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In advance of FBS move, Liberty announces 13 future match-ups

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Liberty doesn’t have a conference home, but the Flames aren’t letting a little logistical hurdle like that stop them from manifesting their destiny.

The school is moving up to FBS in 2018 whether FBS wants them or not, and the Flames on Wednesday took a major step forward by announcing 13 future games, primarily filling out schedules for the early years of the next decade.

“The announcement of these additional football series give Flames Nation a taste of our future football schedules,” Liberty AD Ian McCaw said in a statement. “We are close to completing schedules for our first five seasons of FBS football. I appreciate Mickey Guridy‘s diligent efforts is securing these agreements.”

The future games break out as follows:

Bowling Green
Oct. 3, 2020 — at Bowling Green
Sept. 2, 2023 — at Liberty

Marshall
Oct. 14, 2023 — at Marshall
Oct. 5, 2024 — at Liberty

Massachusetts
Nov. 2, 2019 — at UMass
Nov. 28, 2020 — at Liberty
Nov. 6, 2021 — at Liberty

NC State
Nov. 21, 2020 — at NC State

Troy
Sept. 11, 2021 — at Troy

UAB
Oct. 2, 2021 — at UAB
Sept. 10, 2022 — at Liberty

Liberty opens this season at Baylor, and will face 10 FBS foes in 2018, including trips to Virginia and Auburn.

Bowling Green adds transfers from Kentucky, New Mexico too

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A Cincinnati transfer is not the only player from another FBS program Mike Jinks will be adding to his.

In releasing its updated roster Tuesday, BGSU confirmed that linebacker Roland Walder and punter Matt Naranjo have been added to the Falcons football team.  The former comes to the MAC school from Kentucky, the latter from New Mexico.

Both players will have to sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.  Walder will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2018 season, as will Naranjo.

A three-star member of the Wildcats’ 2016 recruiting class, Walder was rated as the No. 36 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 39 player at any position in the state of Ohio.  In addition to UK, Walder held offers from, among others, Cincinnati, Nebraska, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

As a true freshman last season, the linebacker took a redshirt.  He announced on Twitter in late June that he would be transferring from UK.

Naranjo didn’t play last season as well.

Additionally, BGSU confirmed the addition of John Kurtz to the roster as well.  Late last month, it was revealed that the offensive lineman would be transferring in from Cincinnati.

Unlike the other two, Kurtz is a graduate transfer and is thus eligible to play immediately this coming season.

Report: Syracuse to add Bowling Green LB as grad transfer

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In early March, Bowling Green linebacker Austin Valdez announced his intention to transfer to a new football program as a graduate transfer. We now know where he is heading: Syracuse.

Valdez will transfer to Syracuse and be eligible to play with the Orange right away this season, according to a report from Scout.com over the weekend. Valdez will add some good depth to the Syracuse defense and he should step right into an opportunity to start for the ACC program.

Valdez was named first-team All-MAC in 2015 after recording 144 tackles for the Falcons. Injuries put Valdez’s 2017 season on a different course, but he still should be a player that gets a chance to contribute to Syracuse’s defense in 2017.

Kent State coach Dave McMichael announces retirement after 42 years in college football

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It’s not often you see a college football coach announce a retirement at the end of June but that appears to be the case for one longtime coach at Kent State.

The school announced Friday that Golden Flashes special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Dave McMichael would be retiring after 42 years as a college football coach.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Paul Haynes, the coaches I’ve worked with and the wonderful players I’ve had the privilege of coaching,” McMichael said.  “After careful thought, I made the difficult decision to accept an infrequently occurring University separation program.  Retirement will enable me to spend more quality time with my family.”

McMichael began his career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater of Bowling Green back in 1975 and most notably spent nearly two decades as a coach under the legendary Don Nehlen at West Virginia.

Head coach Paul Haynes and Kent State did not immediately announce a replacement for McMichael on the coaching staff but safe to say that somebody with that kind of experience on the job will not be an easy void to fill.

Rimington watch list details list of returning centers

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It’s the dead time of the college football calendar, which means it’s time for this sport’s oldest, most antiquated tradition: watch lists.

First one in line is the Rimington Trophy, given to the best center in college football. And to help voters narrow down their choice for when voting picks up six months from now, the Rimington has helpfully provided this watch list of essentially every returning starting center in college football.

The 2017 list includes (deep breath):

– Aaron Mitchell, Fresno State
– Alan Knott, South Carolina
– Alac Eberle, Florida State
– Antonyo Woods, Florida Atlantic
– Asotui Eli, Hawaii
– Austin Doan, Central Michigan
– Austin Golson, Auburn
– Austin Schlottmann, TCU
– Billy Price, Ohio State
– Blaise Fountain, New Mexico
– Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State
– Brad North, Northwestern
– Bradley Bozeman, Alabama
– Brendan Moore, Maryland
– Brian Allen, Michigan State
– Bryce Holland, Army
– Cameron Ruff, South Florida
– Chandler Miller, Tulsa
– Coleman Shelton, Washington
– Colton Prater, Texas A&M
– Danny Godloveske, Miami (Ohio)
– Dennis Edwards, Western Kentucky
– Drew Keyser, Memphis
– Erick Wren, Oklahoma
– Evan Brown, SMU
– Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
– Gabe Mobley, Georgia State
– Garrett McGhin, East Carolina
– Jake Bennett, Colorado State
– Jake Hanson, Oregon
– Jake Pruehs, Ohio
– James Daniels, Iowa
– James O’Hagan, Buffalo
– Jesse Burkett, Stanford
– John Keenoy, Western Michigan
– Jon Baker, Boston College
– Julian Good-Jones, Iowa State
– Keoni Taylor, San Jose State
– LaVonne Gauthney, Akron
– Levi Brown, Marshall
– Luke Shively, Northern Illinois
– Mason Hampton, Boise State
– Matt Hennessy, Temple
– Mesa Ribordy, Kansas
– Michael Deiter, Wisconsin
– Nathan Puthoff, Kent State
– Nick Allegretti, Illinois
– Nick Clarke, Old Dominion
– Reid Najvar, Kansas State
– Ryan Anderson, Wake Forest
– Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame
– Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
– Sean Krepsz, Nevada
– Sean Rawlings, Ole Miss
– Sumner Houston, Oregon State
– T.J. McCoy, Florida
– Tanner Thrift, Baylor
– Tejan Koroma, BYU
– Tim McAullife, Bowling Green
– Trey Martin, Rice
– Will Clapp, LSU
– Will Noble, Houston
– Zach Shackelford, Texas

Exhale.

Got all that?

Ohio State’s Pat Elflein claimed the honor last season.