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CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 05:  Deshaun Watson #4 of the Clemson Tigers runs the ball against Donnie Miles #15 of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the 2nd half during the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Championship at Bank of America Stadium on December 5, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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ACC has no immediate plans to move football title game out of Charlotte following HB2

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The NBA moved its All-Star Game out of Charlotte earlier this week out of backlash to controversial law House Bill 2, but ACC commissioner John Swofford said at his conference’s media days there is no immediate plan to follow suit with the league’s football championship game.

“We had a long discussion about this issue in May at our spring meetings, and at that time made the determination as to where our championships would be held for the ’16-17 year,” Swofford told ESPN. “Whatever we do won’t be because of what the NBA does. And I don’t mean that disrespectfully. We’ll do what we think is right and best for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“Right now what our schools want to do is to see how this plays out and where it ends up, because it’s still in process to one degree or another and the courts may well ultimately decide that.”

Many view the passing of HB2 as discriminatory to the transgender community. Others view it as a necessary law to protect women and children.

The ACC said in May it would monitor the situation and require “commitments to provide safe and inclusive environments from sites for which there are current commitments for ACC championships.” Swofford said Thursday the conference would revisit the topic at its meetings in October.

“The next time we’re together is October for our fall meetings and, depending on what’s happened at that point in time, I’m sure our schools will want to have some further discussion about it,” Swofford told the Charlotte Observer.

The ACC has held its football championship game at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium since 2010. The Charlotte championship games have been significantly better attended than their predecessors in Jacksonville and Tampa.

The ACC has agreed to hold its title game in Charlotte through 2019. The ACC’s men’s basketball tournament has commonly taken place in Greensboro, N.C., but moves to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center over the next two seasons before returning to Charlotte in 2019 and Greensboro in 2020. The ACC is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C.

VIDEO: Notre Dame unveils Shamrock Series uniforms

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 21: Jeff Smith #5 of the Boston College Eagles carries the ball against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the third quarter at Fenway Park on November 21, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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For the seventh year in a row, and third with Under Armour, Notre Dame will don special uniforms for its Shamrock Series game.

For this year’s game — Nov. 12 against Army in San Antonio — the Irish will stick with green jerseys and gold helmets, this time sprinkling in a military theme and the “God. Country. Notre Dame.” slogan.

Not my favorite looks, but certainly not a crime against humanity, either.

Notre Dame has said there won’t be a Shamrock Series game in 2017, so this will be the last special edition Irish kits we should see for a while.

Notre Dame is 7-0 all-time in Shamrock Series games. The Irish defeated Boston College 19-16 in last season’s game at Fenway Park. This year’s edition represents the first time Notre Dame has repeated opponents (Army) and venues (San Antonio’s Alamodome) for Shamrock Series games.

 

Michigan favorite choice of bettors to claim national title

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 27:  A general view of Michigan Stadium during the first quarter of the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Michigan Wolverines on September 27, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Golden Gophers defeated the Wolverines 30-14. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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The Jim Harbaugh Effect is real — and the results will more than likely wind up in Las Vegas’s pockets.

According to a report from David Purdum of ESPN, Michigan stands as bettors’ favorite choice to win this season’s national title. Purdum writes that more money has been placed on the Wolverines to win in all than any other team, and their national title odds have risen from 15-to-1 to 7-to-1.

Alabama remains the only team with higher odds than Michigan.

Ohio State, however, remains a 6.5-point favorite to beat Michigan at the Horseshoe in November. Ohio State is just a tick behind Michigan for the national title at 8-to-1 odds.

Rounding out the top five among the public’s top bets to claim the national crown, according to Westgate SuperBook, are LSU, Clemson, Ohio State and Florida State.

 

Ivy League to move kickoffs to 40-yard line

NEW HAVEN, CT - NOVEMBER 21:  Keith Hawk #15 of the Yale Bulldogs collides with Ben Braunecker #48 of the Harvard Crimson in the first half on November 21, 2015 in New Haven, Connecticut. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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The idea of eliminating kickoffs entirely in college football is on the table. But before that nuclear option is adopted, one conference will experiment with a middle ground alternative.

The NCAA has announced that the Ivy League will move its kickoffs up to the 40-yard line for the 2016 season and the touchback line will be moved back to the 20. Currently, kickoffs launch from the 35-yard line, with touchbacks coming out to the 25. The Ivy League has long volunteered to serve as a test tube for player safety experiments. The conference has voluntarily banned tackling in practice.

