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#pounditTuesday, January 25, 2022

College Football

Georgia loses touchdown on overturned call to incompletion

Bryce Young throws incompletion

Monday night’s national championship game between Alabama and Georgia needed only two minutes of action to have its first on-field controversy.

Bama got the ball first and had a 1st-and-10 at their 44. Bryce Young was under pressure and couldn’t decide if he was going to attempt a pass or not. He ended up getting the ball knocked out of his hand as he was sacked, and the Bulldogs returned the fumble for a touchdown.

The officials on the field called it a touchdown. However, they reviewed the scoring play and changed the call to an incompletion, erasing the touchdown.

Here is the play:

Here is a closer look at Young’s arm:

Was an incomplete pass the correct ruling? Georgia fans didn’t like the call, but Bama fans were relieved to get a do-over.

Police talk to rowdy Georgia fans at famous Indianapolis restaurant

Georgia mascot

Georgia fans are pumped up for the Bulldogs’ National Championship Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Monday night and have been making all kinds of noise ahead of the contest.

Videos have emerged on social media showing Georgia fans getting loud on flights to Indy. And a video on Sunday showed UGA fans chanting and barking while dining at the famous St. Elmo Steak House in Indianapolis.

Radi Nabulsi, who shared the video on Twitter, also said the police showed up. He shared photos of that:

The reason for the police call is unclear. One fan speculated the restaurant may have called the police, but that is pure speculation.

The rowdiness and excitement from Georgia fans ahead of the game has been great.

Here are some of the plane ride stories.

Nobody can argue that Georgia fans aren’t pumped for the game. It doesn’t get more pumped than that.

H/T Saturday Down South

Report: Jim Harbaugh showing signs he is strongly considering NFL return

Jim Harbaugh walking

There has been some chatter for the past week that Jim Harbaugh is considering leaving Michigan for the NFL. There seems to be even more smoke surrounding those rumors.

FOX NFL reporter Jay Glazer reported on Sunday that Harbaugh has been making calls to reach out to possible assistants to see if they would have interest in working for him in the NFL.

“Jim Harbaugh has been calling around asking for people in case he gets an NFL job, if they would join his staff. So he is interested in possibly returning to the NFL,” Glazer reported.

Harbaugh wouldn’t make those calls if he weren’t genuinely considering a return to the NFL. Some might suggest he’s trying to use the NFL as leverage for a new contract with Michigan. That could be true, but it doesn’t seem to fit Harbaugh’s personality and motivations, considering he just donated his bonus money back to Michigan, while also previously taking a big pay cut.

A previous report also suggested Harbaugh told a recruit he had interest in leaving for the NFL. Why would Harbaugh self-sabotage like that unless he was just being honest with the recruit?

Harbaugh has seemed like a possibility for two notable jobs. A third NFL job also just entered the picture.

Photo: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson announces return to UCLA for extra season

Dorian Thompson-Robinson smiling

UCLA’s quarterback situation for the 2022 season has been resolved.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson announced on Monday that he is returning to UCLA for the 2022 season.

When Dillon Gabriel initially announced his plans to transfer from UCF to UCLA, there was speculation that DTR would not be returning for 2022. However, we now know that Thompson-Robinson is planning to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted by the COVID-shortened season in 2020.

Thompson-Robinson has been at UCLA since 2018 and played in 36 career games. He’s passed for 7,541 yards, 61 touchdowns and 26 interceptions in his career. He’s also rushed for 1,183 career yards and 16 touchdowns.

DTR has improved each season he’s been at UCLA and should be even better in 2022. His return likely signals that the rumors about Caleb Williams going to UCLA are false. Gabriel also is headed to Oklahoma.

DTR’s return will also mean that Washington transfer Ethan Garbers will be spending another season as the backup.

Photo: Jul 27, 2021; Hollywood, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson speaks with the media during the Pac-12 football Media Day at the W Hollywood. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

SEC commissioner trolls college football world with CFP comment

Greg Sankey at a press conference

One of the major sticking points in talks about expanding the College Football Playoff is whether some conference should be entitled to automatic qualification to the field. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey couldn’t help but have some fun with that discussion on Monday.

Several conference commissioners have come out in favor of some sort of automatic qualifier, at least for the Power 5 leagues, in an expanded playoff. Sankey doesn’t necessarily oppose that, but he made the somewhat tongue-in-cheek suggestion that perhaps his league deserves special consideration.

The SEC has had at least one entrant in all but one College Football Playoff final since the event’s inception, and that was in its inaugural season. Since then, only Clemson has managed to make the title game from outside of the SEC. That represents remarkable dominance, so Sankey might as well take his victory lap especially since Monday’s championship game features two SEC schools in Alabama and Georgia.

Of course, automatic qualifiers might be inevitable as potential expansion formats are discussed. No, the SEC won’t get a bonus spot, but they probably don’t need it, and Sankey might as well throw his weight around a little in negotiations.

Photo: July 15, 2019; Birmingham, AL, USA; SEC commissioner Greg Sankey speaks to the media during SEC Media Days at the Hyatt Regency-Birmingham. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Jaxson Dart leaving USC could mean Caleb Williams is coming

Jaxson Dart

Another top quarterback has entered the college transfer portal, and the move could signal that USC head coach Lincoln Riley is planning to reunite with former Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams.

USC quarterback Jaxson Dart entered the transfer portal on Monday, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports.

Dart seemed to have a clear path to the starting job at USC after Kedon Slovis recently transferred to Pitt. Dart appeared in six games for the Trojans this past season and took over for Slovis after Slovis suffered a leg injury in early November. Dart, who is entering his sophomore season, threw for 1,353 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions.

