further solidifying the upward trajectory of our football program by investing in him, as well as the wonderful coaches and staff surrounding him. We are pleased to provide additional support staff and resources to our football program.”
According to Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times, Fuente’s extension will come with a bump in salary from $3.25 million in 2017 to $4 million in ’18. That figure will rise to $5 million if he stays through the life of the contract. But he’ll never see the end of this current deal, because if Fuente is still in Blacksburg in 2024 he’ll have one (or two, or three) new contracts before that.
The school also announced in an increased commitment to Fuente through an increased salary pool for his assistants and support staff. His assistants will be paid an extra $435,000 in 2018, which includes a $175,000 salary for 10th assistant coach Adam Lechtenburg, who was promoted from the support staff.
“Jenny and our three daughters are very fortunate to call Blacksburg and Virginia Tech our home,” Fuente said. “Ensuring that we were able to retain and reward our very talented and dedicated assistant coaching staff was very important to me. The loyalty and dedication of our assistant coaches and support team is unwavering. I’m very appreciative of the additions and enhancements we are making to our facilities and support staff. I’m very proud to be a Hokie!”
Fuente is one of six FBS head coaches to win at least nine games in each of the past four seasons, joining Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, Urban Meyer, Mark Richt and Bryan Harsin. Fuente is 38-14 since 2014 and 19-8 in two seasons at Virginia Tech.
The 2017 season was put to bed a little over a week ago, so the focus of the college football world has shifted to 2018.
In that vein, the ACC Wednesday released its football schedule for the upcoming season. The first game featuring a team from the conference will have Wake Forest traveling to Tulane on Thursday, Aug. 30. The first league game sees Virginia Tech traveling to Tallahassee on Labor Day to face Florida State in a primetime matchup.
Opening weekend will also see the ACC involved in a pair of neutral-site nonconference matchups: Louisville against defending national champion Alabama in Orlando Saturday, Sept. 1, and Miami facing LSU the next day in Arlington.
There are also five previously-announced games against scheduling partner Notre Dame, including road trips to South Bend for FSU (Nov. 10) and Pitt (Oct. 13). Wake (Sept. 22) and Virginia Tech (Oct. 6) will play host to the Irish, while Syracuse and Notre Dame will square off at Yankee Stadium Nov. 17.
The release announcing the schedule notes that ACC teams will play more games (19) against Power 5 competition than any other P5, and their members will also play 27 games against non-conference opponents that participated in bowl games last season, the highest total among Power 5 conferences.
“The 2018 ACC Football schedule provides our schools and programs the opportunity to build upon the numerous football successes that have been achieved in recent years,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “Once again, our teams will be facing both a daunting conference schedule and what is collectively the most challenging non-conference schedule in the country. There will be no shortage of excitement for fans on a weekly basis.”
You can click HERE for the composite schedule, HERE for the team-by-team schedule and HERE for the ever-popular logo schedule.