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Inter-conference playoff part of proposed Big 12/Pac-12 scheduling alliance

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We know the proposed Big 12/Pac-12 scheduling alliance is not going to happen. There are a million reasons why it won’t, but the important thing to note is that it’s definitely not happening. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd on Thursday spoke to a Big 12 official on the topic of former Kansas State president Jon Wefald‘s idea to have the Big 12’s entire non-conference slate include nothing but Pac-12 opponents to see if it was actually going to be considered, who said, “Not at all.”

Dodd was able to get his hands on the full, 11-page proposal, and included in there was some interesting food for thought for all scheduling nerds (like myself). Wefald boiled his idea down to 10 bullet points, and No. 7 is really interesting (yes, the full report is in all caps):

AT THE END OF THE SCHEDULED GAMES, THE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS FROM THE BIG 12 AND THE PAC 12 COULD PLAY A GAME FOR THE INTER LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP. THERE ALSO COULD BE A SCENARIO WHERE THE NO. 1 TEAM IN THE BIG 12 WOULD PLAY THE NO. 2 TEAM FROM THE PAC 12 AND VICE VERSA WITH THE TWO WINNERS PLAYING FOR THE OVERALL CHAMPIONSHIP. THIS ALSO WOULD ASSURE FAR MORE TV FUNDS FROM THE CABLE AND NATIONAL NETWORKS.

So, all 10 Big 12 teams would devote all three of their non-conference games to Pac-12 opponents, and vice versa (six Pac-12 non-conference games would go unaccounted for in this proposal, since the Pac-12 has two more teams than its eastern counterpart). Each school would then play a 9-game conference schedule, and then turn around and play one (or perhaps two) games against the other conference in an inter-conference four-team playoff, whose championship game would alternate between the Rose Bowl and AT&T Stadium.

Obviously, this would be a seismic shock to the college football ecosystem. The entire schedule would have to be adjusted to make room for a 14th regular season game, and the lucky winner of the Big 12/Pac-12 alliance would then have the opportunity to play a 15th and 16th game in the College Football Playoff.

Those three words would be the stopper right there. There are a million logistical and logical obstacles to this idea (what happens if the championship game is two Big 12 teams and the title game is at the Rose Bowl?), such a brutal slog where Big 12/Pac-12 teams play 14 Power 5 opponents and the SEC champion plays 10 is a complete non-starter for every AD, coach and president who actually pays attention to college football as it’s played today. Even if the Big 12/Pac-12 champion was guaranteed one of the four golden tickets, that team would be so beaten down they’d have no actual chance to win the thing. (Counterpoint: no Big 12 or Pac-12 team has won a national title since 2005 Texas anyway.)

The Wefald Way (as I’m dubbing it here) is an interesting idea — in a pre-BCS/CFP world.

Back in the poll-and-bowl era, it would have made lots of sense for, say, the Big Ten and Pac-12 to pool their media rights, schedule as many September games as possible against the other, get the Rose Bowl on board, then sell those broadcast rights to a partner who would then clear their Saturday schedules for weekly Big Ten/Pac-12 doubleheaders. Think about it: Penn State at Michigan at 3:30 Eastern, USC at Oregon at 7… this Saturday on NBC! 

But the poll-and-bowl era is dead and gone, and we’re now in the game’s Championship Era. The best teams are still crowned by a consensus of voters, and those voters have shown that minimizing your losses is the safest path to the Playoff, not maximizing your victories. Because of that, the Wefald Way, interesting as it may read on paper, was dead on arrival.

Report: Ex-FSU QB Deondre Francois to walk on at FAU

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Months after contemplating his future, former Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois will walk-on with the FAU Owls. According to a report from 247 Sports, Francois will attempt to enroll at FAU as soon as possible to begin the process of officially joining Lane Kiffin and the Owls.

Francois was dismissed by Florida State in February by head coach Willie Taggart, with the second-year head coach of the Seminoles attempting to improve the culture of his latest football program. Francois has been cleared of a domestic assault accusation in Jan. 2018, and he had previously had a legal issue involving suspected possession of marijuana. A video shared by Francois’s girlfriend showed a man threatening her, with the man said to have been Francois One day after being dismissed by Florida State, Francois was officially entered in the NCAA transfer portal to begin weighing his options for his future.

