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Monday, March 19, 2018

College Football

Gus Malzahn becomes a grandfather

Gus Malzahn

Gus Malzahn has joined a pretty special club.

The Auburn Tigers head coach became a grandfather on Sunday. Malzahn’s wife Kristi shared photos on Instagram of the happy family, along with a caption announcing the news.

Malzahn, 52, is coming off of one of his best seasons at Auburn. He led the Tigers to a 10-4 season, including a victory over rival Alabama for the eventual national champion’s only loss.

H/T Auburn Undercover

Lane Kiffin appears to troll Alabama yet again

Lane Kiffin FAU

Lane Kiffin’s Twitter bravado knows no bounds.

Kiffin appeared to troll the Alabama football program yet again when he responded to a tweet. During Friday night’s Virginia-UMBC game, sports personality Clay Travis asked if there was a top team that was as boring to watch as Virginia.

Kiffin responded to the tweet on Saturday, saying “Hmmmm” along with a crying laughing face.

Kiffin spent three seasons at Alabama as an offensive coach. He complained about his time there on multiple occasions, saying it was a “miserable” atmosphere. He also would have loved to open things up more offensively while with the Tide, so it’s pretty obvious he was talking about Alabama.

Kiffin sure has shown time and time and time again that he just loves to troll Bama.

UCF uses UMBC upset to stump for expanded playoff

UCF Knights

UMBC’s upset win over Virginia gave hope to underdogs everywhere, including one who still feels like they didn’t get their fair shot at the would-be champions.

UCF, who went undefeated in college football but were left out of the four-team playoff, used the Retrievers’ upset to make a point about expanded playoffs giving underdogs a chance.

Yes, it’s safe to say the Knights still would have liked their shot at Alabama, even if people are going to criticize them for their continued crowing. You’d have to say they’d probably have been given a better chance than UMBC would have been given against Virginia, though.

Kirk Herbstreit criticizes UCF over national champions talk

UCF Knights

It’s no secret that all of those involved with the University of Central Florida and its football team feel that the Knights were the best team in the country last season, but Kirk Herbstreit has had enough of them crowning themselves national champions.

Herbstreit was critical of the fans and program for their “title-winning” celebrations, arguing that the school is damaging its brand by continuing to play up that angle.

It’s safe to say that UCF’s championship talk has been met with mixed reactions. One prominent coach has no problem with it, but it’s safe to say Alabama players find it all rather amusing. Is it a little over-the-top at this point? Maybe, but it’s hard to imagine it doing damage to the “brand” as Herbstreit says it is.

NFL team reportedly hired private investigator to follow Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield throat

Baker Mayfield is one of the most polarizing prospects in this year’s deep quarterback draft class, and at least one team is not going to take a chance on the former Oklahoma star without knowing exactly what is going on in his personal life.

Robert Klemko of The MMQB reports that one NFL team hired a private investigator to tail Mayfield around recently, and Mayfield was tipped off about it.

Later on Tuesday, Mayfield received an alert from a trusted source that he had a tail in Norman. A private investigator, he was told, was tracking his movements on behalf of a team. The MMQB was unable to verify the identity of that team, but it should come as no surprise that any NFL franchise considering a (minimum) four-year commitment and tens of millions of dollars to a 22-year-old might like to know how he spends nights near his old stomping grounds.

There’s no denying Mayfield’s play-making ability, but his character has been called into question because of a public intoxication arrest last year and some questionable decisions he has made before, during and after games. One of the most noteworthy was when he went out of his way to taunt Ohio State after an Oklahoma upset win over the Buckeyes.

While teams probably aren’t hiring private investigators to follow every draft prospect they are interested in, the practice is hardly unheard of.

H/T The Spun

Bret Bielema serving as consultant for Patriots

Bret Bielema

Bret Bielema may have been ousted as Arkansas’ head football coach, but he is still keeping busy these days.

Bielema has been serving as a consultant for the New England Patriots and helping them with some of their draft prospects, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

Indeed, Bielema attended the NFL Scouting Combine as a Patriots representative, NESN previously reported.

Bielema has been previously mentioned as a college coach Bill Belichick consults before the NFL Draft to mine for thoughts on prospects.

Even though Bielema didn’t have great results at Arkansas and lost his job, the Patriots have drafted a few of his players in late rounds — James White and Trey Flowers — and struck big with both. Belichick is likely hoping that Bielema will be able to provide valuable advice to them over the next month.

Clemson DT has been working as substitute kindergarten teacher

Clemson Tigers logo

Many know Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins for his exploits on the football field, but what he does away from it may come as a surprise.

Since the Tigers’ season ended with a loss to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, Wilkins has been spending time as a substitute teacher. He even subbed in teaching classes for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students, according to a story from ESPN’s Chris Low.

“It was fun, but took a lot out of me,” Wilkins told ESPN’s Low. “I felt like Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘Kindergarten Cop’ with all those little kids. Talk about energy, but it was a real cool experience.”

Not surprisingly, Wilkins became something of a celebrity at James M. Brown Elementary School in Walhalla, South Carolina. It’s not hard to stand out when you’re 6-foot-4 and nearly 300 pounds as he is. He told ESPN that there were lots of teachers who are Clemson fans who came by to poke their heads into the room.

Wilkins graduated in just two and a half years with a degree in communications, which has allowed him time to teach. He has also filled in a few days at a South Carolina high school.

Wilkins finished his junior season with had 53 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 8.5 tackles for loss. He earned First Team All-ACC honors and was a co-captain for the Tigers.

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