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By Zac Ellis
Arkansas quarterback Brandon Mitchell will transfer to another program, the school announced on Monday. Mitchell will graduate from Arkansas this summer and be eligible to play immediately elsewhere this fall.
In a statement, coach Bret Bielema also announced defensive end Austin Flynn, safety Defonta Lowe and kick returner Keante Minor were granted releases.
“After concluding post-spring meetings with every member of our team, Austin Flynn, Defonta Lowe, Keante Minor and Brandon Mitchell have been granted their release from the University of Arkansas football program. Through meetings with these student-athletes, a determination was made that it would be mutually beneficial for them to pursue their goals elsewhere. Brandon is on track to earn his degree this summer and utilize the NCAA graduate transfer exception to play immediately this fall. We fully support them and wish them all the best moving forward.”
By Zac Ellis
A coach’s success on social media doesn’t always translate to success on the field, but some coaches are definitely winning the popularity contest on Twitter.
TulsaWorld.com ranked college football’s most followed coaches as of this morning, and the list might not look exactly as you’d expect. You can check out the complete rankings by clicking on the link above, but we’ve corralled some of the best tweets from the top-five most-followed coaches. As you can see, these guys are definitely worth a follow:
Some of you may already be aware that, thanks to his wife’s influence, Bret Bielema lives in the same house as a teacup Yorkie named Lucy. This is a favorite bit of trivia in the hallowed halls of Campus Union HQ, because we enjoy visualizing the unassailably brahsome Bielema toting a purse dog around the house on his shoulder or something. Those of you not tracking Bielema on social media may not be aware of the epic battle he and the dog have been engaged in this week:
Thankfully, late last night Bielema reported the two had come to a peaceful resolution:
Tommy Tuberville’s sitting by the phone* and Jimmy Sexton’s got that particular sparkle in his eye. It can mean only one thing: The coach firin’ season is upon us once more. We’ll be tracking the carousel of progress, right here, for as long as it takes to stop spinning. Raise a glass to times past, won’t you? * Well, not anymore, but never tell us we don’t have the gift of very specific prophecy through throwaway jokes.
New Mexico State [updated 02.01.2013]
• Who’s out: DeWayne Walker, who jumps to the NFL with less than two weeks remaining between now and Signing Day. And not even for a coordinating gig: Walker will coach defensive backs for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Walker released the following statement through the athletic department: “I really appreciate the opportunity that Dr. Boston and New Mexico State gave me to be a Division I head football coach. Unfortunately, I did not get the program as far as I would have liked from a wins and losses standpoint. But, we do have a better locker room, better kids and a better foundation for the program moving forward. There are a lot of people that I want to thank for their support and will be reaching out to those individuals in the coming days. They have helped me in moving the program forward. I am excited about starting a new chapter in my coaching career, as is my family. I wish New Mexico State great success in the future and wish everyone the best. Go Aggies!” • Who’s in: Doug Martin — the one who played at Kentucky, not the one who played at Boise State. Although if Martin The Younger is really so opposed to his excellent nickname, we’re gonna refer to Martin The Elder as coach Muscle Hamster instead. It’s been a whirlwind courtship for Martin and the Aggies: He was announced as offensive coordinator on January 17, temporarily promoted to interim head coach on January 24 and will be officially announced as DeWayne Walker’s successor on Monday, February 4. Martin’s previous head coaching experience consists of a seven-year stint at Kent State, from 2004-2010. Read More…
Florida incoming transfer Darious Cummings is going by “Bear” Cummings. What do you guys want to be called?
— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) January 15, 2013
• How would he feel about “Bearious” for more formal occasions? If we’re all supposed to be taking after forest creatures for a fresh new look for spring 2013, we would like to be referred to from here on as “Killer Otter.” Thank you for your attention to this matter.
• And speaking of spring. Army’s spring game, which graced our neck of the woods at Fort Benning last year, continues its freshly-established traveling tradition with a March 8 scrimmage set to take place at Fort Hood, Texas.
• The Coliseum just needs a place to crash for a few days, until it gets things figured out. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission is behind in its rent, per the L.A. Times, but once it gets its free-range vegan water bottle business up and running things are really going to turn around. It’s not a pyramid scheme. It’s not!