The idea behind moving touchbacks from the 20 to the 25 was to incentivize returners to take a touchback. While sound in theory, asking a return man to take a knee can be akin to placing a cupcake in front of a dog and expecting him not to eat it.

The new rule will instead incentivize kicking teams to boot the ball into the end zone instead of kicking short of the goal line and covering.

The Ivy League will collect data and report its findings to the NCAA Football Rules Oversight Committee in February.

A compendium of statements from presidents and ADs angling to join the Big 12

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 28 : A general view of a Big XII pylon during the game against the Oklahoma Sooners November 28, 2015 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated Oklahoma State 58-23.(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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The Big 12 Expansion Derby is officially on. As USA Today‘s Dan Wolken described it Wednesday, Big 12 expansion could turn into the most cutthroat thing in the history of college athletics. Considering the stakes, he may be right: grab one of the final remaining Power 5 life jackets and make $20-plus million a year, or watch the rescue boat leave you behind.

With that in mind, consider the statements offered by the various presidents and athletics directors angling for one of those life vests. There’s a lot of political speak in here, but also a lot of “forget about them, take us” hidden in between the lines.

Houston president Renu Khator“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to showcase the University of Houston. Our commitment to building a nationally competitive athletic program along with our academics and research is unwavering.  UH is a proud member of Phi Beta Kappa and over the last decade has achieved designation as a Carnegie Tier One research institution. Our student population has grown to more than 43,000, third largest in Texas, and our vibrant residential population is among the highest. I could not be more proud that our university represents the fourth largest city in the nation and that our standard for excellence is second to none.”

Houston AD Hunter Yuracheck“The concept of change is always exciting and the evolving landscape of collegiate athletics invokes great passion in the nation’s fourth-largest city. At the University of Houston we are certainly honored to be mentioned as a progressive institution that places a competitive emphasis on both academics and athletics. As a Tier One research institution and Phi Beta Kappa member, Houston has seen a reinvigorated spirit in Athletics. We have returned our proud University to the national spotlight and we aim to compete on the highest levels as we build Champions for Life. Our mission will not change.”

Memphis AD Tom Bowen: “We work each day to build a championship-caliber athletic department where our student-athletes succeed in the classroom, on the field of play and in the community. The University is prepared to take action when opportunities to increase the level of positive attention and exposure for our city, campus and Athletic Department are presented. The University of Memphis continues to gain national recognition for its advancements in research, teaching and student accomplishments, and the Athletic Department is one part of that winning combination.”

Colorado State AD Joe Parker: “We are very aware of the news from (Tuesday), though it does not change where we are at this moment. We are still focused on the things we’ve always talked about and that’s being the best version of Colorado State that we can be and striving to be the preeminent program in the Mountain West…. I’m energized by everything about CSU Athletics. We have a spectacular new on-campus stadium opening in a year, teams performing at a high level, student-athletes who are excelling in the classroom and coaches who are providing outstanding direction to our programs. We are extremely proud of the academic and research acumen of Colorado State University and feel very confident that Athletics can strongly complement CSU’s ability to project the overall positive message for the institution.”

Tualane AD Troy Dannen: “When I was introduced as athletic director last December, my goal was to ensure Tulane University was in a position, athletically, to take advantage of opportunities which may come our way. If an opportunity for candidacy in the Big 12 Conference presents itself, that is an opportunity we will certainly explore.Tulane’s greatest assets in this regard include our academic reputation, our standing among the nation’s top research institutions as a member of the AAU and our location in the one of the premier cities in the country, New Orleans.We have made over $120 million in capital investments to our athletics facilities over the last several years, and we have a veteran group of coaches on staff who have experienced competitive success at all levels. We are prepared to compete with, and against the top institutions in the nation.”

UNLV AD Tina Kunzer-Murphy: “The football stadium is a key for all of it. You know it. I know it. Everybody else who loves college football and the Rebels knows it. We’ve got at a lot of things where we’ve got to get better. I don’t think anybody can say they have it all together. UNLV brings a lot of benefits to a conference, and we have been good partners to the Mountain West, and in time we will have those conversations.”

UCF president John Hitt: “We ought to be considered very seriously. There ought to be a home for us in the Big 12. Whether there will be or not, we’ll see. But we’re going to do everything we can to be sure people make whatever decision they make based on good information.”

BYU AD Tom Holmoe: “We are obviously excited the leadership of the Big 12 has advised Commissioner Bob Bowlsby to review potential expansion candidates. BYU is known for its academic excellence and I believe we have an exceptional athletic program. As I’ve stated before, I would like to see our student-athletes compete at the highest level.”