College Football Betting News and Notes Week 14
Last Updated: 2017-11-30
Conference championship week is here and we are following all the news and notes that you need to know about. We’ll also be taking a look at some of the coaching hirings and firings more in-depth as we draw closer to the offseason, but we’ll hit on them briefly here, including those interim head coach situations for the upcoming bowl games.
With Week 14 starting up on Friday, we gave it an extra day to compile some of the latest breaking news, especially with this coaching carousel that can change with the drop of a hat.
Here’s one interesting note before we move forward. This is the first time since 2014 that we won’t have a five-win team in a bowl game.
Here are your Week 14 college football news blurbs and notes:
Miami’s upset hopes suffered a blow on Wednesday. Wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was carted off with what has now been determined a meniscus injury. Starting tight end Chris Herndon is already out and now the third-leading receiver is down. Losing skill players isn’t great with a matchup against Clemson on the horizon and a possible berth in the College Football Playoff, but Miami has played without Richards for a good chunk of the year. Running back Mark Walton, who is done for the year, says that he is going to the NFL.
Not only is it hot stove coaching season, but we’re starting to hear about transfers as well. Illinois linebacker Tre Watson will move on as a graduate transfer with immediate eligibility. He had 65 tackles in just nine games.
Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight is a graduate transfer out on the market going into next season. His lost 2017 season will go down as one of the strangest in recent memory. He was hurt against Purdue with a serious back injury and never recovered enough to play, but it sparked a big investigation into the facilities and the handling of his injury.
Minnesota quarterback Demry Croft is also transferring. Croft missed some time this season tending to personal matters and a suspension, so it isn’t a big surprise that he’s leaving the Twin Cities. He seemed to have some differences of opinion with PJ Fleck. Croft will have to sit out a year. He’s from Illinois originally, so he’ll probably look to stay in the Midwest.
Nebraska seemingly made a mistake firing Bo Pelini. Mike Riley is now out and Trent Bray has taken over on an interim basis. The writing was on the wall in brightly-colored spray paint when the AD was canned.
Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett has been practicing, but Dwayne Haskins has been getting more reps in advance of the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin. Barrett suffered a meniscus injury that took him out of the win over Michigan.
Iowa State locked up head coach Matt Campbell with an extension, but that doesn’t seem to mean a ton anymore. Coaches are getting out of deals with regularity nowadays. But, Campbell is building something special in Ames and is one of few college coaches that may have a future at the NFL level, depending on who you talk to. He was already making a good chunk of money and now he’ll make a lot more.
TCU will start Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game without star safety Nick Orr, who will miss the first half because of the fight between the Horned Frogs and the Baylor Bears. The Big 12 Conference handed down the Orr suspension, as well as a couple of suspensions to Baylor players for next year’s conference opener against Kansas.
Texas running back Chris Warren will be on the move. The junior will likely have to sit out a year, but he didn’t seem to be a fit in Tom Herman’s system, so hopefully he catches on somewhere and gets some more playing time. Texas left tackle Connor Williams announced that he is going to the NFL and he will not play the bowl game. This relatively new trend will gain a lot of traction this season methinks.
In somewhat of a surprising move, Arizona State fired head coach Todd Graham after he won the Territorial Cup over Arizona. Herm Edwards is rumored to be the choice for the job, which is, well, odd. He hasn’t coached in college since 1989 and that was as a defensive backs coach. He hasn’t coached since 2008. *shrug*
Oregon State has picked its next coach. A long list of interesting candidates, including interim head coach Cory Hall, yielded the name Jonathan Smith. The Beavers were looking at Washington offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin, but wound up with Smith, who is labeled as the co-OC and the quarterbacks coach. The 38-year-old also played his college ball in Corvallis and programs seem to romanticize that background. We’ll see how it plays out.
Alabama has to wait and watch to see if the College Football Playoff committee will take them. In the meantime, they’ll have to figure some more things out on defense because starting safety Hootie Jones tore his MCL in the Iron Bowl. He’ll have a month of recovery time on what is a partial tear, but his status is certainly in question.
Arkansas fired Bret Bielema. No surprise here. We haven’t heard much about interest in that job yet, but it should perk up soon.
Florida made a safe, but smart, hire to get Dan Mullen from Mississippi State. Mullen has plenty of familiarity with the SEC and with recruiting in the southeast. Mullen’s wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales and his co-offensive coordinator John Hevesy also went with him.
