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.

 

Kansas State WR Hunter Rison suspended following arrest for alleged domestic battery

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Kansas State wide receiver Hunter Rison, the son of former NFL wide receiver Andre Rison, has been suspended by the Wildcats following an arrest Friday afternoon. Rison was charged for an alleged domestic battery incident and has been freed on a bond. the suspension of Rison was announced by Kansas State on Saturday morning, according to The Mercury in Manhattan, Kansas.

“Our program will be one that is built on hard work and integrity and doing things the right way,” Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman said in a released statement. “We have extremely high expectations for our players on and off the field.”

For now, Kansas State will continue to monitor the situation as the legal process plays out, which is the typical operating procedure in cases like this. While details of the incident have not been shared, Rison was formally charged with one count of domestic battery/knowing or reckless bodily to family/person in a dating relationship.

Rison transferred to Kansas State from Michigan State last year and was slated to return to eligibility for the Wildcats this fall. Rison sat out the 2018 season under standard NCAA transfer rules after leaving the Spartans in East Lansing.

Nick Saban’s hip-replacement surgery scheduled for Monday

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We already knew that one of the greatest college football coaches in the history of the game was set to undergo a rather invasive medical procedure. Now, we know exactly when it’ll take place.

This past weekend, Nick Saban confirmed that he’ll have hip-replacement surgery at an unspecified time this offseason. Friday, USA Today was the first to report a specific date as the Alabama head coach is set to go under the knife this coming Monday. According to the Tuscaloosa News, the surgery will be performed that morning by Dr. Lyle Cain of Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center.

The procedure is expected to sideline Saban for a period of 6-8 weeks, a timeline that will allow the coach plenty of time to recuperate and rehabilitate ahead of the start of summer camp in early August.

That said, Saban’s biggest concern involves a sport that’s not football.

“The only thing I hate about it is, I’ll have to not play golf for six weeks or so,” Saban told USA Today. “… But this is the best time for me to do it. I do a lot of speaking and evaluating and film work and stuff like that, but we’re not practicing. Other than playing golf, I probably wouldn’t be very active. So this is the best time, and then it gives me a lot of summer to get back in shape.”

The 67-year-old Saban will be entering his 12th season with the Crimson Tide in 2019. “I don’t want to coach for one more year. I want to coach for a lot of more years,” the future College Football Hall of Famer said in explaining his decision to undergo the surgery at this point in time.

Jacksonville Jaguars taking over Gator Bowl operations as game faces financial difficulties

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NFL teams owning (or providing significant assistance) to a bowl game is nothing new in this day and age but you can add another to the list of operators as the Gator Bowl has turned to the Jacksonville Jaguars in an effort to cut costs and help save the 75-year-old postseason game for several more years.

The Jacksonville Daily Record first made note of the moves, which were announced at the Jaguars’ annual state of the franchise presentation on Thursday. The team will formally take over “ticket sales and back shop operations.” The Florida Times Union also provided more context on the moves, which note that contracts expire after the upcoming game on everything from the TV deal with ESPN to title game sponsorship agreement.

“We’re in negotiations now for everything,” said Gator Bowl CEO Rick Catlett. “We got a good deal overall with the city [on the stadium], but not a great deal. We got to get the city to give us the same deal as Georgia-Florida with rent, concessions and parking. “We have to step up our game. We’re not going to be the Poulan Weed-Eater [Independence] Bowl. My instructions from our board is to move it forward or we’re done.”

Ticket sales and local revenue dropping were cited as the most pressing concerns to the financial health of the bowl, which is one of the oldest in the sport and has been held continuously since 1946.

It will be interesting to see if these financial trends continue for both the Gator Bowl and others at large. We’ve seen more and more bowl games get added to the docket in college football over the years but one of the mainstays to the lineup facing such challenges could be a warning that the system in the College Football Playoff era isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Five college football officials joining NFL ranks for 2019 season

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The NFL draft is this week and hundreds of college football players will formally be making the jump to the pros as a result. They won’t be the only ones going from Saturday’s to Sunday’s this fall however.

Per the NFL’s Twitter account dedicated to all matters officiating, five officials from the college ranks are being bumped up to crews in the league:

All five of the college football officials were part of the NFL’s Officiating Development Program according to Football Zebras. The Memphis Commercial Appeal also notes that the five were also involved as officials in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football this spring. Based on that, it’s pretty clear that the group as a whole was really focused on moving up to the NFL at some point and now get the call up to the big leagues.