Tedford connected to USC job; Chip Kelly says ‘no’ to interest

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It took maybe a nanosecond after Lane Kiffin was fired as USC’s head coach for rumors of a replacement to begin, even as a hire likely won’t be made until shortly after the end of the regular season at the earliest.

The rumor mill goes 24/7/365, though, so the speculation continues unabated.

The latest name to be connected to the vacancy is Jeff Tedford.  According to FOXSports.com, USC approached the former Cal head coach shortly after Kiffin’s dismissal with an offer to serve as an offensive consultant and recruiter.  The offer, the source told the website, came with the suggestion that Tedford would then be considered when it came time to name Kiffin’s replacement.

Tedford reportedly declined the opportunity, but made sure the school knew he wanted to be considered for the job.

In November of last year, Tedford was fired as Cal’s head coach after 11 seasons.  While he had a respectable 82-57 record overall with the Bears, a 15-22 mark the last three years of his tenure led to his demise.

In other USC-related coaching rumors, Chip Kelly is one of those who has been mentioned as a possibility.  The thinking goes that Kelly is in over his head as a head coach in the NFL — Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles are currently 1-3 — and will decide to head back to the college game following the 2013 season.

Thanks to NCAA sanctions slapped on his former program at Oregon, Kelly has an 18-month show-cause that will follow him for the rest of whatever collegiate coaching career he has remaining.  While such a penalty doesn’t preclude anyone from hiring him, it might make a school like USC, coming off their own NCAA sanctions, shy away from such a candidate.

That, though, hasn’t stopped the speculation connecting Kelly to the Trojans.  Kelly was asked by a member of the media about the USC job Thursday and Kelly responded that he “doesn’t deal with hypotheticals.”  When pressed about rumors, Kelly said “no” when asked if he’d entertain an offer from the school if it came to him.

“I’m the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles,” Kelly said. “I’m very, very excited to be here.”

Speaking of former UO head coaches, Mike Bellotti, who was rumored to have been a candidate the last time the USC job came open, told The Oregonian‘s John Canzano that he would not be interested in the opening this time around.  When Canzano continued the line of questioning, Bellotti allowed that, if USC “somehow figure[s] out how to make my wife happy,” he would consider it.  In other words, he won’t consider, although it’s highly doubtful the university would even given him the opportunity to do such a thing.

However, Bellotti did have a suggestion for athletic director Pat Haden.

“If they could somehow get Chris Petersen it would be the greatest get in the world,” the former coach said of Boise State’s current head coach, who is among the betting favorites to land the job even as it’s highly unlikely he leaves the Broncos.

 

Fourth & fifth Auburn players leave Tigers since 2018 season started

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In what’s quickly becoming a trend, Auburn has lost yet another couple of players to in-season moves.

Citing an unnamed source, Rivals.com was the first to report that Nate Craig-Myers is leaving the Tigers and will transfer out of Gus Malzahn’s football program. No specific reason for the abrupt departure of the wide receiver was given.

Despite starting all three games for the Tigers this season, Craig-Meyers had just two receptions for 39 yards. He’ll apparently finish the AU portion of his playing career with 394 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns on his 22 catches.

Craig-Meyers was a four-star member of the Tigers’ 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 6 receiver in the country; the No. 6 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 45 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. He was the highest-rated signee on the offensive side of the ball for the Tigers that recruiting cycle.

Additionally, 247Sports.com reported that Craig-Meyers’ half-brother, Jayvaughn Myers, did not attend Thursday’s practice and is leaving the team as well. The defensive back was a 2016 signee who played sparingly during his two-plus seasons on The Plains.

Head coach Gus Malzahn subsequently confirmed both of the departures.

Including Craig-Meyers and Meyers, a total of five Tigers have left the program since the start of the 2018 season. Just this week, tight end Jalen Harris took to Twitter to announce his decision to transfer. Additionally, cornerback John Broussard Jr. and punter Aidan Marshall parted ways with the team earlier this month as well.

