This lede for this wrap-up was going to be “Welcome to the SEC, Florida.” Sadly, the Gators weren’t going to have any of our tacky shenanigans.
So, we’ll reach into our bag of tricks and pull out a “50 Shades of Mike Sherman” reference to recap No. 24 Florida’s come-from-behind victory over the Aggies by a final score of 20-17.
A&M, which did not play Louisiana Tech last week thanks to Hurricane Isaac, got off to a good start and led the Gators 17-10 at halftime, highlighted by some awesome truck sticking and a Devin Smith-ish one-handed grab. But that’s when things started to fall apart. Quarterback Johnny Manziel, making his first start ever in college, couldn’t sustain a drive longer than seven plays. In fact, Florida’s defense held the Aggies to 49 yards in the second half and zero points.
Florida’s offense may have been equally so-so, but credit Will Muschamp and his coaching staff for making good second half adjustments on defense. This Gators team did not look good against Bowling Green last week and was knocked around early today in a tough environment. And they responded well.
There will be one or two more games this season — maybe more — where the defense is going to have to win the game for Florida because that offense doesn’t look like it’s going to get the job done.
UF has a huge game next weekend at Tennessee, which might be the best team in the East right now; the Vols are definitely playing the best football in that division (we’ll see how Georgia plays on the road against Missouri tonight). Getting a win on the road in a chaotic environment helps Florida heading into next week.
As for A&M, it’s a tough loss for what promises to be an even tougher year, but at least Kevin Sumlin can tell media hacks alike *ahem* that the Aggies can, in fact, compete in the SEC.
Clemson has officially bid adieu to a highly-touted member of its 2017 recruiting class.
Earlier in the day Monday, reports surfaced that Hunter Johnson had decided to transfer from the Tigers, with a couple of Big Ten schools already listed as potential landing spots. Not long after that news made the rounds, Dabo Swinney acknowledged the reports, calling the quarterback “one of the best young men I’ve ever coached” in sending his former player his well-wishes.
“While it is always disappointing to lose a great person and a great player, I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Hunter and watch him grow and develop over the last year and a half,” the full statement attributed to the head coach began. “Hunter is one of the best young men I have ever coached and has a very bright future ahead of him.
“I wish him all the best as he decides on his destination.”
Johnson himself issued his own statement through the school’s sports information department addressing the development.
“I want to thank Coach Swinney and the Clemson family for giving me the opportunity to be a part of something special,” said Johnson. “I’ve met some amazing people who I will forever call family. I am a better man and a better football player because of my time spent at Clemson. Go Tigers!”
The composite board on 247Sports.com had Johnson rated as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 30 player at any position for the Class of 2017. As a true freshman, Johnson completed 21 of his 27 passes for 234 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in seven appearances.
It’s believed that Johnson, who will have to sit out the 2018 season but would then have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2019, is eyeing Northwestern or Purdue as potential transfer destinations.
By a vote of 9-3, former USC running backs coach Todd McNair has lost his defamation lawsuit against the NCAA. Following six days of deliberation, the verdict brings to a close the Reggie Bush scandal that began more than a decade ago, a scandal that saw the Trojans lose their 2004 BCS national championship and Bush be stripped of his 2005 Heisman Trophy.
McNair sued the NCAA after it found him guilty of unethical conduct while Bush received impermissible benefits. He was given a 1-year show-cause penalty, and has not worked since his contract expired in the summer of 2010.
McNair sought $27 million in damages from the NCAA.
McNair’s attorney Bruce Broilett told ESPN his team was “very disappointed … disappointed in the result. Assessing the situation and considering our next steps.”
Kansas fired athletics director Sheahon Zenger earlier today. If the move was immediately greeted as a vote of no-confidence in Zenger’s ability to find and hire the next Jayhawks football coach — and, thus, a vote of no-confidence in the David Beaty era — that’s because it pretty much is.
“But Athletics continues to face a number of challenges, and progress in key areas has been elusive. To achieve the level of success we need and expect, I have determined a change in leadership is necessary,” KU chancellor Douglas Girod said in his statement announcing Zenger’s firing.
The playbook is well documented by now: to replace the head coach, you must first replace the AD who hired the head coach, and the replacement will then hire the new head coach. We’ve seen it play out at a number of places, most recently Nebraska, where Bill Moos was brought in to replace Shawn Eichorst, and Moos promptly fired Mike Riley and hired Scott Frost.
Beaty is a well-liked coach, but college football is a results business and a 3-33 record speaks for itself. Beaty surely knows that score better than anyone.
Hours after the news went public, Beaty released a statement of his own on Monday afternoon.
As if the 3-33 mark wasn’t obvious enough, the beginning of the end of the Beaty era likely came on Monday.
It’s been about four months since we checked in on the Week 1 betting lines in college football, highlighted by Alabama’s installation as a massive favorite for its date with Louisville in Orlando.
And in the four months since, the public has clearly lost faith in the Nick Saban Football Machine.
After starting as a 29.5-point favorite, Alabama has been downgraded… to a 28.5-point favorite, according to lines released by Bet Online.
Other lines of note:
- UCF (-20.5) at Connecticut
- Northwestern (+4.5) at Purdue
- Colorado (-6) vs. Colorado State (at Denver)
- San Diego State (+14.5) at Stanford
- Florida Atlantic (+23) at Oklahoma
- Oregon State (+38) at Ohio State
- Texas (-10.5) at Maryland
- Boise State (-10.5) at Troy
- Arizona (-14) vs. BYU (at Phoenix)
- Auburn (-3.5) vs. Washington (at Atlanta)
- Ole Miss (-1.5) vs. Texas Tech (at Houston)
- West Virginia (-7) vs. Tennessee (at Charlotte)
- North Carolina (+6) at California
- Michigan (+2) at Notre Dame
- Alabama (-28.5) vs. Louisville (at Orlando)
- Miami (-3) vs. LSU (at Dallas)
- Virginia Tech (+6.5) at Florida State
Check out the entire list of lines here.