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Ex-Alabama WR’s suit against Lane Kiffin, FAU dismissed

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So much for that.

In March, Antonio “A.C.” Carter, a former Alabama wide receiver, filed a lawsuit against new Florida Atlantic head coach and former UA offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, FAU and the state of Florida.  The suit claimed that Kiffin deliberately misled him regarding a job on the FAU football staff in order to benefit from his family relationship with a prospective recruit.

Thursday, the Associated Press has reported, Shelby County (Ala.) Circuit Judge Lara Alvis dismissed Carter’s case.  As the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, it cannot be refiled.

Carter claimed that he was told by Kiffin earlier this year that his hiring as assistant strength & conditioning coach for the Owls was a “done” deal.  He and his wife quit their jobs based on Kiffin’s assurances and moved to the campus, where Carter subsequently helped Kiffin and the Owls in recruiting.

However, after National Signing Day, Carter was told he would not be hired as he had not passed a background check.  Carter had two unspecified prior minor misdemeanor charges on his record, one of which he claimed the prosecutor refused to pursue more than seven years ago.  This turn of events came after an unnamed former four-star recruit with whom Carter had a personal relationship had already signed his National Letter of Intent with FAU.

In his first season at FAU, Kiffin has the Owls, which went 3-9 each of the past three seasons, at 3-3 and tied with Marshall at 2-0 in the East Division of Conference USA.

Lane Kiffin dips Twitter toes into Nick Saban’s ‘rat poison’ discussion

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Because of course The Inimitable One would.

Following Alabama’s closer-than-expected win over Texas A&M in College Station this past weekend, Nick Saban railed against the positive pregame pabulum the media was serving up and his players were, apparently, swallowing.

“I’m trying to get our players to listen to me instead of listening to you guys,” Saban said. “All that stuff you write about how good we are. All that stuff they hear on ESPN. It’s like poison.

“It’s like taking poison.  Like rat poison.”

With a win over Old Dominion that same weekend, Florida Atlantic, coached by Saban’s former offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, improved to 2-0 in Conference USA play in his first season with the Owls.  Given that start, one set of metrics — from “that stuff they hear on ESPN” no less — makes Kiffin’s squad a significant favorite to win the conference halfway through the season.

Those converging circumstances apparently proved to be too much for Kiffin to ignore.

Love him or hate him, Kiffin certainly adds some much-needed color to the fabric that is college football.

Lane Kiffin pledging Heisman support for Alabama QB Jalen Hurts

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Lane Kiffin may have been shown the door from the Alabama football program after accepting the job of head coach at FAU, but that has not stopped Kiffin from attaching himself to the Jalen Hurts bandwagon.

After Hurts and Alabama improved to 4-0 in dominating fashion with another blowout over a SEC opponent, Kiffin went online to share his support for Hurts as a Heisman Trophy candidate.

This is hardly surprising, as Kiffin stands to benefit from any success Hurts has even at a different school. Kiffin was a key recruiter in Alabama’s pursuit of signing Hurts out of Texas (Bo Davis was reportedly influential in the recruiting process as well). If Hurts thrives, Kiffin is able to ell the idea he landed a top-tier player when he is on the recruiting trail looking for his next recruit. Of course, to be fair, Alabama was already a powerhouse before Kiffin’s arrival in Tuscaloosa under Nick Saban and they remain a dominant force without him so far. But for a coach looking to make some noise at FAU, you look for every edge you can get, and playing a role in luring Hurts to Alabama is an easy sales pitch to make.

Hurts is the SEC’s third-leading rusher with 461 yards and four touchdowns. He is also the only quarterback in the SEC without an interception thrown this season. Although his passing numbers have not been overly impressive at a glance, it should be recognized Alabama has not needed much out of the passing game. Alabama’s rushing offense is the top running game in the nation that doesn’t run an option-based offense (Navy, Georgia Tech, and Army lead the nation in rushing offense) with an average of 315.6 rushing yards per game.

Meanwhile, FAU is off to a 2-3 start and 1-0 in Conference USA with the conference’s second highest-scoring offense.

Lane Kiffin, FAU take out full-page ad in Wisconsin newspaper thanking Badgers for hospitality

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Wisconsin made a very magnanimous gesture to Florida Atlantic in the wake of Hurricane Irma.  Friday, FAU shared its deep gratitude.

Because of the storm and its impact on the state of Florida, FAU was forced to remain in Madison for nearly a week before and after playing Wisconsin this past Saturday.  UW provided the team and its traveling party lodging and food as well as gave them unfettered access to practice areas, weight rooms and meeting facilities.

The generosity was not lost on Lane Kiffin, with the head coach saying shortly before the team finally departed Madison Wednesday that “they’ve gone above and beyond.”

Two days after returning home in South Florida, the generosity was still fresh on the minds of those in the football program.  So, Kiffin, on behalf of the team and university, was featured in a full-page ad in the Wisconsin State Journal thanking all involved for making them feel so welcome during their six-day stay.

Classy reaction from Kiffin & Company to very classy gestures from their hosts.

Big Ten, Conference USA swapping bowl tie-in for 2017

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The middle of September isn’t typically the time that bowl arrangements are tweaked but that doesn’t mean they can’t happen.

Conference USA confirmed details of a bowl tie-in “swap” with the Big Ten on Wednesday, causing a bit of a Texas two-step in the postseason picture for both leagues in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. The move on the Big Ten’s end was originally announced back in May but it appears the CUSA end is just now being confirmed officially.

As a result:

  • A Conference USA team will now play in the Armed Forces Bowl. They’ll play against Army if the Black Knights are eligible,
  • The Big Ten will place a team in Heart of Dallas Bowl against vs. a Big 12 opponent

While the exact reason for the swap is unclear, it certainly makes a little more sense for a Big Ten team to be in Dallas against a fellow Power Five conference like the Big 12. In addition, the Big Ten has not had a team filled a slot in the Heart of Dallas Bowl since 2014 and have actually never scored a victory in the game either.

There was supposed to be a B1G squad in the bowl last season but, because of shortages elsewhere in terms of eligible teams, the game wound up being an Army win over an eventual 5-8 North Texas squad.  Conference USA apparently remains contractually tied to the Heart of Dallas Bowl until 2019, just not this year.

The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 23 in Fort Worth while the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl is slated to be played on Tuesday, Dec. 26.