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Scott Frost: ‘Alabama probably has one or two championships they claim that weren’t necessarily recognized by everybody’

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Reminder: the 2018 college football season kicks off exactly 100 days from today.

In honor of that seems-so-far-away milestone, there’s been yet another development in the run-it-into-the-ground storyline of the 2018 college football offseason.  In summation, Alabama won the real 2017 national championshipundefeated UCF claiming a mythical 2017 national championship… Alabama players flaunted their “real championship rings“… UCF’s former head coach stated he would have had a hard time getting behind” his former school’s national championship claims had he remained with the football program… and Alabama’s current head coach took a shot at UCF’s title claims by stating “self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it.”

In stating he’d have a hard time getting behind the mythical claims, Scott Frost, the former head coach at UCF who left for the same job at Nebraska in early December, did allow that “[i]f you look at the history of college football, there’s a lot of cases where multiple teams have claimed national championships.”  During an interview with KETV in Omaha this week, Frost doubled-down on the latter comment by getting specific when it comes to schools who may have played fast and loose with their title claims.

“Alabama’s probably got one or two [national] championships they claim that weren’t necessarily recognized by everybody,” Frost told the television station, likely a direct response to Nick Saban‘s “there’s probably a significant number of people who don’t respect people who make self-proclaimed sort of accolades for themselves” shot aimed squarely at Frost’s former school.

On this, Frost very much has a point.

Including the one from 2017, Alabama has now claimed 17 national championships in football.  The NCAA, however, only recognizes 15.  The two not recognized by the NCAA but claimed by the school?  1934 and 1941, which The Association recognizes as being owned by Minnesota; even the Associated Press tapped the Gophers as the latter season’s lone champion.  ‘Bama, meanwhile, used something called the Houlgate System for its 1941 title claim.

Even a couple of Alabama’s titles recognized by the NCAA are somewhat in dispute.

The AP and United Press International awarded Alabama the 1964 championship after the regular season, only to see UA go out and lose to Texas in the Rose Bowl to finish 10-1.  Arkansas, which beat Texas, won its bowl game to finish that season at 11-0; the NCAA recognizes the Razorbacks and Crimson Tide as shared national champs.

The 1973 title is likely the most infamous claim as Notre Dame beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, yet the Crimson Tide is still recognized as co-champions along with the Fighting Irish by the NCAA.  The UPI was the only major media outlet to vote ‘Bama No. 1, although, again, their voting took place prior to the bowl game being played.  The Golden Domers, meanwhile, were the top-ranked team according to the AP — they had the Crimson Tide fourth in their final poll — Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation.

That 1973 season was also the year that Michigan, Ohio State and Oklahoma all finished 10-0-1.  Oklahoma’s tie came against USC, ranked No. 1 at the time before finishing the year No. 8 at 9-2-1, in their second game of the year, while Michigan and Ohio State played to their iconic 10-10 tie to close out the regular season.

Again, 100 days folks.  100 days.

Oklahoma State OT Arlington Hambright announces transfer to Colorado

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Former Oklahoma State offensive tackle Arlington Hambright is ready for his final season of college football. He’ll play it at Colorado, Hambright announced via Twitter.

“I give all glory and praise to God, without him I would be nothing but I will be spending my last year in Boulder, Colorado playing in the Pac-12 under some GREAT coaches and for [an] amazing University,” Hambright announced, via Twitter. “Now let’s get to work!”

Reports of Hambright potentially transferring from Oklahoma State surfaced earlier this month as the player transfer fun has continued to run wild this offseason. While no specific reason for his reason for transferring has been made public, he will certainly be looking to close out his college football career on a high note. An ankle injury brought an early end to Hambright’s 2018 season after starting the first five games of the season. He did return for the Liberty Bowl against Missouri, but Hambright will look to get in a full season as a potential starter in the Pac-12 this fall.

E.J. Price, Kentucky OL with starting experience, leaves Wildcats

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Coming off one of the most successful seasons in recent memory in Lexington, Kentucky now has a hole to plug on the offensive line. Starting offensive tackle E.J. Price has reportedly left the football program. According to a report from Kentucky Sports Radio, Price will pursue other opportunities and a university spokesperson confirmed he is no longer with the program.

Price transferred to Kentucky from USC in 2017, but it was about a year ago Price suggested he was ready to leave Kentucky too. However, Price stuck with the Wildcats in 2018. He started 11 of 13 games for Kentucky as the Wildcats turned in a 10-win season capped with a victory in the Capital One Bowl against Penn State. It was Kentucky’s first 10-win season since 1977 and their first bowl victory since the 2008 season.

What’s next for Price remains to be seen. He will be required to sit out the 2019 season if he transfers to another FBS program unless he applies for a waiver and receives approval to be eligible in the fall.

As for Kentucky, the spring will open with a starting job up for grabs on the offensive line, although the return of Landon Young from a season-ending injury a year ago should help solidify the efforts up front.

Virginia Tech promotes ex-Hokie Justin Hamilton to safeties coach

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Virginia Tech has promoted director of player development Justin Hamilton to safeties coach, the program announced Monday.

“Justin has more than proven his mettle to our staff over the past year and has earned this opportunity to take the next step in his football career,” head Hokie Justin Fuente said in a statement. “We know how invested Justin is in the continued success of our program. He’s a bright and talented coach who has built a solid rapport with our players and football staff. Coach Foster and I are both excited to expand his responsibilities with our team.”

A former Hokie player himself, Hamilton spent the bulk of this decade coaching at smaller programs in the Commonwealth. He was UVA-Wise’s defensive coordinator from 2011-13 and coached linebackers at VMI from 2014-17.

Hamilton fills a void created by the departure of current safeties coach Tyrone Nix. Virginia Tech officially said goodbye to him on Monday by announcing his departure for Ole Miss, though Ole Miss has yet to say anything as of press time.

Derrick Nix is on staff as Ole Miss’ running backs coach.

Southern Miss reportedly hiring offensive coordinator away from Arkansas State

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Southern Miss reportedly has its offensive coordinator, and the hire is more notable for who it’s not than who it is.

After the fiasco that was Art Brilesinterview and interview postscript, Golden Eagles head coach Jay Hopson has decided to go with the decidedly uncontroversial choice of Arkansas State offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner, according to FootballScoop. (Full disclosure: I also write for FootballScoop.)

Faulkner spent the past three seasons as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas State, and prior to that spent four in a similar role at Middle Tennessee. Faulkner’s first stint as an offensive coordinator came in 2010 at Murray State, where his Racers offense became the first in FCS history to post a 500-yard passer, a 200-yard rusher and a 200-yard receiver in the same game.

Faulkner takes over for Shannon Dawson, who was let go and subsequently became the tight ends coach at Houston.

Southern Miss finished No. 109 nationally in yards per play and No. 90 in scoring; the Golden Eagles went 6-5 but did not garner a bowl bid last season. Arkansas State, meanwhile, was No. 31 in yards per play and No. 55 in scoring.