Nick Saban on BCS rematch: ‘should be based on who’s the best two teams’

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By now, John and I have made our feelings pretty clear about a potential rematch in the BCS title game between LSU and Alabama, who happen to be ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the latest BCS standings. It’s not a guarantee that the two teams will meet again just over two months after their Nov. 5 game, but personally, it feels like we’re being set up for it. Oklahoma State would have to have an impressive win against Oklahoma in the Bedlam Series for there to be even a chance for the Cowboys to jump the Tide.

The argument for a rematch has been that the two best teams should play for the national title regardless of whether they’ve played before, or if they’re in the same conference or division.

When asked what he thought about a potential rematch with LSU even though his team didn’t win the SEC West, Alabama coach Nick Saban said “I don’t really have an opinion” before proceeding to spend the next 1:30 giving his opinion on the matter.

Below is the full video courtesy of The Daily Bama Blog, but Saban starts talking BCS criteria at about the 1:45 mark.

Saban’s arguments echo what many others have already stated on here, and honestly, they’re not invalid points. But the problem is they go against the philosophy that “every game matters” — which was coined by the BCS. Other sports which have held a rematch for a national championship all have something in common: a playoff. The two best teams played — rematch or otherwise — on merit, not based on what others think.

In 2006, many, not just SEC fans, lost their minds over the utter thought that Ohio State and Michigan would play again for a national title after the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines. Back then, winning your conference mattered. What’s changed?

“But this Alabama team is different!”

Based on what? The opinions of coaches? Computers with arbitrary formulas?

I’m pretty sure everyone thought Alabama would crush Utah in the 2009 Sugar Bowl too.

The point is we never know for sure.

Is it possible Alabama is the second-best team in the country? Absolutely. In fact, it’s more probable than possible if we’re going on the eye test alone. But it shouldn’t come to our best guess.

Ohio State transfer Jared Drake moves on to the FCS

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After moving on from Ohio State, Jared Drake has opted to drop a couple of rungs on the college football ladder in continuing his playing career.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday, Drake announced “that the next stop on this long journey will be with the Leathernecks of Western Illinois University!” As Western Illinois plays at the FCS level, the linebacker will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.

Drake came to the Buckeyes as a walk-on in 2015.  he played in nine games the past two seasons, almost exclusively on special teams.

According to his official OSU bio, Drake had “added long snapping to his résumé along with his responsibilities as a linebacker.”

Houston, UTSA announce tweaks to twin home-and-homes

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The aftereffects of Hurricane Harvey continue to linger, in this case as it pertains to college football scheduling.

Houston and UT-San Antonio in March of 2016 announced a future four-game series, with two of the games set to be played at the latter’s home (2017, 2023) and two in the former’s (2022, 2024). Because of the once-in-500 years flooding event in the Houston area last August, however, the 2017 game was canceled.

In a press release Thursday, UTSA confirmed that the canceled 2017 game will now be played on Aug. 30, 2025, at TDECU Stadium in Houston. The 2023 game, which had been scheduled to be played in San Antonio, will now be played in Houston.

The 2022 and 2024 games had been scheduled for Houston’s home but will now be played in San Antonio’s Alamodome.

The two football teams have met twice previously, in 2013 and 2014. The road teams won each of those matchups, with the Roadrunners spoiling the opening of UH’s new stadium in the 2014 game.

Oregon LB arrested for removing parking boot dismissed by Ducks

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In April, Fotu Leiato was arrested on a couple of charges related to the illegal removal of a parking boot from his vehicle.  A month later, we’ve learned Leiato was given the boot from his current football program for good measure.

247Sports.com was the first to report that Leiato has been dismissed by first-year Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal.  Further to the point, the linebacker’s dismissal came a day after his April arrest but the news didn’t surface until Thursday.

In the April incident, Leiato was arrested on charges of second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree theft and criminal trespassing.  That was actually his second arrest this year as he was charged with misdemeanor trespassing in January.

The combination of the two arrests led Cristobal to pull the trigger on a dismissal.

Coming to Eugene as a three-star safety, Leiato played in 37 of 38 games the past three seasons.  The Washington native earned the first start of his collegiate playing career during the 2017 season.

The senior had been in line to earn a starting job exiting spring and heading into the summer phase of the offseason.

LB Darrin Kirkland announces transfer from Tennessee

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Darren Kirkland‘s injury-plagued time on Rocky Top has come to an end.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday evening, Kirkland announced that he has decided to transfer out of first-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt‘s Tennessee football program.  The linebacker gave no specific reason for his decision to move on from the Volunteers.

“Tennessee will always hold a special place in my heart,” Kirkland wrote. “These moments have been priceless and I’m a better player and man from this experience.”

As a graduate transfer, Kirkland would be eligible to play for another FBS program in 2018.  Not only that, but he will have two seasons of eligibility remaining counting this year.

A four-star 2015 signee, Kirkland started 10 games as a true freshman and then another six in a sophomore campaign marred by a high-ankle sprain that forced him to miss four games.  In summer camp last year, he suffered a knee injury severe enough to sideline him for the entire 2017 season.

The rehab from that injury kept Kirkland from being a full participant in Pruitt’s first spring practice this year.