Urban Meyer: ’08 Gators ‘the best team to ever play the game’

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Call him a little — or a lot — biased, but Urban Meyer has an idea about which team is the greatest in the history of college football.  And, in the process, gave us a topic to discuss and/or debate and/or bitch about in the midst of a slow offseason news cycle.

“I’ve been a part of a couple great teams, I think the best team to ever play the game in ’08 (at Florida). And that was (because) animal instincts took over on the field. They protected each other,” the Ohio State head coach said as he was speaking at a football camp recently. “What he said is, ‘Have you ever tried to reason with a wild animal?’ Think about that. Think about what I just said. You try to reason with a wild animal … you can’t reason with a wild animal. They protect each other. Have you ever tried to negotiate, evaluate, take a play off? If you’re a wild animal, that doesn’t happen.”

That 2008 team, led by Tim Tebow, went 13-1 and won the BCS title.  Just a couple of things about Meyer’s proclamation, however.

One, any team that loses to a Houston Nutt-coached Ole Miss team that went 9-4 — UF lost to the Rebels in The Swamp, no less — doesn’t deserve to be in any type of GOAT discussion.

And, two, off the top of my head and without even thinking too hard, I can name three teams just in my lifetime that were head and shoulders above that ’08 UF team — with two of them coming from the Gators’ own state: the 2001 Miami Hurricanes, the 1999 Florida State Seminoles and any of the nineties Nebraska teams quarterbacked by Tommy Frazier (33-3 when the Hall of Famer started).  Hell. since I’m here, I’ll throw the 1976 Pittsburgh Panthers and the great Tony Dorsett into the discussion as well.

All four of those teams mentionedwent undefeated — the Cornhuskers in 1994 and 1995 — which means there wasn’t a home loss to a slightly above average squad to mar their title-winning seasons.

The 2008 Florida Gators were a very good football team.  GOAT?  Get that weak stuff out of here, coach.

(Tip O’ the Cap: NFL.com)

After dustup with Uga, Texas president says Bevo is not leaving the sidelines

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Finally, a story NOT about the transfer portal.

Prior to the Sugar Bowl between Texas and Georgia, somebody decided it would be fun to do a photo with the live animal mascots of the Longhorns and Bulldogs. As Uga made his way over to see Texas mascot Bevo, the longhorn burst out of his caged area and made it known he was not about being a part of a fun photo opp. Fortunately, there were no injuries to report for any people or animals in the incident, but concerns about the handling of Bevo were certainly raised.

And despite pressure from PETA to stop including live animal mascots as part of the gameday experience and any others who may have voiced concerns about the worst-case scenarios involving a live steer, Texas president Gregory Fenves says Bevo will not be retired and forced to watch Longhorns football games from the ranch.

“We take the safety very seriously, but we’re going to continue to have Bevo as our mascot,” Fenves said in a recent interview with the American-Statesman. “He’s an incredible animal and a great symbol for the university. Seriously, we’re always looking at the protocols for Bevo at public events. I don’t think they need to be revised.”

So there you have it. Bevo stays. Sorry, not sorry, PETA. Unless Bevo does decide to enter the transfer portal…

Wisconsin TE Kyle Penniston enters transfer portal

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I have never seen it myself, but the transfer portal must be the place to be. Wisconsin tight end Kyle Penniston is just one of the many players putting his name in the transfer portal, as reported Wednesday, as he begins to look for a new place to finish up his college football career.

First reported by 247 Sports, Penniston will have one year of eligibility left to use for the 2019 season. He will be eligible to play right away this fall as a graduate transfer. Penniston enrolled at Wisconsin in 2015 after accepting an offer from Wisconsin over offers from Oklahoma and a handful of other top programs in the Class of 2015.

Penniston appeared in 13 games for the Badgers in 2018 with three receptions for 18 yards and a touchdown. The instant rise of Jake Ferguson at the tight end position on his way to becoming the second-leading receiver for Wisconsin meant Penniston likely wasn’t going to play a pivotal role in the offensive gameplan in 2019. Wisconsin should still be in decent shape at the tight end position this fall, not that losing an upper classmen at the position is ever a good situation for a program. It’s worth noting Penniston was recruited under former head coach Gary Andersen, who adopted a different type of offensive scheme that would have potentially been a better fit for Penniston.

Where Penniston goes next remains to be seen.

Reports: ‘Medical condition’ prompts Royal Silver to leave Minnesota

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It appears Minnesota won’t have a sizable piece of its defensive line rotation moving forward.

Both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press are reporting that Royal Silver has left P.J.Fleck‘s football program because of what were described as “medical reasons.” The specific health issue or issues with which the defensive lineman is dealing hasn’t been divulged.

Thus far, the university has declined to discuss Silver’s status with the team moving forward.

Silver spent his first two seasons at an Iowa junior college, then took a redshirt for the 2017 season after transferring to Minnesota.  This past season, the 6-3, 300-pound lineman started five of the 11 games in which he played.

Amid reports of transfers, including QB Josh Jackson, Virginia Tech issues statement

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This is certainly an odd development that, given the plethora of transfers that only continues to rise, could actually become the norm.

Tuesday night, a pair of Virginia Tech football players, including second-leading receiver Eric Kumah, took to Twitter to announce that they had decided to transfer/enter their name into the NCAA transfer database.  A day later, it’s being reported that Josh Jackson, who, after going through a tumultuous offseason, began 2018 as the Hokies’ starting quarterback only to suffer a season-ending injury, has placed his name in the transfer database as well.

Given all of the abrupt roster upheaval, Tech head coach Justin Fuente issued a statement Wednesday afternoon somewhat addressing the developments over the last 24 hours or so.