Washington State Cougars

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K-State adds future home-and-homes with Wazzu, Colorado

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Unlike in its creampuff past, Kansas State is adding some Power Five meat to its future slates.  Sort of.

Thursday, K-State announced that it has reached agreements on future home-and-home series with Colorado and Washington State.

The series against the Buffaloes will be played in 2027 and 2028.  CU will play host to KSU Sept. 18, 2027, with the Wildcats returning the favor in Manhattan Sept. 16, 2028.

As for the series with Wazzu, the first game is scheduled to be played in Manhattan, Kan., Sept. 12, 2026, with the return contest Sept. 8, 2029 in Pullman.

“Kansas State joins Wisconsin as a Power 5 opponent that our fans can look forward to seeing in Martin Stadium,” said WSU athletic director Bill Moos in a statement. “Additionally, Boise State and BYU provide future regional home matchups which should be very appealing to our fan base.”

The 2026 Cougars-Wildcats game will be the first-ever meeting in football between the two programs.

The Wildcats’ series with the Buffaloes will be a renewal of an old Big 7/8/12 rivalry that was contested 66 times before the Buffs’ move to the Pac-12.  Those teams first met in 1912, with the last meeting coming in 2010.  CU owns a 45-20-1 edge in the series.

Once committed to Wazzu, ex-Michigan OL Logan Tuley-Tillman says he’s Akron-bound

Logan Tuley-Tillman
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It appears that Logan Tuley-Tillman‘s long odyssey will bring him back to the Midwest after a flirtation with the Great Northwest.

On Twitter Wednesday night, the erstwhile Michigan offensive lineman announced that he has decided to move on with his life at Akron and play his college football for Terry Bowden‘s Zips. The announcement comes five months after Tuley-Tillman appeared ticketed for Washington State, and three months after he put a sordid legal chapter of his life in the rear-view.

In September of last year, Michigan announced that Tuley-Tillman had been dismissed from the football program for “conduct unacceptable for a Michigan student-athlete.”  A month later, it was revealed that the offensive lineman had been charged with three felonies stemming from a Sept. 4 incident in which he was accused of filming a sex act with a woman without her knowledge.

Tuley-Tillman was a four-star member of Brady Hoke‘s second-to-last UM recruiting class, rated as the No. 24 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Illinois.  He played in one game as a redshirt freshman in 2014, the season opener against Appalachian State.

Prior to his dismissal, he had been listed as the No. 2 left tackle and played in the 2015 opener.

In January, Tuley-Tillman announced that he would be transferring to Wazzu.  However, the lineman was said to still be considering other schools, including Houston and Ole Miss.  Because he graduated from Michigan in May, Tuley-Tillman will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.  He will also have two years of eligibility remaining.

Reports: Peyton Bender, Wazzu’s backup QB, academically ineligible for 2016

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Peyton Bender #6 of the Washington State Cougars passes the ball during a football game at Husky Stadium on November 27, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The Huskies won the game 45-10. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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If Luke Falk is injured in 2016 the way he was at various points in 2015, it appears Washington State will be forced to turn to a different, less experienced replacement.

While the school has yet to confirm it, Scout.com is the first to report that Peyton Bender has been declared academically ineligible and will not play for Wazzu in 2016. The Spokane Spokesman-Review subsequently confirmed the initial report.

And, according to the recruiting website, Bender won’t even practice with his teammates during the season.

Bender is going to stay in school at Washington State, the sources said, with the plan for him not to practice with the team this fall but rather get his academic house in order first and then return to the field for spring football next year.

Bender, a redshirt sophomore, spent the 2015 season as Falk’s primary backup. Because of an injury to Falk, Bender started the Apple Cup loss to Washington in late November. He was also forced into action in two other games because of injuries to Falk.

All told, Bender completed 53-of-91 passes for 498 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions in five games last season. 288 of the yards came in the rivalry loss to close out the regular season.

With Bender apparently sidelined, the backup job will, in all likelihood, fall on the shoulders of Tyler Hilinski.

Pac-12 to tamper down on select #Pac12AfterDark kickoffs

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 07:  Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott stands in front of the Stanford Cardinal as they celebrate the Pac 12 Championship after defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils 38-14 at Sun Devil Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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When you allow television networks to pay you $3 billion to broadcast football games and happen to be located on the West Coast, you’re going to pay for it in the form of late kickoffs. ESPN and Fox want eyeballs on their networks as long as possible on fall Saturdays, and they’re not putting SEC games on at 10 p.m. Eastern time.

So, naturally, the Pac-12 drew those time slots.

And they absolutely hated it.

Remember, this is a conference that only recently joined the 21st century. For decades, the conference was happy with its 10 teams, its football games played on Saturday afternoons and its basketball schedule diced into a handy Thursday-Saturday format. Larry Scott was hired in 2009 to modernize the league while increasing the bottom line, and part of that required late kickoffs.

