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


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):


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.

Lane Kiffin confirmed ex-Florida State QB Deondre Francois won’t be transferring to FAU

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As expected, Deondre Francois’ winding college football journey won’t be leading him to one Conference USA school as his next stop.

In late May, it was reported that Francois would be walking on at Florida Atlantic and playing for Lane Kiffin‘s Owls; a month later, it was reported that Francois likely wouldn’t be joining the Owls as a walk-on, scholarship player or otherwise.  In officially putting this particular subject to bed, Kiffin confirmed late last week that the quarterback will not be transferring into his FAU program.

Instead, it’s still expected that Francois will continue his playing career at the FCS level, although that has yet to be confirmed.

Earlier this offseason, Florida State announced that Francois had been dismissed from the football program after a social media post brought to light an alleged domestic incident between the quarterback and his ex-girlfriend. A day later, the alleged victim in that incident posted an apology on her Instagram account, stating that the release “of the video was to scare him” and that she was seeking “closure and attention from him after we broke up but I couldn’t get it from him. The only way to get his attention was through Instagram and spiteful actions.”

Not long after that apology was released, however, the alleged victim’s Instagram account was deleted. Shortly after that, the woman’s sister took to the same social media site and claimed that her sibling’s Instagram account had been hacked, intimating that the apology that was posted was fake.

The Tallahassee Police Department subsequently determined that there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue domestic-violence charges against Francois.  The one-time starting quarterback for the Seminoles went on to enter his name into the NCAA transfer database not long after his dismissal was confirmed.

After winning ACC Rookie of the Year honors in 2016, Francois suffered a season-ending knee injury against Alabama the following year.  Francois was the starter for the vast majority of the 2018 season, missing one game in early November because of a concussion.  In his 11 starts as a redshirt junior, he completed just over 57 percent of his passes for 2,2731 yards, 15 touchdowns and a dozen interceptions.
After considering leaving FSU for the draft in December — but only if the NFL evaluations weren’t favorable — it was confirmed the following month that Francois would remain at the collegiate level.

Mike Gundy delivered all-time line to son about how he’ll be coached at Oklahoma State

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Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy can drop some good zingers at any given moment. But his son, Gunnar Gundy, was on the receiving end of one of the all-time lines that is incredibly difficult to respond to.

When asked about the possibility of coaching his son at Oklahoma State, the head coach of the Cowboys stressed he would coach Gunnar just as he would any other player in the program. That means no preferential treatment even though there is a family bond in place. That is when Riley took the idea to another level.

As transcribed by The Oklahoman;

“When asked how he would coach his son, Gunnar, if the situation arose: “I told him, if you come to Oklahoma State, I’ll coach you like I do everybody else… If you’re the best player, you’ll play. If not, you won’t play — even though I’m sleeping with your mom.”

That is quite the classic recruiting sales pitch from the head coach of the Pokes. It’s certainly not a recruiting pitch that would work any other recruit. Or is it? We’ll stray from traveling down that path for now.

Gunnar Gundy is entering his senior year of high school football. As you would probably suspect, Oklahoma State is considered to be one of the favorites to land the quarterback. Gunnar could potentially follow in his father’s footsteps in Stillwater, as the current head coach is also a former quarterback for Oklahoma State.

Helmet sticker to Pistols Firing.

Matt Rhule doesn’t let stolen truck stop him from sticking to his schedule

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Baylor head coach Matt Rhule had a rough weekend. The head coach of the Bears had his truck stolen from the parking lot of a hotel. But rest assured, Rhule made it known that would not prevent him from getting to where he needed to be.

Rhule took to Twitter with a message to the party responsible for his stolen truck, confirming he would still find a way to attend an event organized by the Texas High School Coaches Association at Rice University.

As promised by Rhule, he made it to the event in Houston.

But it wasn’t just a truck that was stolen from Rhule either. Inside the truck was a set of golf clubs that didn’t belong to him, as noted by Baylor assistant coach Joey McGuire.

There is no indication at this time if the truck has or will be recovered. The same goes for the golf clubs. In the meantime, Rhule will have to keep on going about his business as he prepares for a new college football season with Baylor.

DJ Durkin resurfaces at Atlanta Falcons training camp

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DJ Durkin has rarely been seen, at least in the football sense, since Halloween, when he was fired by Maryland’s board one day after being reinstated. He briefly appeared as a consultant at Alabama, a move Nick Saban was forced to immediately defend, and not a peep has been heard from Durkin sense.

Until Monday.

The Atlanta Falcons have brought the disgraced coach aboard as a guest coach for training camp, the team has announced.

Durkin and Falcons head coach Dan Quinn worked together at Florida, where the latter was Will Muschamp‘s defensive coordinator and Durkin the special teams coordinator. Quinn coached with Durkin in 2011-12 before leaving for the same job with the Seattle Seahawks; Durkin was promoted to serve as Quinn’s replacement.

Asked by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution if he had any reservations about brining in Durkin, Quinn said, “I didn’t probably because I know who the person is having coached with him before. So, I knew his background as a defensive coach and special teams. By doing our due diligence from there. … An unfortunate situation, of course, but as far as eyes to look at the defense to help us, I definitely knew the advantage of that.”

The team said Durkin will watch practice for 10 days and consult with the Falcons’ coaching staff; he will not have any direct interaction with players.

“I know DJ first hand,” Quinn said. “I know what he is as a coach. I know what his character is. We did all of our due diligence, calling everybody at Maryland and had our own follow up.”