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Scott Frost calls report that he’s close to deal with Nebraska ‘completely false’

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The Scott Frost-to-Nebraska train has shown no signs of slowing down.  In fact, it’s gaining speed.

Frost, the former NU quarterback, has been mentioned prominently as a potential replacement for Mike Riley if/when he’s fired as the Cornhuskers’ head coach.  Given his connection to Lincoln and his success at his current job — he has UCF at 10-0 heading into the regular-season finale — the speculation makes perfect sense.

Overnight, that speculation heated up significantly as Lars Anderson of Bleacher Report tweeted that Frost and his alma mater are nearing an agreement on a seven-year, $35 million contract, with Anderson labeling the two sides as “close” on the deal.

Following UCF’s 45-19 win over Temple that kept the Knights perfect on the season, Frost, at least publicly, dismissed the report.

“That is completely false,” Frost said according to the Lincoln Journal-Star. “I can promise you no deal has been made.”

Of course, those into semantics, being what they are, would suggest that Anderson never reported that a deal has been made.  He merely stated that he’s hearing a deal is close, so Frost’s response was essentially an answer to a question that wasn’t posed.

Regardless, Frost’s name will continue to pop-up in connection to the potential Nebraska opening, and the opening at Florida for that matter until those jobs are filled by someone other than Frost — if one’s not filled by Frost, at least.

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.

Oklahoma has second-best odds to win national title, but Alabama remains the favorite

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Alabama survived a road trip over the weekend and remains the favorite to win this year’s national championship, according to Bovada. But the latest batch of championship odds has a bit of a twist this week with some big name contenders falling over the weekend. Notre Dame is now off the board entirely after getting blown away by Miami for their second loss of the year. And Oklahoma continues to surge and now has the second-best odds on the board to win it all.

Oklahoma’s path to the College Football Playoff has been pretty clear for a few weeks now. If the Sooners go 12-1 with the Big 12 championship, they feel like a solid lock to make the College Football Playoff. And with the Heisman Trophy runaway favorite leading the offense, the Sooners look dangerous.

The ACC has a couple of worthy contenders as well. The defending national champions, Clemson, and the undefeated Miami Hurricanes each have +800 odds according to Bovada. That feels about right, given the assumption the ACC champion is heading to the playoff and both Clemson and Miami have locked in their spot in the ACC Championship Game.

Auburn moved up the board as well, and ahead of Georgia, after blowing out the previous top-ranked team in the playoff standings. Auburn still must face Alabama in the Iron Bowl, but the Tigers have put bettors on notice.

Latest National Championship Odds via Bovada

  • Alabama -110
  • Oklahoma +400
  • Clemson +800
  • Miami +800
  • Auburn +1000
  • Georgia +1200
  • Wisconsin +1200
  • Ohio State +1600
  • USC +6600
  • Michigan +7500
  • Washington +10000

If you feel inclined to put any money on Washington, you can always just send it my way and I’ll double the buyout being offered by Bovada should it happen. Washington is sitting in third place in the Pac-12 standings and is an incredibly long shot to make the playoff for a second-straight season.

At 3-6, Florida hasn’t been this bad record-wise this late in a season since winless 1979 campaign

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Yes, even worse than Will Muschamp‘s dumpster fire of a final season in Gainesville.

Speaking of Muschamp, the former UF head coach’s new team, South Carolina, played host to his old one in Columbia Saturday afternoon. And ungracious hosts they were, it turned out, as the Gamecocks secured its seventh win of the season against three losses, getting past the Gators in a 28-21 victory.

The Gators actually had the opportunity to tie the game late after taking over with three minutes left in the fourth quarter, but a Feleipe Franks interception with 1:06 remaining dashed any hopes of a comeback.

Now at 3-6 on the season, the Gators are sitting on their worst record through nine games since way back in 1979. That squad, the first under Charley Pell, was 0-9 en route to a winless 0-10-1 campaign.

The 2013 Gators under Muschamp were 4-5 on their way a 4-8 season, losing its last seven games to clear the way for the head coach’s firing and the hiring of Jim McElwain. McElwain, of course, was fired earlier this year.

This year’s Gators have now lost five games in a row, their longest such streak since that 2013 season. One play in particular in the latest loss perfectly encapsulates their lost 2017 season.

The 2017 Florida Gators y’all!!!

And, to add insult to injury for Gator Nation?  Muschamp now has the Gamecocks in sole possession of second place in the SEC East, which would be its best conference showing since the 2013 season.

Yeah, that’ll leave a mark.

Florida AD responds to internet coaching rumor by quoting Edgar Allen Poe

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With Florida officially on the market for a new head coach of the football program, it has not taken too long for the rumor mill to get moving. The Florida gig figures to see a number of familiar names attached to it during the rumor season, some more realistic options than others. This is also a time to never take anything for granted but also a time not to place too much faith in every little thing you read. With that in mind, Florida Athletics Director Scott Stricklin took to Twitter to confront one rumor head on.

Houston radio personality Marc Ryan shared an update on his Twitter feed claiming Florida has reached out to representatives for former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, former Oregon, and NFL head coach Chip Kelly and current USF head coach Charlie Strong to speak about the open posiiton in Gainesville. According to Ryan, he says these are the top three options on the wish list for Florida.

On the surface, it would make sense for a school like Florida to contact these coaches. One is a former coach with a national championship to his name. The other was one of the top coaches in the Pac-12 before taking a stab at the NFL (and failing miserably, but so did former Florida coach Steve Spurrier). And the last one is a former Florida assistant who has redeemed his coaching pedigree a bit this season at USF, one of the top Group of Five contenders right in the state of Florida.

But just as this is the time of the year to spread coaching rumors on the internet, it is also denial season from ADs and other school officials. And Stricklin certainly had quite the denial ready to go once he saw this one making the rounds.

The quote by Edgar Allen Poe comes from a short story, “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether,” that originally was published in a November 1845 issue of Graham’s Magazine. Even if the original report from Twitter has any validity, this is exactly what you would expect an AD to say regarding his coaching search. But at least he had some fun with it by pulling a classic quote from a literary master.