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USC confirms Cincinnati’s Mike Bohn as new AD

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So much for those second thoughts.  And let the Urban speculation, as farfetched as it may be, commence in earnest.

Late last week, reports surfaced connecting Cincinnati’s Mike Bohn to USC’s vacant athletic director post.  Early Thursday afternoon, the university turned the rumors into reality by confirming Bohn will head its athletic department moving forward.

Bohn, the first USC AD with no ties to the university in more than a quarter-century, replaces Lynn Swann, who “resigned” his post in early September after three years on the job.

Bohn, who played college football and baseball at Kansas, has spent the past six years at Cincinnati, taking over Bearcats athletics in February of 2014. Prior to that, he served as the athletic director at Colorado (2005-13), San Diego State (2003-05) and Idaho (1998-2003).

The 58-year-old Illinois native (he’ll turn 59 later this month) was the Buffaloes AD as CU made the transition from the Big 12 to the Pac-12 in 2011.  He involuntarily stepped down from that post in May of 2013, months after the second of his signature hires at the school, Jon Embree, was fired after just two seasons and four wins (versus 21 losses) as head football coach.  The first, Dan Hawkins, posted a 19-39 record in less than five full seasons in Boulder before his firing opened the door for Bohn’s hiring of Embree.

First and foremost on Bohn’s to-do list at his newest job in the conference?  Determine the fate of head football coach Clay Helton.

Coming off back-to-back 10-win seasons his first two full years with the Trojans, a 5-7 record in 2018 put Helton squarely on the hot seat entering 2019.  After a 3-1 start to this current campaign, USC, which has dealt with myriad injuries to key players throughout the year, proceeded to lose three of its next five, although all three of those setbacks came against ranked opponents.  Two of those defeats came on the road, but the home loss was a 32-point drubbing at the hands of Oregon last Saturday that had the calls for Helton’s scalp growing in intensity.

If Bohn and other university officials determine it’s time to move on from Helton at season’s end, the question quickly becomes, can they pull Urban Meyer out of retirement?  Or, do they even want to pursue Meyer in the event of a coaching change?

The ties between Meyer and Bohn are scant.  Bohn comes from Cincinnati while Meyer played his college football for the Bearcats (one year as a defensive back in 1984) and graduated from the university in 1986.  Meyer’s youngest child, Nate, is also a scholarship baseball player for the Bearcats.

Bohn also hired Luke Fickell off Meyer’s Ohio State coaching staff in December of 2016.  Following a 4-8 first year at the school, Fickell went 11-2, tying a school record for wins, and was named as the AAC’s Coach of the Year for the 2018 season.  He has the Bearcats sitting at 7-1 this season and armed with a No. 20 ranking in the initial College Football Playoff Top 25 heading into the homestretch of the regular season.

Dave Doeren not impressed with Xavier Lyas’ decision to transfer from NC State

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We didn’t start the day with a portal post, but you knew the odds were favorable that we’d get one in sooner rather than later.

On his personal Twitter account over the weekend, North Carolina State’s Xavier Lyas announced that he has “decided to enter the transfer portal in order for me to reach my full potential both academically and football.”

The defensive end’s head coach, though, didn’t seem very impressed with Lyas’ decision. From Dave Doeren‘s Monday press conference, via Rivals.com:

When did you find out about Xavier Lyas and what does his departure kind of do to depth?

“He came in and see me saw me on Sunday. Wish him luck, rather talk about the guys that are here. Somebody put a great screenshot out today, though, that their girlfriend was in the portal, I thought that was pretty funny. It’s life, some of these kids don’t play as much as they want and how it goes.

“So as far as our depth will be fine. We got enough defensive ends we’ll be good.

Lyas was a three-star member of the Wolfpack’s 2017 recruiting class.  This season, Lyas is currently third in sacks with four and tied for third in tackles for loss 4½.  Additionally, his two forced fumbles are tops on the team.

Three Power Five WRs added to Biletnikoff watch list

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For the fourth time in a little over a month, a major college football honor is adding to its watch list.

This week, the Biletnikoff Award announced that it has added five wide receivers to its watch list, including three from Power Five schools and two from Group of Five programs.  Those included this go-around are Louisville’s Chatarius Atwell, Western Kentucky’s Lucky Jackson, Syracuse’s Trishton Jackson, Tennessee’s Jauan Jennings and San Jose State’s Tre Walker (pictured).

Below are each players’ statistical particulars for the 2019 season:

  • Atwell: 46 receptions for 810 yards, eight touchdowns
  • L. Jackson: 62-839-2
  • T. Jackson: 51-780-8
  • Jennings: 50-771-7
  • Walker: 59-896-1

Walker is currently 13th in the nation in receiving yards, Lucky Jackson 17th. The latter is also tied for 25th in receptions per game.

The Biletnikoff Award is handed out annually to the nation’s most outstanding FBS receiver. The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, which oversees the honor, stresses that “[a]ny player, regardless of position (wide receiver, tight end, slot back and running back) who catches a pass is eligible for the award.”

Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy was the 2018 winner of the award.  A wide receiver has won the award every year since it was first handed out in 1994, and all of the players added this week are listed as receivers.

Texas Tech intends to redshirt QBs Alan Bowman and Maverick McIvor

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A season that was derailed early on by injury concerns will now end with Alan Bowman redshirting the 2019 season. Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells confirmed on Monday Bowman will redshirt the remainder of the 2019 season to preserve a year of eligibility. The decision is not much of a surprise given the current status of the Red Raiders offense and Bowman’s injury history. Maverick McIvor, who has not appeared in a game this season due to an offseason foot injury, will also redshirt the remainder of the season.

In mid-September, Bowman was said to miss “several weeks” due to a shoulder injury. Although Bowman has now been medically cleared to play for the Red Raiders, the situation in Lubbock appears to be a good opportunity to protect the shoulder a little more unless absolutely needed. The decision to redshirt was Bowman’s, according to multiple reports, and Wells agreed that was in the best interest of all involved.

Bowman appeared in three games this season for the Red Raiders, leaving him one more game to play without jeopardizing a year of eligibility. Texas Tech could still play Bowman in one more game and not have this season count against his redshirt year under the NCAA’s revised redshirt rules from a year ago.

In his three games played, Bowman has completed 101 of 154 attempts for 1,020 yards and six touchdowns with three interceptions. Jett Duffey has led the offense in Bowman’s absence, and he has performed admirably with 1,774 yards and 10 touchdowns to just two interceptions over seven games.

McIvor is a freshman, so he will still have four years of eligibility beginning with the 2020 season.

Houston cornerback Ka’Darian Smith charged with aggravated assault

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Houston cornerback Ka’Darian Smith has been suspended by the football program after he was charged for aggravated assault for an incident occurring last week. Smith admitted to the assault to police and was released from jail after posting bond.

“We are aware of the serious allegations regarding Ka’Darian Smith,” a UH Athletics spokesperson said, according to The Daily Cougar. “He has been suspended indefinitely from the Houston football program. We will have no further comment at this time.”

According to police records, the incident leading to the charge occurred last Wednesday, Nov. 6. The alleged victim was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for injuries to the upper body and the head.

Smith responded to a tweet from Houston Chronicle reporter Joseph Duarte, there was more to the story about the alleged victim. According to Smith, the man broke into his room and was stealing from Smith.

How long Smith remains suspended may depend on how long the legal process takes to play out, which is fairly standard for incidents like these.