Nevada has added a Big Ten program and a well-regarded MAC outfit to its future schedules, booking home-and-home series with Purdue and Toledo. The Boilermakers will host the Wolf Pack in 2016 and make a return trip in 2019; the Rockets will visit Reno in 2017 and host in 2018. Looking forward to the student section signage on these: “BOIL THEM WOLVES,” “DEFUND THE SPACE PROGRAM” and “SHOOT THE ‘PACK INTO THE DEEPEST RECESSES OF SPACE ABOARD A ROCKET” are currently topping our unofficial leaderboard.
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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…
The story of one afternoon in college football’s postseason, as told through social media:
Our remedy is SMASH MOUTH FOOTBALL. But also try some CARROT JUICE. RT @optoloper: I need your best hangover remedy. It’s for a friend.
— Capital One Bowl (@CapitalOneBowl) January 1, 2013
Recipe for attendance disaster at the Heart of Dallas Bowl. 11 a.m. New Year’s kick. Lopsided matchup. Big OSU hoops game on Mon. Then rain.
— David Ubben (@davidubben) January 1, 2013
— Capital One Bowl (@CapitalOneBowl) January 1, 2013
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) January 1, 2013
The tax staggered into the street, bleeding from his chest, as the Taxslayer threw a bloody knife into the gutter and ran.
— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) January 1, 2013
@andy_staples I KNOW WE’RE DOOMED WHY EVEN PLAY THE GAME
— mgoblog (@mgoblog) January 1, 2013
The 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl is just hours away. We’re sure you have so many questions. We’re here to help. (For an X’s and O’s breakdown, click through to Matt Dollinger’s game preview.)
• What’s all this, then? All this is the Heart of Dallas Bowl, neé TicketCity Bowl, one of the youngest games in postseason college football. The heart in Heart of Dallas is an actual mission statement: “Demonstrating Heart of Dallas’ commitment to its home city, net profits from the inaugural event will benefit charities serving the homeless population in Dallas.”
• Where will this game be played? The Cotton Bowl in Dallas. But it’s not the Cotton Bowl. The Cotton Bowl is now played in Cowboys Stadium, and yes, we’re almost through with this line of questioning, as we are about out of available citrus fruits.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at noon ET on ESPNU, with streaming on WatchESPN. Clay Matvick, Matt Stinchcomb and Kaylee Hartungwill relay the action.
• Whom does it feature? The Big Ten versus either Conference USA or the Big 12.
• What about this year? An odd coupling of Purdue (6-6) and Oklahoma State (7-5).
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? It does, and it needs your help!
— Heart of Dallas (@weheartdallas) December 31, 2012
• Oh, NOW you don’t like the BCS. Not before. Just now. Northern Illinois is bound for the Orange Bowl as the first team from the MAC to earn a BCS bowl bid. We, as you might imagine, are delighted. Others are not. In other words, it’s just like every other BCS selection reaction ever.
Herbstreit calls NIU’s BCS berth “A sad state of college football.”
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 3, 2012
Say what you will about NIU, its bid was automatic, just like Wisconsin’s and Louisville’s. NIU ranks ahead of both in every poll. — Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) December 3, 2012
“I can’t believe they let NIU into the sacrosanct Orange Bowl.” <—someone who has never watched the Orange Bowl — edsbs (@edsbs) December 2, 2012
Rule that got NIU in was established to help defend BCS from anti-trust lawsuit. ESPN acting like it’s a football decision — Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) December 3, 2012
Is there any other sport in America where people DESPISE the underdog? Any sport in the world? — Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 3, 2012
Again, according to every current human poll and a consensus of the BCS computers, NIU’s not even the worst BCS bowl team this year. — Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) December 3, 2012
To steal a @billsimmons metaphor, a lot of the NIU whining seems like people who are also mad the house doesn’t win more in blackjack.
— John Infante (@John_Infante) December 3, 2012
For takes longer than 140 characters, see Samuel Chi’s “Deal with it” and Matt Hinton’s “Blame the Big Ten and Big East.” The final regular-season BCS standings can be found here; the tell-all Coaches’ Poll results are here. For our full bowl schedule, click this way.
• Peasants at the gates! Utah State and San Jose State make their first appearances in the BCS rankings, while Northern Illinois enters the BCS Top 25 for the first time in 2012. Are we in for some surprise gate-crashers in the big-money bowls after all? Maybe. Allow SMQ to explain it all for you: “So even for the winner, the potential stakes in the MAC title game range from the Orange Bowl to the GoDaddy.com Bowl, with nothing in between.” And remember not to overlook this Friday’s NIU-Kent State showdown while penciling the Golden Flashes in for a trip to Florida.
• Cajuns to New Orleans to repeat legendary tailgating feats. Bowl invitations issued over the weekend: Utah State to a second consecutive Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Nevada to the New Mexico Bowl and the Ragin’ Cajuns to their second New Orleans Bowl. Now, we didn’t see the Cajuns in their postseason appearance in person last year, but we have been to New Orleans for college football games, and been to tailgates in Lafayette, and this game just became our first mandatory trip of the postseason. Stewart Mandel’s latest bowl projections can be found here, freshly updated with all invited teams.
• Coach firin’ season, continued. Jon Embree tells the Denver Post he’d been told just last week that his job was safe … one Post columnist calls Embree’s ouster shameful and unjust … Marshall’s defensive coordinator has resigned … and Ellis Johnson’s press conference has been canceled, with a team meeting scheduled for 4:00. Nothing to see here!