Mississippi State has been lead by extremely solid defensive mind Dan Mullen for a while. They’ll completely shift gears with Mullen off to Florida and roll with Joe Moorhead, who did a phenomenal job at Penn State with the offense. This isn’t his first head coaching gig, as James Franklin plucked him from Fordham in the FCS ranks, but this is a big job and a big spotlight for Moorhead.
Ole Miss officially hired interim head coach Matt Luke. This is an interesting one because it may be an indication that more sanctions are coming for the Rebels. If the program was on good standing, this would be a really attractive job for many of the names rumored to be going to other schools. By playing it safer (and cheaper) with Luke, the Rebels can let the storm pass and gear up for a coaching decision in 2019. Or maybe they really like him and I’m reading too much into it.
Tennessee went from laughing stock to “holy sh*t, what a hire” with the pickup of Jeff Brohm from Purdue back to laughing stock. This has been a debacle from start to whenever the finish actually happens.
Texas A&M fired Kevin Sumlin and is reportedly ready to back up 16 Brinks trucks to the doorstep of Jimbo Fisher. Sumlin shouldn’t have a problem latching on somewhere else, but it’s safe to say that expectations are extremely high for the only SEC school in Texas.
As expected, BYU has fired offensive coordinator Ty Detmer. The Cougars had a ton of injuries to deal with at the quarterback position, but this didn’t seem to be a great fit. This was a little bit of a legacy hire and those don’t seem to work out all that well. He may be re-assigned within the program, but won’t be the OC.
Georgia Southern will stick with interim head coach Chad Lunsford. Good for him. Lunsford has a lot of familiarity with the program and will likely keep things status quo with the option offense. It would take a long time for a team to recruit in a way that fits a dramatic scheme change.
Idaho quarterback Matt Linehan probably won’t be available against Georgia State, but he definitely will not get the start. That will go to true freshman Colton Richardson. Linehan is on the cusp of breaking a lot of records, but the senior has a hand injury and it seems that he’ll be looking to secure a backup or practice squad job in the NFL. Considering his father is Dallas Cowboys OC Scott Linehan, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see him taken late in the draft by his dad’s team.
New Mexico State should have Tyler Rogers back this week as the Aggies look to get to a bowl game for the first time since 1960. Rogers did not play last week against Idaho. He only has a 24/15 TD/INT ratio this season, but has thrown for nearly 3,400 yards.
North Texas running back Jeffery Wilson is not playing this week and it appears that his college career is over. Wilson suffered a foot injury in the game against Army and it seems like he won’t be healed in time for the bowl game. He’ll get a look at the next level.
Rice head coach David Bailiff was relieved of his duties. The Owls have it really tough in Conference USA with the rise of in-state schools like North Texas, SMU, UTSA, and then the obvious top teams in the Lone Star State. That will be an interesting job for a hot shot OC because the Owls need to inject some life into that offense.
We have a bowl matchup! UAB will play Ohio in the Bahamas Bowl. UAB is the best story in college football this season and it is awesome that those kids get to go to a nice destination for a bowl game. Kudos to Bill Clark, the kids that stuck it out with that program, and all the donors and boosters that brought UAB football back to life.
-END OF WEEK 14 UPDATE-
We head into the last weekend of the regular season for most of the college football world and have a lot of things to update. Most of what we see the next few weeks will be coaching related. Unfortunately, we’ll have some practice injuries and suspensions prior to the bowl games, but coaches will be the big storylines when it comes to everything aside from the games.
There’s a lot to discuss for Week 13, so let’s dive right in with this week’s News and Notes update:
NC State running back Nyheim Hines left last week’s game against Wake Forest, but is expected to play this week against North Carolina. Hines needs 156 yards to have a 1,000-yard season, but has only gone over 100 once in his last four games.
Virginia Tech has really fallen off the pace over the last few weeks. The loss of Vinny Mihota won’t help. Mihota is the second Hokies starter on defense to go down over the last two weeks. The other was safety Terrell Edmunds. Virginia Tech plays an upset-minded Virginia team this week.
Minnesota wide receiver Tyler Johnson has been ruled out for the season and will undergo surgery. Johnson did not play last week’s game against Northwestern. The Golden Gophers wrap up this week with Wisconsin.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley will not sit out the bowl game like Christian McCaffrey and others before him have. Barkley will be going to the NFL after this season.
