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Friday, September 20, 2019

College Football

Urban Meyer sounds ready for a coaching return next year

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer stepped away from coaching at Ohio State and has gone into the TV business, but questions persist about how long that will last. Meyer is one of the best college football coaches in history. He has a competitive drive matched by few others. Can he be fulfilled doing TV and teaching a class at Ohio State in the same way that he was leading a team to victory each weekend during the fall? Probably not.

During a lengthy interview with Cleveland.com’s Doug Lesmerises that was published on Thursday, Meyer expressed how difficult it is to live each day without coaching to drive him.

“I’ve been in a fight for 33 years, and now you’re not in that fight,” Meyer told Lesmerises. “So how do you fulfill that fight? And I feel that every morning. Every morning.

“It’s all about a win and a loss for 33 years. I mean every day was. Not just you’re getting ready for a game. No, no, no, no. You’re recruiting every day. You’re going against Alabama and Clemson every day, The Team Up North every day. Now you’re not. That’s the number one void, is you’re not in a fight.”

Meyer sounds like a guy who’s hungry to jump back into coaching. But he says getting into the coaching mix later this year might be too early and that 2020 could be more the timing he’s aiming for.

“I’m not there at the moment,” Meyer said of a possible return to Lesmerises. “Like you said, next year can I say that? We’ll talk again next year and we’ll see.”

There has been plenty of speculation that Meyer will end up at USC. A 2020 timeline might not fit with the Trojans if they wish to fire Clay Helton after this season and hire a new coach later this year.

Whatever the case, it seems like we can expect Meyer taking over a program late next year.

H/T Sports By Brooks

Report: Auburn booster has eye on Bob Stoops as potential Gus Malzahn replacement

Bob Stoops

Gus Malzahn seems to be on the hot seat every other week, and the most prominent Auburn Tigers booster apparently has his eye on a potential replacement.

Sports By Brooks reported on Tuesday night that if Malzahn fails to beat Alabama this season, Auburn booster Jimmy Rane would target Bob Stoops as the replacement.

Oklahoma reporter Jason Kersey of The Athletic says he does not believe Stoops would have any interest in a return to the college game.

Stoops surprisingly retired in June 2017, and the Oklahoma Sooners’ program was turned over to Lincoln Riley, who has posted excellent results. Earlier this year Stoops was announced as the GM and head coach of Dallas’ XFL franchise. We can’t imagine he went the last few years without other college offers, so maybe what Kersey says about Stoops wanting to avoid college is true. Or maybe someone would have to make it worth his while.

But why would anyone like Stoops want to take the Auburn job? That is probably the hardest job in college football. You have to compete with Nick Saban for in-state recruits, face Saban every year — with your job depending on that game — and the program’s expectations are extremely high. Why would Stoops willingly step into that situation?

Malzahn received a 7-year extension from Auburn in late 2017 after leading the team to a surprising win over Alabama. He has a hefty buyout that calls for him to be paid 75 percent of what he is owed if he is fired without cause. He’s a good coach who Auburn only feels lukewarm about.

Steve Spurrier has great zinger for Florida State fan

Steve Spurrier

The Head Ball Coach always has the best zingers.

Florida Gators reporter Ainslie Lee tweeted on Tuesday about an encounter with Steve Spurrier. She said she told Spurrier that her dad is a Florida State fan. Spurrier responded with a tremendous line — “tell your dad (Willie) Taggart is a great coach and FSU should offer him a 10-year extension.”

Gotta love Spurrier.

Taggart is in his second season at Florida State and 6-9 so far. This is the worst the program has been since Bobby Bowden took over in 1976. As a former Florida national championship-winning coach and Gator ambassador, of course Spurrier wants Taggart to stick around as long as possible.

As we always do with Spurrier, here is a look at his best quotes.

Pete Carroll does not think college players need to be paid

Pete Carroll gum woo

Pete Carroll has always been viewed as a players’ coach, that’s why some may have found his thoughts on college athletes being paid to be surprising.

California has recently passed a bill (SB 206) that would allow college athletes to profit off their image or likeness. Whether college athletes should be paid has been a topic of debate for years, and now California is moving forward to make a change.

Carroll, who from 2001-2009 was wildly successful as USC’s head football coach and now coaches the Seattle Seahawks, said Wednesday he does not think the college athletes need to be paid.

