With Baylor overhauling its coaching staff in the wake of the highly-publicized sexual assault scandal, Phil Bennett had been left standing in the game of coaching musical chairs — until now.
Arizona State has announced Wednesday afternoon that Bennett has been hired to serve as Todd Graham‘s defensive coordinator. Bennett will replace Keith Patterson, who will remain with the Sun Devils as linebackers coach.
Bennett will be taking over an ASU defense that was 127th (of 128 teams) in total defense and 124th in scoring this past season. In 2016, BU was 81st in the former category and 71st in the latter.
Prior to spending the last six seasons in Waco, Bennett had been the coordinator at seven other FBS programs: Pittsburgh, Kansas State, TCU, Texas A&M, LSU, Purdue and Iowa State. He was also the head coach at SMU for six seasons.
“With that amount of experience in conferences such as the SEC, the Big 12, the Big Ten and the Big East he has had to game plan to defend every offense imaginable. He has been associated with successful defenses everywhere he’s been,” Graham said in a statement. “We are very fortunate to have him bring his level of experience to the Sun Devil program.”
“I’ve known Todd Graham for a long time and I love his passion for the game of football,” said Bennett. “It’s like any situation in that I think I can help get ASU back to championship football. I’ve watched them play and I know ASU is not far away. The program has great support from its administration and fan base. I’m very excited to begin this part of my life.”
Alabama may have seen their dynasty temporarily derailed Monday night in Florida, but at least one wagering establishment expects Nick Saban to get it back on track post-haste.
Bovada.lv released its opening set of 2017 national championship odds very early Tuesday afternoon, with the bookmaker installing Bama as a 4/1 favorite coming off the loss to Clemson. Last year at this time, coming off their fourth title in seven years, the same book had the Crimson Tide as a 7/1 favorite.
The team ‘Bama beat, Clemson, is at 16/1, tied with ACC Atlantic rival Louisville and behind six other teams besides the one they beat on the field last night — Florida State (7/1), Ohio State (15/2), Michigan (9/1), Oklahoma (9/1), USC (9/1) and LSU (12/1). The other 2016 playoff team, Washington, is at 40/1, the same as 4-8 Notre Dame and behind the likes of Texas (28/1) and Miami (33/1).
Boise State, at 75/1, was the highest favorite amongst Group of Five programs.
Below are the complete list of 2018 title odds for the championship following the 2017 season, again courtesy on Bovada.lv:
Instead of the desert, Cody Ippolito will spend his sixth season of college football in the Beehive State.
On his personal Twitter account Monday, Ippolito revealed that he would be transferring to Utah and using his final season of eligibility for the Utes. The linebacker began his collegiate playing career at Arizona.
He had considered Arizona State and UCLA as well prior to opting for Utah.
Ippolito will play that last season as long as he can remain healthy.
Ippolito missed the entire 2013 and 2015 seasons because of knee injuries, the latter of which involved a torn ACL. Those two lost seasons earned him a sixth year of eligibility. He also missed the last half of the 2016 season because of, you guessed it, a knee injury.
In between his first two knee injuries, Ippolito started six of the 14 games in which he played in 2014. In six starts this past season, Ippolito’s 28 tackles were fourth on the team at the time of his injury. His 1.5 sacks were tied for second on the Wildcats, while the four tackles for loss were third before he went down.
The East beat the West 27-17 in Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. But, of course, the final score is always the least interesting thing to happen inside the Alamodome on the first Saturday in January.
The day is about seeing college football’s next generation make plays — Clemson quarterback commit Hunter Johnson earned MVP honors, in case you assumed the Tigers were set to fall off a Deshaun Watson-sized cliff after Monday night — and commit to their respective schools of choice.
We’ve got them all for you here:
Los Angeles 4-star wide receiver Jamire Calvin picks Oregon State:
Wylie, Texas, 4-star running back Eno Benjamin picks Arizona State:
Aledo, Texas, 4-star offensive lineman Chuck Filiaga pledges to Michigan:
Las Vegas 4-star safety Bubba Bolden commits to USC:
Calabasas, Calif., 5-star cornerback Darnay Holmes verbals to UCLA:
Grand Prairie, Texas, 5-star cornerback Jeffrey Okudah commits to Ohio State:
Graham, Wash., 5-star offensive lineman Foster Sarell announces for Stanford:
It appears Utah will be moving in a new direction on the offensive side of the ball.
The Utes announced Friday afternoon that assistant head coach/running backs coach Dennis Erickson has decided to step away from the game and retire from the sport. Additionally, co-offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick will not be retained by head coach Kyle Whittingham.
“Both Dennis and Aaron have been instrumental to the success of our program and we appreciate their contributions,” said Whittingham in a statement. “Dennis is one of the most respected coaches in the history of college football and the opportunity to work side by side with him and learn from him has been an invaluable experience. Aaron has been an incredibly loyal member of our staff for many years and has been an integral part of this program’s growth.”
Erickson had spent the past four seasons with the Utes as an assistant on Whittingham’s staff. Prior to that, the 69-year-old had been a head coach for the previous three decades, with collegiate stops at Idaho (1982-85, 2006), Wyoming (1986), Washington State (1987-88), Miami (1989-94), Oregon State (1999-2002) and Arizona State (2007-11). He won a pair of national championships with the Hurricanes.
There were also two NFL stops as a head coach, with the Seattle Seahawks from 1995-98 and the San Francisco 49ers from 2003-04.
Roderick, who played his college football at BYU, had served as a Utah assistant since 2005. During his time with the Utes, Roderick had been a receivers coach (2005-13), quarterbacks coach (2014-16), passing-game coordinator (2012-13) and co-offensive coordinator (2010, 2015-16).