Urban Meyer to retire as Ohio State’s head coach

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And the biggest domino of the 2018-18 college coaching carousel has fallen.

Late last month, it was reported that Urban Meyer would address his coaching future following the Big Ten championship game.  While that report suggested Meyer would coach the 2019 season before stepping down, that won’t be the case as Ohio State confirmed Tuesday morning that the 54-year-old Meyer will retire from coaching following the Buckeyes’ appearance in this season’s Rose Bowl game New Year’s Day.

Additionally, the football program announced that Ryan Day, who served as acting head coach for the first three games of the 2018 season while Meyer was suspended, will be named as OSU’s next head football coach.

Meyer, Day and athletic director Gene Smith will conduct a 2 p.m. press conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the developments.

It had been reported in late October that there was “friction” between 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 had 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 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 earlier this season.

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 a growing number of observers wondered aloud how much longer Meyer will remain as The Head Coach at The Ohio State.

It has been previously reported that OSU was discussing making the 39-year-old Day, who drew near-universal praise for his handling of the Buckeyes during Meyer’s suspension, a de facto head coach-in-waiting; Smith subsequently addressed the situation without really addressing it.

In nearly seven full seasons as the head coach of the Buckeyes, Meyer has gone 82-9, winning 10 or more games in each of his first six seasons; the Buckeyes are 9-1 with Meyer as the head coach in 2018 and can get a 10th win by beating Washington in the Granddaddy of Them All next month.  OSU has won outright or shared seven division titles, three Big Ten championships and one national championship.  And, of course, Meyer beat hated rival Michigan all seven times he faced them, including the last three with Jim Harbaugh as head coach.

An Ohio native who played his college football at Cincinnati, Meyer’s first coaching job at the collegiate level came as a graduate assistant on Earle Bruce‘s OSU staff in 1986-87.  He was the wide receivers coach at Notre Dame from 1996-2000 before moving on to his first head-coaching job, directing Bowling Green from 2001-02 before leaving for the same post at Utah.

After two years with the Utes, Meyer moved on to Florida for the next six seasons.  After winning a pair of national championships in Gainesville, Meyer informed his family in December of 2009 that he was stepping down as the head coach of the Florida Gators; less than 24 hours later, he had stepped back up as the head coach of the Florida Gators.  A year after that flurry of events, and amidst health concerns, Meyer stepped down for good, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

In late November of 2011, after spending that season as a college football analyst at ESPN, Meyer was officially announced as the 24th head coach in Ohio State history.

Assuming he actually is through with coaching this time around, Meyer’s Hall of Fame career will end with a 186-32 record.  His .853 winning percentage is the highest all-time for coaches with at least 200 games on their résumé; only a pair of Notre Dame head coaches — Knute Rockne (105-12-5, .881) and Frank Leahy (107-13-9, .864) — had a higher winning percentage after coaching 100-plus games.

USC makes hiring of Virginia’s Vic So’oto official

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The massive renovation of Clay Helton’s USC football coaching staff has taken another official step.

Last week, it was reported that USC was expected to poach Vic So’oto from Virginia.  As Clint Sintim‘s hiring as So’oto’s replacement was announced a few days later, the latter’s move to the Trojans was a mere formality.

Tuesday, USC football confirmed So’oto’s addition to Clay Helton’s staff.  As he did with the ‘Hoos, So’oto will serve as the Trojans’ defensive line coach.

The 32-year-old So’oto was the line coach at Virginia for the past three seasons.  Prior to that, he was a defensive graduate assistant at the ACC program.

So’oto played his college football at BYU, ending his four-year career in 2010.  After his NFL career ended, So’oto began his collegiate coaching career as a football intern at his alma mater.

For those unaware, So’oto is the second cousin of USC football legend Junior Seau.

LSU confirms hiring of Scott Linehan as new passing-game coordinator

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LSU football has officially replaced one of the hottest young coaches in the sport.

Not long after LSU football claimed the 2019 national championship, Joe Brady left to take over as the offensive coordinator for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Earlier this month, it was reported that Scott Linehan was expected to be hired as Brady’s successor.

