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Hurricane Florence could impact a dozen Week 3 FBS games

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Last year, it was Hurricane Irma that had a significant impact on the early portion of the college football schedule. This year, it’s yet another significant Atlantic storm set to wreak havoc on the sport.

Hurricane Florence, elevated from a Category 3 to Category 4 storm Monday afternoon — it could turn into a Category 5 before it’s all said and done — is projected to make landfall in the mid-Atlantic at some point this week, most likely Thursday night or very early Friday morning. States of Emergency have already been issued for South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, with governors from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia already ordering mandatory evacuations along those states’ coastline.

Already, Coastal Carolina’s game against FCS Campbell, scheduled for Saturday, has been moved up to Wednesday. Additionally, the game was moved from Coastal Carolina’s campus in South Carolina to Campbell’s stadium in North Carolina, which is roughly 140 miles north and significantly further inland.

The game most likely to be impacted next is Thursday night’s Boston College-Wake Forest game in Winston-Salem. Thus far, there’s been no official update from Wake on the status of that contest, which is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.

In addition to those two games, nearly a dozen others at the FBS level slated for Saturday could be affected in one way or another by Hurricane Florence, depending on which path the storm ultimately takes:

  • No. 18 UCF at North Carolina, 12:00
  • Temple at Maryland
  • East Carolina at No. 13 Virginia Tech, 12:20
  • Ohio at Virginia, 3:00
  • Georgia Southern at No. 2 Clemson, 3:30
  • No. 14 West Virginia at NC State, 3:30
  • Southern Miss at Appalachian State, 3:30
  • Old Dominion at Charlotte, 6:00
  • Norfolk State at Liberty, 6:00
  • Marshall at South Carolina, 7:30

On Twitter Monday, Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock gave a hint as to a rough timeline for a decision being made for at least some of those games listed above.

According to one CBS affiliate, the WVU-NCSU game will be canceled because of the hurricane.  An announcement is expected at some point today or tomorrow, the station reported.

Our sources say NC State is refusing to come to Morgantown to play the game even if there was a 50/50 split at Mylan Puskar Stadium or even if NC State took all the profits. Our sources say WVU is trying to preserve Will Greir’s Heisman status and WVU wants the opportunity for an additional win.

If they do agree to reschedule, it will look like this: the NC State game would possibly be played on October 13th. Then WVU’s game with Iowa State would be pushed back to a Thursday night game on October 18th.

Around this time last season, Hurricane Irma impacted in the neighborhood of 10 games involving Florida’s FBS teams.  Prior to that, Hurricane Harvey scuttled the Houston-UTSA game.

UPDATED 10:39 a.m. ET: One NC State official took to Twitter to refute the report that the game with West Virginia has already been canceled.

Bovada has Purdue’s Jeff Brohm as heavy favorite to replace Bobby Petrino as head coach at Louisville

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This latest wagering line will come as no surprise to those who have been paying any attention at all.

In the immediate aftermath of Louisville’s decision to fire Bobby Petrino over the weekend, Jeff Brohm was one of the first, and most prominent, names to be mentioned as a potential replacement.  Brohm, currently in his second season as the head coach at Purdue, is a natural fit as he was born in the city of Louisville and played his college football for the Cardinals.

With that as a backdrop, Bovada.lv released its first set of odds on Petrino’s replacement Tuesday and (surprise surprise surprise) Brohm is a heavy favorite at 1/10.

Troy head coach Neal Brown is next at 4/1, with Ohio State offensive coordinator Ryan Day, who could be in line for the OSU job when Urban Meyer steps down, right behind at 9/2.  Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, always a popular name on the coaching carousel even as he’s in the midst of his seventh season with the Tigers, is next at 9/1.

Others receiving odds from the sportsbook are Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell (11/1), Syracuse head coach Dino Babers (12/1), Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell (12/1), Toledo head coach Jason Candle (16/1) and Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield (16/1).

Ex-Michigan State staffer suing Mark Dantonio, other MSU officials

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Curtis Blackwell may be gone but, thanks to a recent development, he won’t soon be forgotten in East Lansing.

In May of last year, Michigan State confirmed that the university had “parted ways” with Blackwell after opting not to renew the staffer’s contract.  Blackwell, whose official title with the football program was director of college advancement and performance, was suspended with pay February 9, the same day three unidentified Spartan football players were suspended in connection to sexual assault allegations.  While Blackwell was a part of the police investigations into the allegations, he was not accused of participating in the alleged sexual assault but rather failing to disclose information he knew about the incident.

Monday, the Associated Press reported, Blackwell filed a lawsuit in U.S. District court alleging that his employment contract was violated when it wasn’t renewed.  Head football coach Mark Dantonio is named in the suit, as are former MSU athletic director Mark Hollis and other MSU officials.  The AP wrote “[t]he suit alleges that the defendants did not honor Blackwell’s employment agreement, which the suit says required that he be allowed to speak with the athletic director before any discipline was imposed.”

A university spokesperson declined to comment on the development.

Also named in the lawsuit are two university police officers who arrested Blackwell for obstruction of justice.  Blackwell, who was never formally charged, claims that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the officers.

According to mlive.com, Blackwell is seeking at least $150,000 in damages, plus attorneys fees and punitive damages.

Clay Helton announces dismissal of four-star 2017 LB Levi Jones

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Levi Jones‘ forced sabbatical has turned into a permanent one.

The linebacker was suspended from USC’s loss to Cal this past Saturday because of unspecified violations of team rules.  Following practice Tuesday night, Clay Helton announced that Jones has been dismissed from the Trojans football program and is no longer on the roster.

No specific reason for the dismissal was given by the head coach.

Multiple media outlets have reported that Jones was arrested on a charge of public intoxication in early July of this year.  It’s unclear whether that off-field issue played a role in his forced departure four months later.

Jones was a four-star member of the Trojans’ 2017 recruiting class, rated as the No. 6 outside linebacker in the country; the No. 13 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 93 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.  The Austin product was the highest-rated linebacker signee in USC’s class that year.

After playing in 10 games as a true freshman, Jones had played in eight games this year prior to his dismissal.

Former Alabama signee commits to rival Tennessee

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This is quite the turn of events.

In December of 2017, Davis signed on as an early piece of Alabama’s 2018 recruiting class.  Expected to enroll at the university early, Jordan Davis instead enrolled at a junior college, Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College, in mid-July as he failed to qualify academically at UA.  In October of this year, the defensive lineman took to Twitter to announce that he was recommitting to the Crimson Tide and head coach Nick Saban.

A month later?  Never mind as Davis confirmed on the same social media site that he has verbally committed to Tennessee and former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

In an interview with 247Sports.com not long after that announcement, the Tennessee native expounded on his decision.

“It’s just somewhere I wanted to truly go, somewhere I feel that I can really make a difference,” Davis told the recruiting website. “I just want to do something different. I want to do something big. I want to do something big for my hometown and my state.

“I mean, I shocked the world with that one.”

Davis was a consensus four-star 2018 signee, rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 6 weakside defensive end in the country; the No. 2 player at any position in the state of Tennessee; and the No. 108 player overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.  Only two defensive linemen in the Tide’s class this year — Eyabi Anoma and Stephon Wynn — were rated higher than Davis.

Whether Davis follows through on his latest commitment a month from now remains to be seen.