Most, if not all of those players are taking advantage of a new NCAA rule implemented this offseason that allows them to play in up to four games in a season and still be able to take a redshirt and preserve a year of eligibility.

Miami to be without its leading tackler for FIU game

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As it closes out the non-conference portion of its 2018 schedule, Miami will (again, in one case) be at less than 100 percent at a couple of key positions.

Mark Richt confirmed Thursday that Jaquan Johnson will be sidelined for The U’s Week 4 matchup with Florida International. The safety suffered a hamstring injury in the Week 3 road win over Toledo and did not practice at all this week.

Johnson has started 17 straight games for the Hurricanes — three this season, all 13 in 2017 and the 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl win over West Virginia. In 2018, the fourth-year senior leads the ‘Canes in tackles with 22. He also has one of UM’s two blocked kicks on the season.

In addition to Johnson, wide receiver Ahmmon Richards will miss his third straight game because of a knee injury suffered in the season-opening loss to LSU. Like his teammate, Richards did not practice at all this week.

The knee issue continues a string of injuries that Richards has had to battle through the past two seasons.

Richards missed the first two games in 2017 because of a hamstring issue, then suffered a season-ending meniscus injury in late November. At the time of that latter injury, Richards was third on the Hurricanes in receptions (24) receiving yards (439) and receiving touchdowns (three). The year before as a true freshman, he led the team with 934 receiving yards.

Prior to being injured in the opener this season, Richards had one catch for nine yards.

Miami will open ACC play next Thursday against North Carolina, with that short week likely playing at least a small role in erring on the side of caution with the players, Johnson in particular.

Scott Frost: This could get worse before it gets better

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Nebraska’s hiring of Scott Frost to take over as the head coach of the Cornhuskers came with a red wave of high optimism, but this was always going to be a bit of a rebuilding process in Lincoln. After an 0-2 start to the season, Frost is already bracing Nebraska fans about what could come next for the Huskers, because it may not be all that happy.

This could get worse before it gets better,” Frost said this week, as quoted in a Sports Illustrated story by Andy Staples. Frost is fair with his assessment.

This week, Nebraska opens Big Ten play with a road game in Ann Arbor against Michigan. The Wolverines are hoping the offense is on track after a tough season opener and playing at home could be a nice advantage against a Nebraska team with a young quarterback and a team still trying to come together under Frost. After that, Nebraska will get a home game against Purdue before back-to-back road games at Wisconsin and Northwestern.

Nebraska also has games later this season at Ohio State, home against Michigan State, and at Iowa to close out the season. The schedule was not a kind one to Nebraska this particular season, but the Huskers should improve over time under Frost.

Making a bowl game in Frost’s first season was always going to be a nice accomplishment if Nebraska could pull it off this season. After a tough 0-2 start with home losses to Colorado and Troy, Nebraska’s bowl hopes already look razor thin, but this is still a team that should continue to grow as the year moves along.

Rutgers completes 2021 schedule with addition of FCS school

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The final piece of the scheduling puzzle for Rutgers has been found for the 2021 season. Rutgers announced the addition of a home game against Delaware, an FCS program, to the 2021 schedule to give the Scarlet Knights a full schedule.

Rutgers will host Delaware on September 18, 2021. Other non-conference games lined up for Rutgers includes a season opener against Temple at home and a road trip to Syracuse for a pair of games against former Big East foes.

Rutgers has not faced the Blue Hens of Delaware since 1973. Rutgers leads the all-time series, 15-13-3. Delaware was also recently added to the future schedule of Penn State, with road trips to Penn State slated for 2023 and 2027.

In a fun little uniform twist, Rutgers will play teams with the signature winged helmet with shades of blue and yellow in back-to-back weeks. A week after hosting Delaware, Rutgers is scheduled to play a Big Ten contest at Michigan. Delaware and Michigan wear similar uniforms highlighted by a similar winged helmet design.