This time of year often sees sparks lighting under various coaching hot seats around the country, most notably at high-profile college football programs. Two in the Big Ten that seem to have some pressure on them this fall can be found at Michigan with Brady Hoke and Nebraska with Bo Pelini. Neither coach is likely to be fired at the end of the season but both coaches are being looked to raise the bar at their respective programs. While Hoke has seen the win total diminish each season he has been in Ann Arbor, Pelini has been holding steady with identical 9-4 seasons for a few years running. Still, some expect more from Nebraska.
As far as Nebraska Athletics Director Shawn Eichorst is concerned, Pelini has no reason to worry about his job status. Eichorst says the Nebraska football program is in stable condition with Pelini at the helm and there is no need to make any changes.
”I really enjoy what he brings to the table,” Eichorst said to the Associated Press. ”He’s the first to admit he’s kind of walked that line a little bit. Everybody is different. You’ve got calm and collected, high strung and everything in between. I try not to make judgments about that.”
Eichorst has done his part to ensure Pelini has extra resources available to compete at a high level at a time when recruiting trends seem to be moving away from Nebraska, so there appears to be no tension between Pelini and the athletics director when it comes to the direction of the football program in Lincoln.
“We’ve done everything they’ve asked us to do, within reason, so to me that should be a sign of support right there,” Eichorst said.
Nebraska has not won a conference championship since winning the Big 12 title in 1999. The Huskers ended their run in the Big 12 with back-to-back Big 12 championship game appearances, falling to Texas and Oklahoma, and were trounced in the one Big Ten championship game they have played in their first three seasons in the new conference.
A knee injury sidelined Shannon Brooks for the first half of 2018, but he’s been medically cleared to make his debut this season Saturday against Nebraska. However, an off-field incident has left his status for the weekend up in the air.
Over the weekend, Brooks was arrested on one count of suspected domestic assault stemming from an incident involving his male roommate. Monday, Brooks was released from jail after the city attorney’s office declined, for now, to press charges. The St. Paul Pioneer Press, though, writes that “[i]t doesn’t appear Brooks will practice until the city attorney’s office comes to some resolution in its investigation.”
Head coach P.J. Fleck stated Tuesday that the running back’s status is evolving every day.
“One thing that we are always going to make sure is that we have every bit of information that we possibly can before we make decisions,” the head coach said. “Shannon understands that, and I know our administration understands that as well.”
Brooks suffered what was initially thought to be a season-ending knee injury during spring practice this offseason. In six games last season, Brooks rushed for 369 yards and five touchdowns.
One member of the Texas Longhorns football program was involved in an off-field incident this week that, thankfully, sounds a little scarier than it (hopefully) turned out to be.
Tom Herman revealed Tuesday that Jeffrey McCulloch was involved in a single-car accident Tuesday. Per the head coach, the linebacker hydroplaned on a wet, slick Austin road and hit a light pole.
McCulloch was treated at the scene and then went to a local hospital before eventually being released, the Dallas News reported.
However, the Austin American Statesman writes that “[a]fter complaining about neck soreness, McCulloch was expected to have a CT scan.”
“All early indications is that he should be OK,” Herman said. “Just want to make sure everything is good to go.”
On Twitter Tuesday night, McCulloch also indicated that he’s fine.
McCulloch, a junior, has played in all seven games this season, starting one of those contests. He’s listed as the starting B-backer on the Longhorns’ most recent depth chart.
There’s been a rather significant development in an off-field incident involving a pair of Florida International football players.
According to WPLG-TV among other outlets, 29-year-old Lorenzo Shine has been arrested in connection to the Sept. 6 drive-by shooting of running back Anthony Jones (pictured) and offensive lineman Mershawn Miller. Shine, who admitted to driving his girlfriend’s car at the time of the shooting, is facing two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
From the CBS affiliate in Miami:
Anthony Jones and Mershawn Miller were visiting Miller’s brother at his home in the 2400 block of NW 140th Street when a car pulled up and shots were fired from within the vehicle, according to police.
At least 16 shots were fired at those sitting on the porch. Surveillance video from a nearby home shows bullets flying, as two men run to the back of the house.
Using the surveillance video, police tracked down the owner of the car. The owner of the car said she didn’t remember driving it on the day of the drive-by. Lorenzo Shine, 29, then came out of the woman’s house and retrieved two bags and something from the car’s glove box which he put in one of the bags. He took both bags inside the house.
The homeowner consented to a police search of the residence for guns. Inside one of the bags that Shine had removed from the car was a 40 caliber pistol.
Shine had been released from prison in late June after serving time for armed robbery and burglary. Police have been unable to unearth a motive in the shooting.
Jones was shot in the face and the back during the incident, while Miller, his high school teammate in Miami, was shot in the arm. The latter was released from the hospital shortly after the incident, while the former required a lengthier stay, although he was released after a two-week hospital stay.
Jones, the nephew of former Florida State star Dalvin Cook, ran for a team-high 88 yards in FIU’s season-opening loss to Indiana. He also accounted for a career-high two rushing touchdowns in the same game. Miller saw his first career action in the opener after redshirting as a true freshman last season.
Neither player has played since being shot.
One of the nation’s most prolific players on the offensive side of the ball may not be available this weekend. Or he may be. One of the two.
Late in the third quarter of then-undefeated Colorado’s loss to USC, Laviska Shenault went down with a toe injury and didn’t return. With Washington, also reeling from a tough overtime loss to Oregon, on tap this coming weekend, Shenault’s status is decidedly up in the air.
“We haven’t found out anything on it yet,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said by way of the Boulder Daily Camera. “They’re still evaluating everything. We haven’t found out any total results or anything. He still has a sore toe, but we’ll see.”
Per the Daily Camera, the wide receiver didn’t practice Monday and was seen wearing a walking boot. As of Tuesday, he’s still considered day-to-day.
Shenault currently leads the country in receptions per game (10) and receiving yards per game (130). His six receiving touchdowns are second in the Pac-12 and tied for 14th nationally.