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LSU’s Joe Brady, Ohio State’s Jeff Hafley among nominees for Boyles Award as CFB’s top assistant coach

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The college football awards process is a pretty simple four phase process as you go from watch list season to the actual season to the semifinalist lists to the actual awards being announced in early December. As we approach Week 12 of the 2019 campaign, we’re firmly into the third phase of announcing a narrowing of the field and limiting who can actually take some hardware home after the regular season is finished.

To that end, The Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation announced on Wednesday the 41-person strong list of nominees for the Broyles Award, which goes to college football’s top assistant coach. As you would expect, there are quite a few big names under consideration as the assistants in question have either helped lead remarkable turnarounds with their specific side of the ball or have helped elevate their team into conference and/or the national title conversation.

Here’s the full list of 41 names and their titles:

ALABAMA – Steve Sarkisian, Offensive Coordinator/QB

APPALACHIAN STATE – Ted Roof, Defensive Coordinator

ARKANSAS STATE – Keith Heckendorf, Offensive coordinator/QB

AUBURN – Kevin Steele, Defensive Coordinator

BALL STATE – Joey Lynch, Offensive Coordinator/QB

BAYLOR – Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

BYU – Aaron Roderick, Passing Game Coordinator/QB

CALIFORNIA – Tim DeRuyter, Defensive Coordinator

CENTRAL MICHIGAN – Charlie Frye, Offensive Coordinator/QB

CINCINNATI – Marcus Freeman, Defensive Coordinator

CLEMSON – Jeff Scott, Co-Offensive Coordinator/WR

FLORIDA – Billy Gonzalez, Wide Receivers

GEORGIA – Dan Lanning, Defensive Coordinator/Outside LBs

GEORGIA STATE – Brad Glenn, Offensive Coordinator

INDIANA – Kalen DeBoer, Offensive Coordinator/QB

IOWA – Phil Parker, Defensive Coordinator/DB

IOWA STATE – Tom Manning, Offensive Coordinator/Run Game Coordinator

LOUISVILLE – Dwayne Ledfors, Offensive Line

LOUISIANA – Ron Roberts, Defensive Coordinator

LSU – Joe Brady, Passing Game Coordinator/WR

MEMPHIS – Pete Lembo, Special Teams Coordinator

MICHIGAN – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator

MINNESOTA – Kirk Ciarrocca, Offensive Coordinator/QB

MISSOURI – Ryan Walters, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

NAVY – Brian Newberry, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

OHIO STATE – Jeff Hafley, Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary

OKLAHOMA – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator/ Safeties

OLE MISS – Mike MacIntyre, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

OREGON – Andy Avalos, Defensive Coordinator

OREGON STATE – Brian Lindgren, Offensive Coordinator/QB

PENN STATE – Brent Pry, Defensive Coordinator/LB

PITTSBURGH – Randy Bates, Defensive Coordinator

SAN JOSÉ STATE – Ryan Gunderson, Quarterbacks/Passing Game Coordinator

SMU – Rhett Lashlee, Offensive Coordinator/QB

TROY – Ryan Pugh, Offensive Coordinator/OL

TULANE – Will Hall, Offensive Coordinator/

UAB – David Reeves, Defensive Coordinator

UCF – Randy Shannon, Defensive Coordinator

UTAH – Morgan Scalley, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

WESTERN KENTUCKY – Clayton White, Defensive Coordinator/CB

WISCONSIN – Jim Leonhard, Defensive Coordinator

Obviously there’s a ton of well deserving candidates but it might be hard to top LSU’s Brady for the award given how big of a jump the Tigers’ offense has made with his arrival in Baton Rouge. Ohio State’s Hafley and Oklahoma’s Grinch also have made huge strides with their respective teams but even at the Group of Five level there’s a ton of guys who have been terrific this season.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 10th and the award is usually a good sign for whoever takes home the trophy becoming a head coach in the near future. Former Alabama OC Mike Locksley won the Broyles Award last year while past winners have included Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and current Texas coach Tom Herman when he was at Ohio State.

Pac-12 ref suspended for penalizing wrong team in Cal-Wazzu game

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Pac-12 refs gonna Pac-12 ref.

