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Possibility of UAB hosting CUSA title game forces SWAC to move championship game on campus

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It probably speaks to the incredible job that Bill Clark has done in bringing the UAB program back that nobody ever considered this possibility in the first place but the success of the Blazers on the field in 2018 has now forced another league off their field.

UAB currently leads the Conference USA standings at 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the league. If the team has the best record at the end of the season, then they would then host the Conference USA Championship Game at 1:30 p.m. ET on December 1st. The problem with that is the SWAC title game was previously  scheduled months ago for Legion Field, where the Blazers play in Birmingham, just three hours after that time slot.

While there was the possibility of playing both games at the same venue if UAB did wind up hosting, it seems the SWAC was not thrilled with sharing the stage or changing their time/date and announced on Wednesday that they would instead be moving their game on campus instead.

“When the probability to play the SWAC Championship game as part of a doubleheader at Legion Field started to become a reality, we quickly recognized that playing two championship games in one day would not be a viable option.  The conference office then began to proactively seek an alternative site for the championship game,” SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland said in a statement. “The rich tradition and heritage of our conference requires us to showcase its’ unique legacy with this game in a way that allows us to maximize game atmosphere, overall attendance, all while having it featured as the premier attraction.  It was clear that sharing the venue with UAB on that day would diminish our attempts at achieving those objectives.

“After considering many of these critical factors we came to the decision that the best course of action for the league was to move the 2018 SWAC Championship game on campus to the highest-ranking institution that qualifies for the championship game.”

The 2018 SWAC Championship Game will still take place on Saturday, December 1st at 4:30 pm ET and will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Braden White named prestigious 12th Man at Texas A&M

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The 12th Man is a big, big deal at Texas A&M. In fact, it’s pretty much the brand of not just the football program, but the entire athletics department. Case in point, A&M’s athletics department website is 12thman.com.

For the uninitiated, in 1922 the Aggies found themselves short of players in a football game against Center College, the No. 1 team in the country at the time, after multiple players sustained injuries over the course of the game. Down to just 11 players, A&M student E. King Gill volunteered to suit up and stand on the sidelines in case the team needed him. Gill now has a statue outside of Kyle Field, and A&M’s student section is collectively referred to as the 12th Man.

As such, it’s a tremendous honor for an active Aggie player to be awarded the No. 12 and, after fullback Cullen Gillaspia donned the jersey for a record-tying 39 games, it’s time to hand it off to a new player.

On Tuesday, Jimbo Fisher awarded the No. 12 jersey to Braden White, a walk-on linebacker from Florence, Ala.

“I’m honored just to be able to represent this great university and everything about it,” White said. “It’s a true blessing.”

White is a redshirt junior who has checked all the boxes of a player who checks all the 12th Man boxes. He was named Defensive Scout Team MVP during his redshirt year of 2016 and was honored as the Top Conditioned Athlete at the Aggies’ 2018 team banquet. He has appeared in 18 career games, recording 16 career tackles playing primarily as a special teams contributor.

White will wear No. 12 for the first time next when Texas A&M — ranked, ironically, No. 12 in the preseason AP poll — hosts Texas State next Thursday night (8:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network).

UConn begins building out independent schedules with BC home-and-home

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Until they tell us otherwise, Connecticut is going to try to make it as an FBS independent. This upcoming season will be the Huskies’ final one as a member of the American Athletic Conference, as the Huskies’ Olympic sports will return to the Big East and the football team will go it alone.

This will require lots (and lots and lots) of scheduling work, and quickly. As of now, the Huskies have four games on the schedule for a season that begins 12 months from now.

While it does nothing to help the 2020 slate, UConn began chipping away at the mountain in front of it on Wednesday by announcing a home-and-home with Boston College. The first game will be Oct. 29, 2022 in Storrs, with the return game going down Oct. 28, 2023 in Chestnut Hill.

The two programs have met 14 times previously; BC leads the series 12-0-2. The Eagles took the most recent meeting 39-16 in 2017.

Additionally, BC announced a 2023-28 home-and-home with Army and a Sept. 9, 2023 home game with Holy Cross.

Safety graduate transfers from Penn State to Pitt

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Penn State safety Johnny Petrishen has left State College for Pittsburgh, where he is now a Panther.

Petrishen announced the transfer on Tuesday evening, and Pitt confirmed his addition on Wednesday morning.

Petrishen has two years of eligibility remaining thanks — if you want to use that term — to two medical redshirts.

A Lower Burrell, Pa., native, Petrishen appeared in 17 career games as a Nittany Lion, including all 13 last season. Primarily a special teams player, he posted eight career tackles and one TFL in State College.

NC State transfer Tim Kidd-Glass tweets move to Liberty

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Hugh Freeze may be dealing with what was a significant health issue, but he’s still working his first-year roster at Liberty.

On his personal Twitter account Tuesday evening, Tim Kidd-Glass announced that he “would like to thank God for allowing me to have another opportunity to further my football career… at Liberty University.” The announcement comes a couple of weeks after the safety triggered a move from North Carolina State by entering his name into the NCAA transfer database.

As a graduate transfer, Kidd-Glass will be eligible to play for the Flames in 2019.

The past three seasons, the Virginia native played in 33 games for the Wolfpack.  He started nine of those contests, all of which came during the 2017 season.