In not so surprising news, West Virginia is hoping to have a new head coach for the football program within days. According to a report from MetroNews, the WVU Athletics Director Shane Lyons would ideally like to have a replacement for Dana Holgorsen, who was whisked away by Houston, by the weekend.
“We’re going to be thorough, but at the same time, we’re going to be swift,” Lyons said.
The good news for West Virginia fans is Lyons was able to get a jump on the coaching search process, which has now reportedly included formal interviews with Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell, Troy head coach Neal Brown, and West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson. This is because the speculation Holgorsen was going to leave the program for Houston was running rampant enough as Houston waited out the drop in Holgorsen’s buyout to fall to $1 million on January 1. Even though Lyons knew nothing could become official at Houston until the drop in the buyout and Houston took care of some formalities behind the scenes, Lyons was aware of the need to be acting on a search.
It can always be tricky having to conduct a coaching search this time of the year because the coaching carousel had mostly come to a rest, however, Fickell and Brown are intriguing candidates that are more than likely going to one-day get an opportunity to coach at a power conference. Fickell has had one year coaching a power conference program when he was named the interim head coach at Ohio State following the dismissal of former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel and prior to the hiring of the now former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.
Fickell’s one season as a head coach at Ohio State was a challenge and the Buckeyes went 6-7, but six years later he got his first chance to become a head coach again at Cincinnati. In two years at Cincinnati, Fickell brought the Bearcats back to being one of the top programs in the AAC with a record of 11-2 this past season. Brown has just wrapped up his fourth season as head coach at Troy with a cumulative record of 35-16 and three straight bowl victories.
From the outside, it seems as if Mark Richt is the most relaxed, stress-free person in the entire college football universe. In 18 seasons as the head coach at Georgia and Miami, Richt had an inner peace and perspective that never seemed to let the stresses of the job get to him in the way it did most other coaches or people in similar high-stakes gigs.
Now, he’s very much living that retired multi-millionaire life.
That’s why it was so surprising when Richt announced Monday he suffered a heart attack earlier this morning.
“I am assuming word travels fast,” he tweeted. “So I wanted to be able to inform everyone that I did have a heart attack this morning. I am doing fine. As I went through the experience I had peace knowing I was going to heaven but I was going to miss my wife. I plan to be at work this week.”
While Monday’s news was obviously frightening, it’s comforting to know Richt survived and will hopefully be around to eat many, many more cheese balls on the beach.
The Football Championship Subdivision recently made a coordinated, nationwide push for ESPN’s “College GameDay” to pay its brand of football more attention. That push has quickly paid off.
ESPN announced Sunday that “GameDay” will make its first ever visit to Brookings, S.D., as No. 3 South Dakota State hosts No. 1 North Dakota State. The Jackrabbits are 6-1 this season, losing only to FBS No. 17 Minnesota 28-21 to open the season and then running off six straight victories by an average of 24.3 points. North Dakota State is 7-0 on the season with four victories over FCS top-20 opponents.
South Dakota State should send flowers to Wisconsin, who lost to Illinois ahead of their visit to No. 3 Ohio State, to Michigan, who lost to Penn State before hosting No. 8 Notre Dame, and to ESPN for their recent visit to Baton Rouge, making a return visit for No. 9 Auburn at No. 2 LSU seem too redundant.
“GameDay” last visited an FCS site on Oct. 14, 2017, as No. 1 James Madison hosted Villanova.
Saturday will mark North Dakota State’s third “GameDay” appearance, passing Harvard for the most among FCS teams. The Bison won both of their previous appearances, a 51-0 drubbing of Delaware State on Sept. 21, 2013, and a 58-0 blowout of Incarnate Word on Sept. 13, 2014.
Because of an off-field issue, South Carolina’s depth in the secondary has been pared a bit.
Friday, Jamel Cook was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree domestic violence. Other than he was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim or return to the location of the alleged incident, details surrounding the arrest and charge have not yet been divulged.
Early Sunday, the Gamecocks confirmed that Cook had been indefinitely suspended for violating unspecified team rules. Later that day, Will Muschamp announced that the redshirt junior has been dismissed from his football program.
“[That’s] all I’m going to say about that,” Coach Gump added.
Cook was originally a four-star member of the Left Coast USC’s 2016 signing class, rated as the No. 17 player at any position in the state of Florida. He played in three games in two years for the Trojans before transferring to the Gamecocks following the 2017 season. Because of NCAA transfer rules, the defensive back was forced to sit out the 2018 season.
This year, Cook had appeared in one game prior to his off-field issues.
That’ll teach him. They hope.
In the third quarter of Clemson’s 35-point win over Louisville Saturday night, Tigers cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. was involved in a punt-return kerfuffle with Cardinals defensive back Trenell Troutman that ended with Booth, after he had taken him to the ground, punching Troutman. The fracas resulted in Booth being ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Following the game, head coach Dabo Swinney apologized to his UofL counterpart, Scott Satterfield, for what he described as unacceptable, disappointing behavior.
Sunday, Swinney stated that the punishment phase for Booth commenced almost immediately, and commenced in a very unique way.
“He had a long bus ride home last night and plenty of time to think about it,” Swinney said, confirming that Booth rode the managers’ bus back to Clemson instead of flying home with the rest of his teammates.
For those keeping score at home, it’s a roughly seven-hour drive from Louisville to Clemson via an automobile, and likely longer if you’re taking a bus. Taking a plane, it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of an hour and a half.
In addition to the bus ride, Swinney also stated that Booth will be subject to additional, unspecified in-house sanctions.