Sunday, May 22, 2016

This Week in College Football: Volume 2

The off season is a difficult time to gather news about college football, so I have created this weekly piece after spending the week combing through sites and sources for information to share with you all. Here is volume 2 of This Week in College Football:

Baylor Is a Train Wreck
     Baylor has been having athletic department issues for years with athletes having been accused of and charged with everything from murder to petty issues that you would find on any campus. What is seriously wrong with what is happening, however, is completely eclipsed with the enormity and severity of what is not only going on at Baylor, but the severity of it, and the apparent cover up that has come along with these issues. In the last four years, as many as ten major assault or sexual assault charges have been levied by students at Baylor against members of Baylor athletic programs, overwhelmingly football.
     Imagine the Jameis Winston sexual assault allegations at football, the terrible job that Florida State did in fully investigating it, and multiplying it by an unimaginable number, and that is what is happening at Baylor, with full cooperation of the Waco police department. In short, Baylor has had multiple reports against football players in regards to sexual assault, and has done nothing to investigate or bring those who perpetrated those crimes to justice. Waco police have been accused of joining the party by hiding files in back offices, and doing even more nothing to open investigations forth. The entire thing together is one big conspiracy to prevent student crimes from coming to light, and protecting football players over all other students.
     You can find a few links below for this story, but in my opinion at this point, every one at Baylor from President Kenneth Starr all the way down to football coach Art Briles need to resign or be fired...right now.

U Conn Extends Bob Diaco
     The U Conn administration agreed to extend Bob Diaco out through 2020 this week. Diaco, who is entering his third season as the coach of the Huskies, is 8-17 overall, but finished 6-7 in season two, and took them to the St. Petersburg Bowl, where U Conn fell to Marshall.
     The Huskies return 15 starters in 2016, and beat Houston 20-17 last fall. U Conn opens the 2016 season at home on September 1 against Maine, and has a schedule that sets up nicely early on to edge the Huskies close to another bowl appearance this season.

Big Names On Transfer Market
     It has been a big name week in the transfer market in college football on both the FBS and FCS levels. First on the list is now former Oklahoma Sooner RB Alex Ross. Ross has transferred to SEC country, where he will take his talents to Missouri. Ross had a big season in 2014, rushing for 585 yards and 4 TDs as a sophomore. He fell down the depth chart with the arrival of Joe Mixon last season, and rushed for just 172 yards and a single TD on the year.
     Former Boise State starting QB Ryan Finley has announced that he will be heading to NC State this week. Finley was injured in week 3 last fall, and lost the job to Brett Rypien moving forward. Finley passed for just one TD and four picks before being injured last season. Finley played in a total of just 7  career games for Boise State after backing up Grant Hedrick in 2014.
     Troubled former starting Missouri QB Maty Mauk has found a new home, as he will be heading to Eastern Kentucky, where he will be eligible immediately. He will have to beat out returning starter Bernie Coney for the job, and is likely to start 2016 backing up Coney, barring any events in fall camp. Mauk was kicked out of the program at Missouri for a series of off field incidents last season.
     The biggest name that is on the move is former Texas Tech QB Davis Webb, as he will land at California, increasing the Bears' chances of returning to a bowl in 2016. Webb had largely been thought to be heading to Colorado until the 11th hour, and even Buffalo coach Mike McIntyre made a statement that Webb would be on campus at any time.  Webb replaces Jared Goff at QB for Cal, as he is a graduate transfer,making him eligible immediately.

Big South Conference Eyeing Expansion For Survival
     The Big South is taking a big hit this season as Coastal Carolina will be playing as an FCS independent before transitioning as a member of FBS football in 2017. That is a huge hit for the conference, which has hemorrhaged members during all of the conference realignment that also took hold on the FCS level.
      With Coastal Carolina bailing the ranks, the Big South is now down to six members, the minimum to cling to an auto bid for the NCAA playoffs. Two members of the league are still associate members in Kennesaw State and Monmouth, and Monmouth does not match the league's geographical footprint. Campbell, a member in most sports other than football, is not interested in becoming full invested at this time, and none of the other schools in the leagues other sports are anywhere near being in a position to add football.
     There is also one other major lingering issue, and that is the constant probing by Liberty to enter the ranks of the FBS as well. Liberty has long let it be known that should an invite come their way, they are as good as gone.
     In order to survive as a football conference, the league is looking to all places to find new members, and is hoping that there could be some schools in the non scholarship Pioneer League would be interested in adding scholarships, which is what now former Jacksonville coach Kerwin Bell was advocating. That argument led to his departure, as he no longer believed in the non-scholarship model that Jacksonville clings to.
     IF the conference cannot find expansion candidates from the FCS, or even D2 ranks, the league's future is indeed bleak in football.

Former Minnesota Coach Kill to Kansas State
     In a good news note, former Gopher coach Jerry Kill, who retired from Minnesota due to a severe epilepsy condition, has found a new job and home. Kill will be a new Associate Athletic Director at Kansas State starting in June.
     Kill's health condition has been largely documented in recent years. He is a well regarded coach and man, and this is excellent news, as Kansas State will largely find great value in having his expertise on board.

Alabama's Jones, Robinson Arrested in Louisiana
     Cam Jones, a starting offensive lineman for Alabama, and Hootie Jones, a member of the secondary, were both arrested in Louisiana this week on felony counts involving weapons and drugs. Both players have been removed from the Alabama program pending an investigation, but it does not look good for either player moving forward.

Fox Backs Out On Conference USA TV Deal, Value Plummets
    Fox TV has backed out of their contract covering Conference USA, leaving the league in a lurch for TV coverage. CUSA had to scramble to find a new contract, and the pain is more than tangible to the league.
     CUSA did manage to cobble together a new deal with a combined 4 networks, but ESPN picked up a piece of the deal covering only a total of 5 games in 2016, which will likely all be on Thursday or Friday nights. A chunk of the deal was picked up by upstart carrier BeIN TV, and the deal is far from favorable overall.
     In total, the new contract will be worth $7 million, to be shared by the entire conference. Ouch. Other games could be seen on CBSSN, and the American Sports Network,

Montana Tops FCS Attendance in 2015
     In news that should surprise no one, the Grizzlies topped FCS football attendance in 2016 with an average of 24,419 fans per game. Montana, long one of the most successful programs in FCS football, has one of the more unique setting in the sport, including allowing fans to leave the stadium to tailgate during halftime.
     Montana had a standing room only crowd to open the 2015 season, as the Grizzlies upset defending champion North Dakota State to kick off the year.

Indiana State Loses Starting QB To Academics
     Matt Adams, the starting QB for Indiana State last season, will sit out the entire 2016 campaign for the Sycamores, as he will concentrate on academics. His grades were such that he would have been ineligible for the 2016 season, and Mike Sanford expressed his disappointment both in and for the player, acknowledging how much Indiana State means to Adams. Adams will likely lose a year of eligibility, but will have one season remaining in 2017.

That is all for this week...join us once again next Friday night, as I report on the happenings of the week, as "This Week In College Football: Volume 3" will return to the normal Friday release schedule! Until then, have a great week everyone!

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