You smell it? Yep, another college football season is right around the corner.
The latest sign, in addition to the interminable “Watch List Season,” is the release of conference preseason honors. The first of the Power Five leagues to do that is the Big 12, which Wednesday released its preseason all-conference teams as well as individual Player of the Year honors.
The Offensive Player of the Year should come as no surprise: Baylor’s Bryce Petty. The Bears quarterback is the reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year after helping lead BU to its first-ever Big 12 title and is widely viewed as one of a handful of preseason favorites for the 2014 Heisman Trophy.
The Defensive Player of the Year is no stranger either: TCU’s Devonte Fields. The Horned Frogs defensive lineman earned the same preseason honor last year, but missed all but three games of the 2013 season due to injury. On the plus side this offseason, Fields has been named to numerous watch lists HERE, HERE and HERE; on the negative side, he was also beaten and robbed.
The Newcomer of the Year is Oklahoma State wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
As far as the all-conference team (first-team only was released), Baylor led all schools with seven selections (four offense, two special teams, one defense), followed by Kansas State’s five (three offense, one each for defense and special teams). Oklahoma was next with four, followed by three each from TCU and Texas. Oklahoma State was the only one of the ten schools in the conference to not have a player make the first-team cut.
Below are the complete All-Big 12 teams, as voted on by the media:
The College Football Playoff was founded and remains controlled by the commissioners of the Power 5 conferences. For those looking to move the 4-team format to eight, the thinking went that the old guard (emphasis on old) in the form of Mike Slive, Jim Delany and John Swofford would eventually move on, and their younger predecessors would see how much money could be made by expanding the playoff, and then expand the playoff.
Slive, of course, retired in 2015 (he passed away in 2018), Delany will step down next year, and Swofford is 70. After the ACC Network gets up and running later this year, perhaps he’ll step down, allowing three of the five big chairs — and, let’s be honest, the three biggest of the five big chairs — will have changed hands from the Playoff’s 2012 creation to negotiations for the second contract. (The current contract expires after the 2025 season.)
One problem, though: one of those predecessors likes the Playoff as is.
Speaking at an APSE event in Birmingham on Monday, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey affirmed his support for the 4-team format.
The SEC is the least incentivized of the Power 5 conferences to change the status quo, because the status quo works for them. Along with the ACC, the SEC is the only conference to go 5-for-5 in placing teams in the field, and really the SEC is 6-for-5 given that Georgia and Alabama reached the Playoff in 2017, the only season to date in which one conference has occupied the four coveted spots.
The counter to this point is that it was the LSU vs. Alabama championship game that was the straw that killed the BCS’s back.
However, the counter to that counter was that Slive was on board to kill the BCS and berth the CFP. Never before in college football’s history of evolving postseason formats has change been brought against the SEC’s wishes, and that’s unlikely to change… now or in 2025.
North Carolina linebacker Kyle Wright will leave Chapel Hill and pursue a graduate transfer, the player has announced.
“For the sake of having some dignity, I would like to announce that I will be entering the NCAA Transfer Portal,” he wrote on Twitter. “In doing so, I leave behind friendships and teammates that I will never forget. I appreciate you all.”
A Blythewood, S.C., native, Wright signed with North Carolina in 2018 and spent just one season in Chapel Hill. He appeared in four games, making one tackle against Georgia Tech, before using the year as a redshirt.
As an undergraduate transfer, Wright would have to sit out the 2019 campaign and compete in 2020 as a redshirt sophomore, barring a waiver.
It’s been a long time since Marshall and Western Michigan were in the same conference, but the two will be reunited on the football field soon enough. No, we’re not talking about conference realignment, but future non-conference scheduling!
The two schools announced a future home-and-home series for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. Marshall will host the first game of the deal on Sept. 14, 2024. Western Michigan will host the second game on Sept. 6, 2025. The two schools have not squared off against each other since Marshall left the MAC for Conference USA in 2005, but Western Michigan leads the all-time series 22-12.
Western Michigan will also play Cincinnati in non-conference play in 2024 and will travel t two Big Ten opponents in 20205 (Michigan State and Illinois).
Marshall has road trips to Liberty and Virginia Tech scheduled in 2024 in addition to the new home game against the Broncos. In 2025, Marshall will host East Carolina a week after visiting Western Michigan.
Authorities in California are taking a rescue mission to an unfortunate turn in the search for the body of Wyoming Class of 2019 signee Naphtali Moimoi. According to an update from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, the operation moved from a rescue mission to a water recovery. It has reached an unfortunate ending as no body was discovered.
Moimoi was last seen at Half Moon Bay in California rising on a boogie board. A strong rip current whisked Moimoi away out to sea, with a search and rescue mission getting underway Friday morning. As the day progressed, the search reached a conclusion with no body found.
Moimoi is a two-star recruit from Hayward, California in Wyoming’s Class of 2019. The defensive end signed with Wyoming in December 2018 during the early signing period.
The outlook may look grim at this point, but local authorities remain on the case and will review any and all information that comes in regarding the missing body. Wyoming’s football program will continue to monitor the situation as needed as well.