Where in the world will Jim Harbaugh take his Michigan Wolverines next? That’s one of the popular questions for the college football community, and we may have the answer.
Harbaugh said at his football camp Saturday that his Wolverines took a vote on where to go next year for spring football, and they settled on three possible destinations.
“We took a straw poll,” Harbaugh said via MLive.com. “Right now, we’re looking into going to Paris, then Normandy and then London — we’d finish up in London.”
Harbaugh had been talking about taking his team to South Africa or Brazil next, but that may have been his desired destination, while the players had other spots in mind.
Michigan’s football team visited Rome during the spring for a team-building trip. They even held some practice sessions there, and once they were done, players had a few weeks off. Some decided to utilize the time to do internships.
The total cost of the trip was over $750,000, but the expenses were covered by a donor. Michigan seems like they’re going to continue this trend of spring trips. It remains to be seen whether other programs follow their lead.
- Michigan Football
Michigan’s team trip to Rome in April was not cheap, as you could imagine.
Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said on Tuesday that the total cost for the trip is expected to be around $750,000-$800,000.
“It’s going to come in around $750,000, $800,000,” Manuel said at a golf tournament Tuesday, according to The Detroit News’ Angelique S. Chengelis. “Waiting on a few numbers, so we don’t have it final, final, but it will be around 750, 800.”
Manuel then used the trip as an argument for why college athletes don’t need to be paid.
“It will be about $5,000 to $6,000 a person, so it was a great investment. It was just terrific. We pay them through an educational experience like Michigan does all the time. I don’t think about it in terms of paying our athletes but if people want to say we should give something to our students of value, I can’t think of a better way to invest in them for their lifetime and their experience.”
The cost of the trip was covered by an anonymous donor. The football team wasn’t the only one to make a trip abroad; the Wolverines’ tennis team went to France, and the women’s basketball team went to Italy.
The players used the trip as an opportunity to bond and even practice. It was somewhat of a reward for the players after they completed their finals.
- Michigan Football
The college football world lost one of its better coaches when Bob Stoops decided to retire earlier this week. Alabama fans can breathe a little easier knowing Nick Saban isn’t planning on leaving any time soon.
The 65-year-old Saban is getting ready for his 11th season in charge of the Crimson Tide program. His first head coaching job came with Toledo in 1990. Despite more than two decades as a head coach, it’s obvious Saban still loves what he does.
It’s not just being the head man Saban enjoys. Being part of a team is factor, something he has done since he was nine years old. It’s the idea of that no longer being the case that scares Saban “to death.”
“As long as I feel good, I love doing it,” Saban told AL.com. “I’ve been a part of a team since I was nine years old. It scares me to death to figure what it’s going to be like when I’m not a part of a team.”
“So, as long as I feel good and I’m healthy and I can do it, we certainly have every intention of trying to do it,” he continued. “If I felt like I couldn’t do it to the standard that I want to do it, then I think that would be time not to do it. But I certainly don’t feel like that’s any time soon.”
Saban has arguably the best job in college football and a lucrative contract that doesn’t expire until 2024. He’s created an NFL factory that churns out draft picks year after year. All of that is certainly great. However, it’s the camaraderie and being able to help develop players that keeps Saban coming back year after year.
When that joy leaves, so too will Saban. At that time, the SEC will breathe a collective sigh of relief.
- Nick Saban
The news of Bob Stoops’s retirement as Oklahoma football coach took everyone by surprise — and also kickstarted the rumor mill into high gear. Was 33-year-old assistant Lincoln Riley really the man the school trusted to lead one of the nation’s most prestigious football programs into the future? For now, the answer is yes, with Riley being given the job without any qualifiers or interim tags attached.
Is Riley really the long-term answer, or will Oklahoma keep one eye on the coaching carousel in the event he underwhelms? Here are a list of possible names who could wind up with the job in the next couple years if Riley falters.
1) Chip Kelly
If Riley fails to impress in his first season or two, all eyes will fall on Kelly, who has only recently joined ESPN as an analyst. Pretty much everyone agrees that his stop in Bristol is temporary.
Whatever you make of Kelly’s NFL career, his collegiate resume speaks for itself: 46-7, three top-ten finishes, and one of the most innovative and electrifying offenses at the college level in recent memory. It’s an open question whether he’d be able to recapture that magic at a different school, but pretty much any major program with a vacancy would be willing to find out, as his established record of success bests everyone else’s.
The only question would be whether Kelly would be willing to finally let go of his NFL ambitions and settle for another college job. After getting passed over for every position he interviewed for this past offseason, the answer might be yes, and he’d struggle to find a superior college opening than Oklahoma’s.
2) Les Miles
Before Bob Stoops got to Norman and turned Oklahoma back into a power, it was Barry Switzer who last had the Sooners contending every year. Switzer still has close ties to the program, and he sure did not see the news about Stoops coming.
Switzer channeled President Donald Trump when reacting to Wednesday’s shocking news that Stoops would be retiring.
Barry Switzer to #ESPN on Stoops' retirement: "To me, it's like you calling me and saying I've had dealings with Russia. Is this fake news?"
— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) June 7, 2017
Switzer’s reaction is completely understandable. Who even saw this coming? Stoops is 56, has had tremendous success at Oklahoma, and his program is in a good position entering the season. Why would he suddenly decide to retire, just a few months before the season begins?
Like Switzer says, it does seem like “fake news.”
Bob Stoops is going to step down as head coach of Oklahoma and retire, the coach announced Wednesday.
The Oklahoman’s Barry Tramel first reported on Wednesday that Stoops is stepping down. Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley will take over as head coach.
Tramel says Stoops, 56, is expected to remain with the school in some position.
Reports say Stoops is not stepping down over a health matter.
Bob Stoops told me he expects Lincoln Riley (@LincolnRiley) to be his successor. Said retirement is not about his health.
— Carey Murdock (@CareyWWLS) June 7, 2017
Stoops has been the head coach at Oklahoma for 18 seasons. He has gone 190-48 and 9-9 in bowl games, and he won a national championship in 2000.
Photo: Flickr/Billy Adams
Justin Fields, a top QB recruit from the class of 2018, announced on Tuesday that he has decommitted from Penn State.
Fields announced his decision in well written note on Twitter. The high schooler said that his decision is not a reflection of Penn State nor a sign of any “deficiencies” with the program.
— Justin Fields (@justnfields) June 7, 2017
247 Sports has Fields rated as a 5-star recruit and the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country. The Kennesaw, Georgia, product is believed to be strongly considering Florida, Florida State, Auburn, Georgia and North Carolina.
Big recruiting news. Arguably nation's top QB recruit. Smart & very gifted. Told me Sunday AUB, UF, UGA, FSU & UNC have been in hot pursuit https://t.co/1aGeUA3ALq
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) June 7, 2017