In the third quarter of the Washington State-Cal game Saturday, the Cougars were penalized 15 yards for hands to the face on a kickoff return.  So, instead of starting the drive at midfield, Wazzu was forced to start it at their own eight-yard line.

The only problem?

It was actually the Golden Bears who committed the penalty, which should’ve been tacked on at the end of the return and given the Cougars the ball in Cal territory.

In a statement Sunday night, the Pac-12 “acknowledged an error in officiating” during the game on the return in question. “After the next play was run, the referee informed Washington State that there was an error in application of the penalty,” the conference’s release read. “The penalty was on the kicking team number 15, not the receiving team, and the penalty should have been assessed on California at the end of the play with the ball spotted at California’s 35-yard line.

“The conference confirmed the penalty for hands to the face was correct. However, the mechanics and communication were incorrect in assessing the penalty to Washington State instead of California.”

As a result of the mistake, the referee, listed in the gamebook as Matt Richards, has been given a one-game suspension.  “The remaining members of the officiating crew have been downgraded,” the conference added.

For those curious, the controversial drive that led to the punitive measures ended with a Wazzu field goal to cut Cal’s lead to 20-14 at the time.  The Cougars ended up losing the game 33-20, triggering yet another Mike Leach rant.

Mike Leach not a fan of his team, calls them frauds after loss to Cal

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Washington State coach Mike Leach is never one to sugarcoat things (or even speak in politically correct platitudes) and it certainly does not appear as though he’s going to change anytime soon.

The latest example comes after the Cougars ugly 33-20 loss at Cal on Saturday. It was a key game for the team in the division and to their hopes of making a bowl game but they struggled all night. According to SFGate, their head coach did not mix words afterward when discussing his team and how receptive (or not) they were to his staff’s message before and after kickoff.

“Well, that’s a great question because we as coaches think about that, talk about that, all the time. And somehow we’ve failed to reach the group,” Leach remarked to the Washington State IMG Sports Network. “Our team leaders in the group; they’re either frauds, or they haven’t reached the group either.”

Earlier this season Leach banned his players from social media as it labeled a distraction and called them soft, fat, dumb and happy after getting blown out by Utah. So it’s not like this is out of left field or abnormal for either the head coach or the program.

Wazzu hosts Stanford next week in a game where the loser is very likely not going to make a bowl game so we’ll see if the Cougars start to hear what their coach is saying by then.

One thing’s clear: it’s not easy living that pirate life when things are going wrong.

Butkus Award whittles hunt for nation’s top linebacker down to 12

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Only 12 linebackers are now in the chase to be named the nation’s top linebacker. The Butkus Award on Monday released its list of 12 semifinalists.

It is the first update since the award released its watch list on July 22.

The semifinalists are:

Joe Bachie, Michigan State
Zack Bruan, Wisconsin
Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech
Tae Crowder, Georgia
Jordan Glasgow, Michigan
Jake Hansen, Illinois
Anfernee Jennings, Alabama
Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
Micah Parsons, Penn State
Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
Evan Weaver, California
Logan Wilson, Wyoming

The selection committee — a panel of 51 coaches, recruiters, scouts and media members — noted Missouri’s Cale Garrett, Alabama’s Dylan Moses and Purdue’s Markus Bailey likely would have been semifinalists if not for injury.

The Butkus Award will announce its finalists on Nov. 25 and its 35th winner “on or before” Dec. 10.

LSU’s Devin White — now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer — won the award in 2018. In fact, SEC ‘backers have won the past three Butkus Awards.

Cal indefinitely suspends LB Joseph Ogunbanjo

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For the foreseeable future, Cal’s linebacking corps will be a little lighter than expected personnel-wise.

Monday night, Justin Wilcox announced that Joseph Ogunbanjo is not with the team at the moment as he serves an indefinite suspension.  No specific reason or reasons was given for the punitive measure being meted out.

Ogunbanjo (pictured, center) was a three-star member of the Golden Bears’ 2018 recruiting class. Just one defensive player in Cal’s class that year, Chigozie Anusiem, was rated higher.

After playing in 10 games as a true freshman, Ogunbanjo had seen action in six games this year.  He has been credited with seven tackles, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble in 2019.