Tuesday, LSU confirmed that Linehan has indeed been named by Ed Orgeron as the Tigers’ new passing-game coordinator. The 56-year-old Linehan has spent the past 17 seasons he’s been a coach at the NFL level.

Linehan was out of coaching this past season.

“Scott brings a wealth of knowledge to our offense,” the LSU football head coach said in a statement. “We wanted to bring in someone who will expand our passing game and with Scott’s experience as an NFL head coach and offensive coordinator we feel this is the best move for our offense. After talking to numerous people with NFL experience and interviewing Scott we knew he was the right fit for the LSU Tigers.”

In 13 of those seasons in the NFL, Linehan served as an offensive coordinator.

  • Dallas Cowboys, 2015-18
  • Detroit Lions, 2009-13
  • Miami Dolphins, 2005
  • Minnesota Vikings, 2002-04

In the other four NFL seasons in which he wasn’t a coordinator, Linehan was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2006-08) and passing-game coordinator for the Cowboys (2014).

Linehan’s last job at the collegiate level came as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Louisville (1999-2001). From 1996-98, he was the coordinator at Washington.

American announces 2020 schedule

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The American Athletic Conference will again play football in 2020, the conference confirmed on Tuesday.

The American revealed its 2020 conference schedule, a 44-game slate that completes the 88 total games AAC teams will play in 2020. As a reminder, UConn is no longer an American member, meaning the conference will have 11 football-playing members for the foreseeable future. All 11 teams will still play an 8-game league schedule, and the conference will still hold a title game.

The 2020 season will also be the conference’s first under the new rights agreement it struck with ESPN in March. As such, at least 40 American home games will be shown on the ESPN family of networks, and at least half of those will be on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. The conference will play a total of 12 games on Thursday or Friday nights.

“We are excited to announce our 2020 schedule as we enter the next phase of our longstanding relationship with ESPN,” said commissioner Mike Aresco. “With the continued success our schools have had, I have no doubt that we will once again provide our fans, and ESPN, with compelling matchups throughout the season in both conference and nonconference play. We look forward to another outstanding season of American Athletic Conference football.”

The season will begin on Saturday, Aug. 29 when Navy “hosts” Notre Dame at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. That game will be shown on ESPN with College GameDay in tow as part of the network’s season kick-off effort. While the full schedule can be viewed here, highlights include:

  • North Carolina at UCF, Sept. 4 (Friday)
  • South Florida at Texas, Sept. 5
  • Temple at Miami, Sept. 5
  • Houston at Washington State, Sept. 12
  • Cincinnati at Nebraska, Sept. 26
  • TCU at SMU, Sept. 26
  • Memphis at SMU, Oct. 1 (Thursday)
  • UCF at Memphis, Oct. 16 (Friday)
  • Memphis at Cincinnati, Oct. 31
  • Memphis at Navy, Nov. 14
  • Cincinnati at UCF, Nov. 21
  • UCF at South Florida, Nov. 27 (Friday)

The 2020 American season will conclude with the sixth annual American Championship on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Ohio State CB Sevyn Banks to wear No. 7

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George Costanza was never much of a college football fan. He was a New Yorker, after all. But he was a fan of the No. 7, and so he would have a new favorite college football player in 2020.

A product of Orlando’s Jones High School, Sevyn Banks has been a member of Ohio State’s defensive backfield since 2018. The former 4-star recruit has received limited playing time in the Buckeyes’ loaded defensive backfield, but figures to compete for a starting spot in 2020.

And now he’ll do so in his namesake number.

Banks announced Monday he will switch from No. 12 to No. 7 for the upcoming season.

The No. 7 had been claimed by linebacker Teradja Mitchell, who is now switching to No. 3, opening No. 7 for, well, Sevyn.

Banks appeared in all 14 games for Ohio State last season, collecting 11 tackles and one interception.

He’ll hope to get more burn in 2020, with some support from a fictional New Yorker.