There are likely only two reasons Dart would leave USC. One would be that he didn’t want to play for Riley. The other would be that he was told USC plans to bring in a transfer QB. That’s where Williams could enter the picture.

Williams, who took over for Spencer Rattler as Oklahoma’s starter last year, announced last week that he has entered the transfer portal. He did not rule out remaining with the Sooners, but that seems unlikely with another QB sneaking in behind him.

One report claimed an SEC powerhouse is the leading contender to land Williams. USC might make the most sense now that Dart is leaving.

Photo: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins owner offers interesting quote on Jim Harbaugh rumors

Jim Harbaugh in a Michigan hat

If the Miami Dolphins fired Brian Flores with Jim Harbaugh in mind, they certainly are not willing to admit it publicly.

The Dolphins made the most stunning move of Black Monday when they parted ways with Flores, who just led the team to a second consecutive winning season. Rumors immediately began to swirl that they must have fired Flores because they are planning to pursue Harbaugh, who may be entertaining the idea of leaving Michigan to return to the NFL.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a Michigan alumnus, was asked about the Harbaugh speculation on Monday. He said he doesn’t want to be the one to pull Harbaugh away from his alma mater.

Of course, Ross could never admit the Dolphins already have their next head coach lined up. That would be a violation of the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for coaching vacancies.

If Harbaugh decides he is leaving Michigan, Ross would almost certainly love to have him. That is different from Ross convincing Harbaugh to bail on the Wolverines.

It’s unclear if Harbaugh would actually leave Michigan following his best season with the program. He may just be trying to secure a bigger contract from the school after taking a pay cut last year. If he does talk with NFL teams, the Dolphins and at least one other team will likely want to interview him.

Photo: Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Did Dolphins fire Brian Flores with Jim Harbaugh in mind?

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

The Miami Dolphins made the most shocking move of Black Monday when they fired head coach Brian Flores. Many assume they must have made the decision with a replacement in mind. Could that replacement be Jim Harbaugh?

Harbaugh is rumored to be entertaining the idea of leaving Michigan to return to the NFL. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a Michigan alumnus, is a big Harbaugh fan. Some within NFL circles believe Ross and the Dolphins must already have Flores’ replacement lined up, and Harbaugh makes the most sense.

According to one report, the Flores firing had nothing to do with Harbaugh potentially being open to an NFL return. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington said Flores would have been out in Miami regardless due to his deteriorating relationship with general manager Chris Grier and others.

Some are also skeptical that Ross would want to pull Harbaugh away from his alma mater. Ross is one of Michigan’s biggest boosters. The football program appeared to finally turn the corner under Harbaugh this season by defeating Ohio State, winning the Big Ten and reaching the College Football Playoff.

Harbaugh may be simply angling for a bigger contract from Michigan, but there have been reports that the Dolphins and at least one other team are interested in him.

Flores posted back-to-back winning seasons in Miami. The Dolphins finished 9-8 this year despite starting out the season 1-7. He should have no problem finding another head coaching job in the NFL.

Photo: Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh a realistic possibility for 1 NFL team?

Jim Harbaugh walking

The idea of Jim Harbaugh leaving Michigan after his best season with the program sounds farfetched to some, but the rumors are not going away. While there are likely several NFL teams that would have interest in Harbaugh, one may be worth keeping an eye on.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, there is buzz building within NFL circles that the Las Vegas Raiders could land Harbaugh. As Florio puts it, there is a belief that Raiders owner Mark Davis “wants, and will get” Harbaugh.

The Raiders are still fighting for a playoff spot. They can punch their ticket to the postseason with a win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night. If they make it, interim head coach Rich Bisaccia would have a better chance of keeping the job. Davis is said to be impressed with Bisaccia, but would he prefer him over Harbaugh? Probably not.

Harbaugh began his coaching career as a quarterbacks coach with the Raiders in 2002, so he has ties to the organization. Las Vegas also has an established starting QB in Derek Carr, which could appeal to Harbaugh.

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-2014 before being forced out over issues with the team’s front office. He took the team to the NFC Championship Game three straight years and Super Bowl in 2012. He has a rare resume that includes success at both the NFL and college levels.

If Harbaugh does shock the college football world and leave Michigan, the Raiders and at least one other team will likely pursue him.

Photo: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021

Report: 2 NFL teams could pursue Jim Harbaugh as head coach

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

Jim Harbaugh is once again being linked to an NFL return, and a new report names two teams that could have serious interest in the Michigan coach.

The Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins could both make a run at Harbaugh, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Harbaugh has ties to the Raiders organization and is well-liked by owner Mark Davis, though Davis is also pleased with the job interim coach Rich Bisaccia has done this season. Regardless, the chance to lure Harbaugh could prove tempting to Davis if it is plausible.

The Miami Dolphins may also have interest in Harbaugh. That is largely driven by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a Michigan alumnus and longtime fan of Harbaugh. Miami’s interest in Harbaugh is serious enough that his name was brought up earlier in the season when the organization considered a midseason coaching change. If Brian Flores is not retained, it makes sense that the Dolphins could look that way again.

What we don’t know right now is whether Harbaugh would be interested in an NFL opportunity. He just led Michigan to the College Football Playoff after beating Ohio State, the two most notable accomplishments of his Wolverines tenure to date. On one hand, he may want to stay and build on that momentum. On the other, his stock is high right now, and one recruit’s father has claimed that the NFL is still lingering on Harbaugh’s mind.

Harbaugh is appealing because of his track record of success, having taken the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in his first NFL head coaching stint. If a team wants him badly enough, it’s possible his head could be turned, though it’s probably still unlikely.

Photo: Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports