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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

College Football

Kyler Murray would have to repay baseball bonus if he chooses NFL

Kyler Murray

Pro baseball or pro football? That is the question for Kyler Murray.

Murray was drafted No. 9 overall by the Oakland Athletics in the MLB draft earlier this year after having a great season for Oklahoma in the spring. He received a $4.66 million signing bonus and was allowed by the team to play a season of college football for the Sooners. That season turned into a spectacular year for Murray, who won the Heisman Trophy and turned into a legitimate first-round pick in next year’s NFL draft.

Murray’s baseball agent Scott Boras insists his client will report to the A’s, but Murray has left the door open to choose a football career.

According to MLB Network reporter Jon Morosi, if Murray chooses a career in the NFL, he would have to repay/forgo a very large portion of his signing bonus.

A career in baseball is often viewed as being more lucrative than one in football, but the circumstances for Murray are different. NFL quarterbacks are extremely well paid. The guaranteed money for a quarterback taken anywhere in the first round of the NFL draft will almost assuredly surpass the money Murray has been guaranteed by the A’s. In baseball, Murray would have to begin in the minors and work his way up, with no guarantee of a big payoff until well after he establishes himself as a good major leaguer, which won’t be easy to do.

His path to stardom — and a larger payday — seems shorter and frankly, easier, if he chooses the NFL. Giving up the baseball money would be a wash considering the money he’d have coming to him as an NFL first-round pick.

Report: Temple to hire Manny Diaz as head coach

Temple Owls logo

The Temple Owls have zeroed in on their next head football coach, according to a report.

Both Yahoo’s Pete Thamel and Football Scoop reported on Wednesday that Manny Diaz will be the next head coach at Temple.

Diaz, 44, is currently the defensive coordinator at Miami. He has been with the Hurricanes for three seasons and was hired to join Mark Richt’s staff. Diaz was infamously fired as Texas’ defensive coordinator early in the 2013 season after the school had its worst defensive season ever the year before. He rebuilt his resume at Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State before going to Miami.

Temple has actually been a hot ground for budding coaches. Their last four coaches — Al Golden, Steve Addazio and Matt Rhule — all went on to power-5 head coaching positions.

Michigan dismisses RB from team in wake of domestic violence arrest

Michigan logo

Michigan will be preparing for its bowl game against Florida with one less running back on its roster, as the team announced on Wednesday that sophomore O’Maury Samuels has been dismissed from the program.

While the Wolverines did not explain why Samuels has been kicked off the team, Josh Henschke of The Michigan Insider learned through court records that the former four-star recruit was arrested on Dec. 8 for one count of alleged domestic violence and one count of alleged malicious destruction of personal property under $200. Charges were officially filed against him on Tuesday, and the case is pending.

Samuels has contributed mostly on special teams, and he had 13 carries for 66 yards this season.

Samuels is not the first college football player to be arrested this year leading up to his team’s bowl game.

Mack Brown bringing Air Raid passing offense to North Carolina

Mack Brown will be taking the Air Raid offense to North Carolina.

Brown was hired by UNC to replace Larry Fedora as the Tar Heels’ new head coach, marking his second stint with the school. On Tuesday, three hires to Brown’s staff were announced.

Brown hired former Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo as his offensive coordinator, former Texas Tech offensive line coach Brandon Jones as his offensive line coach, and Lonnie Galloway as his receivers coach.

Longo runs a variation of the Air Raid passing offense, one that includes physical running as well. Texas Tech ran the Air Raid under Mike Leach and then Kliff Kingsbury, so Jones should be able to help teach the appropriate blocking scheme.

Though Brown is 67 and has not coached since 2013, it does not seem like he will be stuck in an old-school football mentality. His UNC program seems like it will be well-equipped to compete from a coaching standpoint.

10 potential college football bowl game upsets

Alabama field logo

The college football regular season is now officially a thing of the past and the ultra competitive bowl season is upon us. Like the year-end holidays, it’s a wonderful time for college football fans to kick back, relax and enjoy some football in an unparalleled atmosphere.

Of course, with the bowl games come the potential for surprises. Some teams will be motivated to play their best, while others are happy to finally end their seasons, leading to plenty of upsets.

Here’s a look at 10 potential college bowl games upsets based on the point spread.

10. Army (-3.0) vs. Houston – Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Dec. 22

Army is coming off a win over Navy and will be squaring off against Houston come December 22. And while they may be early favorites on a neutral field, the Black Knights haven’t faced an explosive offense similar to Houston’s this season. Yes, they held their own in an overtime loss to Oklahoma earlier in the year, but Houston averages nearly 50 points — yes, 50 — per game. Army is a team that dominates on the ground, eats the clock and wins in the trenches, and their defensive coordinator has already accepted a new job at North Carolina. If they find themselves behind early or in a shootout, they don’t have the necessary firepower to battle back. Needless to say, the Cougars could walk away with an upset early in bowl season so long as they prevent Army from dominating time of possession.


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Mike Norvell makes clear he is not leaving Memphis

Memphis Tigers

Mike Norvell made it clear on Monday that he is not leaving Memphis.

Norvell is in his third season at Memphis since taking over for Justin Fuente after the 2015 season. He has continued the success built by Fuente, going 26-13 with the Tigers.

The success of the Tigers has led to Norvell’s coaching staff being poached, with offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham being hired by Auburn and defensive coordinator Chris Ball taking the head coaching job at Northern Arizona. Norvell tweeted on Monday that it was cool to see the entire country taking note of what they’ve built by hiring members of his staff.

In addition to his coordinators, Norvell’s name has come up for other jobs regularly. Last year he was linked to the Arkansas job, and this year he was mentioned for the Kansas State vacancy.

Norvell addressed those rumors via Twitter, saying he’s not leaving Memphis.

Norvell received a 5-year, $13 million contract extension last year. His tweet is probably reassuring to Memphis fans, especially after members of the coaching staff left to take other positions.

Report: Kansas State finalizing deal to make Chris Klieman head coach

Kansas State band

Kansas State has identified the man they would like to serve as their next head football coach.

The Wildcats have offered their head coaching job to North Dakota State head coach Chris Klieman, and the two sides are finalizing a deal, according to Yahoo’s Pete Thamel.

Klieman has gone 67-6 in five seasons at NDSU and currently has the Bison in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs. He has won three national championships in four years and is seeking his fourth in five.

The hiring makes sense considering that Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor also hired Klieman to be the head coach at NDSU. We shared on Friday that Kansas State was targeting Klieman to be their head coach.

Klieman would be just the program’s third head coach since 1989.