Category:NCAAF
Posted on: February 10, 2012 11:01 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 11:04 pm
 

Arizona State adds Larry Porter to staff

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It didn't take long for Larry Porter to land on his feet. The former Memphis head coach was brought on board Todd Graham's staff at Arizona State, the school announced Friday.

Porter, 39, comes to Tempe after going 3-21 over two years at his alma mater. There was no announced position for him but it is expected that he will coach running backs.

This is Porter's sixth coaching stop and first at a Pac-12 school. He is well-regarded from his five-year stint at LSU, where he was known not only for his on the field coaching job but his prowess on the recruiting trail. He also held the title of assistant head coach during his time in Baton Rouge and sent multiple players to the NFL.

Porter inherits a talented group of running backs, including senior Cameron Marshall, sophomore Deantre Lewis, incoming transfer Marion Grice and five-star freshman D.J. Foster.

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 5:16 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 5:18 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As of this moment, there is -- almost without question -- no more powerful coach in all of college football than Alabama's Nick Saban. But as it turns out, even Saban couldn't pull enough strings to get someone other than Missouri the coveted 14th invite to the SEC.

That's according to the account provided to the Charleston Daily Mail by West Virginia senator Joe Manchin, West Virginia University graduate, who said he and Saban had spoken and "were working toward" snagging that invitation for the Mountaineers before the league settled on the Tigers. Both Saban and his wife Terry are West Virginia natives, and Saban spent two seasons in the late '70s as a defensive assistant for the Mountaineers.

"I thought we could have been in the SEC," Manchin said. "I talked to my dear friend Nick Saban about that, and, like me, he said, 'I would like West Virginia in the SEC,' and we were working toward that."

The Charleston Gazette also reported in October that Saban had been lobbying behind the scenes for West Virginia. But to no avail: Missouri was officially added as the SEC's 14th team in early November.

"They chose Missouri instead, and then you never heard a thing else about it," Manchin said.

That decision helped lead to a bitter political struggle between Manchin and Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell. McConnell, a Louisville graduate and Republican, reportedly attempted to block the Mountaineers' bid to join the Big 12 with the hopes of getting the Cardinals the invitation instead; Manchin, a Democrat, responded by publicly calling for Congress to hold hearings on whether McConnell had committed an ethics violation.

In the end, of course, Manchin and the Mountaineers got their happy ending -- they're not even going to have to wait an extra year -- and Manchin says the feud with McConnell is in the past. But with as powerful an ally as Saban on his side, you have to wonder if he doesn't wonder what might have been if the SEC had lent a more friendly ear.

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 4:30 pm
 

West Virginia has some new billboards

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While West Virginia is making its way to a new era in the Big 12, it's not quite ready to forget about its past. Well, at least not its recent past. 

If you've been cruising along any interstates near Morgantown in recent days, you may have noticed these nice reminders about West Virginia's recent success against Clemson in the Orange Bowl.



While this may seem somewhat insulting to Clemson fans, let's remember that the billboards are in West Virginia, not South Carolina. So it's not as if the Mountaineers are rubbing it in anyone's face.

Though a part of me does wonder if spending money on billboards is the best thing for a school that currently owes the Big East $20 million to do right now.

Hat tip: Dr. Saturday

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 2:24 pm
 

Fedora responds to Franklin "men of honor" quote

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A controversial Signing Day comment from Vanderbilt coach James Franklin on the topic of decommitments made its way back to new North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, who'd had one of his commitments sign instead with Franklin's Commodores. So maybe it's not surprise that Fedora had something pointed to say about Franklin saying the players who had backed out of their Vandy commitments were "not men of honor."

“What does he say about the kids that were committed elsewhere and de-committed from their places to go to his place?" Fedora told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution when asked about Franklin's statement. "That’s my comment. What is his comment on those people? He’s got someone in his recruiting class that did that very thing. He’s saying those guys are not men of honor? Basically, he’s saying he has got kids in his own recruiting class that are not men of honor."

"He said that," Fedora clarified, "and I didn’t.”

Fedora wasn't the only coach to speak on the record to the AJC about Franklin's comments -- Florida State's Jimbo Fisher and USC's Lane Kiffin each expressed disagreement in milder terms -- but the cutting edge to Fedora's complaint likely stems from the defection of Maryville (Tenn.) quarterback Patton Robinette, who was already attending orientation events at UNC before ultimately joining the Commodores instead.

To his credit, Franklin didn't shy away from the apparent hypocrisy of his comments, not disagreeing when asked if they amounted to a "double standard":

“I think you get frustrated, and you get upset because kids commit to you. But you’re exactly right. It was like the year before, when we got in here at the last minute and only had a month left for recruiting, we got kids to de-commit to us. I think that’s a very, very valid point.”

Franklin declined to address Fedora's comments specifically, saying he would only discuss "what we do here [at Vandy]." But he did also backtrack from his original "not men of honor" statement:

“I think I probably would’ve worded some things differently ... I have great respect for all the young men that committed to us. I have great respect for some of the men that changed their minds and went in another direction. They thought it was in the best interest for them and their family. But it hurts when you lose a guy when you’ve been recruiting him for a year.”

