LOS ANGELES — Pac-12 After Dark has turned into a cult following in recent years late on Saturday nights during the football season but that could change in a big way on the sun dial for fans based on early conversations the league has had with its television partners.
The conference confirmed they have had preliminary discussions with Fox about having a Pac-12 game kickoff at 9 a.m. PT/noon ET as soon as this season in order to help alleviate night kickoffs and explore a new TV window to maximize exposure on the East Coast. While there would be at most one or two games after Week 3 that would even be eligible (and Mountain Time Zone schools like Utah and Colorado would be chief candidates), it certainly sounds like there’s a real possibility of it happening.
“We’ve discussed it recently. That would be new and out of the box for our conference but I’ve tried to put everything on the table. There’s a lot of frustration from fans in certain markets to the late night kicks,” commissioner Larry Scott told NBC Sports. “I’d like to see one or two games this season that are 12 noon (ET) kicks be Pac-12 games and see what markets might respond positively to that.”
Scott has only begun to feel out the league’s athletic directors about the idea, which he notes would be completely voluntary for the schools involved. Fans out West have been vocal about having too many nighttime kickoffs in the 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. PT windows, which comprise roughly a third of the league’s schedule on a college football Saturday.
“They could kickoff at 6 a.m. The hardest thing if you’re a college football player, is when you wake up and have to wait until 7 o’ clock at night,” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly added. “We don’t control our schedule and when we kickoff so tell us when we’re kicking off and where it is, and we’ll be there. If he wants us to play at 9 a.m., we’ll play at 9.”
The unusual idea is not without pushback already those within the league footprint but does coincide with a recent push by Fox to make a much bigger deal about the noon ET window with their college football coverage.
So get ready Pac-12 fans, because mimosas and mike linebackers is coming to your city soon enough.
Even as the off-field aspect was cleared up for one member of the Texas Longhorns football program, there’s still no clarity as it relates to him getting back onto the field. And likely won’t be clarified for a few months.
In August, Joshua Moore was arrested on a charge of unlawful carrying of a weapon. Thursday, the wide receiver pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor weapons charge. Moore avoided jail time with the plea, with the Austin American-Statesman writing that “[t]he deferred adjudication agreement states [Judge Nancy] Hohengarten will not enter a guilty finding if Moore stays out of further legal trouble over the next year, completes 60 hours of community service and fulfills any counseling conditions the probation department recommends.”
Because of the off-field situation, Moore was not permitted to play in games for Texas Longhorns football last season. He was, though, allowed to practice with the rest of his UT teammates.
A Texas Longhorns football official stated after the player’s plea that a decision on whether Moore will be permitted to play in games in 2020 won’t be determined until closer to the season kicking off.
A four-star 2018 signee, Moore played in the first six games as a true freshman before going down with a season-ending shoulder injury. In that half-season of work, the 6-1, 180-pound receiver totaled 53 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions.
If he’s cleared to play in games — the odds are very much in his favor, provided he doesn’t violate the terms of his plea agreement — Moore is expected to take on a bigger role in the Texas Longhorns football passing game in 2020.
Karl Dorrell‘s first Colorado football coaching staff will have a decidedly Mel Tucker feel to it.
Feb. 12, Tucker left Colorado football to take over as the head coach at Michigan State. Eleven days later, Dorrell was the surprise hire as Tucker’s replacement. Dorrell’s first hirings four days his official hiring will actually be retentions as the program announced that four of Tucker’s former assistants will remain as part of the new coaching staff.
Those four are:
- Darrin Chiaverini (wide receivers coach/assistant head coach under Tucker)
- Darian Hagan (running backs coach)
- Brian Michalowski (outside linebackers)
- Tyson Summers (defensive coordinator/safeties)
According to the release from Colorado football, the holdovers’ “exact responsibilities will be determined once the remaining six assistant positions are filled, which Dorrell hopes to conclude sometime early next week.” It’s believed that Chiaverini will serve as Dorrell’s offensive coordinator, although, obviously, that hasn’t yet been confirmed.
“It’s always important if you can maintain some continuity during a coaching change,” the new Colorado football head coach said in a statement. “I’ve been around enough college and professional teams where doing so offers some stability. I had great conversations with all four and while I haven’t determined their exact roles as of yet, I am excited that we share the same goals and vision for the program. I am excited about all four and am looking forward to working with them.”
Both Chiaverini and Hagans have been a part of the Colorado football program for the past four seasons. Both Summers and Michalowski were in their first years in Boulder.
Prior to his departure for East Lansing, Tucker had just completed his first season in Boulder, going 5-7. Since a 10-4 2016 season, the Buffaloes have gone 5-7 each of the past three seasons. That 2016 season is the program’s only winning record since 2005.
Another day, another football staff change with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama added former NFL linebacker Max Bullough to the football staff as a graduate assistant.
Bullough was actually on the staff at Cincinnati last season as a graduate assistant. Bullough got his coaching career undwrway with the Bearcats in 2019 a year after his last dip in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns. Bullough originally signed wiht the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2014.
Bullough did not play for Nick Saban in college, although the former Michigan State Spartans did play for a former Saban assistant, Mark Dantonio. With the Spartans, Bullough was part of two Big Ten championship runs in 2010 and 2013. In the 2010 season, Bullough and Michigan State lost to Saban’s Alabama in the Capital One Bowl, 49-7. In 2013, Bullough and Michigan State upset No. 2 Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game, 34-24, to hand former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer his first loss with the Buckeyes. The win sent Michigan State to the Rose Bowl, where they were victorious over Stanford.
Alabama recently lost long-time strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran to an on-field coaching role at Georgia. The Tide also lost soecial teams coordinator Joe Houston to the New England Patriots. Alabama did add former Louisville, Texas, and USF head coach Charlie Strong as a defensive analyst. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian ended up sticking around and offensive analyst Butch Jones has been promoted to special assistant to the head coach.
If the full rollout of the 2020 Mountain West Conference schedule wasn’t enough to satisfy you, Fresno State kept the MWC schedule news humming with some additional non-conference bookings for future seasons.
On Thursday, Fresno State announced a handful of future scheduling agreements with Kansas, Texas Tech, Washington, Washington State, BYU, and New Mexico State. The Bulldogs will play a road game at Washington in 2027 and a home game against New Mexico State in 2024, bu all of the other scheduling agreement sin place will be either a home-and-home series or a 2-for-1 deal with Fresno State getting one home game against a power conference opponent.
Fresno State’s three-game series with Kansas will begin in 2025 and be spread out until 2031. Kansas will host Fresno State on Aug. 23, 2025 (hello there, early start to college football season!) and again on Aug. 23, 2031 (another early start to the season!). Fresno State will host Kansas on Aug. 25, 2029. Also in 2029, Fresno State will begin a three-game series with Texas Tech with a home game on Sept. 15, 2029. Fresno State will play the remaining two games against the Red Raiders on the road on Sept. 7, 2030 and again on Sept. 11, 2032.
Fresno State’s series with Washington State kicks off in Pullman on Sept. 19, 2026 and concludes the following season in Fresno on Sept. 18, 2027. Earlier in 2027, Fresno State will visit Washington on Sept. 4, 2027.
Fresno State will host BYU on Nov. 8, 2025. BYU will host Fresno State two years later on Oct. 9, 2027. Fresno State will host New Mexico State on Oct. 5, 2024.