Carroll is correct: student-athletes get a much better deal than most people who are complaining realize. They get free education to schools like USC, that otherwise would cost perhaps a quarter-million dollars to attend (and where parents pay hundreds of thousands in potential bribes). They get books, athletic clothing, gear, food, and housing paid for. They even get monetary stipends. Sure, they may struggle with expenses, but that is standard for college students who are spending most of their hours studying and attending classes rather than working; it’s not limited to athletes.

While I do believe college athletes should be allowed to capitalize on their fame through such potential deals, I think that revenue should be put into escrow accounts until two years after an athlete last played for a team or two years after their freshman class has graduated, whichever comes later. There still needs to be some protections against these young people squandering their money and being influenced by it while in school. I also would not allow these athletes to be represented by agents in negotiating these deals but would rather run things through the school. Agents working to force NBA and NFL players out of contracts is already a major headache in pro sports. Can you imagine what would happen in college sports too if you allow agents to start getting involved with these players?

Like Mike Leach and others have said, there will be a lot of unintended consequences. Maybe the gap between competitive and non-competitive teams will widen due to these pay opportunities. Maybe college sports — which many view as a more pure option to the money-focused pro sports — will be ruined. We may eventually see the consequences if this law gets enacted across the country.

Report: USC president does not want to hire Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer

Very few people believe we have seen the last of Urban Meyer coaching college football, and the one school the three-time national champion has been consistently linked to is USC. But even if Meyer is interested in that job, the feeling may not be mutual.

According to a report from Sports by Brooks, USC President Carol Folt is not in favor of hiring Meyer to replace Clay Helton. As a result, the school’s trustees are facing pressure to look elsewhere for a head football coach.

Folt just became president at USC back in March, and she is probably concerned about all of the past scandals Meyer has been involved in. USC has enough problems to deal with, as the admissions scandal that rocked the school is still playing out. The Trojans were also one of the teams involved in the FBI’s investigation into corruption within college basketball. Folt likely played a role in former athletic director Lynn Swann recently stepping down, as Swann was heavily criticized for the way he handled a lot of the issues at USC during his three-plus years there.

As Jim Harbaugh recently said, controversy seems to follow Meyer everywhere he goes. More than two dozen players were arrested during his six seasons as the head coach at Florida, and he left Ohio State in the wake of allegations that he ignored domestic violence allegations against a member of his coaching staff.

If USC’s priority is getting its football team back to national prominence, there are few arguments to be made against bringing Meyer in. But if hiring a guy with a clean reputation who won’t bring more scandal to the university is the main goal, looking elsewhere makes sense.

Video of Kash Daniel twisting Kyle Trask’s ankle removed by Kentucky website

Kash Daniel Kyle Trask

A video of Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Kash Daniel twisting the ankle of Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask last weekend was removed by a Kentucky website that had posted it during the week.

Video of Daniel pulling the dirty move on Trask at the end of a 2-point conversion play in Saturday’s game was a talking point following Florida’s 29-21 win. Kentucky news station WYMT posted video the video to their site but later took it down.

The videos circulated elsewhere on social media:

Even though the video evidence showed Daniel’s move appeared to be intentional, the Kentucky linebacker defended himself in comments shared on Wednesday:

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was asked about the matter Thursday. He said that Daniel would be playing Saturday, which was an indication the linebacker will not be suspended a full game. Stoops also backed Daniel, saying the linebacker is not trying to hurt anyone.

There’s no doubt Kentucky is lucky that Daniel will be avoiding serious discipline. Florida fans have extra reason to be upset — Trask was knocked out for the season last year with a foot injury.

Tulane beats Houston with incredible fake kneeldown play in final minute

Tulane trick play

Tulane beat Houston 38-31 on Thursday night thanks to one of the most creative playcalls you will see.

The Houston Cougars had kicked a field goal with 21 seconds left to tie the game and thought for sure they were going to overtime and that their job was done. Not so fast.

Tulane returned the ensuing kickoff to their 29, and just when you thought they would kneel out the clock and go to OT, the Green Wave pulled off the greatest fake ever. Take a look at this gorgeous play:

The Annexation of Puerto Rico run to perfection!

Tulane gained 18 yards to the 47 and had three seconds left. Then they did this:

Unbelievable.

Houston has to be kicking itself over the collapse. Meanwhile, Tulane just made our list of favorite trick plays ever. Well done, fellas.