• Syracuse 45, No. 11 Louisville 26. The number of undefeated teams in FBS play dropped from six to five following today’s first flight of games, with the Big East becoming the latest conference to lose its last unbeaten program. The Cardinals fell behind less than three minutes into the game, on a 20-yard ‘Cuse field goal, and would tie the score twice in the first quarter, but they never held a lead over the unranked Orange. Three Syracuse touchdowns in the second quarter gave the underdogs a comfortable cushion that they wouldn’t surrender.
Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns on just 15 completions. He was balanced on the ground by a 144-yard, one-touchdown rushing performance from Jerome Smith and a 99-yard, two-score effort from Prince-Tyson Gulley. Alec Lemon was by far the favored target of the afternoon, as he finished with nine receptions for 176 yards and two touchdowns. For the Cardinals, Teddy Bridgewater accounted for 422 passing yards and 17 rushing yards all by his lonesome. Louisville’s total net offensive output was 472 yards.
Spinning this forward: The Cardinals now trail Rutgers in the Big East title race; the Scarlet Knights are 4-0 in league play with Cincinnati, Pitt and Louisville left on the schedule. Syracuse can clinch bowl eligibility with a win in either of its final two games, at Missouri or at Temple. [BOX | RECAP]
Snap Judgments from the Week 8 early slate. For more, check out midday Snaps, late Snaps, our coverage of South Carolina-Florida, Kansas State-West Virginia, Oregon-Arizona State and our complete Top 25 review.
• No. 7 Ohio State 29, Purdue 22 (OT). Braxton Miller has been knocked out of games before. Buckeyes backup quarterback Kenny Guiton had seen action in five of Ohio State’s seven games prior to Saturday, whether in mop-up duty or in temporary relief for an injured Miller. Guiton is a junior, albeit one with very limited meaningful game experience, but tonight in Columbus he’ll be something of a local hero.
In the final minute of the third quarter, at the end of a 37-yard run, Miller was tackled hard and had to be helped off the field. He was taken to a local hospital, the nature and severity of his condition undisclosed at the time, although it has since been reported that he is symptom free and will return from the hospital soon. Still, even prior to being knocked out, Miller was having one of his worst statistical outings of the season. Through three quarters, he recorded just 47 rushing yards on 12 carries, completed 9-of-20 passes for 113 yards, fumbled twice and threw a pick.
At the time Miller went down, the Buckeyes trailed the Boilermakers 20-14 behind three explosive Purdue plays: an 83-yard touchdown pass from Caleb TerBush to Akeem Shavers on the first play from scrimmage, a 100-yard Akeem Hunt kickoff return at the end of the first quarter and a 31-yard TerBush pass to Gary Bush. Ohio State might have been even further behind had a 34-yard Paul Griggs’ field goal attempt not been blocked on the previous drive. The Buckeyes dug themselves a little deeper with a missed 50-yard field goal attempt on the ensuing drive, but they held the Boilermakers near midfield — only to be pinned at the one-yard line by Purdue’s punt. Ohio State then committed a safety thanks to a block in the back in the end zone.
So you’re a backup quarterback, down 22-14 in the fourth quarter, to a conference opponent, at home. What do you do, hotshot? If you’re Guiton, the answer is “throw an interception, then lead a touchdown drive in the final minute, tie the game on a two-point conversion pass and lead another touchdown drive in overtime for the win.” Carlos Hyde rushed in the Buckeyes’ winning score from one yard out. [BOX | RECAP]
• News that is mostly not about football. From a fresh ACC release: “The Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents has unanimously voted to accept the University of Notre Dame as a new member. The Irish will compete as full members in all conference sponsored sports with the exception of football which will play five games annually against league programs.” Pete Thamel has more, including the thorny issue of the Fighting Irish’s exit date for its sports currently operating in the Big East. We now return to football things.
• It is also a secret music box that plays “Afternoon Delight.” In yesterday’s Profiles in Profiteroles column we mentioned that the new trophy for the Toledo-Bowling Green Battle of I-75 rivalry hadn’t been completed in time for last year’s game. It’s more than ready now, making a splashy entrance with its own hype video, complete with four Toledo football players flexing their acting chops.
• Injury report story hour. Jordan Wynn impresses in his retirement press conference … Robert Marve has, you might have suspected, torn another ACL … TCU defensive end Ross Forrest is likely out the rest of the season with a knee injury … Syracuse receiver Jeremiah Kobena is out for several weeks with what the school is calling “an upper body injury that required surgery.”
• Wynn out. Two games into his fourth year as the Utes’ starting quarterback, Jordan Wynn is calling it a career after re-injuring his shoulder in Friday night’s loss to Utah State. He’ll hold a press conference at 3 p.m. ET today at the school’s football complex to announce his decision, but the thought process behind the move is sadly clear: He’s already been through three shoulder surgeries and a long, long Pac-12 schedule stretches out in front of the Utes. Wynn graduated with an economics degree in May and has since been pursuing a second degree in sociology, and while it’s unclear at the moment what his future with the team holds, we hope rumors of him staying on in some capacity as an assistant are true; between Wynn and Brian Johnson, there’s the last six years of starting experience at Utah to pass on to the next quarterback.
• Injury report story hour. In Arkansas injury news: John L. Smith said at his Monday press appearance that Tyler Wilson “still has some symptoms, grogginess. He will not go to the field until the doctors OK him and he is symptom free.” The team is preparing for Alabama with Brandon Allen at quarterback. Tevin Mitchel has been released from the hospital but will not play this week, and Kody Walker will miss the rest of the season.