Say it ain’t so, Mickey.
Along with Lee Corso, one of the constants you can count on seeing when you turn on ESPN‘s College GameDay Saturday mornings during the college football season is the Washington State flag flying somewhere in the crowd, regardless of from where the show originates. Ol’ Crimson first appeared around the GameDay set in Austin on Oct. 4, 2003, and has made it to every show since, a streak of 224 straight appearances.
Unfortunately, there is some serious concern that the streak won’t make it to 225.
ESPN announced Tuesday that College GameDay will set up camp and televise its popular pregame show from Walt Disney World ahead of the Week 0 Florida-Miami matchup at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium Aug. 24. Unfortunately, the Magic Kingdom’s rules prohibit, among other things, flags from being flown on the Walt Disney World Resort Property.
It’s unclear whether Disney-owned ESPN has sought or will seek an exemption for the popular Wazzu flag.
As for those responsible for getting Ol’ Crimson from site to site season after season? From KREM-TV:
KREM 2’s Brenna Greene reached out to Tom Pounds, who started the College GameDay tradition. He says the Ol’ Crimson Booster Club is making every effort to coordinate a way to wave the flag there. The booster club said in a statement it wouldn’t be a real college football Saturday without College GameDay and Ol’ Crimson together.
Eli Drinkwitz surprise departure from Boone after just one season has led to a rather expected move to fill his shoes with somebody who definitely won’t be bolting the school that soon.
Confirming reports from earlier in the week, Appalachian State has officially removed any sort of interim tag from Shawn Clark and give him the permanent position with a five year deal as head coach.
“It’s a great day to be a Mountaineer,” Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said in a statement. “We are thrilled to announce Shawn Clark as our new head coach. He’s been a great leader for us since the day he returned to his alma mater. He has experience at both Power Five and Group of Five schools and is highly respected among his peers, his players, on campus and in the community. His experience as a leader, play-caller and recruiter will help us to continue to raise our football program to new heights.”
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime to be named the head football coach at my alma mater, the school that I love so much,” Clark added. “I would like to thank Chancellor Everts, the Board of Trustees and Doug Gillin for entrusting me with this great responsibility. I am excited to keep pushing our players to greatness on and off the field and to work with a great coaching staff to win championships. My family and I are grateful to stay in Boone and keep pushing this program to new heights.”
Clark has been the offensive line coach at his alma mater the past four years under both Drinkwitz and Scott Sartterfield before both moved onto Power Five gigs.
The 44-year-old Clark was part of staffs at Louisville, Eastern Kentucky, Purdue and Kent State as well before returning to Boone, where he was an offensive lineman on some of the program’s powerhouse teams back in the mid-1990’s.
Clark’s first game fully in charge will come on Dec. 21 in the New Orleans Bowl against UAB — a spot he’s pretty familiar with having served as the interim offensive coordinator for the team’s game at the Superdome in 2018. That resulted in a blowout win that no doubt played a role in him getting the full time gig just a year later and AppState fans have to hope for similar results as Clark takes the field this time around as head coach.
Recently fired Missouri head coach Barry Odom was expected to find work quickly after being dumped by his alma mater and thus was rumored to be up for just about every defensive coordinator gig at Power Five schools all over the country.
As it turns out, Odom does not appear to be leaving the SEC — nor even the Ozarks — for his next stop. According to both FootballScoop and The Athletic, Arkansas is zeroing in on hiring him as Sam Pittman’s first defensive coordinator.
Odom was the head coach of the Tigers for four seasons after being elevated from being their DC to take over for longtime stalwart Gary Pinkel in 2016. He spent three seasons as Memphis’ coordinator under Justin Fuente as well and served a number of different off the field roles in Columbia prior to that. The Oklahoma native knows the region quite well and was widely associated with helping turn around Mizzou when he was a linebacker and team captain in the late 1990’s.
He takes over for John Chavis, who was one of Chad Morris’ first big hires when he first took over in Fayetteville. The ‘Chief’ as he is known, was paid a hefty salary after coming over from a stint at Texas A&M but failed to produce the kind of turnaround that could have kept Morris around as head coach, with the Razorbacks ranking No. 124 this past season in scoring defense — statistically the worst Power Five unit in the country.
With Morris now serving as Auburn’s new offensive coordinator, it’s pretty clear that in the SEC, there’s plenty of soft landings available for coaches who get the axe at the end of the year — and we’re not even getting into the buyout life either.
Brent Brennan has yet to reach the .500 mark at San Jose State, but his bosses have seen enough to reward the 47-year-old head coach.
A press conference has been called for Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET that will feature Brennan and a pair of SJSU leaders, athletic director Marie Tuite and president Mary A. Papazian. According to the school, the presser has been called to announce a contract extension for Brennan.
Brennan’s current deal is scheduled to run through the 2021 season; details pertaining to the extension are not yet available.
During his first two seasons with the Spartans, Brennan went 3-22. This past season, SJSU improved to 5-7, the football program’s most wins since the six they put up in its last bowl appearance in 2015. Those five wins in 2019 included SJSU’s first victory over rival Fresno State since 2016.
According to the USA Today coaches salary database, Brennan was paid $599,000 in guaranteed compensation in 2019. That number was 10th among the 11 Mountain West Conferences coaches listed in the database.
Another hour, another player has popped up in the portal.
The latest football program to face a potential personnel loss is Michigan, with ESPN.com‘s Tom VanHaaren the first to report that Tarik Black is now in the NCAA transfer database. Nick Baumgardner of The Athletic subsequently confirmed the initial report.
A four-star member of U-M’s 2017 recruiting class, Black was rated as the No. 15 receiver in the country and the No. 1 player at any position in the state of Connecticut.
This past season, Black was fourth on the Wolverines in receptions with 25 and receiving yards with 323. It appears he’ll finish his time in Ann Arbor with 507 yards and two touchdowns on 40 catches.