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Report: Jim Leavitt’s verbal deal to take over at K-State nixed by Bill Snyder


It’s not exactly a state secret that Bill Snyder wants his son, special teams coordinator Sean Snyder, to take over for him when he steps down a second, and presumably final, time as Kansas State’s head coach.  Thursday brought forth a striking example of just how far the Wizard of Manhattan will go to ensure his beloved football program remains a part of the family.

According to a Facebook post from former ESPN.com college football insider Brett McMurphy, K-State had an agreement in place last year with Jim Leavitt, a former KSU assistant who at the time was on the Colorado staff, that would have him succeed Snyder as head coach after joining.  Per the agreement, Leavitt would have joined Snyder’s staff and been guaranteed $3 million if he were not named head coach before Jan. 1 of 2018.

The 78-year-old Snyder, though, had other ideas.  From McMurphy’s post:

However, last December, Snyder pushed back on Leavitt, a former KSU assistant, being named his replacement because Snyder wanted his son Sean, currently KSU’s associate head coach and special teams coordinator, to replace him, sources said.

Snyder’s K-State contract stipulates when he’s done coaching at KSU he will be a “special assistant to the athletic director” and “shall also have appropriate input … regarding the selection of the next head football coach.”

In late 2016/early 2017, Kansas State officials were prepared to approach Snyder again about approving Leavitt as his replacement. However, Snyder, who turned 78 on Oct. 7, was diagnosed with throat cancer, so the school opted to no longer pursue the plan for Leavitt to replace Snyder.

Instead of returning to K-State, Leavitt, also the former head coach at USF who left the Bulls under a cloud of controversy, was hired as the defensive coordinator at Oregon last December.  Per McMurphy’s post, Leavitt has a clause in his UO contract that he won’t owe the university anything “should he voluntarily terminate this agreement to become the head football coach at Kansas State University.”

As of this posting, there’s been no comment from Snyder or the university on the report.

With Chip Kelly rumors swirling, Steve Spurrier says next Florida HC very likely a current coach

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Earlier this week, rumors were flying that Chip Kelly was one of a couple of leading candidates to fill the vacancy at Florida. In fact, the speculation was far enough down the road it was reported that the SEC would not stand in the way of UF’s hiring of Kelly, who was given an 18-month show-cause by the NCAA from his days at Oregon.

Wednesday, former Gator head coach and current UF ambassador Steve Spurrier, without naming or even hinting at Kelly specifically, intimated during a radio interview that the ex-Ducks head coach doesn’t fit the criteria for who will become the next Gators head coach.  And not because of any past NCAA issues.

From FootballScoop.com‘s transcription of the interview:

The [next UF] coach is with his team now. The coach we’re going to hire is probably, I would almost 100 percent say is coaching his team today, this weekend, and through the end of the season, and maybe through the bowl game.

Kelly, of course, was fired by the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers in January of this year and has spent this season as a college football analyst for ESPN, which means he doesn’t have a team now and, thus, doesn’t fit into what the Ol’ Ball Coach described as the current employment status of the man who will ultimately replace Jim McElwain.  While it certainly doesn’t rule Kelly out, especially with the “almost 100 percent” qualifier from Spurrier, it does tap the brakes significantly on the chatter.

Additionally, not long after that interview, Spurrier shot back on his personal Twitter account at speculation that he’s pushing for UCF’s Scott Frost to become the next UF head coach.

In addition to Kelly, Frost and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen have been the names most connected to the opening in Gainesville.

56 college football assistants named nominees for 2017 Broyles Award

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College football’s award season is coming quickly with semifinalists and finalists for various awards coming in the next few weeks. Among the awards is the Broyles Award, which recognizes the top assistant coach in college football. Today, the Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation released its list of nominees for this year’s award. All 56 of them, which is sure to keep more SIDs busy this time of year.

No school has more than one assistant nominated for the award and previous winners of the award from the past five seasons are not eligible. Clemson’s Brent Venables won the award last year, for example, so he is not eligible this season. This list of nominees will be trimmed to 15 semifinalists later this season, and that list will be cut down to five finalists for the award.

The Broyles Award was first awarded in 2010 to Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. Malzahn is currently the head coach of the Tigers. In total, five Broyles Award winners have gone on to be a head coach, with four of those currently holding head coaching positions. Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi (2013, Michigan State defensive coordinator), Texas head coach Tom Herman (2014, Ohio State offensive coordinator), and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley (2015, Oklahoma offensive coordinator) currently hold head coaching jobs. Bob Diaco, who won the award in 2012 while at Notre Dame, went on to be named the head coach at UConn and currently is an assistant with Nebraska.

