With the ongoing game of “Where Will Malik Zaire Land?” lingering into its sixth month, there’s yet another sign pointing to an SEC school being the beneficiaries of the quarterback’s services. Maybe.
In the months since Zaire was given an unconditional release from his Notre Dame scholarship last November, and after North Carolina and Baylor and Wisconsin were bandied about, Florida and Texas have seemingly emerged as the favorites to land the graduate transfer. Tuesday, Bruce Feldman of FOXSports.com further confirmed that Zaire is leaning toward the Gators, albeit with one big proviso.
And therein lies the rub.
Because of an SEC rule put in place a couple of years ago, UF is currently unable to add a graduate transfer like Zaire because two previous graduate transfers (former Georgia Tech linebacker Anthony Harrell and former Fordham offensive lineman Mason Halter) failed to meet the academic requirements after transferring into the football program. Because of those twin academic failures, UF is not permitted to add a grad transfer until after the 2018 season.
The SEC’s annual spring meetings are in Destin, Fla., this week, and one of the items on the conference’s agenda is looking into the possibility of amending the grad transfer rule. It has previously been reported that Zaire had pushed back his decision until after the SEC spring meetings, a clear indication that the one-time Fighting Irish starter is giving serious consideration to finishing out his collegiate playing career with the Gators.
Now, along with the rest of the college football world, Zaire will await the SEC’s direction to determine whether or not The Swamp is a part of his future.
At some point in the distant future, Missouri fans, coaches, players and administrators will forget about the sanctions that the NCAA handed out to their football program.
That day is not today however.
Hot on the heels of Friday’s decision by the NCAA to slap the wrist of Mississippi State over a somewhat similar academic fraud case, Tigers AD Jim Sterk is telling anybody who will listen just how wronged his school was in the wake of what happened at his SEC rival.
“We believe that the penalties imposed in the recently decided and factually similar case (at Mississippi State) further illustrate that the penalties imposed on Mizzou were excessive and inconsistent with previous case precedent,” Sterk told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. We have never wavered from our stance or the merits of our appeal and remain hopeful it will be successful.”
The Tigers are hopeful that an appeal will be decided in the fairly near future and, obviously, that it will be a favorable ruling.
There are a handful of differences between Mizzou’s and the Bulldogs’ cases and enough to make comparing them apples to oranges despite being under the broad umbrella of academic fraud. We’ll see what ultimately ends up happening but something says that short of a complete reversal, Tigers fans and others sporting the gold and black won’t be happy with the NCAA for a long, long time.
The latest completely unsurprising quarterback decision? Step right up Wisconsin!
As has long been expected, the Badgers confirmed via their Week 1 depth chart release on Sunday that junior Jack Coan would be the Badgers starting quarterback for the upcoming season:
Coan was an obvious choice for Paul Chryst given his experience at the position and one wonders what took the program so long in naming him the guy given his five starts last season, including leading a blowout of a Miami in the Pinstripe Bowl. He threw for 515 yards and five touchdowns (against three interceptions) last year and replaced a rather ineffective Alex Hornibrook down the stretch.
With Hornibrook transferring to Florida State in the offseason and both Graham Mertz and Chase Wolf being freshmen, picking Coan to lead the team under center was an expected end result.
Perhaps the far more interesting name on the Wisconsin depth chart is that of wide receiver Quintez Cephus as the backup behind Kendric Pryor. While the former’s talent undoubtedly makes him one of the top options in the passing game, it’s still notable to see his name pop up given that he was so recently reinstated to the team following his acquittal of sexual assault charges earlier in the month.
Cephus has been practicing with the team but he did miss all of last season while dealing with the legal issues and will have less than two weeks of practices under his belt before the opener at USF on Aug. 30.
Either way, we at least know where he stands in the pecking order for the Badgers and who will be throwing him passes this season as UW gets set to make another run at the Big Ten title.
The SEC East sure is having itself a weekend. And only a handful of teams can say that’s a good thing.
Hot on the heals of Tennessee DB Bryce Thompson getting arrested, Georgia is now dealing with an arrest of their own. While the charges are not quite as serious as those in Knoxville, they are still enough to make Kirby Smart blow a gasket or two.
As per DawgNation, Bulldogs freshman defensive lineman Bill Norton was booked on a number of alcohol-related charges early Sunday morning and eventually released on bond. Record show he was cited for driving under the influence, failure to maintain lane/improper driving and minor in possession of alcohol.
A court date does not appear to have been set just yet in the matter.
While there seemed to be little chance that Norton saw action in the opener against Vanderbilt on Saturday night, his arrest probably ended any slim hope of seeing the field or traveling with the team to Nashville.
A four-star prospect coming out of high school in Tennessee, Norton picked Georgia over fellow SEC rivals Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee and others.
Week 0 is officially in the books and oh how great it was to have college football once again in our lives.
While most of the attention nationally was on the compelling matchup between Florida and Miami down in Orlando, the better of the two FBS games in action on Saturday was actually out in the islands where Hawaii pulled a 45-38 upset of Arizona. The latter game had a ton of moments that only seem to happen late into the night like turnovers galore, some wild touchdowns and the Rainbow Warriors defense stopping a weaving Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate at the one yard line to preserve the win a la Kevin Dyson in Super Bowl XXXIV.
The real fun may have come after the game was over while most of America was soundly sleeping though. First off, Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich took to Twitter to have a little fun with the prognosticators on ESPN’s College GameDay for their game picks…
Well played. He wasn’t the only one to have a bit of fun at Arizona’s expense either with the Wildcats’ bitter rivals Arizona State also getting into the act with a cheeky Mahalo as well.
Troll game… strong. Welcome back college football, where that Territorial Cup game at the end of the regular season just might be a little more fun given the way the season has started off.