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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.

WATCH: 338-pound Wisconsin nose tackle nails beach backflip

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Yeah, this is absolutely fantastic. And extremely impressive.

Up until now, Olive Sagapolu has been mainly known to most nationally for his prowess on the football field. Entering his fourth-year season in Madison, Sagapolu has started 23 games during his time with the Badgers, including 10 in a 2017 season that saw him earn honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.

As it turns out, though, Sagapolu’s athleticism isn’t confined to merely on the field as, in this video sent out through UW’s official football Twitter account, the 6-2, 336-pound starting nose tackle lands a backflip on a beach in Hawaii.

To repeat: the man in that video weighs 336 pounds. 336 pounds.

Then again, it shouldn’t be all that surprising given the fact that Sagapolu spent a portion of his senior year at football powerhouse Mater Dei High School in California as a member of the varsity cheerleading squad. Seriously.

“In a way, (cheerleading) does help because it shows how athletic I can be and I’m getting,” Sagapolu said by way of 247Sports.com way back in August of 2015. “I mean, I’m about a 300-pound guy doing a backflip. You don’t really see that a lot. Doing these other kinds of tricks also helps with hand-eye coordination. It does help with football. …

“(People) were definitely surprised seeing me on the cheerleading team. They thought it was funny seeing… a big guy like me. For me, it is shocking to see the reaction from people’s faces. … Just the whole thing about cheerleading is very different from football. It was something I wanted to do for my senior year and have fun with it.”

Tennessee’s Will Ignont to have weed charge dismissed

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A legal journey for one Tennessee football player that began last year is coming to an end.

In October of 2017, former UT running back John Kelly and current Vols linebacker Will Ignont (pictured, left) were cited for marijuana possession following a traffic stop. Kelly was the driver of the vehicle, Ignont a passenger.

Tuesday, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported, Ignont “received a pass disposition and will have his charge dismissed with court costs assessed.” Kelly, selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2018 NFL draft, pleaded guilty in the same court appearance.

Both Ignont and Kelly were suspended for the Kentucky game as a result of the incident, but returned the following week.

Ignont was a four-star member of the Vols’ 2017 recruiting class, rated as the No. 16 inside linebacker in the country. He played in six games as a true freshman and was credited with six tackles, one of which went for a loss.

Georgia third string QB Stetson Bennett considering transfer

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Georgia lost quarterback Jacob Eason to a transfer, but gained a younger, more highly-regarded signal caller in Justin Fields with the 2018 recruiting class. With Fields on the roster and Jake Fromm not going anywhere, another Bulldog quarterback is considering leaving as well.

Stetson Bennett IV — who, outside of the current U.S. Attorney General, sports the best Southern name in circulation — has told Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart he might rather leave than spend his career as the No. 3 man in Athens.

“He’s looking at some different options,” Smart told the Macon Telegraph. “Stetson has done a tremendous job for us. We’re really excited what he has done for us. We’re exhausting every option to try to keep Stetson with us. We think he’s a very talented young man. I’ve spoke on behalf of that multiple times. We hope we keep him here. He has not made that decision yet.”

Listed at an even 6-foot-nothing and 172 pounds, Bennett was a successful quarterback at Pierce County High School and listed as a 2-star recruit before choosing to walk-on at Georgia rather than take scholarship offers from Group of 5 and FCS programs. Bennett redshirted as a freshman in 2017, sharing Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year honors with three other players.

Should Bennett transfer, his stature and walk-on status would draw easy comparisons to Baker Mayfield, which is ironic considering Bennett was tasked with mimicking the 2017 Heisman winner ahead of Georgia’s Rose Bowl win over Oklahoma.

Both of Bennett’s parents are Georgia graduates, so leaving would be a tough decision for the redshirt freshman.

“We need to keep Stetson there and help us,” Smart told the Telegraph. “We don’t really have many other guys to be honest. We have two young quarterbacks who will be walk-ons, who we think are good players. But we’ve invested a lot in Stetson with the development he took this spring, and with what he did in bowl practices. I’m excited to see what he can do. We’re encouraging him to stay so he gets that opportunity. I certainly respect what he has done this far for the University of Georgia and he’s a really good student as well. We’re selling him on the University of Georgia education.”

Tulane extends Willie Fritz through 2023

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Major news on the Kansas football front came down the pike Tuesday when Tulane announced it has extended head coach Willie Fritz through 2023.

Wait, what? Let’s back up a bit.

Kansas fired AD Sheahon Zenger on Monday, citing that a “change in leadership is necessary” because “progress in key areas has been elusive.” While Kansas chancellor Douglas Girod did not come out and say this move was related to football, he did feel the need to mention head coach David Beaty in his release announcing Zenger’s firing. “In addition, earlier today I spoke with Coach Beaty and shared my expectation that he will continue recruiting hard and getting his team ready for the season,” Girod said.

It doesn’t take Leonardo DiCaprio to read Girod’s thoughts here. Beaty is 3-33 in three seasons as KU’s head coach, including a 1-26 mark in Big 12 play. Coaches that average a win a year don’t typically last until Year 5. Just last year, Nebraska cleared out its AD so the new AD could fire the existing football coach and hire a new one, and it appears Kansas is headed down the same path later this year.

With Beaty apparently on his way out, I tweeted on Monday where Kansas should direct its incoming search.

Fritz-to-Kansas makes sense on a number of levels. Fritz is a proven program builder, a more-with-less guy that won at Blinn Junior College, Central Missouri, Sam Houston State, Georgia Southern and, now, Tulane. Overall, Fritz is 202-89-1 with two junior college national titles and conference championships in three separate leagues — all at places that have no business posting a collective .693 winning percentage. Simply put, Kansas is the rebuild job of the century, and there is not a more proven general contractor than Fritz.

And even better for Kansas, Fritz seems likely to take the job. He’s a Sunflower State native and at an age — 58 — where he’d likely take any Power 5 job offer that came his way, lest it be the last one.

All that said, it did not seem a coincidence that Tulane announced an extension for Fritz on Tuesday, who is 9-15 in two seasons with the Green Wave.

“I couldn’t be more excited with the direction in which our football program is headed,” Fritz said in a statement. “It is an absolute joy to coach at this institution. We have total buy-in from everyone on our staff to our administration, and I know we have a bright future.”

With Tulane being a private school, financial terms were not disclosed, but the key number will be the buyout.

Of course, Fritz could also pass on a potential Kansas offer. Or he may not get an offer. Or the job may not open at all. But even the prospect of an offer has already turned into a win for him.