That Team Up North is expected to have Brandon Peters at quarterback for The Game against Ohio State. Peters was in concussion protocol earlier in the week, but he seems to be progressing fairly well. If he cannot go, John O’Korn will and Ohio State’s defensive line will be very excited. Wilton Speight is practicing, but without contact.
Kansas State quarterback Jesse Ertz will undergo knee surgery and that will end his college career. Ertz has not played since the game against Texas and tried to practice to get back out there, but he will now hope to get healthy and impress NFL scouts.
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield will not start for the Sooners on Saturday against West Virginia. The Heisman front-runner has been disciplined by head coach Lincoln Riley for his actions in the win over Kansas. We’ll see how long he stays out of the fray.
TCU quarterback Kenny Hill, who missed last week’s game against Texas Tech, is practicing early this week and should be good to go against Baylor. With a win, TCU will get a rematch with Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game next week. Backup Shawn Robinson is out.
Oregon State reached out to Bronco Mendenhall, but he turned down the vacancy in Corvallis. The Beavers have reportedly interviewed interim head coach Cory Hall, Cal OC Beau Baldwin, and Washington OC Jonathan Smith. No idea why Wazzu DC Alex Grinch has not been interviewed, but it looks like the Beavers want to look offensive in their quest to find the next HC.
Stanford running back Bryce Love ran for 101 yards on just 14 carries last week against Cal. With that light workload, Love says that he is good to go for this week’s battle against Notre Dame. Stanford would play in the Pac-12 title game with a Washington win over Washington State, so it makes sense that there was some talk of sitting Love, but with a lot of NFL scouts on hand, he’ll give it a go.
BangTheBook Radio punching bag Jim Mora has been fired at UCLA. The Bruins can still go to a bowl game with a win this week, but Mora will not be part of it. After squandering a ton of talent for several years, he’ll likely look for new work at a Group of Five school to rehabilitate his coaching image.
Auburn was going to rely heavily on Kerryon Johnson this week against Alabama no matter what, but backup running back Kamryn Pettway is out this week. Pettway has two three-touchdown games, but hasn’t been healthy most of the season.
Chip Kelly has reportedly turned down Tennessee and Nebraska, which would leave Florida and UCLA on his list of possibilities. That would certainly be a big boost for the Gators heading into Saturday’s game against Florida State, but we’ll have to see if Kelly makes a call prior to the game or not.
Kentucky tight end CJ Conrad’s season is over after suffering an injury. Conrad was second in receiving yards for the Wildcats, who mostly rely on the run and some moving pockets to create yards. Conrad was a big target for Kentucky and they’ll miss him this week against Louisville.
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin will be fired after the season. Even a win over LSU will not save his job per those in the know. How motivated will the Aggies be this week for a lame-duck head coach? We’ll find out.
Kent State has fired head coach Paul Haynes, though it may have been fairly mutual. The Golden Flashes were 14-45 on Haynes’s watch and he missed the early part of the season while tending to some health issues.
Northern Illinois quarterback Ryan Graham has been shut down for the season. Marcus Childers has been a solid option and will enter next season as the starting quarterback.
North Texas running back Jeffery Wilson is out for the next two weeks and may miss the bowl game as well, depending on when the Mean Green plays. Wilson has racked up 3,205 rushing yards in his four seasons and had 6.5 yards per carry and 16 touchdowns this season. He is a huge loss for this team.
SMU star running back Xavier Jones is probable for Saturday’s game against Tulane. The Mustangs have already locked up bowl eligibility, so he could be very limited in the game.
South Alabama is in the market for a new head coach. Joey Jones stepped down after the lopsided loss to Georgia Southern. Jones has been the coach since February 15, 2008, so he is the only coach in school history.
Tulsa quarterback Luke Skipper nearly led the Golden Hurricane to an upset win over South Florida. His status is in doubt for this week against Temple. Skipper suffered a concussion late in the game and it basically ended Tulsa’s chances of the upset. Neither Skipper nor Chad President have really been great this season, but he has been the better option. President would start if Skipper cannot.
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen is still very much in doubt for this week’s game against San Jose State. The Cowboys are 7-4 and will be going to a bowl game irrespective of what happens this week. Allen was part of last week’s Senior Day festivities in Laramie, but he did not play in the game. It seems likely that he will be out this week as well.