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#pounditWednesday, September 30, 2020

College Football

UCLA negotiating with Jordan Brand for new apparel deal?

UCLA Bruins logo

UCLA is locked in a contract dispute with Under Armour over the massive $280 million endorsement deal the two sides have, and the school is negotiating a deal with another apparel company in the meantime.

Tracy Pierson of reports that UCLA has been having “very promising” contract negotiations with the Jordan Brand. While few details are known, it is believed that the two sides are working on a two-year deal for Jordan Brand to supply apparel and gear to UCLA teams. It’s unclear if the endorsement deal would cover anything beyond that.

Under Armour informed UCLA back in June that it is terminating the $280 million apparel deal the two sides agreed to back in 2016. Under Armour sought to end the deal due to financial struggles and invoked a force majeure clause. They used UCLA canceling sports due to COVID-19 as their justification, saying the school was not living up to the deal by not giving them brand exposure.

UCLA recently filed a lawsuit against Under Armour alleging that the company lied about its financial picture when the 15-year endorsement deal was signed. UCLA is seeking $200 million, which is the approximate amount remaining on the original $280 million agreement.

As Pierson noted, Jordan Brand currently has apparel deals with eight other college athletic departments — North Carolina, Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgetown, Marquette, Houston and San Diego State. UCLA would be its first partner from the Pac-12.

Kirby Smart did not seem to appreciate Gus Malzahn’s ‘coach speak’

Kirby Smart

Kirby Smart did not seem to appreciate what he considered to be some “coach speak” from Gus Malzahn this week.

Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs are set to host Malzahn’s Auburn Tigers on Saturday in Athens. Malzahn praised the Bulldogs ahead of the game, saying they are probably the most talented team in the SEC.

Smart was asked Tuesday for his thoughts on Malzahn’s quote. Smart downplayed it and said that was an example of “coach speak.”

“I think if you ask somebody the week of the game, the team they’re playing will have the most talent in the league. And then the next week, that team will have the most week … and that’s coach speak,” Smart said.

Smart returned the favor by saying Malzahn had the most talented team in the league.

Coach speak is like political correctness, but for the coaching world. It’s a way of handling the media and opponents to your team’s benefit. In other words, Smart does not believe Malzahn’s comment was genuine, but instead a tactic.

But there may have been some genuineness to Malzahn’s comment; Georgia has had top recruiting classes the last few years and is often one of the best teams in the country. Maybe Smart did not appreciate Malzahn adding to the pressure on Smart by suggesting Georgia is expected to win, while making his team appear to be an underdog.

Georgia has won the last three meetings in the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.” Before that, Auburn handed Georgia a beatdown.

Lane Kiffin has funny response to tweet about his Raiders firing

Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders what feels like a lifetime ago, but Monday was the anniversary of one of his most puzzling decisions ever. Someone decided to troll Kiffin over that, and he took it in stride.

On Sept. 28, 2008, Kiffin sent former Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski out onto the field to attempt a 76-yard field goal just before halftime. It came up woefully short, as expected. As the Twitter account for Funhouse pointed out, Kiffin was fired two days later. Kiffin had a great response to the tweet.

Kiffin went 4-12 in his first season with the Raiders and was 1-3 at the time he was fired during his second. Allowing Janikowski to attempt an impossible field goal probably didn’t play a huge role in his firing, but it certainly didn’t help.

Does he care? Probably not. Kiffin landed on his feet and has held several high-profile head coaching jobs since he left Oakland. He’s now the head coach at Ole Miss, which is another great gig.

You can debate whether or not you think Kiffin is a good head coach, but he definitely has the whole Twitter thing down pat.

Ole Miss fans! It’s time to jump aboard the Lane Train! This Lane Train shirt is a perfect gift for you or a friend – you can buy it here.

Mike Leach has deep thoughts on cardboard fan cutouts

Mike Leach

Mike Leach is one of the best quotes in college football, and that certain hasn’t changed at Mississippi State.

Leach devoted a portion of his Monday press conference to the cardboard cutouts that many sports teams have placed in seats in place of fans. He had some questions about their seating arrangements, too.

These are important questions and we need to get to the bottom of them.

Leach is riding high after his Mississippi State team upset LSU on Saturday. Come on, don’t you want to get on this bandwagon?

