South Alabama Jaguars

RALEIGH, NC - AUGUST 30: Players of the North Carolina State Wolfpack run onto the field prior to their game against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Carter-Finley Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
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NC State officially adds S. Alabama grad transfer, too

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Earlier in the day, reports surfaced that former Boise State quarterback Ryan Finley would be transferring to North Carolina State.

Not only did NCSU subsequently confirm that addition, but it was also confirmed that Joe Scelfo has officially been added to the Wolfpack roster as well.  Scelfo left South Alabama in mid-April. with NCSU as his reported destination at the time.

Scelfo had started 25 straight games at center for the Jaguars, including all 12 in 2015.  At the end of that season, he was named first-team All-Sun Belt Conference by both the coaches and media.

Those a very good chance that Scelfo will open the 2016 season as NCSU’s starting center, replacing three-year starter Quinton Schooley.

Like Finley, Scelfo comes to Raleigh as a graduate transfer and will be eligible to play in 2016.  Unlike Finley, Scelfo will have just one season of eligibility remaining.

South Alabama losing second player as grad transfer

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Friday, it was reported that All-SBC center Joseph Scelfo would be leaving South Alabama and transferring to North Carolina State.

In a press release, USA not only confirmed that Scelfo was leaving — the school didn’t confirm the destination — but it also confirmed that defensive end Jimmie Gipson III will be transferring as well.  Like his now-former teammate, Gipson has already earned his undergraduate degree from USA, meaning he’ll be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school as long as he enrolls in a graduate program not offered at his old school.

“I would like to thank Joe and Jimmie for their contributions to the South Alabama football program,” head coach Joey Jones said in a statement.  “We wish them both nothing but the best.”

After transferring to USA from the JUCO ranks in 2014, Gipson was credited with 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.  A torn Achilles tendon suffered in summer workouts in 2015 cost him al of last season.

Prior to his decision to transfer, Gipson had been ticketed as the Jaguars’ pass-rushing specialist.

All-SBC lineman Joseph Scelfo leaving S. Alabama, transferring to NC State

RALEIGH, NC - AUGUST 30: Players of the North Carolina State Wolfpack run onto the field prior to their game against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Carter-Finley Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
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A Sun Belt program’s loss will turn into a Power Five program’s gain.  Reportedly.

While there’s no official word yet from either school involved, FOXSports.com‘s Bruce Feldman is reporting that Joseph Scelfo has decided to transfer from South Alabama to North Carolina State.  Scelfo would be headed to the Wolfpack as a graduate transfer, which means, of course, that he will be eligible to suit up for the ACC school in the 2016 season.

The upcoming season will be the senior’s final season of eligibility.

Scelfo had started 25 straight games at center for the Jaguars, including all 12 in 2015.  At the end of that season, he was named first-team All-Sun Belt Conference by both the coaches and media.

Those a very good chance that Scelfo will open the 2016 season as NCSU’s starting center, replacing three-year starter Quinton Schooley.

Memphis adds future games with N. Texas, S. Alabama

MEMPHIS, TN - OCTOBER 17:  Student section of the Memphis Tigers celebrates after a touchdown during a game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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Over the weekend, it was reported that Memphis and would resume their geographical rivalry with Arkansas State with a four-game series beginning in 2020.  Monday, the AAC school not only confirmed that news, but also the addition of a couple of more home-and-homes.

According to the school’s release, the UofM will play host to South Alabama on Sept. 22, 2018, with the Jaguars returning the hosting favors on Sept. 14, 2019.  The 2018 game will mark the first-ever between the two football programs.

Additionally, the UofM will square off with North Texas in another home-and-home, the first in Memphis in 2022 and the second in Denton the following season.  While the two teams have met 19 times previously, they’ve played just once since 1980 (2003).  The Tigers own a decided 16-3 edge in the miniseries.

One final future scheduling note for Memphis: the school also announced that it will open the 2018 season against FCS Mercer.  The release notes that “[t]he addition of the Mercer contest gives Memphis seven home games (three non-conference and four American Athletic Conference games) in each of the next three seasons (2016, 2017 and 2018).”

Idaho, NMSU out as Sun Belt members after 2017

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Apparently, Idaho’s sales pitch wasn’t as compelling as they’d like.

Two weeks ago, Idaho unveiled a 19-slide presentation aimed at continuing their football membership in the Sun Belt Conference, membership that was initially granted to both themselves and New Mexico State on four-year terms that are set to expire following the 2017 season.  Looking for an extension, both football programs will instead be looking for new homes in a couple of seasons.

What does the denial of extension do to the two football programs impacted by the decision? For the Vandals, it likely means dropping down to the FCS level and joining the Big Sky conference, where there other varsity sports are currently housed. For the Aggies, whose other sports play in the WAC, which doesn’t offer football, another go as an FBS independent will likely be in the offing.

With the impending departures of Idaho and New Mexico State after the 2017 season and the addition of Coastal Carolina for that season, the SBC will settle in with 10 members two years from now.  That 10-member lineup would feature teams from Texas (Texas State), Arkansas (Arkansas State), Louisiana (Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe), Alabama (South Alabama, Troy), Georgia (Georgia Southern, Georgia State), North Carolina (Appalachian State) and South Carolina (Coastal Carolina).

With the recent decision by the NCAA to deregulate conference championship games, the SBC will still be able to conduct such games with just 10 members instead of the previously-mandated 12.

UPDATED 2:51 p.m. ET: Idaho confirmed in a press release that the Sun Belt Conference has opted to go with a 10-team league following the 2017 season, putting them and New Mexico State on the outside of the conference looking in two seasons from now.  The release also stated that the university will now decide whether to accept an invitation to join the Big Sky of the FCS or compete as an independent at the FBS level.