But on Tuesday the conference announced it has worked with its television partners to reduce the number of late kickoffs. ESPN and Fox won’t change their late slots, but the conference has received clearance to play Pac-12 Network games in previously exclusive windows of 2 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. local time. The change is expected to reduce the late night kickoffs by “up to” four games.

“The Pac-12 has some of the most loyal fans in college athletics and we appreciate our television partners working with us on this important issue for fans,” Oregon AD Rob Mullens said in a statement. “The increased exposure and revenue from our contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports have been instrumental to our success, but we continue to work hard to minimize as much as possible the negative impact late start times have on our fans who travel great distances to see our teams in person.”

Additionally, the conference announced it has instituted a field storming fine structure of $25,000 for a first offense, $50,000 for a second offense and $100,000 for a third offense. The SEC has a similar structure on its books.

“The Pac-12 Council carefully considered this policy and its impact on our fans who loyally support our teams,” Cal AD Mike Williams said. “This enhanced policy underscores the importance our universities place on the safety and welfare of our student-athletes, officials and fans, and will allow us to educate staffs and fans on procedures going forward.”

Finally, Pac-12 Network will start broadcasting eSports contests between member schools. Clear your schedule now.

57 centers named to Rimington Award spring watch list

AJ McCarron, Ryan Kelly
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You know how I know we’re getting closer to the start of a new season?  The first watch list of the offseason has arrived.

The first for that honor this year is the Rimington Award, which on Tuesday released its spring watch list that is 57 players strong.  The Rimington Award, named in honor of former Nebraska standout Dave Rimington, is presented annually to the top center in the nation and is determined by the consensus All-American center pick from three existing All-America teams — Walter Camp. Sporting News and FWAA.

None of the finalists for the 2015 award, won by Alabama’s Ryan Kelly, are included on this year’s initial watch list as all three have since moved on with expired eligibility.

The ACC and SEC pace all conferences with eight watch listers apiece, followed by the AAC and Big 12 with seven each.  The Big Ten placed six, while the Pac-12’s three was the least of all of the Power Five programs.

All 10 of the FBS leagues, plus one independent (Notre Dame), are represented on the spring watch list, the full roster of which appears below.

AAC
Deyshawn Bond, Cincinnati, senior
Ryan Crozier, UConn, redshirt sophomore
Will Noble, Houston, sophomore
Drew Kyser, Memphis, sophomore
Evan Brown, SMU, junior
Brendan McGowan, Temple, redshirt senior
Chandler Miller, Tulsa, sophomore

ACC
Jay Guillermo, Clemson, senior
Alec Eberle, Florida State, redshirt sophomore
Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech, redshirt senior
Nicholas Linder, Miami, junior
Lucas Crowley, North Carolina, senior
Alex Officer, Pittsburgh, redshirt junior
Jason Emerich, Syracuse, redshirt senior
Jackson Matteo, Virginia, senior

BIG TEN
Joe Spencer, Illinois, senior
Sean Welsh, Iowa, junior
Brendan Moore, Maryland, sophomore
Mason Cole, Michigan, junior
Dylan Utter, Nebraska, senior
Michael Dieter, Wisconsin, sophomore

BIG 12
Kyle Fuller, Baylor, senior
Dalton Risner, Kansas State, sophomore
Jonathan Alvarez, Oklahoma, junior
Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State, junior
Austin Schlottman, TCU, junior
Tony Morales, Texas Tech, senior
Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia, redshirt senior

CONFERENCE USA
Michael Montero, FIU, senior
Dillon DeBoer, FAU, redshirt senior
Daniel Stephens, Middle Tennessee State, senior
Nick Clarke, Old Dominion, sophomore
Cameron Tom, Southern Miss, senior
Max Halpin, Western Kentucky, redshirt senior

MAC
Tim McAuliffe, Bowling Green redshirt junior
James O’Hagan, Buffalo, sophomore

MOUNTAIN WEST
Jake Bennett, Colorado State, junior
Asotui Eli, Hawaii, redshirt sophomore
Nathan Goltry, Nevada, senior
Arthur Flores, San Diego State, senior
Austin Stephens, Utah State, senior

PAC-12
Toa, Lobendahn, USC, junior
Coleman Shelton, Washington, junior
Riley Sorenson, Washington State, senior

SEC
Frank Ragnow, Arkansas, junior
Brandon Kublanow, Georgia, senior
Jon Toth, Kentucky, senior
Ethan Pocic, LSU, senior
Jamaal Clayborn, Mississippi State, senior
Robert Conyers, Ole Miss, senior
Alan Knott, South Carolina, redshirt junior
Coleman Thomas, Tennessee, junior

SUN BELT
Devin Mondie, Arkansas State, senior
Andy Kwon, Georgia Southern, senior
Gabe Mobley, Georgia State, sophomore
Steve Matlock, Idaho, senior

INDEPENDENTS
Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame, junior