Ole Miss Rebels

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 opens as Bovada’s early 2017 title favorite

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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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FBS commissioners thinking about doing something about ever-growing game length

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 13:  Greg Sankey the new commissioner of the SEC talks to the media before the quaterfinals of the SEC Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 13, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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The first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one, and college football is well beyond that point. As ESPN’s Brett McMurphy points out, the average game in 2016 lasted three hours and 24 minutes. That 3:24 figure, McMurphy writes, has grown seven minutes over the past four years despite the average number of plays dropping slightly over that span — from 143 in 2013 to 142.6 in ’16.

Reporting on the ground from Tampa, McMurphy canvased the powers-that-be in college football, and nearly all of them agreed there’s a problem.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott: “I would like to see shorter games.”

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey: “Fundamentally, we have to have that conversation,”

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze: “I firmly believe we have to shorten games for the good of the game.”

While (most) everyone is in agreement games need to be shorted, there is no consensus in how to shorten them. Writes McMurphy:

These were some of the most common suggestions on how to shorten the games: a running clock on first downs (until the final two or five minutes of each half); shortening halftime; limiting the number of replays; reducing the number of timeouts; a shorter play clock; changing in-game substitution rules; and limiting the number of commercial breaks.

Shortening halftime, reducing television timeouts and limiting commercial breaks are all non-starters. Each would ask television networks to give back money, money those networks need to recoup after buying each commissioner, head coach and AD their second homes and third country club memberships. A shorter play clock seems like it would actually lengthen games.

The only sure-fire way to shorten games would be to limit replay reviews and/or to move toward an NFL-style timing system. While the former move may be possible, the latter would meet a brick wall of resistance. Reducing the number of plays in the average game would mean less reps for players, writing off a number of team and individual numeric standards and records as unattainable, and losing another differentiator between the college game and the NFL.

“There is a consensus, if not unanimity, the games need to be shortened, but there is also a strong belief that we don’t want to reduce the number of plays in a game,” Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson said. “So until the majority agrees that shorter games will require fewer plays, we will be at a standstill.”

Indiana confirms addition of Vols OC Mike DeBord to same post with Hoosiers

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 10: Head Coach Butch Jones (R) of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrates with Offensive Coordintator Mike DeBord after the game against the Georgia Bulldogs on October 10, 2015 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
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Mike DeBord is officially going home again.

Following up on reports that began gaining steam Tuesday morning, Indiana announced Wednesday that DeBord has been named as the Hoosiers’ offensive coordinator.  The Muncie, Ind., native had spent the past two seasons in the same job at Tennessee.  At IU, DeBord will also coach tight ends and carry the title of associate head coach.

It had been rumored for a handful of weeks that DeBord had been seriously leaning toward retiring from the profession.  Instead of retiring, Jimmy Hyams of GridIronNow.com wrote, “DeBord… took the job at IU to be near family and grandchildren.”

DeBord will replace Kevin Johns, who is not being retained by new head coach Tom Allen.

“I was looking for a strong, experienced leader to run our offense,” Allen said in a statement. “I want him to be able to cast a vision for the direction we want to go in the future, be the head coach of the offense and to run that room. I feel like I am getting that with Mike DeBord. He has coached at the highest levels in the Big Ten and the SEC, as well as being in the NFL.”

Prior to his time on Rocky Top, DeBord spent the previous two years as a University of Michigan Olympic sports administrator.  That was his third stint at UM, the first coming in 1993-99 (offensive line the first three years, coordinator the last three) and the second from 2004-07 (first two as special teams coordinator, the last two again as offensive coordinator).  In between his latter two UM stints, he spent five seasons as an assistant in the NFL.

From 2000-2003, he was the head coach at Central Michigan.

With the Vols, DeBord’s offense was 24th nationally and second in the SEC averaging 36.4 points per game this past season.  At 35.2 ppg in his first season, UT was 29th in the country and second in the conference in 2015.

“As a native Hoosier, I am extremely excited about working for Tom Allen and joining the Indiana University football program during one of its most exciting times,” DeBord said. “I’ve been a fan of Indiana Football for a very long time, dating back to when my brother arrived on campus. I have never stopped following the team and look forward to building on its success.”

In addition to DeBord, Allen announced the addition of Ole Miss assistant Grant Heard as passing-game coordinator/wide receivers coach.  Heard had spent the past five seasons with the Rebels.

Finally, Shawn Watson has been retained by the new regime as quarterbacks coach.

10 days after being hired at Ole Miss, Matt Lubick leaving to become Baylor’s OC

WACO, TX - AUGUST 31:  A general view of play between the Southern Methodist Mustangs and the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium on August 31, 2014 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Matt Lubick is expected to be hired as Baylor’s offensive coordinator, according to Football Scoop and multiple reports, only 10 days after accepting a job a Ole Miss’ wide receivers coach.

Hugh Freeze confirmed Lubick’s departure Monday morning.

The 44-year-old Lubick spent 2016 as Oregon’s offensive coordinator, but after Mark Helfrich was fired he opted to accept Freeze’s offer to join the Rebels’ coaching staff Dec. 23 (Lubick’s future at Oregon under Willie Taggart was to be determined when he left). Lubick previously coached Oregon’s wide receivers from 2013-2015 before being promoted to offensive coordinator.

Lubick had coached at Ole Miss before, too, spending the 2005 and 2006 seasons in Oxford as the program’s wide receivers coach.

Reports: Former Oregon OC Matt Lubick headed back to Ole Miss

OXFORD, MS - SEPTEMBER 05:  Coach Hugh Freeze of the Mississippi Rebels talks with quarterback Chad Kelly #10 before a NCAA college football game against the Tennessee Martin Skyhawks at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
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Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze is just about done with his staff overhaul this offseason and added another interesting name to the Rebels staff on Thursday.

According to reports by Football Scoop and Fox Sportsformer Oregon offensive coordinator Matt Lubick is headed to Oxford to become the wide receivers coach at Ole Miss.

Lubick is highly regarded in the coaching profession for his work with receivers and on the recruiting trail. He was promoted to run the Ducks’ offense in January after Scott Frost left for UCF and came aboard in Eugene originally as a receivers coach back in 2012.

Prior to going to Oregon, Lubick had stops at Duke and Arizona State. He also served as the Ole Miss receivers coach from 2005-2006 under Ed Orgeron.

Lubick replaces Grant Heard, who left for a job at Indiana, and joins new offensive coordinator Phil Longo on Freeze’s incoming offensive staff.