2017 Broyles Award Nominees

  • Alabama – Brian Daboll, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • Arizona – Rod Smith, Co–Offensive Coordinator
  • Arizona State – Phil Bennett, Defensive Coordinator
  • Arkansas State – Brian Early, Defensive Line Coach
  • Auburn – Kevin Steele, Defensive Coordinator
  • Boise State – Andy Avalos, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Bowling Green State – Matt Brock, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • California – Beau Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
  • Central Florida – Troy Walters, Offensive Coordinator
  • Clemson – Tony Elliot, Co–Offensive Coordinator, Running Backs
  • Eastern Michigan – Neal Neathery, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • FAU – Chris Kiffin, Defensive Coordinator
  • FIU – Brent Guy, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Fresno State – Orlondo Steinauer, Defensive Coordinator
  • Georgia – Mel Tucker, Defensive Coordinator
  • Georgia State – Nate Fuqua, Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers
  • Iowa State – Jon Heacock, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
  • Kansas State – Sean Snyder, Special Teams Coordinator
  • LSU – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator
  • Memphis – Joe Lorig, Special Teams Coordinator; – Outside Linebackers
  • Miami – Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator
  • Michigan – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Michigan State – Harlon Barnett, Co–Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
  • Mississippi State – Todd Grantham, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Missouri – Josh Heupel, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • NC State – Dwayne Ledford, Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator
  • North Texas – Graham Harrell, Offensive Coordinator
  • Northwestern – Mike Hankwitz, Defensive Coordinator
  • Notre Dame – Mike Elko, Defensive Coordinator
  • Ohio State – Larry Johnson, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach
  • Oklahoma – Bill Bedenbaugh, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • Oklahoma State – Mike Yurcich, Offensive Coordinator/QBs
  • Ole Miss – Derrick Nix, Running Backs Coach
  • Oregon – Jim Leavitt, Defensive Coordinator
  • Penn State – Brent Pry, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • San José State – Bojay Filimoeatu, Linebackers Coach
  • SMU – Joe Craddock, Offensive Coordinator
  • South Carolina – Coleman Hutzler, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • Southern Miss – Tony Pecoraro, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
  • Stanford – Mike Bloomgren, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • Syracuse – Brian Ward, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • TCU – Chad Glasgow, Defensive Coordinator
  • Temple – Jim Panagos, Defensive Line
  • Texas – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Toledo – Brian Wright, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
  • Troy – Vic Koenning, Defensive Coordinator
  • U.S. Military Academy – Brent Davis, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • USC – Tee Martin, Offensive Coordinator/WR Coach
  • Utah State – Mark Tommerdahl, Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs
  • Virginia Tech – Bud Foster, Defensive Coordinator
  • Wake Forest – Warren Ruggiero, Offensive Coordinator
  • Washington – Pete Kwiatkowski, Defensive Coordinator
  • Washington State – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator / Secondary
  • West Virginia – Tony Gibson, Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Western Kentucky – Clayton White, Defensive Coordinator
  • Wisconsin – Jim Leonhard, Defensive Coordinator

Oregon loses second season-opening starter to transfer

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For the second time this season, a player who started Oregon’s opener has departed the football program.

The most recent to do as much is AJ Hotchkins, who announced on Twitter that he has “decided to part ways with the [U]niversity of Oregon in order to explore other options regarding graduate school.” The linebacker, who suffered an injury earlier this year, apologized to his teammates “for not being able to play out the remainder of this season thus letting you guys down.”

Hotchkins suffered an ankle injury in September that prematurely ended his season. Because of that injury, though, he’ll be able to take a medical redshirt for this season, thus leaving him with one more season of eligibility that he can use in 2018.

A junior college transfer who joined UO as part of its 2016 recruiting class, Hotchkins started six games during his time with the Ducks, including the 2017 opener against Southern Utah.

In late September, Khalil Oliver confirmed that he will be transferring from UO as well. Like Hotchkins, Oliver suffered an injury that kept him off the field prior to his decision to transfer.

Washington’s Dante Pettis sets FBS record for career punt return TDs

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Why anyone ever punts anywhere near Dante Pettis is beyond me.  Yet, here we are.  Again.  And again and again and again…

Entering Saturday’s action, the Washington returner extraordinaire was tied for the FBS career record for punts returned for a touchdown with eight.  In the second quarter of the Week 10 game against Oregon, the wide receiver put himself alone at the top of that particular chart.

That 64-yard scoring return gives him nine and breaks the tie that Pettis had been in with Texas Tech’s Wes Welker (2000-03) and Oklahoma’s Antonio Perkins (2001-04).  Not only did Pettis, who has four for scores in 2017, break that career mark, he’s also now also within one of tying the single-season mark of set first by Hawaii’s Chad Owens in 2004 and matched by North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer in 2013.

Earlier this year, Pettis also joined Kansas State’s David Allen (1998) and Switzer (2013) as the only players in FBS history to return a punt for a score in back-to-back-to-back games.