Mid-American Conference

LAWRENCE, KS - SEPTEMBER 10: Maleek Irons #21 of the Ohio Bobcats rushes for a first down against the Kansas Jayhawks in the second quarter at Memorial Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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Report: Ohio Bobcats RB arrested for alleged intoxicated accident and fleeing scene

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Ohio running back Maleek Irons was arrested over the weekend for his role in fleeing a possible drunk driving accident.

The Athens News reports Irons was arrested Saturday morning by police responding to a call about “an intoxicated male driving a vehicle, colliding with other vehicles, and fleeing the scene.” The vehicles connected to the call was found off the road at 3:39 a.m. When police discovered the car, Irons got out of the car and started to run tow a dorm on Ohio’s campus, failing to stop when commanded by the officer.

Irons has been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, resisting arrest and obstructing official business. He was released on bond and has a court appointment scheduled for Tuesday morning. There has been no statement from Ohio on his status with the program, although an indefinite suspension of some sort may be expected as is usually the case when an issue like this arises.

With Irons finding himself in some legal hot water, that means The Fulmer cup season is officially underway.

Les Miles reportedly ‘out’ as a candidate at Western Michigan

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 28:  Head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers look on during the game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Tiger Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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Well, at least theoretically it was fun while it lasted.

In a television interview Wednesday, former LSU head coach Les Miles intimated that he would be open to the Western Michigan job if it was offered. Based on one report, there will be no decision for the Mad Hatter to weigh.

How serious a candidate, if at all, Miles was remains to be seen — FootballScoop.com noted they had heard the two sides spoke earlier in the week — although it always just seemed like he would end up in broadcasting for a year before getting back into the coaching game on the next spinning of the coaching carousel.

As for the WMU opening moving forward, it appears the search could be wrapped up as early as this weekend.

Tim Lester, a former Broncos quarterback who’s in the school’s Hall of Fame, and Northwestern assistant Matt MacPherson have interviewed for the job, as has Michigan running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley. It appears though that, like Miles’, Wheatley’s candidacy has come to an end.

Finally, FootballScoop is also reporting that WMU is planning to meet with current Alabama offensive line coach and former FIU head coach Mario Cristobal at some point Friday. Speculation is that Cristobal and Lester are the front-runners and that a decision — and even an announcement — could come as early as Saturday.

P.J. Fleck still working on taking ‘Row the Boat’ to Minnesota

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 02:  P.J. Fleck, head coach of the Western Michigan Broncos looks on during the 81st Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between Western Michigan and Wisconsin at AT&T Stadium on January 2, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
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Will P.J. Fleck keep rowing the boat in the Twin Cities? The new Minnesota head coach certainly would like to.

Fleck told ESPN on Thursday that he is working with his old school Western Michigan about bringing the trademark phrase with him to the Gophers after making the mantra key to his turnaround in Kalamazoo.

“It comes from a very personal, personal tragedy in my life and that’s where ‘Row the Boat’ came from,” said Fleck. “So, I really hope they do see that, and [that] they are willing to allow me to take that, but we’ll see as we move forward. I’m not sure what they’re going to do with it, but I really hope because of what it means, that I have the ability to at least purchase it, take it with me, and continue to change other people’s lives through tragedy, through adversity, in just a different area.”

Fleck told the network that the phrase came about after he and his wife lost their second son to a heart condition. The Broncos’s board of trustees currently owns the trademark, but have stayed mum on turning it over to their ex-coach so far.

Given how these things usually play out, it seems like the phrase will eventually make its way to the Big Ten once the two schools agree on some form of compensation. After handing Fleck a five-year contract worth $18.5 million, that probably won’t be too much of a hurdle for Minnesota but it may take some times for everything to fall into place.

Until then? The head coach will probably stick with saying ‘elite’ quite a bit until he can bring his trademark phrase to Minneapolis.

Deshaun Watson claims back-to-back Manning Awards

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09:  Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after a touchdown by running back Wayne Gallman #9 (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Deshaun Watson may be off to the NFL, but he’s taking one more piece of collegiate hardware with him.

Thursday, the Allstate Sugar Bowl announced that Watson, one of 10 finalists, has been named as the recipient of the 2016 Manning Award.  The Clemson quarterback won the Manning after the 2015 season, making him the first player to win the award in back-to-back seasons.

The other finalists for this year’s Manning Award were: J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), Jake Browning (Washington), Sam Darnold (USC), Luke Falk (Washington State), Jalen Hurts (Alabama), Lamar Jackson (Louisville), Patrick Mahomes II (Texas Tech), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) and Zach Terrell (Western Michigan).  Seven of those 10 finalists (Barrett, Browning, Darnold, Falk, Hurts, Jackson, Mayfield) will return in 2017 with another opportunity to claim the Manning.

The award, named in honor of the quarterbacking Mannings — Archie, Peyton and Eli — is the only one to take into account a player’s performance in the postseason.  And what a postseason performance it was for Watson.

In the national championship game win over defending champ Alabama, Watson accounted for 463 yards of offense and four touchdowns against the vaunted Crimson Tide defense.  It was the perfect ending for a stellar collegiate career.

“Over the years, we have seen so many tremendous performances in the postseason, and this year we saw Deshaun Watson turn in an amazing two-game playoff performance,” said Archie Manning in a statement. “When the Allstate Sugar Bowl created the Manning Award in 2004, one of the key components was to recognize achievements throughout the entire year, including bowls, and now the playoff. This year is a prime example of why we do that.”

A Heisman finalist each of the past two seasons — some would say if the Heisman followed the Manning lead and voted after the postseason he would’ve won at least one — Watson also claimed the Davey O’Brien and Johnny Unitas quarterbacking awards.  He also won the former in 2015.

Geoff Collins puts finishing touches on first Temple staff

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 02: Temple live mascot Stella the Owl is seen prior to the game between the Army Black Knights and Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field on September 2, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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A little over four weeks after landing his first head-coaching job, Geoff Collins has completed his first coaching staff.

Temple announced Thursday that Collins has made three additions to his initial staff: Tony Lucas, Cory Robinson and Andrew Thacker.  Lucas will serve as running backs coach, Robinson defensive backs and Thacker linebackers.

Lucas and Thacker join the AAC program from the FCS level.  The former had spent the past four seasons at Delaware State, the latter was at Kennesaw State for the 2016 season.

Robinson served in the same capacity at Toledo this past season.

With the trio of hires, Collins’ nine-man on-field coaching staff is full.  The coach had previously brought in Dave Patenaude (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), Taver Johnson (defensive coordinator/safeties), and Jim Panagos (defensive line) from outside the program.  In late December, it was announced that Collins had retained three coaches from Matt Rhule‘s staff: Ed Foley (tight ends), Frisman Jackson (wide receivers) and Chris Wiesehan (offensive line).