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ACC Network launching Hard Knocks-style show going behind the scenes at Clemson

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While most college football programs operate under a veil of secrecy that rivals the Pentagon, that hasn’t really been the case at Clemson under Dabo Swinney. Maybe more impressive is not just the general vibe of the place but how they’ve maintained that fairly open approach while finding nearly unprecedented success on the field with two of the last three national titles.

Now we’re about to get an even better look at what makes the Tigers tick. As announced on Wednesday by ESPN, the upcoming ACC Network will debut a new four-part series called ‘All In: The Clemson Football Family’ starting on August 25.

“As the new home for ACC sports, ACCN is the right place to show Clemson fans just how hard we are working and give them a front-row seat to what we believe makes our program unique,” said Swinney in a release. “I am excited to share some of the special moments from this offseason with Tiger nation – as we all get ready for another great year of Clemson football.”

The show will take place each night from August 25-28 and serve as a ‘Hard Knocks’ style look at the program as they prepare for their season opener against Georgia Tech on, you guessed it, the ACC Network. There will apparently be looks at the practices leading up to the game, various features on players from the summer, player and coach interviews plus behind the scenes looks at team dinners and more.

If that all sounds like a Clemson informercial, that’s because it is and a good reason why the ACC is joining the conference network party. Such shows are not uncommon nowadays as you can find similar things from Pac-12 Networks to Big Ten Network to even online from various school self-productions. What does make things slightly different is the fact that this will all be done in the lead-up to a pretty big conference game (it’s Geoff Collins’ debut with the Yellow Jackets too) and because it’s the defending champs’ first game of the season.

Tigers fans are bound to tune in either way but it does sound like a pretty cool look at Clemson as they embark on a new chapter in 2019.

Here’s a trailer for the series:

Jim Harbaugh on Urban Meyer: “Controversy follows him everywhere he’s been”

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Jim Harbaugh just couldn’t help himself after a relatively quiet this offseason.

The out-spoken Michigan head coach has kept pretty much to himself and not followed through with some of the antics he has typically saved up to keep the Wolverines in the headlines in recent years. There’s been no shirtless strolls through summer camps or celebrating commitments in pools.

But right as Big Ten Media Days kickoff in Chicago this week, the coach is back in the news for comments he’s made about an opponent. Appearing on Bay Area journalist Tim Kawakami’s podcast that was released on Thursday, Harbaugh waded into choppy waters when asked about a former coach he never seemed to beat at a rival Big Ten university.

Urban Meyer’s had a winning record, really a phenomenal record everywhere he’s been,” said Harbaugh. “But also, controversy follows him everywhere he’s been.”

He’s not wrong, to be fair, given incidents at Ohio State and Florida over the years. But given the animosity between the two programs and the two men themselves on and off the field, it’s not hard to see the remarks as a bit of a shot at the out-going rival who is now in the interesting position of commentating on Michigan games for Fox’s new pre-game show.

Harbaugh was at least realistic about how he’s being judged by that 0-4 record against Meyer and the Buckeyes, especially in light of last year’s disastrous 62-39 outing in Columbus and the pressure to not only beat Ohio State, but win the Big Ten and make the College Football Playoff like many predicted when he was hired.

“We welcome the accountability,” Harbaugh added. “You’re judged on your record. What your record is overall, what it is in the conference and what it is head-to-head against other teams. I think Ohio State is the only team that has a better record overall, a better conference record than us and head-to-head matchup against us.”

It was already going to be must-see TV when UM and OSU got together on the last Saturday in November but something says these comments will make the pre-game show for that game even more interesting.

After 15 year fight, ex-coach Jackie Sherrill finally settles case against NCAA

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It took nearly 15 years for Jackie Sherrill to get his court case against the NCAA moving in the right direction and only a few days for the longtime former coach and outspoken critic of the organization to settle.

According to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, attorneys for the two parties confirmed they had reached a private settlement to end a case that was originally filed back in 2004.

“I’m relieved,” Sherrill told the paper after the announcement, “especially after all this time.”

No fan of the NCAA from previous coaching stops at Pitt and Texas A&M, Sherrill retired in 2003 from coaching at Mississippi State after being caught up in recruiting allegations from the NCAA. Subsequent wrangling between all the involved parties eventually produced a lawsuit the following year, with the coach claiming defamation at the hands of the NCAA investigators and even Ole Miss boosters.

The case did not seem to be going well for the folks from Indianapolis based on early testimony so news of a settlement isn’t too surprising.

The 75-year-old coach seemed pleased at the outcome of this week’s proceedings as a result, even if things took a bit longer to get over the hump than first expected.

Neyland Stadium vendor granted alcohol permit, now up to Tennessee for decision on sales

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Tennessee has taken things slow when it comes to the potential for expanded beer and alcohol sales at Neyland Stadium this fall but that doesn’t mean the university isn’t sitting pat.

Quite the contrary actually, as the university received good news on Tuesday when it comes to dotting some I’s and, appropriately, crossing a few T’s as well. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, the Knoxville Beer Board tentatively approved permits for Aramark, the school’s concession company, to sell alcohol at sports venues like Neyland Stadium as soon as next month.

“Aramark receiving the license (pending additional documentation is provided) is one step in a larger process for the university,” a statement from the school said. “UT is moving forward to develop the policy and infrastructure to responsibly sell alcohol in accordance with all applicable laws.”

Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer cautiously said earlier in the week that the school is still in the process of determining how everything will move forward. While all but saying such sales will eventually take place in Knoxville, the ‘when’ part of the equation seems like it’s been the thing that is most up in the air now even if things are not likely to kickoff by the time the season opener arrives on Aug. 31 against Georgia State.

While some expected a rush of schools to announce they would be opening up the taps once the SEC approved of alcohol sales to general seating areas, that has not really been the case. Only Texas A&M and, somewhat so, LSU have announced plans to move forward with sales and we’re already to SEC Media Days this week which means the season is just around the corner.

Like at Tennessee however, there’s still plenty of time for everybody to get things lined up properly before crossing a line many fans have been hoping for the past few months.

Texas A&M defensive tackle reportedly enters transfer portal

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Conference media days popping up around the country is typically a reminder that the football season is just about upon us and fall camp will be here before you know it. Despite where we are on the calendar though, it seems like a few players still want to dabble with transferring out of town.

As first reported by 247Sports, Texas A&M defensive tackle Mohamed Diallo has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal and is exploring an exit from College Station prior to what should be his junior season.

Diallo appeared in just one game for the Aggies in 2018, preserving his redshirt season. Originally from Canada, he got his first taste of college football at the Juco level by spending two seasons at Arizona Western and emerged as a three-star prospect.

“The transfer portal, I think the biggest thing we are getting to whether you transfer, whether you’re in a portal, or transfer, however it goes, the thing about it is I think you have to get consistency on how you rule things and when guys are eligible or not eligible and all that,” head coach Jimbo Fisher remarked on Tuesday at SEC Media Days when asked about transfers, not specifically referring to his defensive tackle. “Guys transfer all of the time. There’s no disrespect or anything in transfers because guys’ situations change and all of that happens, but you have to have a set of rules for this, and I think that’s what we’re getting to, and it will enhance it that much more.”

Diallo held offers from Oregon, Arizona, Ole Miss and a host of others as recruit. It’s possible he could be looking to go North and head a bit closer to home but he might also stay put and try to duke it out at A&M as part of a fairly deep rotation at defensive tackle in College Station.