Georgia State Panthers

Trent Miles
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Georgia State makes firing of Trent Miles official; Tim Lappano named interim coach

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Georgia State has officially announced the firing of head coach Trent Miles. After reports surfaced Saturday night the coaching change was happening, the school formally announced the change within the program on Sunday. Assistant coach Tim Lappano will continue to serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

“These decisions are never easy to make,” Georgia State Director of Athletics Charlie Cobb said in a released statement. “Coach Miles is a first class guy, who has run a first class program who has always been a true professional and great leader for our program, but we felt the time was right to make a change. We will begin a national search for our next head coach immediately.”

Georgia State has fired a search firm to assist with finding new head coach for the program. Don’t expect Georgia State to make any big waves with its coaching search. The Georgia State job won’t attract a coaching candidate like Les Miles or Tom Herman but will be one likely to give an assistant coach a chance to make the jump to being a head coach, or perhaps a coach from the FCS or below.

This could also alter the future of the program when it comes to satellite camps. Miles had openly welcomed power conference programs to come to Georgia State for football camps. Some programs who have accepted an invitation to Georgia State have included Missouri, N.C. State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Tennessee, USC and Wisconsin. Miles was critical of the NCAA’s initial decision to shutdown satellite camp practices. Whether those continue under a new head coach remains to be seen.

Miles was 9-38 at Georgia State but took the Panthers to a bowl game last season. What’s next for Miles remains unknown of course, although given his years of coaching experience it would be hard to envision him not being on a sideline somewhere in 2017.

Georgia State reportedly fires Trent Miles

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 25: head coach Trent Miles of the Georgia State Panthers walks on the sideliens in the second half against the Georgia Southern Eagles at the Georgia Dome on October 25, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
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Georgia State has moved on from head coach Trent MilesSports Illustrated‘s Pete Thamel reported Saturday night.

Miles inherited a young program still struggling through obvious growing pains upon his 2013 arrival from Indiana State. His Panthers suffered through a 1-23 start before seemingly breaking through with the program’s first-ever bowl trip — a loss to San Jose State in the Cure Bowl — last season.

The Panthers, however, regressed to 2-8 this season, and Miles’s tenure culminated in a 37-23 loss to Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday.

The move comes at unfortunate timing for Miles, as just this week Georgia State announced an oncoming renovation to Turner Field, which will get the still-establishing program out of the cavernous Georgia Dome.

Georgia State will close its season against Georgia Southern on Saturday before a year-end road trip to Idaho.

 

Georgia State shells out $23 million for Turner Field, will repurpose MLB park for football

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The former home of a Major League Baseball club is officially being repurposed by one FBS member.

In the works for more than two years, Georgia State announced Wednesday that its board of regents has approved the university’s purchase of Turner Field. GSU purchased the stadium and 38 acres of the 68-acre site on which the now-former home of the Atlanta Braves sits for $22.8 million.

The university plans to renovate The Ted and use it as the home for its football team. The stadium will initially seat 23,000 fans, with the possibility of 10,000 seats being added in the future.

No taxpayer dollars or new student fees were used in the purchase, nor will they be used in the renovation, the school noted. Any of the acreage not used by the university or athletic department “will be sold and leased to Georgia State’s development partner Carter and Associates, which will develop private housing, retail and corporate facilities around the stadium.”

“Acquiring the former Turner Field site presents a unique opportunity for Georgia State University that will help its athletics program continue to grow and positively impact the surrounding area,” said chancellor Hank Huckaby in a statement. “Georgia State University continues to advance as a leading urban research institution and making this site and facility part of Georgia State will help enhance the campus experience for students.”

A timeline for a move to Turner Field has not been released. The Panthers have played their home games at the Georgia Dome since the program’s inception in 2010.

Report: Sun Belt may hold keys to LSU-Florida being played

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 17:  Leonard Fournette #7 of the LSU Tigers prepares to run the ball against the Florida Gators at Tiger Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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The flap over the postponement of the LSU-Florida game because of Hurricane Matthew continues, although an unlikely partner could hold the keys to getting the game played.

Florida has publicly stated it would be willing to buy out its Nov. 19 game against Presbyterian and play LSU in Gainesville.  LSU, which had offered to host the Gators or even play at a neutral site this past weekend, is unwilling to give up a home date Nov. 19 by buying out South Alabama in order to get the UF game rescheduled.

According to ESPN.com‘s Brett McMurphy, there are two viable options to getting the game played, with both options involving Sun Belt teams juggling their schedules to accommodate the LSU-UF game Nov. 19:

Scenario 1:

LSU at Florida is moved to Nov. 19;

South Alabama at LSU is moved from Nov. 19 to Oct. 29, LSU’s current open date;

South Alabama moves its Oct. 29 home game with Georgia State to Nov. 19;

Georgia State moves its Nov. 19 home date with Georgia Southern to Nov. 26, which is an open date for both Sun Belt teams.

