If you’re going to take a leap of faith, might as well go all in.
We noted Friday that San Jose State was set to announce a contract extension for its head football coach, Brent Brennan. Later that day, the university confirmed in a press conference that Brennan has agreed to a three-year extension.
Brennan’s original deal ran through 2021; this one will take him through the 2024 season.
“I am so excited about this extension,” Brennan said in a statement. “I’m thankful for the hard work of [athletic director] Marie Tuite and President Papazian and their support and belief in
what we are doing. This gives us the long term to continue building a championship program at San Jose State.
“I believe we’ve made great strides over the first three years, especially this season. To be in a position knowing the leadership is going to be here, we know there is going to be consistency in our process and our message.
“When I look around the country, the teams that are really successful have consistency in their coaching staff and leadership on campus. For our program and our players, it will be knowing what the expectations are day in and day out and continuing on a path of improvement and development.”
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.
The financial particulars for the contract extension have not yet been released.
The SEC and Pac-12 are in a bit of a love affair right now. Actually, scratch that. They’re full-on obsessed with one another.
More than 30 SEC v. Pac-12 games are on the docket for future years, and two more were added to the ledger on Monday when LSU and Utah inked a home-and-home.
Utah will host LSU on Sept. 6, 2031, and LSU will return the favor on Sept. 11, 2032.
“Our aspirations to continue to grow and elevate our football program make opportunities like this especially important,” Utah AD Mark Harlan said. “For our student-athletes it is an incredible opportunity to play a high-profile opponent in two fantastic environments. It also is incredibly attractive to our fans to host a team like LSU at Rice-Eccles Stadium and to go on the road to Baton Rouge and cheer on their Utes.”
Utah has two more home-and-homes against SEC schools coming, against Florida in 2022-23 and Arkansas in 2026 and ’28. LSU has home-and-homes with UCLA (2021, ’24) and Arizona State (2029-30) on its docket.
The schools have met twice previously, with LSU winning in Baton Rouge both time, 35-10 in 1974 and 35-7 in ’76.
Bret Bielema is interviewing for the Colorado head coaching position, according to reports Monday from NFL Network and ESPN.
Bielema tried to get in on the Michigan State job that, obviously, went to Mel Tucker, so now he’s in the running for the job Tucker left.
The former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach joined Bill Belichick‘s witness protection program after his 2017 Arkansas firing, working for a year as “consultant to the head coach” in New England. He was promoted to defensive line coach and reportedly told friends he was in the running to become the defensive coordinator after Greg Schiano stepped down, but Belichick wound up giving that job to himself.
He wound up following Joe Judge from Foxboro to the New York Giants, but now has apparently decided he’d rather be back in college than work as a position coach at the NFL level.
Bielema went 68-24 at Wisconsin before his 29-34 flameout at Arkansas. His teams famously stuck to a ground-and-pound philosophy that worked like peanut butter and jelly in Madison but peanut butter and salsa in Fayetteville. So, should Colorado be as interested in Bielema as he apparently is in them, his offensive philosophy would figure to be question one in the interview.
Mel Tucker secured his first signee over the weekend, which is impressive since he didn’t take the job until after the 2020 signing periods.
Jordon Simmons, a 3-star running back from Powder Springs, Ga., committed to Michigan State back in October but did not sign in the early period or the late period.
After Mark Dantonio‘s retirement the night before the February signing period, Simmons announced he would not sign with the Spartans the following day.
“Due to the unforeseen retirement of Coach Dantonio and after discussing things with my family, I have decided to delay my signing with Michigan State University until further notice,” he tweeted the night of Dantonio’s announcement. “I love everything that Michigan State has to offer and I appreciate the love and support that the fan base has shown me. However, with the uncertainty of the MSU program I have decided to take some time to weight out my options and think about where I will spend the next 4 years.”
After taking a couple weeks to consider his options and get to know his new head coach, Simmons inked with the Spartans once and for all.
The Simmons saga shows that, should players obtain a free release to play elsewhere if their head coach leaves in between the time they sign scholarship papers and their freshman seasons, most of those players would still wind up at their original school simply because they’d be out of options elsewhere.
Central Michigan football is the latest FBS program to face an off-field issue invoicing one of its players.
Friday, Jim McElwain announced that Kyron McKinnie-Harper had been indefinitely suspended from the Central Michigan football team for violating unspecified team rules. The school’s student newspaper subsequently reported that a warrant was issued for McKinnie-Harper’s arrest Feb. 13.
Per court records, McKinnie-Harper is facing one count of using a computer to commit a crime, one count of unauthorized computer access, one count of computer fraud and three counts of larceny by conversion. One of the larceny counts and the computer access charge are felonies. The others are misdemeanors.
“According to court records, police are looking at his Oct. 27 online activities,,” the paper wrote. No further details of what led to the charges has been detailed.
As for what type of prison time the cornerback could be facing if convicted? From the report:
McKinnie-Harper is charged with one felony larceny count of more than $1,000, less than $20,000. Conviction could result in 5 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000 or 3 times the value of the stolen property. He also faces two misdemeanor larceny counts of $200, less than $1,000. A conviction is punishable by 1 year in jail and/or fines of up to $2,000 or 3 times the value of the stolen property. Using a computer to commit a crime is a felony that could result in 4-to-10 years in prison.
As a true freshman, McKinnie-Harper emerged as a starting corner the last half of the 2019 season. An unspecified injury kept the defensive back out of the bowl game in which Central Michigan football played following the 2019 campaign.
“The coach would not elaborate on the injury and McKinnie-Harper did not travel with the team, though other injured teammates did go to Albuquerque,” 247Sports.com wrote.
In his first season with Central Michigan football, McKinnie-Harper led the Chips in passes defensed with 10 and forced fumbles with two.