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Colorado announces passing of Ralphie IV

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Colorado has announced that Ralphie IV, the Buffs’ retired, rumbling mascot, passed away Sunday. She was 19.

A month shy of the buffalo’s 20th birthday, Ralphie was euthanized after her longtime veterinarian determined wide-scale liver failure put her health in rapid and irreversible decline.”She was ready to go today,” caretaker John Graves said to Colorado’s official site. “It was very peaceful … almost 20 is fairly old for a buffalo.” Ralphie was buried in her retirement home of Henderson, Colo.

Donated to Colorado by Ted Turner, Ralphie IV was one of the longest-serving and most successful mascots in Buffaloes history. She served as the Buffaloes’ mascot from 1998-08, leading the charge for a record-tying 75 games, including six bowl games and CU’s 2001 Big 12 Championship victory.

“Ralphie IV will be greatly missed by all,” Graves said.  “It really is a sad day for the Ralphie Program, the University and for CU fans across the nation.  Fans knew Ralphie IV for her right horn that grew crooked, the Handlers that had the privilege to work with her knew her for her unique personality.

“She had a great career at the University and enjoyed all the times she led the football team onto the field, both at Folsom and at away stadiums. After retirement she lived a great life grazing away in her pastures. We lost a great buffalo, a great mascot, and a great icon.”

Oregon State wraps up spring football without any clarity on starting QB

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Add Oregon State to the list of schools who have wrapped up spring football before, well, spring.

The Beavers held their annual spring game on Saturday and one of the big things everybody was wondering is if there would be any set pecking order at the quarterback position with three players neck-and-neck for the job. Based on everything being said in Corvallis however, it doesn’t appear the team is any closer to naming a starter right now and may have the race continue through fall camp.

“I truly believe we have three quarterbacks who can manage the football game in the Pac-12,” head coach Gary Andersen told reporters. “It comes down to who can make special plays. We’ll continue to evaluate them.”

Junior college transfer Jake Luton is probably the most intriguing option at the position but didn’t appear to create the necessary separation with incumbent starters Marcus McMaryion and Darell Garretson. OSU has suffered a ton of injuries behind center so it’s probably good that the team has options but it doesn’t appear the coaching staff is any closer to picking “the guy” until August.

The Beavers open the 2017 season at Colorado State and have plenty of momentum after a late season surge last year. Whether they can reach that elusive six-win mark for a bowl game remains to be seen but chances are high that any success in the upcoming year will come down to if the team can get some consistent play at quarterback.

Either way, at least they’ll be able to lean on star tailback Ryan Nall, who threw for 60-yard touchdown in the game in addition to rushing for 72 yards and a score on the ground. Who knows, maybe there’s four options at quarterback in Corvallis if you consider the team’s Wildcat package.

Report: Syracuse completes defensive staff with ex-Wyoming DC

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Dino Baber‘s Syracuse coaching staff is once again whole, at least on the defensive side of the ball.

Citing an unnamed source, the Syracuse Post-Standard is reporting that Steve Stanard as a defensive assistant.  Stanard would be Babers’ eighth of the nine allotted on-field staff positions.

His title is currently unknown, although the Post-Standard mentions that Stanard has experience with linebackers and defensive line in a coaching career that stretches back three decades.  Babers currently has three assistants on the defensive side of the ball — Brian Ward (coordinator/linebackers), Nick Monroe (secondary) and Vinson Reynolds (defensive line).

Stanard replaces Tom Kaufman, who left earlier this month for the defensive coordinator job at FCS Tennessee-Chattanooga.  Kaufman had served as the Orange’s linebackers coach in 2016, his first with the football program.

The past three seasons, Stanard was the coordinator at Wyoming, but wasn’t retained following the 2016 season.  This will mark his first job at a Power Five school.

Babers is still searching for an offensive assistant to replace Mike Hart, who was Syracuse’s running backs before leaving for the same job at Indiana in early March.

Utah State’s Wesley Bailey arrested for failing to appear

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Yep, time to reset that “Days Without an Arrest” ticker.  Again.

Utah State’s student newspaper, the Utah Statesman, is reporting that Wesley Bailey was arrested Monday for failing to appear at a required probation meeting.  The paper writes that “[c]ourt documents also state Bailey failed to appear for a drug and alcohol screening and failed to make the payments required as part of his probation.”

Since January of last year, Bailey has twice been arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance.  Both of those charges were misdemeanors.

A USU official declined to comment on the latest arrest and what it may do to the defensive back’s status with the football program moving forward.

A junior college transfer, Bailey took a redshirt his first season with the Aggies in 2015.  Last year, the 6-1, 195-pound rising senior started six of the 11 games he played at cornerback.

LSU reportedly adds Utah State to 2019 slate

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Alabama has reportedly added a Group of Five (for now) opponent to its future non-conference schedule.  Now, an SEC West rival has done the same.

LSU, is reporting through a public records request, has reached an agreement to play Utah State in 2019.  The Tigers will square of with the Aggies in Death Valley Oct. 5 of that year.

The two programs have met twice in football.  Both of the games were played at Tiger Stadium (1993, 2001) and both resulted in wins for the home-standing Tigers.

For traveling to Baton Rouge, the Mountain West Conference member will be paid $1.5 million.

LSU has never played a team from the MWC that was a member of the conference at the time — USU joined in 2013 — and have no future games scheduled against teams from that league.  USU’s last game against the SEC came against Tennessee, a 38-7 loss to the Vols in Knoxville in 2014.  All told, the Aggies have played nine games all-time against SEC teams.

With the USU agreement, LSU’s non-conference slate for the 2019 season is complete.  LSU will face one Power Five team (at Texas, Sept. 7), two from the Group of Five (USU; Georgia Southern, Aug. 31) and one from the FCS level (Northwestern State, Sept. 14).