Scenario 2 is the same as Scenario 1 (LSU at UF Nov. 19; USA at LSU on Oct. 29) with the exception of:

South Alabama moves its Oct. 29 home game with Georgia State to Nov. 12, USA’s current open date;

Georgia State moves its Nov. 12 home game with Louisiana Monroe to Nov. 26, which is an open date for both teams.

The Sun Belt teams involved, which McMurphy wrote “likely would require some financial compensation for the various expenses in rescheduling home games,” are amenable to multiple moves, while UF athletic director Jeremy Foley has previously stated he would be willing to give the home date against the FCS school in order to get what could be a key conference game played.  Foley’s counterpart at LSU, Joe Alleva, has previously stated very staunchly that he will not give up the Nov. 19 home game, although either of the two options noted by McMurphy would allow the program to keep its full complement of home games this year.

Playing the game Nov. 19 would likely also require the LSU-Texas A&M game, scheduled for Thanksgiving Day five days later, to be moved back two days to Saturday.  All involved would likely sign off on such a move.

One other potential scenario that had been bandied about, moving the SEC championship game from Dec. 3 to Dec. 10 and playing the LSU-Florida game on the vacated date, is labeled as “highly, highly unlikely” by McMurphy, specifically because the College Football Playoff committee will not hold off on releasing the final standings that will determine the four semifinalists.  That release is scheduled for Dec. 4.

If the game is not played at all, it has the potential to cause some embarrassment for the SEC as it pertains to its championship game.

Per conference bylaws, the winner of the East or West divisions of the SEC is determined by the team with the highest winning percentage. LSU currently stands at 2-1 in league play; if the Tigers win out to finish at 6-1, which would include a win over Alabama, and again the postponed game is not made up, the Tigers could lose out on the West’s spot in the conference championship game to a 7-1 Tide team they beat on the field because of winning percentage (.875 for UA, .857 for LSU).  That scenario, of course, assumes both LSU and ‘Bama handle current conference-unbeaten Texas A&M.

While the potential situation in the other division is not nearly as embarrassing as the above, it’s still a possibility.

Tennessee and Florida are currently tied for the SEC East lead at 2-1, with the Gators’ lone loss coming to the Vols. Should the Gators win out they’d finish at 6-1. If the Vols stumble twice to finish at 6-2, Florida would receive the title game berth based of winning percentage.

Checking in on the nation’s longest winning & losing streaks

Alabama's head coach Saban instructs his players as they take on the LSU Tigers during their NCAA football game in Baton Rouge
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Unbelievably, at the end of today, we’ll be more than one-third of the way through the 2016 regular season as the calendar flips from September to October. And, not surprisingly, some teams are faring better than others — and some, suffice to say, are not.

In “water’s wet, sky’s blue” news, defending national champions and undefeated top-ranked Alabama holds the nation’s longest winning streak at 16 in a row. ‘Bama’s last loss came Sept. 19 a year ago against Ole Miss. In fact, the Tide hasn’t really come close to seeing that streak end since as just two of their last 16 games have been decided by 10-plus points, with the lone exceptions being a 19-14 win over Tennessee in October of last year and 43-37 over Ole Miss just two weeks ago.

What might surprise you, though, is the second-longest streak behind ‘Bama. The holder of that honor? San Diego State, which has peeled off 13 wins in a row entering Week 5. Tennessee is the only other team in double digits, with 10 wins in a row dating back to last season.  The Vols’ last loss?  To the Tide, of course, a defeat that UT will get to avenge two weeks from today in the friendly confines of Neyland Stadium.

A total of nine teams will also take the field Saturday with a winning streak of at least five in a row:

7 — Houston, Washington
6 — Louisville, Utah, Western Michigan, Wisconsin
5 — Boise State, Navy, Ohio State

Clemson could join some combination of the above at that five-game winning-streak plateau Saturday, but to get there they’ll have to beat… Louisville.

On the other side of the won-loss ledger, the “proud” owner of the nation’s longest losing streak entering the 2016 season was Kansas* at 15 straight, followed by UCF (13), Charlotte (10), Eastern Michigan (10), Oregon State (nine) and Boston College (eight).

All six of those teams have seen those losing streaks come to a merciful end, with EMU actually off to a 3-1 start to the year. The team that was just behind BC, Wake Forest, carried a six-game losing streak into 2016 before surprisingly (stunningly?) winning their first four games of the season.

So, with all of that winning from last year’s biggest losers, who’s the current “top” loser? That title now belongs to the Northern Illinois Huskies, the winners of the last six MAC West championships — and three of the last six conference titles — who have started this season with four straight losses to stretch their ignominious streak to a nation’s best/worst seven in a row. Just three other teams have a streak that began during the 2015 season: Florida International, which has lost six in a row and already fired their head coach; Arkansas State, which lost its first four of this season to push its streak to five in a row; and Georgia State, 0-3 on the season to add to a loss in the 2015 Cure Bowl for a four-game losing streak.

Two additional teams are winless on the season after winning their last game of 2015: Miami of Ohio and Rice, which are each 0-4 in 2016.

(*While Kansas’ overall losing streak came to an end, they’ve still lost 17 in a row against FBS opponents, with the last one of those coming in early November of 2015 against Iowa State.)