As "frustrated" as Franklin may have been, and as badly as losing a recruit may "hurt," it's still poor form for a head coach to criticize the decisions of a 17- or 18-year-old. (It also won't do anything for Franklin's already growing reputation as a coach whose emotions can sometimes get the better of him.) Kudos to Franklin for admitting the critics may have a "valid point"--but equal kudos to Fedora for being willing to point out why those comments shouldn't have been said in the first place. 

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 1:12 pm
 

Jefferson pleads not guilty to battery charge

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In what's been a busy couple of days for Jordan Jefferson, the former LSU quarterback has pled not guilty to the misdemeanor simple battery charge stemming from last August's infamous fight outside a Baton Rouge bar.

If convicted, Jefferson faces a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. His case is set to be heard May 10 in the East Baton Rouge Parish court.

Jefferson had originally been charged with felony battery, but the lack of DNA evidence and other factors led to the grand jury reducing the charge to a misdemeanor, resulting in the lifting of Jefferson's suspension midway through the 2011 season.

Jefferson and his attorneys have maintained his innocence throughout the process, with attorney Lewis Unglesby saying in September that Jefferson "will never be convicted" in a trial setting. 

Though the impending court date and reports from the bar fight won't do Jefferson any favors in the eyes of NFL scouts, one draft expert told CBSSports.com LSU RapidReporter Glenn Guilbeau it doesn't make any real difference--Jefferson won't be drafted regardless.

"I was surprised he was invited (to the NFL Draft combine)," said expert Mike Detillier. "I don't think Jordan can throw accurately enough to play in the NFL. He has a strong arm. He's a good athlete. But in the NFL you have to throw accurately from the pocket. He struggled with that his whole career." 

Jefferson will try and disprove those doubts at the combine, set for Feb. 22.

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:46 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 2:34 pm
 

Report: Big 12 schedule 'getting close,' not done

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE: CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy confirms the Big 12 schedule will not be released on Friday (Feb. 10).

The idea that the 2012 Big 12 conference schedule would be released on Friday (today) reportedly was just "the wishful thinking" of Texas Tech athletic directory Kirby Hocutt.

The Oklahoman's Travis Haney, citing a source within the league, says that Big 12 officials are "getting close" to completing the 2012 football schedule. Unfortunately for Big 12 fans - especially West Virginia fans - the slate will likely not be set by the end of this week.

CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported that the Big East and West Virginia have reached a $20 million settlement that would allow the Mountaineers to compete in the Big 12 for the upcoming season. The close timing of the buyout negotiations and the Big 12's intentions of putting out a 2012 conference schedule led to the concerns of West Virginia appearing on two different conference schedules. However, with legal issues behind them, the Mountaineers should be clear to complete a 10-team conference for competition in 2012.

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:19 pm
 

Irish name Chuck Martin offensive coordinator

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Notre Dame made a few coaching announcements on Friday, including the announcement that former safeties coach Chuck Martin would be taking over as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“I’m excited about that move,” said head coach Brian Kelly. “Chuck and I have a shared vision as it relates to our offense. He is experienced and knows what I’m looking for.” 

What Notre Dame is looking for is a consistency on offense, and in order to find that, the Irish will need a quarterback to emerge. Which is something Martin talked about on Friday as well.

"You'd love to have one," said Martin. "Is it realistic? I don't know. It's going to play out in the spring. Maybe somebody takes it and runs with it and comes into their own and they've played themself ahead of the other group.

"If it's not that…then you still got a long evaluation period in the fall. For me, it would be awesome if we did have a clear-cut starter, but it won't be a big deal to me and it won't be a big deal to coach Kelly. You can name your starter the day before the first game and it can be fine, he can go and win the Heisman Trophy. There's no magical answer." 

Notre Dame went into the 2011 season much the same way, with Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees battling for the job during the spring and fall before Crist won the competition. Then one bad half from Crist in the season opener against South Florida led to Rees taking the job and Crist eventually heading to Kansas.

The difference this spring is the competition is now between four quarterbacks, not just the two. Rees will be competing with Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson, and the prize of Notre Dame's latest recruiting class, Gunner Kiel.

So while Chuck Martin may not know who his quarterback is yet, he does have options.

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 1:44 am
Edited on: February 10, 2012 1:44 am
 

NCAA grants Pitt guard Chris Jacobson sixth year

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's a rare occurrence for a player to be granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. The association, however, seems to be in a giving mood.

Pittsburgh guard Chris Jacobson was the latest beneficiary as athletic director Steve Pederson told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the senior will return next season after the NCAA awarded him a sixth year of eligibility.

Jacobson had started 17 straight games for the Panthers before suffering a season-ending injury to his left knee against Iowa last season. The lineman missed his entire freshman year in 2007 as a result of another season-ending injury.

Pitt is returning 15 starters from last season's 6-7 squad and will surely enjoy the boost from having Jacobson back with first year head coach Paul Chyrst taking over.

The Panthers open the 2012 season at home on September 1 against Youngstown State.

 
 
 
 
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