Roster management is a term you often hear in SEC circles but the process of deciding who’s really on the team or not is certainly practiced far and wide across college football. The latest coach to make that very clear? None other than Jim Harbaugh.
Least you think the Michigan head coach is only about showing up on the sidelines of big games or taking players to Europe, he let it drop that some of the Wolverines’ 85 scholarship players could not be involved with fall camp later this year thanks in equal part to the play of some walk-ons with the team and because they aren’t making the cut.
“We posted it for the squad, so they know who was in the 110 as of June 1 and who is not in the 110 as of June 1. We do expect there will be movement, we hope it ignites competition in the summer,” Harbaugh said on his weekly podcast that was released on Tuesday. “Our guys know that 110 number is strictly based on merit. The team’s needs, talent, who is going to help at certain positions. Who the best players are.
“There already are scholarship players who aren’t in the 110 and there are walk-ons, preferred walk-ons and tryout guys who are in the 110.”
Talk about a big notice to the players to step things up for summer workouts.
Note that the 110 limit is just for UM’s fall camp and you can’t remove a player from scholarship if they didn’t to make the cut. You’re limited to just 85 scholarships in FBS football but Harbaugh noted there are a whopping 154 players in the program (including incoming freshman, preferred walk-ons and tryout players) right now. Eventually even that number will need to get pared down to around 135, which is generally the level the Wolverines have operated at the past few years and a figure that reportedly leads the Big Ten.
It will be a fascinating process to see play out given that Harbaugh has allowed this peak behind the curtain a bit. He mentioned nearly two dozen walk-ons by name on the podcast who had a chance to not only make the 110, but also crack the rotation. Given that, we could see a handful of transfers out of Ann Arbor come August without Harbaugh even having to reveal who didn’t make the fall camp roster and who did.
If you like neon colors on college football uniforms, boy have we got a future series for you.
In an announcement made on Friday, Oregon and Baylor confirmed the two schools have agreed to a home-and-home series on the gridiron in their first-ever meeting between the two programs. The Bears and Ducks will play at McLane Stadium in Waco on Sept. 11, 2027; while the return game will take place at Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Sept. 9, 2028.
The move certainly beefs up the non-conference slate for both sides after years of rather lackluster scheduling for various reasons. Baylor recently scheduled a series with Auburn for 2025/2026 and Oregon was similarly busy over the summer adding an SEC opponent with a future date with Georgia in 2022.
This series between the Ducks and Bears is the first on either team’s schedule for the 2027/2028 seasons so each has a few more slots to fill nearly a decade ago.
TCU will be without a key member of its defense for this weekend’s showdown against Big 12 rival Oklahoma as starting safety Innis Gaines will not play on Saturday — and possibly not again this season.
Speaking on his radio show on Thursday night in the DFW Metroplex, head coach Gary Patterson ruled the junior out against the Sooners and cautioned that he was “likely” done for the year after suffering a leg injury against Texas Tech last week.
Gaines himself seemed to suggest that he also will be out a significant amount of time with the injury in a Twitter post.
Gaines has been a key member of the Horned Frogs defense the past two years and has been one of the program’s best players on defense in 2018, ranking second on the team in tackles (31) and tackles for loss (6.5), as well as recording one interception, a forced fumble and a sack.
Compounding the loss of Gaines is the fact that fellow safety Niko Small has been out since the loss to Texas, leaving TCU fairly thin in the one area that you can typically count Patterson’s defense to be strong in. Freshman La’Kendrick Van Zandt is likely to be elevated into the starting role based on the team’s depth chart but you could also see an increase in playing time for Trevon Moehrig-Woodard as well.
Either way, this is not exactly the kind of news you want to hear just days before facing off against Kyler Murray and the Oklahoma offense.
Arkansas will continue feeling the effects of its Week 7 loss to Ole Miss on into Week 8.
Ty Storey suffered a head injury in the 37-33 loss to the Rebels this past Saturday, although head coach Chad Morris had been optimistic about the starting quarterback’s availability for this Saturday’s non-conference game with Tulsa. Friday, however, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, citing a source with knowledge of the decision, is reporting that Storey will not play against the Golden Hurricane.
Storey has started five games this season — the Week 2 loss to North Texas as well as the last four losses in a row. The junior has thrown for 983 yards and seven touchdowns this season, but his 124.4 pass efficiency rating of 124.4 is 11th among SEC quarterbacks and 89th nationally.
As a team, the Razorbacks are 105th in the country and last in the SEC in passing efficiency at 118.7.
If Storey is indeed sidelined as the reports suggest, either redshirt sophomore Cole Kelley or true freshman Connor Noland would get the start. Kelley started the opener this year as well as a Week 3 loss North Texas before losing the job a second time to Storey. Noland has attempted seven passes on the season.
While Kelley certainly has the edge in experience, the Democrat-Gazette writes that “Noland was seen taking first-team reps as media members left at the end of the viewing period on Wednesday.”
Just past the halfway point of the 2018 season, Florida Atlantic’s defense has taken a very steep and significant hit.
First reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and subsequently confirmed by OwlAccess.com, Azeez Al-Shaair has been diagnosed with a torn ACL. The linebacker suffered the injury during practice earlier this week.
As a result of the injury, Al-Shaair will miss the remainder of the season. Additionally, because this is his final season of eligibility, Al-Shaair will see his collegiate career come to an end as well.
This season, Al-Shaair is second on the team in tackles with 43 and tied for the team lead in quarterback hits with three. The fourth-year senior will finish as the Owls’ all-time leader in tackles.
Al-Shaair was named as the Conference USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year over the summer after leading the league with 147 tackles in 2017.