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#pounditTuesday, November 30, 2021

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Report sheds light on Urban Meyer’s future with Jaguars

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer has once again found himself at the center of the college coaching rumor mill, but apparently the Jacksonville Jaguars do not need to be concerned.

Meyer has no interest in taking another college coaching job, ESPN’s Michael DiRocco reports. The 57-year-old remains committed to the Jaguars and trying to build them into a contender.

Meyer is linked to most major college coaching jobs no matter what his situation is at the time they become vacant. That happened once again this week when Brian Kelly left Notre Dame for LSU, and you can understand why.

There is plenty of reason to believe Meyer would have interest in coaching the Fighting Irish. He described Notre Dame as his “dream job” over a decade ago. As recently as 2017, Meyer’s wife Shelly said coaching at Notre Dame would be one of her husband’s dream jobs.

Taking the Notre Dame job would be the perfect way for Meyer to leave the NFL, as he could point to the fact that he has openly admitted he would love to coach there. However, the stench from Meyer’s unflattering scandal in Jacksonville has already worn off. He may genuinely want to see things through, even if his “dream” college job is now available.

Jim Harbaugh has awesome gesture with his Michigan bonuses

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

Jim Harbaugh’s approval rating at Michigan is through the roof coming off the team’s huge win over Ohio State, and fans will likely appreciate the coach even more when they hear about the classy decision he has made with his contract.

Harbaugh signed a four-year contract extension with Michigan back in January that includes far less guaranteed money than the top coaches in college football. His guaranteed money for 2021 is $4 million, but he has the ability to earn roughly $4 million more in incentives. Even if he earns all of that money, however, Harbaugh is not planning to keep it.

Harbaugh announced this week that he will give any bonus money he earns back to Michigan’s athletic department. He wants to help alleviate some of the hardships that were caused last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

You could argue that $4 million is more than enough money, but Harbaugh is under no obligation to give anything back. He’s making less than half of what the highest-paid coaches in the country are earning this year despite Michigan being one of the best teams in the country and on the verge of a College Football Playoff berth.

Harbaugh went 11-8 from 2019-2020, which is one of the reasons he took a pay cut. He has proven this season that he probably deserves to be paid more, but he’s giving money back. Between that gesture and the awesome quote he delivered after beating Ohio State, Harbaugh has never been more popular among Wolverines fans.

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

Seahawks lose critical onside kick due to illegal formation penalty

Seahawks formation on onside kick

The Seattle Seahawks nearly pulled off an improbable comeback against Washington on Monday night, but one pesky penalty at the end interfered.

Russell Wilson threw a touchdown pass to Freddie Swain with 15 seconds left in the game to make it 17-15 Washington. Seattle attempted a 2-point conversion to tie the game but Wilson’s pass attempt went incomplete.

Seattle’s next chance was trying an onside kick and hoping to recover and then kick a winning field goal. They actually recovered the onside kick attempt, but it was undone by an illegal formation penalty.

Here is video of the kick:

And this shows the illegal formation, which involved a player lining up inside the hashmarks instead of outside it.

The hashmark rule is in place to try and spread players out on onside kick attempts for player safety purposes. That player’s position had no bearing on the kick recovery, but the penalty was called nonetheless.

It’s a shame for Seattle to lose that way, but you can’t say they haven’t benefited from bogus calls in the past.

Michigan OC Josh Gattis commits all-time dumb move

Josh Gattis claps

Michigan got its first football win over rival Ohio State in 10 years, and they’re acting like they want to go another 10 years before they get another win in the series.

First you had Jim Harbaugh taking a dig at Ryan Day after Michigan overpowered Ohio State 42-27 in the Big House on Saturday. Two days later, it was Josh Gattis talking trash.

Gattis, 37, is in his third season as Michigan’s offensive coordinator. He talked Monday on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show and shared some insight regarding the team’s strategy against the Buckeyes.

Gattis said Michigan viewed Ohio State as a “finesse team” and “not a tough team.”

“They’re a good team. They’re a finesse team, they’re not a tough team,” Gattis said, via the Detroit News’ Angelique S. Chengelis. “And we knew that going into the game that we can out-physical them, we can out-tough and that was going to be the key to the game, and that’s what we prepared for all year long.”

Gattis went even further, saying that Michigan saw Oregon overpower Ohio State and committed to the same gameplan.

“You saw earlier this year in the game they lost to Oregon, Oregon was the most physical team on the field,” Gattis said. “That’s the way they lost, and we committed to that recipe, and it paid off.”

