ATLANTA — Life is good for Scott Frost at the moment. The now current Nebraska head coach is back at his alma mater and coming off an undefeated season at UCF as the toast of the college football awards circuit.
Despite things going about as well as can be for the first person to go 13-0 as both a player and a head coach, Frost still isn’t exactly happy at how his old program was treated by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee over the course of the 2017 season and had plenty to say about the matter over the weekend.
“I hope this season with UCF starts a conversation as to where those teams should be ranked and gives them an opportunity,” Frost told the media on Saturday night as he picked up the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. “I know a lot of people around our program, and myself included, that felt insulted by the rankings.
“It seemed like every week they were elevating a new two-and three-loss team ahead of us. To us, it appeared like it was a concerted effort to keep us at a reasonable distance away from the top four so they didn’t have a controversy.”
While the Knights debuted in the Selection Committee’s Top 25 at No. 18 as the month of October closed, the team rose just six spots to No. 12 in the final CFP poll. Perhaps most jarring to those in Orlando was when three-loss Mississippi State leapfrogged the team in mid-November.
“I don’t know if our team deserved to be in the playoff or not, but I think we deserved to be ranked higher and we proved it,” added Frost.
The Cornhuskers coach didn’t hold back when it came to the Playoff system as a whole either. In addition to advocating for an eight-team format, Frost also noted that the SEC and ACC are a little “smarter” for only playing eight conference games to give them an advantage over the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12. While he didn’t quite advocate for UCF’s decision to crown themselves national champions, he certainly hoped that what happened as the 2017 campaign unfolded would help even the field a little bit for Group of Five programs against their bigger brethren.
It will be interesting to see if Frost’s tune changes any as he transitions to the big chair in Lincoln but for now it seems the Knights’ old boss is still one of the team’s biggest cheerleaders.
Hold the phone on at least one purported personnel loss for Wyoming.
In late May, it was reported that Cowboys running back Trey Woods would miss the entire 2018 season because of an unspecified shoulder injury. A little over three weeks later, the prognosis from Craig Bohl has gotten significantly more optimistic.
“There’s an opportunity he may be back,” the head coach told the Casper Star-Tribune. “Initially, we thought that he for sure would be out for the year, and he may be back. …
“He has had surgery, and so we’re just waiting on his recovery. He’s a little bit ahead of where we thought he’d be. He certainly won’t be ready the first game, but as the season goes along, we feel like he’ll be ready to go.”
Wyoming kicks off the 2018 season at New Mexico State Aug. 25, then follows that opener up by hosting Washington State (Sept. 1) and Wofford (Sept. 15) in between a trip to Missouri (Sept. 8). Coming off a bye, Wyoming will then open up Mountain West Conference play Sept. 29 with a home game against defending conference champion Boise State.
As a true freshman last season, Woods, a two-star 2017 signee, led the Cowboys in rushing with 474 yards. he ran for a career-high 135 yards in a late-September win over Hawaii.
It’s déjà vu all over again for the Big 12.
In late April, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was selected first-overall in the 2018 NFL draft. In early June, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray was taken with the No. 9 pick of the 2018 Major League Baseball draft. Thursday night, Oklahoma basketball quarterback Trae Young — some people call his position in that sport a point guard, but whatever — was selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the No. 5 pick of the 2018 NBA draft.
All of that draft action over the last two months gives the Sooners three Top-10 picks in those three sports in the same calendar year, the first time that’s happened since… OU’s Red River Shootout rivals pulled off the exact same draft trifecta more than a decade ago.
Young was the third player taken by the Tennessee Titans in that year’s draft, while Huff was grabbed at No. 7 overall by the Oakland Raiders. Stubbs, meanwhile, was the No. 8 pick of the Cincinnati Reds while the Chicago Bulls used the No. 2 overall pick on Aldridge.
So there’s that do-it-again for the Big 12, which is nice.
Even as Florida Atlantic has made a significant commitment to Lane Kiffin — and vice versa — it still won’t cost Power Five programs a sizable amount of money to pry him away from the Conference USA school.
It was confirmed in December of last year that Kiffin and FAU had reached an agreement in principle on a new 10-year contract, although very few, if any, particulars were made available. Fast-forward six months, and fauowlaccess.com is reporting that not only is the deal now official, but there are also some specifics contained in the revamped contract that can now be revealed.
Most notably, given the fact that most expect Kiffin to bolt for a bigger job at some point after the 2018 season ends — of course, those same observers thought the same after the 2017 season ended — is the buyout language contained in the new contract. Specifically, it remains the same language contained in the old five-year deal the new 10-year pact replaced.
From the website’s report:
FAU elected not to alter the buyout clause in Kiffin’s contract. Leaving between now and January of 2019 would cost Kiffin $2 million. The buyout drops $500,000 per year through 2021.
A $2 million buyout, of course, would not prevent most Power Five schools from pursuing Kiffin if they’re looking for a head coach as the 2018 regular season winds down.
As for pay, Kiffin’s annual base salary of $950,000 remains unchanged from the terms of his previous deal, fauowlsaccess.com is also reporting. That $950,000 is also what he was paid in 2017, a number that was third in the conference behind UT-San Antonio’s Frank Wilson ($1.137 million) and North Texas’ Seth Littrell ($991,000).
Taking over a program that was coming off of back-to-back-back 3-9 seasons, Kiffin led the Owls to an 11-win campaign in 2017 that included a 10-game winning streak that they’ll carry into 2018. The wins set a school record and the football program also claimed its first-ever conference championship.
Berkley Edwards, the younger brother of former Michigan standout Braylon Edwards, is apparently following in his brother’s footsteps. According to a report from The Michigan Insider, Berkley Edwards is planning on transferring from Central Michigan to walk on with the Wolverines.
Edwards will be using a sixth year of eligibility granted by the NCAA to play his final season for the same program his brother and father Stan Edwards once did.
Edwards began his college career at Minnesota in 2013. He spent one year as a redshirt and later sat out the 2016 season as a transfer to Central Michigan. Edwards was a part of the Central Michigan special teams unit last season and has previously handled rushing duties at Minnesota. At Michigan, Edwards will likely fill a spot on the depth chart at running back and special teams, although his role is expected to be as a reserve option for each as he gets started with the Wolverines.
Edwards will be eligible to play for Michigan this season. Michigan has not formally announced the addition of Edwards to the football program at this time.