Bryan Harsin

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Chad Morris, Derek Dooley among betting favorites to be next Ole Miss head coach

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It did not take long for people to start talking about who the next head coach at Ole Miss will be following the Thursday night resignation of Hugh Freeze. And somehow, one of the betting favorites has quickly become former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley.

As noted by Rocky Top Talk, the Tennessee blog on SB Nation, the former Vols coach and current assistant with the Dallas Cowboys is listed as the second most-favored coach to take over at Ole Miss, listed at +500 according to BetOnline. SMU head coach Chad Morris is the current betting favorite on the betting website, with Morris listed at +300 to be the next coach of the Rebels.

Other names on the board include former LSU head coach Les Miles (+800), and former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly (+1400). FAU head coach Lane Kiffin has been having fun trolling about the Ole Miss fallout on Twitter, yet he is also on the board at +1600.

For what it is worth, interim head coach Matt Luke has also been given odds to keep the job, and he is listed at +1200.

Here are the latest odds as listed by BetOnline;

  • Chad Morris +300
  • Derek Dooley +500
  • Blake Anderson +700
  • Les Miles +800
  • Mike Norvell +1000
  • Brent Venables +1200
  • Scott Frost +1400
  • Chip Kelly +1400
  • Neal Brown +1600
  • Lane Kiffin +1600
  • Mike MacIntyre +1600
  • Charlie Strong +1600
  • Willie Fritz +2000
  • Bryan Harsin +2000
  • Bobby Petrino +2500

So place your bets wisely. But if you choose to place your money on Dooley, you might as well just send me your money instead.

Washington plugs vacancy on staff with Boise State o-line coach Scott Huff

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A day after losing offensive line coach Chris Strausser to a job in the NFL, the defending Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies have managed to fill the void with a former Chris Petersen assistant. Scott Huff has been hired to be Washington’s new offensive line coach.

Huff previously coached under Petersen at Boise State for eight years. Huff remained at Boise State, his alma mater, once Petersen was hired by Washington. Huff was one of two coaches who opted to stay behind and was retained by Boise State to continue coaching the Broncos during the coaching change. Huff also played for Petersen for two seasons at Boise State and started 40 games for the Broncos between 1999 and 2002. Petersen was Boise State’s offensive coordinator at the time.

“I’ve known Scott as a player and as a coach for a long time. He was one of my first hires as a newly-appointed head coach,” Petersen said in a released statement. “We’re just thrilled to have him join us here.”

“We want to wish Coach Huff the best of luck as he makes this move to Washington,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said in a statement, according to The Idaho Press-Tribune. “There are few that have been as loyal to the Boise State program as Scott Huff, both as a player and coach. Beyond his coaching acumen, his ability to build relationships with his players and develop them on and off the field is what makes him special.”

The sudden coaching change on the staff at Boise State comes just days before the Broncos open up spring football practices. Unless Harsin has an option waiting to be hired immediately, it is liekly the Broncos will shuffle responsibilities internally to fill the staff, at least for now.

Boise State QB Ryan Finley to transfer

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Boise State’s depth at quarterback just got a little more shallow, which is somewhat to be expected. On Saturday in Boise State’s spring game, freshman Brett Rypien played well and made a case for the starting job heading to the summer. On Tuesday, Boise State announced Ryan Finley will pursue a transfer to play elsewhere.

“We wish Ryan the best,” Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said in a released statement. “He is going to leave Boise State with a degree, and that is what this is all about.”

With Finley earning his degree from Boise State, that qualifies him to play right away in the fall at another FBS program as a graduate transfer. It is unknown if there is a short list for Finley to consider, but there will be no shortage of options.

Finley completed 46 of 70 pass attempts last fall for 485 yards and a touchdown with four interceptions in three games. Rypien appeared in 11 games and led the offense with 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns as he grabbed a firm grasp on the starting quarterback job under Harsin. There was likely not much that would stand in the way of him being named the starter again for 2016.

Boise State QB Finley probably out for 8 weeks; big problem for MWC, NY6 chase

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Boise State’s New Years Six and Mountain West Conference title hopes took a big hit on Sunday. Starting quarterback Ryan Finley will probably miss the next eight weeks after breaking his ankle in Friday night’s game against lowly Idaho State.

Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin announced the injury status on Sunday, saying Finley broke a bone in his ankle, but he was unsure what the treatment process will be. That should become more clear on Monday.

With Finley on the sideline rehabbing his ankle, Harsin says both backup quarterbacks — freshman Brett Rypien and sophomore Thomas Stuart — should be expected to play. The two have combined to throw 22 pass attempts this season, completing 17 of those for 196 yards and a touchdown.

Boise State’s next eight weeks consist of six Mountain West Conference games, one game against Virginia and a bye week. If Finley is out for eight weeks he would miss Boise State’s road games at Virginia, Colorado State, Utah State and UNLV and home games against Hawaii, Wyoming and possibly New Mexico. Finley could return to play Air Force in Boise on November 20 if he only has to be out for eight weeks and can return after that, but that stretch of eight games is a tough one with Virginia, Utah State and Colorado State all being played on the road.

Boise State has already lost once and now may have little margin for error in the race to the New Years Six, if not just the Mountain West Conference.

Boise State carries Group of 5 banner with it to Mountain West media days

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Boise State has gone from perennial BCS busting candidate to the new team to beat in the Group of Five conversation. The postseason format may have evolved to open a door for the non-power conference schools, but Boise State remains the program the rest are chasing in pursuit of a spot in the New Years Six line-up. As the Mountain West Conference gets ready to begin its annual media day event in Las Vegas, Boise State will be under a familiar spotlight.

The preseason Mountain West Conference poll will be released tomorrow. When it is, expect Boise State to be on top. We won’t hear from Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin and the Bronco player representatives until Wednesday, but questions about being the favorites and the New Years Six figure to be fired in their direction when they do meet the press. This has become the norm for Boise State. While dreams of receiving an invitation to the Big 12 will be left unfilled, Boise State has established itself as a program  in a terrific spot to be in the big money bowls at the end of the season under the new postseason format with the College Football Playoff. The strength of the Mountain West Conference plays in Boise State’s favor, as the champion out of the conference figures to have a healthier profile than a conference champion from Conference USA or the Sun Belt Conference, and more often than not the champion out of the MAC.

Who will be the biggest threat to Boise State this season? Outside of a healthy Chuckie Keeton and Utah State and perhaps San Diego State out of the West Division, Boise State fans should be paying close attention to the developments in the American Athletic Conference. Cincinnati and Houston could be the biggest challengers competing indirectly with the Broncos. As Boise State fans are well aware, there is no time to waste comparing what Boise State does with what happens in other conferences if Boise State does not take care of its own business.

Boise State coudl make for a very interesting conversation as the season plays out if it gets off to a strong start. Ironically, that begins with a home game against Washington, coached by former Boise State coach Chris Petersen. If Boise State can send its old coach back home with a loss, and follows that with road wins at BYU and Virginia, the thought of a 12-0 Boise State making for a heated College Football Playoff debate will become all the more likely. Forget about locking up a spot in the New Years Six. Boise State fans will be thinking about the playoff itself, and they will even have a conference championship game to help boost them into the field.

There will be much to watch in Boise this season, and the mentality of the potential favorites will be shown this week.