Mike Leach hilariously invites fans to join Mississippi State bandwagon

Mike Leach

If you’re looking for a college football team to bandwagon this fall, Mike Leach has you covered.

Fresh off Mississippi State’s upset victory over LSU, the school is taking full advantage of the publicity with a video that’s clearly meant to go viral. And it just might, because the sight of Leach on a little wagon is well worth your time.

And yes, the link in the tweet even takes you to a bandwagon applications. Among the options under “reason for transfer” is “Mike Leach is really cool and I want him to like me.”

It’s been a while since Mississippi State was this relevant nationally. It only makes sense for them to capitalize. One thing is for sure — it means Lane Kiffin is going to have to step up his game.

NC State’s Khalid Martin released from hospital following scary collision

NC State logo

NC State safety Khalid Martin left Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech in an ambulance following a frightening collision with a teammate, but fortunately the redshirt freshman appears to be doing well.

Martin laid motionless on the field after a helmet-to-helmet collision with a teammate in the third quarter. He was immobilized on the field and taken to a local hospital. On Sunday morning, NC State announced that Martin was kept overnight but has been released.

Martin was conscious as he was heading to the hospital, which was a good sign. The ACC Network broadcast reported that he had a hip injury.

Martin, a three-star recruit, arrived at NC State last year and redshirted. It’s unclear when he will be able to return to playing, but it’s certainly a good sign that he was sent home.

Alan Bowman’s ‘horns down’ against Texas backfired

Alan Bowman

Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman was feeling understandably confident after his team took a 56-41 lead over Texas with just over three minutes remaining on Saturday. Unfortunately, the way he expressed that confidence wound up making him look bad.

Bowman flashed the “Horns Down” hand gesture after Texas Tech scored what looked like the game-sealing touchdown. The Longhorns then proceeded to score a touchdown, recover an onside kick, score another touchdown and add a 2-point conversion. Texas won in the first overtime.

Bowman definitely thought the lead was safe at the time he went “Horns Down,” and who wouldn’t have? The comeback was one of the greatest we’ve ever seen in college football.

Between making Bowman eat his “Horns Down” symbol and the shot they took at Oklahoma, the Longhorns must have been riding pretty high after their improbable victory.

Video: South Carolina loses on botched punt return

South Carolina Tennessee punt

South Carolina lost its opener 31-27 against Tennessee on Saturday, and a botched punt return did not help their cause.

The Gamecocks kicked a field goal with 3:16 left to make it a four-point game. They got a stop on defense and forced a punt with 1:29 left. South Carolina should have been in position to try to win the game, but the punt hit Cam Smith’s leg and Tennessee recovered the ball.

The Vols were able to kneel out the clock and secure the 31-27 road win.

That was some bad luck for South Carolina at the end of the game. The game was close and saw never more than a 7-point difference between the sides. South Carolina could use some work on special teams, as their punter only averaged 35.2 yards per punt.

Will Muschamp drops F-bomb in message to fans with leaked video

Will Muschamp

Will Muschamp had a profane but funny message for South Carolina fans in a newly-leaked video.

The South Carolina coach is seen saying in the video, “It’s time for Carolina Football, so get the f— out of your seats. Spurs up!”

The unedited video, which contains the curse word, is below.

Though the video was released on Twitter Saturday, it is old and was recorded nearly two years ago. South Carolina says the video was never intended to be released to the public.

Despite the intent, the video did get leaked, and the fan reaction via Twitter appeared to be positive.

The message from Muschamp goes hand-in-hand with what he said earlier in the week. He is looking for all the fan support he can get this season for the Gamecocks.

Texas staffer takes shot at Oklahoma over Twitter after comeback win

Texas Longhorns logo

The Texas Longhorns have many reasons to be proud on Saturday.

Texas came back to beat Texas Tech in overtime 63-56 in a stunning comeback. The Longhorns were down 56-41 with 3:13 left. They scored a touchdown, recovered an onside kick, then scored again and added a 2-point conversion to tie the game. They won in the first overtime with a touchdown and stop.

Conversely, their rival, Oklahoma, blew a 21-point lead and lost at home to Kansas State 38-35. Texas director of recruiting Bryant Carrington took the occasion to celebrate his team’s victory and OU’s defeat.

Carrington’s job is to pump up his program and to win recruiting battles against Oklahoma. A tweet like that can help him accomplish his goal. But that doesn’t happen first without a big Texas comeback win.