• That’s a helluva windbreak. Texas Tech approves plans for a “freestanding high-definition video board,” theoretically to be installed and operational in time for the 2013 season.
• Mack Brown offered the Manning Award as a safety. College football’s first freshman Heisman Trophy winner can add another accolade to his surely sagging trophy shelf: Johnny Manziel has won the Manning Award. Manziel entered the national lexicon with last year’s shirtless mugshot follies, won the starting job at Texas A&M as an underclassman, took home the Heisman, obliterated a former conference rival in the Cotton Bowl and will — football gods willing — continue to stay on his “hi, haters” message train throughout the forthcoming offseason. It is getting perilously close to impossible to hate Johnny Football, particularly if you don’t have a rooting interest in a defense that had to play him this year. Congrats, kiddo.
• Coach-firin’ follies. The silly season rolls on in the assistants derby: OUT goes Louisiana defensive coordinator Greg Stewart … IN comes Mario Cristobal at Miami in a most excellent personnel coup for the ‘Canes … and IN comes Ted Roof, back at Georgia Tech? (Related reading: “Has the internet desensitized us to the extraordinary?”)
• Gettin’ drafty. GONE: Tennessee’s three brightest offensive stars. BACK: Tajh Boyd, whose future presence, along with Aaron Murray’s, makes Clemson’s Week 1 date with Georgia an absolute must-watch game. GONE, TEARILY: Outland Trophy winner Luke Joeckel, whose letter to the faithful of Texas A&M you simply must read.
• SHE’S BACK. AIN’T NO STOPPING US NOW. Oh, Switzie Award winner LizHoney2U, we have missed you terribly.
Our own reaction to the hiring of Bret Bielema at Arkansas can best be summed up by this animated image.
• And while we’re on Wisconsin. Could Barry Alvarez return to the sidelines for the Badgers’ bowl game?
• Coach-firin’ season! Lane Kiffin would like it if his new defensive coordinator could succeed against Pac-12 offenses … we think it’s actually spelled “l8ly,” but that doesn’t mean former Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore didn’t get screwed … he’s not a coach, but do make time for this colorful account of the end of Ross Parmley’s reign as Tulsa AD … and he’s not fired, but Charlie Weis made a whopping $2.5 million per win in 2012. Math is fun!
Quick hits from the Championship Saturday action. For more on Week 14, check out our Friday Snaps, coverage of Louisville-Rutgers, Oklahoma-TCU and the epic clash between Alabama and Georgia, plus our complete Top 25 review.
• Wisconsin 70, No. 14 Nebraska 31. This game wasn’t even as close as the final score indicates, which is really saying something. The Huskers were down 42-10 at the half — Wisconsin scored its final touchdown of the second quarter on a trick play with 20 seconds left on the clock, because Bret Bielema enjoys reminding folks he’s Bret Bielema — and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter after the Badgers had already crossed the 60-point mark.
“We kind of set our minds before the game that this is our game,” Monteé Ball said afterward. “The running backs were going to set the tempo.” Offhand, with 539 yards gained on the ground alone, we would venture to suggest they succeeded in their efforts.
Fun tidbit: Ball rushed for 201 yards on 21 attempts and three touchdowns, and was neither the leading scorer nor the leading rusher for the Badgers. Melvin Gordon rang up 217 yards on nine carries with one score, while James White added four touchdowns and 109 yards on 15 carries. Lost in all that: Taylor Martinez doing this Family Circus touchdown run. Don’t forget that Taylor Martinez did this, because it was awesome.
Wisconsin trailed Nebraska 3-4 in the series before tonight’s cannon show. Has a series ever been leveled with such gusto? And what will a defense of Stanford’s caliber make of these five-loss Badgers, who wouldn’t have even been in position to claim the Big Ten title and earn a Rose Bowl berth if not for other programs’ sanctions? “It’s OK to get there,” said Bielema of the Rose Bowl, “but you need to win it.” They’ll get their shot on New Year’s Day. [BOX | RECAP]