Look, nothing Gattis said is incorrect. Anyone watching the game could see that Michigan just bullied Ohio State and pushed them around. We wrote about it. We gave credit to Gattis for his gameplan. He, Harbaugh, and Michigan’s players and coaches deserve all the credit for the win.

But you have to wonder what in the heck Gattis was thinking by saying that out loud? That’s the type of thing you keep to yourself and leave unsaid.

It was already widely recognized and known that Michigan pushed around the less physical Buckeyes. Did Gattis feel so strongly that he had to make sure people recognized his genius by saying it publicly?

Gattis essentially called Michigan’s biggest rival “soft.” That’s the kind of quote that stings, that sticks in your head, and that motivates you.

Between what Harbaugh did, and what Gattis has said, Ohio State has all the bulletin-board material they need for next year. They are going to be motivated to hang 100 points on Michigan next season, and the Wolverines can thank Harbaugh — and especially Gattis — for that.

H/T Eleven Warriors

Photo: Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Luke Fickell to Notre Dame rumors pick up steam after Brian Kelly news

Luke Fickell stands in front of his players

The Notre Dame job opening up if Brian Kelly leaves for LSU as expected would create some major ripples in the coaching world.

Notre Dame remains a strong brand, strong program, and capable of competing at a national level, as Kelly recently demonstrated. The job will be desirable and should attract notable candidates. One name that is surfacing immediately as a possible fit is Luke Fickell.

Fickell, 48, played at Ohio State and spent most of his time coaching there as an assistant before taking the Cincinnati job. He is already familiar with recruiting the Midwest and he has proven his coaching chops with the Bearcats. He even handed Notre Dame its only loss this season, in a game at South Bend.

Fickell has gone 47-14 in five seasons at Cincinnati and is 12-0 this season. He has shown that he can coach at a high level. He has been desired by many programs but has remained at Cincinnati. It’s possible that the Notre Dame job is one that could entice him to make the move.

Consider this: Kelly coached at Cincinnati for three seasons before going to Notre Dame. Kelly went 34-6 at Cincinnati and went 12-0 in his final season with the Bearcats. Fickell is 47-14 in five seasons and 12-0 at Cincinnati this year. Maybe he would make the jump.

If not, Fickell isn’t the only big name being mentioned in connection with the ND job.

Photo: Sep 4, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats coach Luke Fickell stands with his team prior to the game against the Miami (Oh) Redhawks at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James’ investment group looking to buy NBA team?

LeBron James yells during a game

LeBron James could soon be the owner of an NBA team and not just in the figurative sense.

The Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL announced this week that Fenway Sports Group, the Boston, Mass.-based limited liability company in which James is a partner, has reached an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in their team. FSG also already owns MLB’s Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. of the English Premier League.

Dan Primack of Axios also reports that FSG also would like to buy an NBA team once it is finished acquiring the Penguins. Primack adds that FSG expects it will seek out a target franchise in 2022.

The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement does generally prevent current players from owning portions of either the NBA or the WNBA. But Article XXIX, Section 11 of the agreement says that players may hold “an ownership of publicly-traded securities constituting less than five percent (5%) of the ownership interests in a company or entity that directly or indirectly owns an NBA Team.” Additionally, with how long the purchase process can take, the soon-to-be 37-year-old James could easily be retired by the time that such a deal by FSG to buy an NBA team is actually consummated.

James has openly expressed his interest in eventually owning an NBA team.

“Yeah, I’ve always said that,” he said this past March, per ESPN. “My goal is to own a team, own an NBA team. I got so much to give to the game. I know what it takes to win at this level. I know talent. I also know how to run a business, as well. And so, that is my goal. My goal is to own an NBA franchise, and it will be sooner than later.”

The former MVP’s ambitions may extend well beyond the hardwood as well. A few years ago, we heard that James also wants to buy a team in this sport.

H/T Lakers Daily

Photo: Nov 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kliff Kingsbury has interesting response to Oklahoma rumors

Kliff Kingsbury

Kliff Kingsbury was quickly linked to the Oklahoma head coaching job after Lincoln Riley left for USC on Sunday, and his response to the report was somewhat surprising.

Shortly after the Riley news broke, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Oklahoma is targeting Kingsbury as a potential replacement. The Arizona Cardinals coach was asked about that on Monday, and he stopped well short of denying that he has interest.

