USF Bulls

LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMPER 6: The Nebraska Cornhuskers play the McNeese State Cowboys  at Memorial Stadium on September 6, 2014 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated McNeese State 31-24. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

Nebraska, Buffalo set future gridiron date

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Nebraska announced Tuesday the Cornhuskers will play host to Buffalo in five years.

The visit from the Bulls on Sept. 11, 2021, completes the Nebraska nonconference schedule.

The Cornhuskers will play Northern Illinois at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 4, and Nebraska will travel to old rival Oklahoma on Sept. 18.

Buffalo, which is no stranger to big-name non-conference opponents, is coached by Lance Leipold, who worked at Nebraska from 2001-03 as a member of the recruiting staff.

“This is a great opportunity for our program to compete against a revered program like Nebraska,” Buffalo director of athletics Allen Greene said in a news release. “The experience and exposure gained by playing this game will be invaluable.”

His football program also announced future dates with Rutgers and Delaware State in 2018.

“Playing Big Ten programs like Nebraska and Rutgers is an exciting opportunity for our players and helps us gain valuable exposure as we are always looking to expand our recruiting footprint,” Leipold said in the release.

UAB stays in-house for new line coach, adds USF transfer, former OU Sooners signee to roster

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The UAB football program may not be returning to the playing field until 2017, but that doesn’t mean the Blazers aren’t making news.

While not officially official, al.com has reported that Bill Clark has promoted Trey Clark (no relation to the head coach) to offensive line coach.  The past two seasons, Clark served as the line coach at Jacksonville State before moving on to UAB as the head strength & conditioning coach.

Clark will replace Mike Bennefield, who stepped down in mid-May to spend more time with his family.

In addition to the coaching news, Bill Clark also made a couple of additions to his Blazers roster — linebacker Nick Holman and offensive lineman Natrell Curtis.

In late April, Holman announced that he would be transferring from USF and continuing his collegiate playing career elsewhere.  Exiting the spring, Holman was listed as a backup weakside linebacker, which likely played a role in his decision.

Holman came to USF as a three-star member of the Bulls’ 2014 recruiting class, rated as the No. 31 player at any position in the state of Alabama. After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Holman played in 11 games in 2015.

At UAB, Holman will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.

Curtis had spent the past two seasons at an Arizona junior college.  Originally a member of Oklahoma’s 2014 recruiting class, Curtis was a three-star recruit who was named an Army All-American.  He never made it to the Sooners, however, as he went the JUCO route before the start of summer camp.

Beginning next year, Curtis will have three years to play two seasons.

Report: Big 12 expansion, TV network on hold for 2016

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Thirty-five media members are expected to descend upon suburban Dallas this week for the annual gathering of Big 12 presidents and chancellors — more than three times the average number — and not because they’re excited to see whether Baker Mayfield gets another year of eligibility. Expansion is the first word off the lips everywhere from Provo to Storrs with numerous stops in between, but a report Tuesday said all these digital trees slain in devotion to the subject will die in vain.

According to Chip Brown of Horns Digest, the issue has already been decided and the Big 12 will stand pat — both on the membership and television network fronts — for 2016.

Brown writes:

“The bottom line is there is no consensus on any non-Power Five candidates to add, and the league’s primary TV partners – ESPN and Fox – aren’t exactly knocking down doors right now to start a conference network, the sources told HD.”

If the presidents haven’t even broken their proverbial bread yet, how could the issue already be decided? With 10 schools, only three are needed to block any movement, and Texas, TCU and Texas Tech were said to be against expansion heading into the meetings.

It’s also possible this report is a trial balloon of sorts, a shot across the bow at a specific group of people in the meeting room.

The only area change could happen, according to Brown, would be to add a championship game. The conference won the right to hold a title game without expanding during the NCAA Convention in January.

A conference championship game is believed to be worth an extra $2-3 million per year per school in television money.

South Florida exploring possibility of on-campus stadium

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 14: Running back Marlon Mack #5 of the South Florida Bulls celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Temple Owls at Raymond James Stadium in the first half on November 14, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images)
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South Florida athletics director Mark Harlan unveiled his five-year strategic plan before the USF Board of Trustees, and part of that plan was the possibility of building an on-campus football stadium.

The Bulls have played in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium since their 1997 inception, but moving to a home of their own is a proper consideration for a program of USF’s stature. Rival Central Florida built its own stadium in 2007, and AAC foe Houston followed suit in 2014. Temple is moving forward with plans of its own, too.

And the time is ripe for iron striking, with Willie Taggart leading the Bulls to a second-place finish in the AAC East Division last fall and the program’s first bowl trip since 2010.

“The great thing about this campus is there are multiple (location) opportunities,” Harlan said, via the Tampa Bay Times.

“It’s time to zero in on which opportunity is best for this program. And then lastly, how are we gonna pay for it? Apparently these things aren’t free, so we need to really look into all those things and really decide if there’s an appetite for it.”

That question is a sticky one, as USF’s donor support was $2.5 million in 2014-15 — a third of the typical AAC public school. And the American’s per-school distribution is barely half of what the Big East doled out.

“Simply put, in 2012 and 2013 we had $11.4 million from the conference (Big East) that we were in,” Harlan said. “Today it’s closer to $6.4 (million).”

To make an on-campus stadium feasible (UCF’s Bright House Networks Stadium cost $55 million in 2007 dollars; Houston’s TDECU Stadium cost $128 million), Harlan noted South Florida will need the help of the South Florida business community. ”

We have to challenge our community to support us more profoundly. They’ve been waiting to invest in a winner over the last few years. I think we’ve got one now. We have to get our corporations behind our program, and that’s what we’re setting about doing,” he said.

LB Nick Holman makes ‘hard decision’ to transfer from USF

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A little over a week after the end of spring practice, USF has seen its depth at linebacker take a bit of a hit.

Calling it “a hard decision,” Nick Holman took to Twitter Wednesday night to announce that he has decided to transfer out of the Bulls football program and “pursue other opportunities” elsewhere. The linebacker gave no specific reason for his decision to transfer.

Barring something unforeseen, Holman would be forced t sit out the 2016 season if he moves on to another FBS program. He’d then have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.

Holman came to USF as a three-star member of the Bulls’ 2014 recruiting class, rated as the No. 31 player at any position in the state of Alabama. After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Holman played in 11 games in 2015.

The Tampa Bay Times wrote that “Holman led the White team with five tackles in the April 16 Green and White intrasquad game, and was listed as the backup to senior Nigel Harris at weakside linebacker on the post-spring depth chart.”