It’s exceedingly rare for a head coach in college football to go into a season with fewer than three or four years left on their contract due to the importance of recruiting among other things (just ask Scott Frost and Nebraska) but BYU’s unique place in the sport as a football independent with a more worldly mission means the Cougars don’t quite operate like a lot of their peers.
Case in point came with the team’s head coach, Kalani Sitake, who has been the subject of plenty of speculation inside and outside the Beehive State as to his status given that he has just one year left on his deal. After a 2019 campaign marked by plenty of highs and lows though, it appears we now have a good idea as to what the administration will be doing with the staff going forward.
On Saturday after a routine 42-10 win over FCS Idaho State, BYU AD Tom Holmoe was caught in the locker room by players’ social media posts sporting an #ExtendKalani shirt that he unveiled under his normal game day clothes. While he didn’t officially confirm anything before or after the little stunt, it’s a pretty good indication that the head coach will be getting a contract extension soon enough:
Sitake is 26-23 in four seasons at his alma mater, including three games left to play in 2019 between a trip to UMass, a game against San Diego State and a recently accepted invitation to the Hawaii Bowl. The Cougars have gotten some marquee wins this year, including over USC and at Tennessee, but have also suffered a few inexplicable losses like at Toledo and USF.
On the whole though, Sitake has done a solid enough job at one of the more difficult places to win consistently given the nature of the always front-loaded schedule and the limited pool of recruits. BYU has a chance to win as many as nine games this year if they win out, which would match the record the head coach posted in his first season in Provo back in 2016.
We’ll find out soon enough as to some of the details of Sitake’s contract extension but as Holmoe made pretty clear in the locker room on Saturday, the question is now a matter of when and not if with regards to that important decision.
After landing a couple early on in the offseason, Georgia State football finds itself on the wrong side of the portal this go ’round.
According to 247Sports.com, offensive tackle Connor Robbins has placed his name into the NCAA transfer database. While he didn’t confirm it on his personal Twitter account, the Georgia State football player did retweet the report.
The 6-9, 310-pound lineman will be leaving the Panthers as a graduate transfer.
Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.
As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.
NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.
Robbins was a three-star member of the Georgia State football Class of 2017. He was the highest-rated signee for the Panthers that cycle.
Robbins took a redshirt as a true freshman. The past two seasons, the Florida native played in 15 games. Most of that action, though, came on the point-after and field goal units.
In the third season under Shawn Elliott, GSU went 7-6 this past year. It was a five-win improvement from the 2-10 record the year before. In Elliott’s first season, the Panthers went 7-5. The seven wins are the best-ever for the Georgia State football program since moving to the FBS level in 2013.
The Power Five transfer train has officially made yet another stop at the Tulane football program.
In late March, Ajani Kerr entered his name into the NCAA transfer database. Three months later, Tulane confirmed in a release that the Georgia Tech defensive back has officially signed and been added to the football roster.
Kerr comes to the Green Wave as a graduate transfer. This coming season will serve as his final year of eligibility.
Kerr was a two-star member of Tech’s 2016 recruiting class coming out of high school in Georgia. After redshirting as a true freshman, Kerr played in 29 games the past three seasons. Five of those appearances came in 2019.
In that action, Kerr had been credited with 66 tackles (55 solo, 11 assisted) and one fumble recovery.
Kerr is one of four Power Five transfers to join Tulane football this offseason.
Jan. 24, Tulane football officially welcomed Oklahoma State transfer linebacker Kevin Henry. Four days later, former Oklahoma wide receiver Mykel Jones was formally added to the roster as well. In late January, Florida State cornerback Kyle Meyers tweeted his move to the Green Wave. Last month, Tulane confirmed the signing of Duke transfer offensive lineman Jaylen Miller.
Additionally, running back Corey Dauphine was granted a sixth season of eligibility in March. Dauphine has been the Green Wave’s second-leading rusher each of the past two seasons.
Not surprisingly, it will pay handsomely for Clemson and Georgia to open up next season’s slate.
In February of this year, both Clemson and Georgia announced that the two football programs will kick off the 2021 season against each other. The game will be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, Sept. 4.
According to information obtained by the Athens Banner-Herald, “[e]ach school will receive the greater of $4 million or 45 percent of the event’s net revenue” for the non-conference, neutral-site affair. The Banner-Herald added that “[p]art of the event’s revenue is expected to be generated by media rights, ticket sales and sponsorships.”
The fact that each school will receive at least $4 million will help to offset the cost of getting this game on the schedule. To make room for the non-conference matchup, Clemson canceled a previously-scheduled tilt with Wyoming while Georgia did the same with one against San Jose State. Because of the cancellation, Clemson will pay Wyoming $1.1 million and Georgia will cut San Jose State a $1.8 million check.
That said, it’s the cost of putting on such a quality matchup. One that has been and will continue to be must-see TV for the foreseeable future.
Along with the addition of a new home-and-home announced in April of last year, the Tigers and Bulldogs are now scheduled to face each other six times between 2021 and 2033, including the 2024 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. There’s also a previously announced home-and-home series scheduled for 2029 (in Clemson) and 2030 (in Georgia).
The two football programs have met 64 times previously, the first in 1897 and the most recent in 2014. UGA leads the all-time series 42-18-4.
The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.
In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.
So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on July 5, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.
(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section. Mailbag, maybe?)
THE HEADLINE: Hawaii confirms death of LB Scheyenne Sanitoa, 21
THE SYNOPSIS: You never, EVER, want to write a headline like this.
THE HEADLINE: Latest 2019 title odds have Alabama, Clemson neck and neck
THE SYNOPSIS: LSU, the eventual national champion, was given 20/1 odds.
THE HEADLINE: Texas makes Corona Light the official beer of Longhorns sports
THE SYNOPSIS: Corona. F ck 2020…
THE HEADLINE: 200-plus former Nittany Lion football players call on Penn State to put statue of Joe Paterno back
THE SYNOPSIS: Yeah, that didn’t happen. So, where is the JoePa statue now? The Athletic had an excellent piece on that recently.
THE HEADLINE: Duke WR in critical condition following jet ski accident
THE SYNOPSIS: Fortunately, this headline had a positive ending. And an inspiring one as well.