Kiffin is no stranger to giving players another chance to play FBS football. He has been making a habit of it during his brief time in Boca Raton with the Owls. Kiffin has welcomed players from troubled pasts to build his depth on the roster, including former Oklahoma quarterback Chris Robison and a number of players who appeared in the Netflix documentary “Last Chance U.”  Kiffin has been actively adding players via transfers on top of his normal recruiting efforts and the plan has worked with a Conference USA title in 2017 and a team seemingly capable of making another run to the conference title in 2019.

That is why it may seem odd that Kiffin took a bit of a jab at the transfer portal earlier in the offseason, calling it a “sexy thing to do” for players. As it turns out, however, Kiffin may have just landed another potential starting quarterback through the transfer portal.

Francois played in 11 games for Florida State in 2018, passing for 2,731 yards and 15 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

LSU CB Kelvin Joseph reportedly plunges into transfer portal

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LSU cornerback Kelvin Joseph entered the transfer portal on Monday morning, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Joseph is a surprise entry, given that the 4-star recruit and Baton Rouge native is just a sophomore. He appeared in five games as a true freshman in 2018 — meaning he cannot use the season as a redshirt — collecting 12 tackles with one pass breakup.

He was expected to compete with incoming freshman Derek Stingley, Jr. for a starting job opposite Kristian Fulton this fall. With Fulton out due to injury, Joseph and Stingley started LSU’s spring game.

Entering the portal does not guarantee Joseph will leave, and he is still free to return as long as LSU will have him. Joseph was suspended for a violation of team rules from LSU’s Fiesta Bowl win over Central Florida, but, again, he did start the spring game, indicating he’s on good standing with Ed Orgeron and the LSU staff.

Mother’s death forces Purdue RB Evan Anderson to leave team

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Purdue running back Evan Anderson has left the team, head coach Jeff Brohm told Gold and Black.

A member of Purdue’s 2018 signing class, Anderson redshirted last season, then had a proverbial bomb go off in his life that took precedence over football and school.

“His mother passed away,” said Brohm told the site. “That set him back, that hurt him. It hurt all of us. It was a bad situation. We felt for him. He missed a lot of school, he missed a lot of practice. I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but his family situation was important to him. It was a rough, rough semester on him–and understandably so.”

A 3-star recruit, Anderson is a native of Suwanee, Ga. Should he desire to continue his college football career, he figures to be a shoe-in for an NCAA hardship waiver if he transfers closer to home.

In less important matters, Anderson’s departure leaves a hole on Purdue’s running back depth chart. The Boilermakers’ top two running backs were seniors, and their third-leading rusher was wide receiver Rondale Moore. The Boilers’ leading returning rusher is sophomore Alexander Horvath, who carried all of nine times in 2018. Six runners, including two incoming freshmen, will fight for carries in fall camp, but Anderson will not be one of them.

Brock Huard leaving ESPN for Fox

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After 12 years at ESPN, Brock Huard is leaving to become the No. 2 college football analyst for Fox.

The news was first reported by the New York Post, then confirmed by Huard himself on his radio show in Seattle.

“I’m leaving there and getting an opportunity, a huge opportunity, and as big of a bummer as it is leaving ESPN, it’s as huge of a gift and an opportunity to join Fox on their college football broadcasts and join Joe Davis, who I worked with way back when on one of his first games when he filled in for Mark Jones,” Huard said, via Awful Announcing. “And I knew then this dude is talented, really good, they’ve got an incredible crew.”

Huard (right) will replace Brady Quinn, who join’s Fox’s revamped pre-game show, which now features Reggie Bush and Urban Meyer alongside Rob Stone and Matt Leinart, in addition to Quinn.

The former Washington quarterback worked alongside play-by-play man Bob Wischusen and sideline reporter Allison Williams on ESPN’s No. 5 crew. Florida’s win over Michigan in the Peach Bowl will now mark Huard’s final game at ESPN.

Fox revealed at its upfront presentation to advertisers that it will put its top games in the noon ET window, a clear attempt to build off its beefed-up pre-game show and to avoid fierce competition with CBS’s SEC package at 3:30 ET and ABC’s Saturday Night Football at 6:30 ET. This means Fox’s No. 1 crew of Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt will spend most, if not all, of their time in Big Ten and Big 12 country, so it stands to reason Huard will spend much of his fall on his native West Coast doing Pac-12 games later in the day.