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Monday, February 27, 2017

College Football

D’Onta Foreman throws shade at Texas over decision to leave

D'Onta Foreman

Running back D’Onta Foreman decided to forego his senior season at Texas and enter the NFL Draft, where he is expected to be among the top running backs taken.

Foreman could have returned to school and tried to further earn his place among the great Longhorns backs, but he decided it was time to take his game to the next level. And as he said on Saturday night, the choice was easy once he saw his workload for his junior season.

Foreman carried the ball 323 times last season. He racked up 2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns. He rushed for over 100 yards in every game he played, posting two 200-yard games and a 300-yard game. He finished the season second in the country in rushing and third in attempts.

Foreman knows that a running back’s shelf-life is not very long. Your body takes a lot of punishment when you tote the rock that much. Why not make sure you’re getting paid for it? That’s certainly what this man had in mind when he decided to skip his bowl game. You can’t blame Foreman for that mentality.

Paul Finebaum hilariously embracing new ‘Pete’ name

Pete Finebaum show

Paul Finebaum showed on Friday that he has a pretty good sense of humor.

The ESPN personality changed his Twitter handle and the name of his TV/radio show from “The Paul Finebaum Show” to “The Pete Finebaum Show” as a nod to his beef with Jim Harbaugh.

Finebaum, who is an SEC expert, has been critical of Harbaugh since the former 49ers coach’s arrival at Michigan. This week he accused Harbaugh of “cheating” by hiring the father of a top 2019 quarterback recruit to his Wolverines coaching staff.

In response, Harbaugh slammed Finebaum on Twitter, irreverently calling him “Pete.”

At least Finebaum has shown he can have a laugh about matters. Well played, Paul. Or should I say, Pete?

Jim Harbaugh blasts Paul Finebaum over ‘cheating’ criticism

Jim Harbaugh

Paul Finebaum has been critical of Jim Harbaugh since the coach took over at Michigan, even going so far as to call some of his recruiting tactics “cheating.” On Thursday evening, Harbaugh responded.

The Wolverines head coach dropped the hammer on the ESPN SEC personality with this tweet, in which he (intentionally?) got Finebaum’s name wrong.

What had Harbaugh so heated against Finebaum, a longtime SEC talk show host?

On Wednesday, Finebaum questioned Harbaugh’s recruiting tactics during an appearance on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”

While Finebaum believes Harbaugh taking his team out of the country is “genius,” he calls Michigan hiring the father of a recruit for a coaching job”cheating.”

“This is wrong. It may not be illegal by NCAA standards and bylaws by this moment, but to me it’s cheating. It’s blatantly disregarding the spirit of the NCAA rules. We all know why he’s doing it,” Finebaum said on the show. “In my mind he’s cheating.”

Harbaugh has been one step of the NCAA every year since taking over at Michigan. First he organized satellite camps, forcing the NCAA to look into that. Then he took his team to Florida for spring practice, leading to a rule change. Now he’s going abroad and has many more of those trips planned. He is forcing the NCAA to close every loophole they have.

But hiring a recruit’s dad for a job in order to have a good shot at the recruit? It’s nothing new for coaches, but it does seem somewhat fishy.

Is that cheating or unethical? That’s up to everyone to decide. And maybe the NCAA will, too. But Harbaugh does have some good defenses to his hiring considering Mike Johnson does have a strong coaching background as a former 49ers offensive coordinator.

Report: Brian Daboll leading candidate for Alabama OC job

Alabama field logo

New England Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll reportedly is the leading candidate to become the next offensive coordinator at Alabama.

Bama lost Steve Sarkisian, who replaced Lane Kiffin by calling plays during the National Championship Game, to the Atlanta Falcons, leaving a vacancy. Tider Insider reported on Thursday that Daboll is the leading candidate for the job.

ESPN says Daboll is the favorite, while they say George Godsey and Mike Locksley also interviewed for the job.

Daboll, 41, worked as a graduate assistant under Saban at Michigan State. He has been an NFL assistant coach since 2000 and is in his second coaching stint with the Pats. He just completed his third season as the team’s tight ends coach.

Blake Barnett bothered by Nick Saban’s ‘nervous’ comment

Blake Barnett ASU

Blake Barnett’s time at Alabama did not go well, which led him to announce a transfer decision early in his freshman season. He’s now at Arizona State where he’s been cleared to play immediately, which is great news for him and the Sun Devils.

In an interview with ESPN, Barnett was asked about his reason for departing Alabama. He didn’t allow much, but he did acknowledge Nick Saban saying he looked nervous during the USC game didn’t sit well with him.

“A lot of backlash that I received from [the USC game] was that I came out nervous,” Barnett told ESPN’s Ted Miller. “I think you could ask just about every teammate and they’d agree that I wasn’t. But a certain coach went out to the media and said that I was and so I got that negative reputation from it.”

Clearly Barnett still has an issue with Saban if he won’t even say his name.

Alabama has Jalen Hurts at quarterback now and is better off without Barnett. Meanwhile, Barnett has a fresh start at a new school. It seems things are working out just fine for both sides.

Tennessee shades Lane Kiffin ahead of Daniel Tosh visit

Lane Kiffin FAU

Lane Kiffin is not remembered fondly in Knoxville – or perhaps not remembered at all.

Comedian Daniel Tosh, who strongly resembles Kiffin and has impersonated him on his show, is set to do a show at Tennessee on April 21. The Vols do not have happy memories of Kiffin, so Tosh asked if he should be careful when setting foot on campus.

The official Tennessee account had a priceless response.

Tennessee does not like Lane Kiffin. They don’t like him to the point that now they pretend he doesn’t even exist.

H/T CBS Sports

UConn responds to Big East rumors

Kevin Ollie

The University of Connecticut says it has no intention of rejoining the Big East Conference.

On Wednesday, a report from FanRag Sports claimed UConn has been having active discussions with the Big East about joining the conference. The Big East is supposedly willing to take UConn in all sports, though something would need to be done about the Huskies’ football team because the Big East no longer has football.

UConn athletic director David Benedict said in a statement Wednesday evening that all of that is a moot point, because he claims the Huskies have no interest in leaving the American Athletic conference.

The report from FanRag says the Big East wants UConn to join so the conference can move to 20 league games in basketball, which would help improve the resumes of its teams and give them a better shot at earning NCAA Tournament bids over other power-five teams.

It’s hard to tell whether Benedict’s statement is rooted in truth, as UConn probably would not want the AAC to know it was considering leaving in case any potential deal with the Big East fell through. UConn won a national title in men’s basketball in 2014, but they have since struggled and are an incredibly disappointing 12-12 this season after being ranked in the top 25 heading into the year.

We all know one team from UConn every conference would love to have, but that goes without saying. If the Huskies join the Big East and can play against tougher competition, men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie could see a boost in recruiting this summer.

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