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Iowa State: Not likely Cyclones reschedule postponed game

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Saturday’s full slate of college football had a number of games postponed due to weather concerns. Iowa State was among the schools having to scrap their regularly scheduled game against South Dakota State, and it looks as though that game will not be rescheduled.

In a letter to Iowa State fans, Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard explained the process and line of thinking that led to the cancellation of Saturday’s game against the FCS opponent, why it was not moved to Sunday, and suggested it may not be made up at all due to scheduling conflicts the rest of the year.

“It does not appear we will be able to reschedule our game with South Dakota State,” Pollard said in his letter. “The team’s bye weeks are on different weeks so we cannot reschedule the game during the regular season. The only week that could work is Dec. 1.  Needless to say, both of our teams hope to be playing that weekend.”

That does not necessarily rule out the possibility of a makeup game. Instead, it moves forward with the optimistic line of thinking both programs have to pursue a shot at a conference title at the end of the year. Scheduling a game now for that weekend would leave a message that neither program expects to play that weekend. Pollard went on to suggest Iowa State is already looking to see if there is a possible opponent to be scheduled at the last minute for a makeup game, but stresses that is dependant on finding an opponent in the same position with a schedule that works without having to make any additional changes.

“The challenge is the opponent would need to be available to play (not scheduled to play on one of those dates) and eligible to play (either experienced a cancellation or did not schedule a full slate of games this year),” Pollard explained. “Needless to say it will be difficult to find an opponent that meets those requirements and is interested in coming to Ames.”

The risk of playing an 11-game schedule is it leaves programs one less opportunity to reach the six-win mark to qualify for postseason play in a bowl game. Many programs schedule games against FCS opponents with the expectation they will make for an easy win to rely on in the standings, so not being able to play South Dakota State is something that could, potentially, come back to haunt Iowa State. If the Cyclones only manage to win five games this season, that would put them in jeopardy for postseason play, although a waiver for an exemption given the circumstances could always be filed.

Iowa State is not alone in that situation, of course. Nebraska also scrapped a game against Akron on Saturday night. The Huskers may already have had a hard enough time getting to six wins with a challenging schedule this season, and losing out on a likely win against Akron could make for a steeper challenge to get to the postseason.

Michigan to visit South Africa later this year

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After visiting Italy and France over the past two springs, Michigan is taking a break from Europe and hitting South Africa in 2019. Wolverines director of football operations Mark Taurisani made the announcement through his Twitter account on Tuesday.

Jim Harbaugh started the field trips (which are funded by Michigan donors) as part of an educational experience for Wolverines players. The 2017 Italy trip was incorporated with Michigan’s spring practice, but the Wolverines did not practice in France last year and will not practice in South Africa this year, either.

Specific dates and tour sites have not been announced. The Wolverines will leave after the completion of the spring semester, which concludes after Michigan’s April 13 spring game.

Michigan lands All-MAC graduate transfer from Central Michigan

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As a Detroit native, Mike Danna has probably spent his entire life hoping and wishing and believing he could play at Michigan. While playing at Warren De La Salle Collegiate High School, he probably thought it. Throughout the recruiting process, when Michigan didn’t offer him and he signed at Central Michigan, he probably thought it.

Now he’ll get a chance to prove it.

Danna on Tuesday announced he was leaving CMU to spend his final college season with the big boys in Ann Arbor.

The 6-foot-2, 257-pound defensive end won the Herb Deromedi Award as CMU’s most valuable player after collecting 66 tackles, a team-high 15 TFLs and 9.5 sacks. He was named a First Team All-MAC honoree and a Pro Football Focus First Team All-American as well.

In three seasons as a Chippewa, Danna posted 151 tackles, 28 TFLs, 15 sacks and four forced fumbles.

While he may or may not start, Danna will be a significant contributor for the Wolverines in 2019. Michigan loses starting ends Chase Winovich (graduation) and Rashan Gary (draft), so Danna will team with senior Josh Uche (who led the team with eight sacks last season) and sophomore Aidan Hutchinson.

Miami to reportedly play Miami in 2023

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College football is notoriously hard to predict, but go ahead and mark this prediction down in ink: in the 2023 season, Miami will beat Miami.

Miami (Florida) will host Miami (Ohio) in 2023, according to FBSchedules. Neither school has announced the game as of this writing. The game will be played Sept. 2, 2023 at Hard Rock Stadium in Coral Gables, Fla.

In what has been previously dubbed the Confusion Bowl, the two Miamis have played three times previously, with the Hurricanes winning each time. All three games were in Miami, Fla., and green-and-orange Miami won by scores of 27-13 in 1945, 20-17 in 1946 and, most recently, 54-3 in 1987.

Miami (Ohio) will net $1.5 million for the trip, according to FBSchedules.

Miami (Fla.) has a home game with Texas A&M and a visit to Temple lined up elsewhere for 2023, while Miami (Ohio) will visit Cincinnati and host Liberty.

Brian VanGorder replaces Carl Pelini as Bowling Green DC

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After a little over two months on the job, one of the most glorious mustaches in all of college football has earned a promotion.

Tuesday, Bowling Green announced that Brian VanGorder has been named as first-year head coach Scot Loeffler‘s defensive coordinator.  In mid-December, the MAC school announced VanGorder’s hiring as linebackers coach and associate head coach.

VanGorder replaces Carl Pelini, who left last month to pursue another coaching opportunity.

VanGorder has served as a coordinator for a significant portion of the last decade, including stops at Louisville (2018), Notre Dame (2015-16), Auburn (2012) and the Atlanta Falcons (2008-11).  Prior to his one-year stint at Louisville, VanGorder served as a defensive analyst at both Georgia (2016, after he was fired by Notre Dame) and Oklahoma State (2017).

Interestingly, Bowling Green will travel to South Bend Oct. 5 this year to take on Notre Dame.

With VanGorder’s promotion, the Falcons also announced that Jim Herrmann has been hired to replace the new defensive coordinator as linebackers coach.  Herrmann will also carry the title of associate head coach.

Herrmann has spent the past baker’s dozen seasons as linebackers coach at the NFL level, with stops with the Indianapolis Colts (2016-18), New York Giants (2009-15) and New York Jets (2006-08) dotting his résumé.  His last college job at this level came during a lengthy stint at his alma mater Michigan (1985-2005).  The last nine years of his time in Ann Arbor, Herrmann worked as the Wolverines’ defensive coordinator.