Ninety years holds history, but it doesn’t always wow recruits seeking slick locker rooms or bolster the coffers of athletic departments needing cash from premium suites. Such is the story for the University of Southern California, which finalized a new 98-year lease on the historic L.A. Coliseum this September.
Now comes the modernization.
There’s no telling what Auburn and Missouri players were doing on the first weekend of December last year, but one thing’s for sure: they were not playing in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. We all remember Alabama clinching a BCS title berth with a narrow victory over Georgia at the Georgia Dome. The Tigers and the Tigers, meanwhile, remained largely forgotten after similarly disappointing campaigns in the SEC.
This season’s a different story, however, as Auburn and Missouri put together two of the most remarkable turnarounds in the country. The teams that combined for eight wins in 2012 reeled off 22 regular-season victories and two division titles this year, and will meet in Atlanta for one of the more unlikely matchups for the SEC title in recent history.
It didn’t take long for Washington to find a replacement for departed coach Steve Sarkisian. On Friday the Huskies tabbed Boise State’s Chris Petersen as the program’s new head coach.
The news was first reported by ESPN’s Joe Schad on Friday.
It took a wild second half and some extra football, but No. 19 Louisville held on to stiff-arm Cincinnati 31-24 in overtime and claim the Keg of Nails trophy for the second straight year. Dominique Brown ran in a two-yard touchdown on the first possession of overtime just before the Cardinals’ defense stuffed the Bearcats on the ensuing possession. With the win, Louisville accepted a bid to the Russell Athletic Bowl. The result also clinched a BCS bowl for UCF, the American Athletic Conference leader.
Here are three thoughts from Louisville’s win:
Washington’s coaching vacancy might be short-lived. Adam Jude of the Seattle Times reports that Boise State head coach Chris Petersen is scheduled to interview with the Huskies on Friday.
Earlier this week, Petersen was rumored to be among the candidates for the USC coaching job, but he reportedly withdrew his name from consideration. The Trojans tabbed ex-Washington coach Steve Sarkisian on Monday.
Petersen has spent the last 12 years at Boise State, where he served five seasons as offensive coordinator before taking over as head coach in 2006. He is 92-12 as the Broncos’ head coach.
After Michigan State lost leading rusher Le’Veon Bell to graduation and the NFL draft, it was only natural that the Spartans’ offense would require a little time to adjust. After all, Bell accounted for 1,960 total yards and 13 touchdowns in 2012.
But in Michigan State’s sixth game of the season, junior Jeremy Langford finally established himself as a backfield threat, giving the Spartans their first 100-yard rusher of the season.
Since then, Langford has gone over the 100-yard mark in each of Michigan State’s remaining contests, compiling 1,210 total yards on the year with 17 touchdowns. He’s helped Sparty outscore its opponents 212-74 en route to an 11-1 record and a Big Ten championship appearance against No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday.
On the heels of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota’s announcement on Tuesday that he will come back to school for his junior season, yet another star signal-caller is set to return to the collegiate ranks. Baylor’s Bryce Petty told reporters in Waco, Texas, that he will play for the Bears during his senior campaign in 2014.
“I will definitely be back next year,” Petty said.
The Florida state attorney’s office will not charge Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston with sexual assault, state attorney Willie Meggs announced on Thursday. The news was first reported by Jeff Cameron of ESPN Tallahassee.
Meggs confirmed that no charges will be filed against Winston, who was the subject of an investigation that dated back to last December. Winston’s attorney, Tim Jansen, has maintained that sex between Winston and the woman who reported the incident was consensual.
David Cutcliffe found a way to win a school-record 10 games at Duke and get the team to the ACC Championship Game. This is no small feat. And the Walter Camp Foundation noticed, naming Cutcliffe its National Coach of the Year on Thursday. Cutcliffe was also named coach of the year in the ACC for the second straight season earlier this week.
The Washington job is open, and as he’s a former Huskies assistant under Don James, it was only natural Gary Pinkel’s name would get mentioned. The Missouri coach spent 11 seasons in Seattle before taking the Toledo job in 1991, and he has always had nice things to say about the university and especially James.
That said, Pinkel has seemed happy at Missouri and has the Tigers playing for the SEC championship on Saturday. He didn’t have to address the rumors, but he must have thought it prudent to stop the talk at the source, putting to rest any doubts he’ll stay in Columbia on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike on Thursday.