Does that mean Kingsbury would actually entertain the idea of leaving his NFL head coaching job to take over at Oklahoma? Probably not.

What’s more likely is that Kingsbury is using the Oklahoma talk as leverage against the Cardinals. His contract with the team is set to expire after 2022, and there’s no way he wants to go into next season as a lame duck. If the Cardinals believe he is interested in the Oklahoma job, they might be more likely to offer him more money and/or work out an extension sooner.

Schefter was ruthlessly mocked on Twitter for his Kingsbury-Oklahoma report. The main reason for that is people believe the NFL insider is helping out Kingsbury and his agent. Unless you think Kingsbury would actually leave the Cardinals for Oklahoma, his responses on Monday are further evidence that he is trying to put pressure on his current employer.

Spencer Rattler enters transfer portal after Lincoln Riley’s exit

Spencer Rattler holds a ball

Oklahoma lost its head coach on Sunday when Lincoln Riley shockingly left for USC, and the Sooners are now out at least one quarterback as well.

Former five-star recruit Spencer Rattler announced on Monday that he will enter the transfer portal. He thanked Oklahoma and said his time in Norman is something he will “cherish forever.”

Things did not go as planned for Rattler at Oklahoma even with Riley. Many expected him to follow in the footsteps of the other great quarterbacks that played under Riley, but Rattler took a big step back this season. He was benched earlier in the year, though he did briefly got his job back two weeks ago.

Rattler had been expected to leave Oklahoma even if Riley stayed. The bigger problem for the Sooners is that freshman Caleb Williams, who took over for Rattler midway through the season, may also be thinking about transferring.

Photo: Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (7) warms up before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021

Davante Adams had funny zinger for Odell Beckham Jr.

Prior to signing with the Los Angeles Rams earlier this year, Odell Beckham Jr. was serious about potentially joining the Green Bay Packers. That didn’t happen and on Sunday, OBJ went up against the Packers and fellow wide receiver Davante Adams.

In the end, Green Bay held onto a 36-28 victory. That sent Los Angeles to 7-4 on the season and 0-3 since Beckham arrived.

But struggling at Lambeau Field is nothing new for Beckham. During his last trip there — a 2016 wild-card game as a member of the New York Giants — OBJ came up small. The Giants were ousted from the playoffs and in a moment of frustration, Beckham put his fist through a locker-room wall.

Despite being sent home with another loss on Sunday, Beckham, who hauled in five receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown, was much more subdued this time around. But that didn’t stop Davante Adams from poking a little fun at him.

Following the game, Adams sent his jersey to the Rams’ locker-room for Beckham with one simple message: No more drywall damage, please.

That jab from Adams came in the aftermath of another haymaker he took at Beckham just days earlier.

“We did talk two days ago, he said he needed a jersey after the game. I told him ‘go get a Cooper Kupp jersey’ since that’s obviously his guy and that’s who he wanted to be with,” Adams told Michael Irvin, referencing OBJ’s decision to sign with the Rams over the Packers.

In the end, it was all in good fun. More fun for Adams than Beckham, but fun for both nonetheless.

“That’s my guy, man. I love Odell. I think he would’ve been a great fit here but I wish nothing but the best for him,” Adams said.

Kareem Hunt’s father criticizes Baker Mayfield via Facebook

Baker Mayfield

First it was Odell Beckham Jr.’s father sharing complaints about Baker Mayfield. Now it’s Kareem Hunt’s father.

The Cleveland Browns lost 16-10 to the Baltimore Ravens on “Sunday Night Football.” The game was the third in the row where Cleveland failed to score more than 13 points.

On his Facebook page, Kareem Hunt Sr. was critical of Mayfield while the game was unfolding. Hunt Sr. wrote that Mayfield was “limping” and “scared to throw the ball.” Hunt said the Browns know Mayfield is playing hurt.

Hunt really could use some lessons on punctuation, because that was one heck of a run-on sentence. But his point is clear: he’s not looking to get his son traded away like Odell Beckham’s father did. He is a frustrated father/fan who vented while the team was struggling.

The Browns know Mayfield is playing hurt. He’s been dealing with a shoulder injury and he recently suffered a knee injury.

What else is Cleveland going to do, though? Play Case Keenum?

They don’t have many good options right now, which is why they’re trying to let Mayfield play through it. In the meantime, they’re now 6-6, a big disappointment after last season’s 11-5 finish. Hunt had just seven carries for 20 yards in the loss. The 26-year-old running back has scored five touchdowns this season.

Photo: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports