Baylor’s Bryce Petty remains on pace for special season

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The talk last week by some college football observers was that Johnny Manziel was having such a magnificent season, he just might win a second Heisman.

They compared Manziel’s statistics with other Heisman candidates and concluded that, based on the numbers at least, Johnny Football was a shoo-in for the trophy.

But they seemed to have forgotten about Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty who, upon closer examination, might be having an even better season than Manziel.

Consider:

— Petty’s 206.23 passer rating not only leads the nation, it would break the NCAA record of 191.78 set by Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson in 2011. Manziel’s rating is also stellar at 186.86.

— Petty throws for 332.4 yards per game, which is a about a yard better than Manziel’s 331.3 average.  But the rub is that Petty is getting his yardage while attempting almost six fewer passes per game. Petty averages 25.9 passer per game while Manziel is at 31.5 per game. Overall, Manziel has thrown 82 more passes than Petty and has just 321 more yards on the year to show for it (he’s played 10 games, Petty has played nine).

— Manziel has 39 total touchdowns in 10 games, while Petty has 34 total touchdowns in nine games. So while Manziel averages 3.9 touchdowns per game, Petty averages 3.8. But, again, Manziel has run 139 more plays than Petty has this year. So Petty produces a touchdown every 8.4 plays that he’s involved in, while Manziel produces one every 10.8 plays. This is where Baylor’s numerous blowouts come into play, as Petty has missed a lot of second-half action as a result.

— Petty has 10 rushing touchdowns in nine games while Manziel has eight in 10 games.

— Petty has just one interception on the year while Manziel has 11.

— Manziel is superior in completion percentage (73 percent to 65.2 percent), total rushing yards (611 to 127) and touchdown passes (31 to 24).

Petty is on pace to have 3,989 passing yards, 32 touchdown passes, 168 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns by the time the Heisman vote is due, while Manziel is on pace for 3,975 yards, 37 touchdown passes, 732 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.

So the two players are pretty much equal when it comes to projected passing yardage, while Manziel will likely have way more rushing yards. But when it comes to total touchdowns, Manziel’s pace is for 47 while Petty’s pace is 45.

But when you consider Petty’s passing efficiency number and his amazing lack of turnovers, plus the fact that he’s almost on par with Manziel despite being involved in far fewer plays, there’s a good argument to be made that, while both players are having amazing seasons, Petty’s is the most impressive overall.

Whatever the case, both of these special players should be in New York City come mid-December.

Florida, USF tweak future series to move game at Raymond James Stadium up to 2021

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While we came awfully close to seeing Florida play an in-state squad from the AAC (ahem, UCF) this postseason, we’re guaranteed just such a matchup down the road when the Gators hook up with USF for a previously scheduled three-game series. While that 2-for-1 was put on the books back in May, it was just announced by the schools that they’re making a change already.

According to a release, the single game that USF is responsible for at Raymond James Stadium has been shifted up to 2021 instead of the 2023 date originally agreed upon. The pair of games at the Swamp in Gainesville will remain on the docket for 2022 and 2025 so this is just a slight tweak to the series.

The moves help the Gators fill out their (more near-term) future schedules a bit more as they have just a single opening in 2021 after the Bulls adjusted their end of the series. In-state foes USF and Florida State are, however, all that’s on the docket for Florida starting in 2022 and beyond so AD Scott Strickland has some work to do over the coming months and years on that front.

The flip side is that USF has quite the slate of difficult opponents in 2021, with the home-game in Tampa against Florida sandwiched between trips to BYU and N.C. State in the same season. The team does have one more non-conference opening that year, which you would assume would wind up being a lower-level school at home.

NDSU promotes Matt Entz to replace new Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman

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North Dakota State is sticking with what works. Namely, that includes promoting from within.

The program announced on Thursday that defensive coordinator Matt Entz will indeed become the Bison’s next head coach in the coming weeks, taking over the job from new Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman after he was hired by the Big 12 school earlier this week.

“Having watched Matt as the defensive coordinator for the past five years, I knew he possessed the qualities to be the head football coach at North Dakota State: leadership, integrity, toughness, and a sincere appreciation for the history and tradition of Bison football,” ,” AD Matt Larsen said. “I’m eager to work with Coach Entz and his staff as they continue building upon the championship tradition of Bison football.”

This will be Entz’ first head coaching gig and comes after serving the past five years as NDSU’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Prior to joining Klieman’s staff, he found plenty of success as a DC at previous stops with FCS Western Illinois and Northern Iowa.

“Great things happen to great people, and I am so happy for the Entz family,” Klieman added. “Matt is the right guy for the job. I know the Bison will have unbelievable success. The program is in great hands.”

Both Klieman and Entz will remain in their current roles with NDSU until the conclusion of their FCS playoff run before moving on to their new gigs. The former had been promoted once Craig Bohl left for Wyoming a few years ago and that’s worked out just fine for the Bison so it appears the school has no qualms at going back to the well and doing the same thing with the latter. Entz certainly understands expectations around the ol’ Fargo Dome going forward, which includes this weekend’s upcoming semifinal game against South Dakota State.

Texas Tech regents approve $20 million football facility renovation, may expand alcohol sales at stadium too

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Seemingly like clockwork, when a Power Five school hires a new head coach they typically will wind up improving facilities in some fashion shortly thereafter. Consider that the case at Texas Tech following the ouster of Kliff Kingsbury and the recent hire of Matt Wells to lead the football program.

The school’s board of regents met on Thursday down in Lubbock and among the agenda items was approving a $20 million renovation to the team’s football facilities. As is nearly always the case in the state, the project was naturally approved and will move forward, per the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, as soon as Wells is able to sign off on any changes he wants to the plans:

That wasn’t the only football-related move on the agenda for the Red Raiders however, as athletic director Kirby Hocutt put in his pitch to open up beer and wine sales at Jones AT&T Stadium as soon as the upcoming season.

As noted above, there are numerous Big 12 schools who have opened the taps in general seating areas over the years. Oklahoma State was the most recent to do so in 2018 but it’s been brought back at Texas and West Virginia, among others, to great success (i.e. $$$) the past few years.

Holy Cross AD reportedly set to take same position at Air Force after lengthy search

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Air Force appears to finally have their man to lead the Falcons’ athletic department.

Some eight months after former AD Jim Knowlton departed for California, it appears the program is on the verge of plucking Holy Cross AD Nathan Pine to fill the same position in Colorado Springs. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette first reported the news.

Col. Jennifer Block has served as interim athletic director in the wake of Knowlton’s departure but it’s clear that the Air Force has always wanted to keep a civilian in the top post long term. To that end, this will be the first time the Falcons’ AD will be hired and paid under the umbrella athletics corporation at the school, per the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Pine has a lengthy background out West despite spending the past five years leading the Crusaders. An Oregon State alum, he has worked for the Beavers and fellow Pac-12 program California as well. In addition, he’s made stops at Maryland and, funny enough, academy rival Army too.