We tweeted over the weekend it could be an interesting next couple of months in Columbus. At least one wagering establishment could see it getting interesting as well.
FootballScoop.com reported earlier this week that there was “friction” between Urban Meyer/the football staff “and athletics leadership as well as within the program itself”; the head coach subsequently attempted to knock down that report, for what it’s worth. CFT has caught wind of speculation that it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Meyer were not the Buckeyes’ head coach next season, whispers that grew a little louder given the embarrassing loss in West Lafayette this past weekend and what some have described as Meyer’s “anguished… emotional… erratic” sideline demeanor. And then there is the arachnoid cyst that puts pressure on the coach’s brain and sometimes causes the kind of headaches that dropped him to one knee on the sidelines during the Indiana game.
Add all of that to the battering Meyer’s reputation took nationally over the Zach Smith situation and the coach’s response to allegations of domestic abuse, and some have begun to wonder just how much longer Meyer will remain as The Head Coach at The Ohio State.
In that vein, one online sportsbook, BetOnline.ag, released odds Wednesday as to who will be OSU’s head coach when the Buckeyes open spring practice in 2019. Meyer is the favorite at +125 (5/4), but not as heavy a one as you’d think when you take into account the fact that he has won three national championships, put up 10-plus wins in all six seasons at OSU and just turned 54 years old over the summer.
Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell, who grew up in Ohio and has a MAC pedigree like Meyer, is next at +175 (7/4). Another Ohio native, retired Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, is one of three with 10/1 odds. Another of those at +1000 is OSU offensive coordinator Ryan Day, who served as the acting head coach during Meyer’s suspension and has been mentioned in speculation as a potential coach-in-waiting at OSU. The third coach at +1000 is the man responsible for Meyer’s most recent on-field loss, Purdue’s Jeff Brohm.
My personal favorite? Jim Harbaugh at 40/1. Those are only slightly shorter odds than the New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick (50/1) but significantly longer than Lane Kiffin‘s 18/1.
Below are all of the odds as to who will be OSU’s head coach when spring practice kicks off next year:
It has been quite a busy couple of days for Virginia Tech transfer news. Within hours of Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente releasing a statement about the program’s dedication to strengthening the culture of the Virginia Tech football program after a handful of players had decided to leave the program, running back Deshawn McClease added his name to the list of transferring Hokies.
“After discussing with my family, we believe that it is best for me to transfer to another university following graduation this spring,” McClease said in a statement shared on his Twitter account Wednesday evening. “I am very eager to continue my football journey and further my education.”
McClease did not say where he is heading next. His departure is another blow to Virginia Tech’s offensive outlook for the 2019 season on a day that also saw starting quarterback Josh Jackson decide to transfer out of Virginia Tech a day after a couple of other transfer headlines surfaced around the program. As McClease mentioned in his statement, he is scheduled to graduate from Virginia Tech this spring. That will mean he will be eligible to play right away next fall for whatever team he ends up joining. He has one year of eligibility remaining.
McClease was Virginia Tech’s second-leading rusher in 2018 and likely would have been the starting running back in Blacksburg for the 2019 season had he decided to stick around. McClease rushed for 433 yards and two touchdowns last fall behind senior starter Steven Peoples.
The quarterback competition at Oklahoma State this spring has been reduced by one. Keondre Wudtee is one his way out of Stillwater after entering his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal, it was reported on Wednesday.
As noted by Pistols Firing, redshirt freshman Spencer Sanders appears to be the most likely candidate to land the starting job at quarterback for the Cowboys in 2019 following the graduation of Taylor Cornelius. Wudtee was the only other quarterback to record any passing stats for Oklahoma State in 2018 in his backup role, completing two of five attempts for 26 yards and a touchdown. A pair of wide receivers, Tylan Wallace and Dillon Stoner, were the only other players to attempt a pass for Oklahoma State in 2018.
Oklahoma State’s quarterback depth chart will still be padded even with the departure of Wudtee. Dru Brown, who transferred to Oklahoma State from Hawaii, is still around and the Cowboys added an early enrollee in three-star Class of 2019 quarterback Brendan Costello. Being enrolled early will allow Costello to get started with spring practices this semester in Stillwater and could potentially have him prepared to step in if needed in the fall.
As for Wudtee, we’ll see where he heads next. He will have to sit out the 2019 season due to NCAA transfer rules, of course.
Finally, a story NOT about the transfer portal.
Prior to the Sugar Bowl between Texas and Georgia, somebody decided it would be fun to do a photo with the live animal mascots of the Longhorns and Bulldogs. As Uga made his way over to see Texas mascot Bevo, the longhorn burst out of his caged area and made it known he was not about being a part of a fun photo opp. Fortunately, there were no injuries to report for any people or animals in the incident, but concerns about the handling of Bevo were certainly raised.
And despite pressure from PETA to stop including live animal mascots as part of the gameday experience and any others who may have voiced concerns about the worst-case scenarios involving a live steer, Texas president Gregory Fenves says Bevo will not be retired and forced to watch Longhorns football games from the ranch.
“We take the safety very seriously, but we’re going to continue to have Bevo as our mascot,” Fenves said in a recent interview with the American-Statesman. “He’s an incredible animal and a great symbol for the university. Seriously, we’re always looking at the protocols for Bevo at public events. I don’t think they need to be revised.”
So there you have it. Bevo stays. Sorry, not sorry, PETA. Unless Bevo does decide to enter the transfer portal…
I have never seen it myself, but the transfer portal must be the place to be. Wisconsin tight end Kyle Penniston is just one of the many players putting his name in the transfer portal, as reported Wednesday, as he begins to look for a new place to finish up his college football career.
First reported by 247 Sports, Penniston will have one year of eligibility left to use for the 2019 season. He will be eligible to play right away this fall as a graduate transfer. Penniston enrolled at Wisconsin in 2015 after accepting an offer from Wisconsin over offers from Oklahoma and a handful of other top programs in the Class of 2015.
Penniston appeared in 13 games for the Badgers in 2018 with three receptions for 18 yards and a touchdown. The instant rise of Jake Ferguson at the tight end position on his way to becoming the second-leading receiver for Wisconsin meant Penniston likely wasn’t going to play a pivotal role in the offensive gameplan in 2019. Wisconsin should still be in decent shape at the tight end position this fall, not that losing an upper classmen at the position is ever a good situation for a program. It’s worth noting Penniston was recruited under former head coach Gary Andersen, who adopted a different type of offensive scheme that would have potentially been a better fit for Penniston.
Where Penniston goes next remains to be seen.