Mississippi State Bulldogs

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Louisville losing DC Todd Grantham to same job at Miss. St.

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The ACC may have become the “it” college football conference this postseason, but the SEC is still the sought-after destination for coaches.

According to Pete Thamel of SI.com, Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has reached agreement on a multi-year contract to take the same job at Mississippi State.  It has been rumored over the last few days that current MSU coordinator Peter Sirmon could be on his way out after just one season in Starkville.

If the move comes to fruition, it would mark a return to the SEC for Grantham.

From 2010-13, Grantham served as the coordinator at Georgia.  He left for the same job at Louisville in 2014, serving in that capacity for the past three seasons.

In 2016, Grantham earned $1.3 million with the Cardinals, making him the fifth-highest-paid assistant coach in the country according to USA Today‘s salary database.  Suffice to say, Grantham will be looking at some kind of bump in pay for leaving for Dan Mullen‘s MSU coaching staff; how significant remains to be seen.

Mississippi State, incidentally, travels to Athens Sept. 23 this coming season to face Georgia.

UPDATED 12:09 p.m. ET: Speculation is that Sirmon will replace Grantham at Louisville.  More coming later.

UPDATED 12:42 p.m. ET: Mississippi State has confirmed the addition of Grantham as coordinator.  He’ll also serve as linebackers coach.

“Todd has proven to be one of the best defensive coordinators in the country this decade,” MSU head coach Mullen said in a statement. “He understands what it takes to build a physical and aggressive defense at the highest of levels. We are excited to welcome he and his family to Starkville.”

Dan Mullen intrigued by possibility of coaching in NFL (but it could just be for show)

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 14:  Head coach Dan Mullen of the Mississippi State Bulldogs converses with Dak Prescott #15 during the game against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 14, 2013 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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With his name suddenly being tossed around in the NFL coaching rumor mill, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen admits to having at least some interest in the chance to coach at the next level.

In a radio interview with WGFX-FM in Nashville on Tuesday morning, the head coach of the Bulldogs said he might entertain the idea should any NFL teams come calling.

“I think I would,” Mullen said in the interview when presented with the scenario, according to Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. “I don’t know when a time would be,” he later said.

You might be asking why a coach who is coming off a 6-7 season, and the answer is simple. Take one look at the season Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott just had, and remember who was instrumental in his college development. It was Mullen, at Mississippi State. Because of a wildly successful rookie season by Prescott with the Cowboys, Mullen is now revered as a bit of a quarterback mastermind.

“I have not spoken to anybody in the NFL this year,” Mullen said.

Although Mullen says he has not received any calls from potential NFL suitors, he is also not specifically looking for an exit from Mississippi State. It has been reported Mullen is currently negotiating a new contract in Starkville, so any talk about Mullen even remotely thinking about leaving for the NFL may be nothing more than bargaining power in the negotiation process.

Never say never, of course.In the meantime, Mullen could very well be an interesting, if not surprising name to keep tabs on until every NFL job is filled.

Alabama opens as Bovada’s early 2017 title favorite

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09:  Quarterback Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after throwing a 68-yard touchdown pass during the third quarter against the Clemson Tigers in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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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:

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16 college football games among most-watched non-NFL/Olympics events of 2016

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 28:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes shakes hands with head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines after a 42-13 Ohio State win at Michigan Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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This headline requires that major caveat above involving the NFL and Olympics, given that those two sports accounted for 45 of the 50 most-watched sporting events of 2016. So with those ratings juggernauts removed, we have a pretty good idea of what other sports people were watching last year between baseball, basketball, college football and the like.

The two College Football Playoff semifinal games played on New Year’s Eve had better ratings than 2015’s semifinals, but the ratings were still down from 2014’s games.

Sixteen college football games ranked in the top 50 most-watched sporting events of 2016, per Sports Media Watch. Those games:

No. 3: Alabama/Clemson College Football Playoff Championship (15.0 rating, 26.18m viewers)

No. 10: Alabama/Washington Peach Bowl Playoff Semifinal (19.34m viewers, no rating available)

No. 11: Clemson/Ohio State Fiesta Bowl Playoff Semifinal (19.24m viewers, no rating available)

No. 16: Michigan/Ohio State regular season (9.4 rating, 16.84m viewers)

No. 22: Stanford/Iowa Rose Bowl (7.4 rating, 13.55m viewers)

No. 25: Florida State/Michigan Orange Bowl (11.7m viewers, no rating available)

No. 28: Alabama/Florida SEC Championship (6.6 rating, 11.09m viewers)

No. 29: Notre Dame/Texas regular season (6.4 rating, 10.95m viewers)

No. 33: Alabama/LSU regular season (5.8 rating, 10.39m viewers)

No. 38: Notre Dame/Ohio State Fiesta Bowl (5.6 rating, 9.76m viewers)

No. 41: Louisville/Clemson (5.5 rating, 9.29m viewers)

No. 42: Penn State/Wisconsin Big Ten Champi0nship (5.3 rating, 9.19m viewers)

No. 43: Ohio State/Wisconsin regular season (5.2 rating, 8.96m viewers)

No. 44: Mississippi/Oklahoma State Sugar Bowl (5.1 rating, 8.94m viewers)

No. 45: Michigan/Florida Citrus Bowl (5.1 rating, 8.76m viewers)

No. 49: Texas A&M/Alabama regular season (5.0 rating, 8.46m viewers)

Both the 2016 Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl saw the lowest TV ratings in the history of those respective games, though an uninspiring matchup (Ole Miss/Oklahoma State) and a blowout (Stanford/Iowa) probably contributed to both.

Alabama or Ohio State were involved in nine of these 16 games, and expanding that further, 13 of the 16 involved a team from the Big Ten or SEC.

Also, here’s why the NFL and Olympics have to be factored out of these rankings: Without it, only last year’s Alabama/Clemson title game ranks in the top 50 at No. 26, and that fell behind six regular season NFL games.

Armed robbery, kidnapping arrest nets Miss. St.’s John Michael Hankerson a dismissal

LEXINGTON, KY - OCTOBER 22: Head coach Dan Mullen of the Mississippi State Bulldogs looks up at the scoreboard during the game against the Kentucky Wildcat at Commonwealth Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky defeated Mississippi State 40-37. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
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Yeah, that’d normally get you the boot.

According to Joel Coleman of the Starkville Daily, Mississippi State defensive back John Michael Hankerson was arrested by U.S. Marshals Wednesday on a whopping total of 10 charges stemming from a Dec. 17 incident.  Those charges include five counts of armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts kidnapping.

Very few details of what led to the arrest and charges have been made available.

Hankerson remains jailed in lieu of a $420,000 bond.

As a result of this incident as well as two others — this was reportedly his third arrest in a month — Hankerson has been dismissed from Dan Mullen‘s Bulldogs football program. He had been indefinitely suspended following his first arrest, for simple assault and trespassing.

Hankerson was a three-star member of MSU’s 2016 recruiting class.  He had not played in a game prior to his off-field issues.