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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.

Pat Narduzzi not happy about Pitt playing at same time as NFL’s Steelers

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Thursday night will be Pittsburgh night in the world of football, much to the chagrin of Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi. In a somewhat odd scheduling coincidence, the Pitt Panthers will be playing in primetime this Thursday night at home against North Carolina at the same time the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing on the road against the Cleveland Browns. Narduzzi, knowing not everybody has access to a second screen, is justifiably upset about having his team playing at the same time as the Steelers.

“They have to start to look and say ‘What makes sense for the city of Pittsburgh?’ and that obviously wasn’t done,” Narduzzi said when meeting with the media on Monday, according to Trib Live. Narduzzi went on to point out the Pitt football schedule was set back in January, while the NFL schedule for the Steelers was released a few months later.

“You look at it and say it’s not good for the ACC playing on the same night as an NFL franchise in your same city,” Narduzzi pointed out (again, via Trib Live). And to his point, Narduzzi is right that it does the ACC no favors to be going up head-to-head against the NFL. Ever since the NFL took on a full season’s worth of Thursday night football, college football programming and ratings has suffered and been sacrificed because it makes no business sense for a broadcast partner to attempt throwing up a college football game against the NFL. It just pours salt on the wounds when you have to go up against the NFL team you share a stadium with.

When it comes to TV ratings, the NFL will triumph over college football every day of the week, say Thursday, for example. And in a city that is in love with the Steelers, the Panthers likely will be playing in the background for most of the Pittsburgh viewing area on Thursday night. And then, of course, there is the attendance concern. The Steelers and Panthers each play in Heinz Field and Pitt struggles enough filling up the seats unless a major opponent like Penn State or Notre Dame is making a visit. Having to try convincing people to come out on a cold Thursday night to watch the Panthers when they can be in their homes watching the Steelers with some comfy pants on and a cup of hot apple cider is a tough sell for Narduzzi and the Panthers.

This would be similar to the Temple Owls playing at home the same time the Philadelphia Eagles are playing, or USF playing when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing. Unfortunately, as Narduzzi confessed, there is not a thing a coach can do about the scheduling of the games, as TV partners tend to wave the baton and conferences are reduced to following along as those TV partners wish.

Pitt, LB Elias Reynolds have ‘mutually decided to part ways’

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If I ever switch breakfast cereals or opt for a new Internet provider, that’s exactly how I want it to be portrayed.

A Pitt spokesperson confirmed to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Friday that the football program and linebacker Elias Reynolds have “mutually decided to part ways.” What led to that mutual decision has not been relayed by either party.

While Reynolds played the first three games this season, he hadn’t seen the field at all the past six. PittsburghSportsNow.com wrote that “Reynolds hasn’t appeared in uniform since he was injured in the Penn State game” and “was not on the sideline at all for Pitt’s loss to Miami last Saturday.”

If Reynolds remains on track to graduate, the redshirt junior would be eligible to play immediately at another FBS program in 2020.

Reynolds started seven games last season and two games in 2019. This season, the three-star 2016 signee had been credited with eight tackles, one sack and one quarterback hurry before he went on what turned out to be a permanent sabbatical.

Pitt commit charged with multiple felonies following alleged Walmart kidnapping

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It doesn’t seem as if Timothy Brown is going to wind up taking Pitt up on that scholarship offer after all.

The 3-star defensive tackle out of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., has been charged with multiple felonies after authorities say he and three other Palm Beach Gardens High students jumped a man outside of a Walmart and pointed a gun at his face before throwing him from a moving SUV, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Brown was named in the report because he turned 18 last month. His three alleged accomplices are minors and were not named by the paper. Brown has been charged with robbery, felony battery and kidnapping during a felony. He was booked into jail on Friday and is now on house arrest, according to the paper.

The attack allegedly occurred Thursday afternoon, and hours later the group played in a 28-14 loss to Palm Beach Central.

Since Brown has not signed a letter of intent, Pitt is prohibited by NCAA rules from commenting on the incident.

Miami stays in ACC Coastal race after stunning Pitt

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Sure, it may still be a bit of a long shot, but the ACC Coastal Division is never out of reach for almost every team in the division heading to November. Miami (4-4, 2-3 ACC) picked up a big win to keep their slim hopes alive with a thrilling end to an otherwise mediocre game at Pitt. Jarren Williams connected with K.J. Osborn for a 32-yard touchdown in the final minute of play to give Miami a 16-12 win against Pitt (5-3, 2-2 ACC).

Miami now owns head-to-head tiebreakers against the two teams sitting in the top two spots of the ACC Coastal Division (Virginia, Pitt) as games were in progress on Saturday afternoon. Only one game back of Pitt in the loss column and two behind Virginia, Miami still needs a little bit of help from around the conference while also taking care of their own schedule down the stretch of the final month of the season. Miami does not own a head-to-head tiebreaker with Virginia Tech so would need the Hokies to drop a game, and the Hurricanes will get a chance to take care of Duke in the regular-season finale in Durham.

Miami’s defense did their part against the Panthers with a pair of interceptions against Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett. The defense was needed, because the offense continued to have some struggles. Miami was just 2-of-13 on third down and gained 208 yards of offense. N’Kosi Pery got the start for Miami at quarterback but Manny Diaz made the change in search of a spark on offense. A game-winning touchdown would seem to qualify.