College Football Nation
At the publishing of this article it will be only 96 days until the kickoff of the 2015 college football season. We’ve made it out of the triple digits, America, and the anticipation is palpable. Fans across the college football landscape crave any amount of news about their beloved programs and that craving can be hard to satisfy in the early summer as programs prepare for August camps in the depths of offices and film rooms.
With that said, the media has to do some serious digging to keep readership and viewership up, and some of the most interesting and unique stories come up during the summer months. Hopefully these stories will help keep everyone cool while the weather starts to heat up.
The current state of recruiting in college sports these days is a hot topic. A few months ago a story broke that colleges were pursuing Lebron James‘ 10-year-old son and even a few making actual offers to the kid. Lebron was not happy about the attention his son was receiving. “It’s pretty crazy, it should be a violation. You shouldn’t be able to recruit 10-year-old kids,” said James in an interview with the Associated Press. Not long after that story broke, Rivals.com (a leading recruiting website)began actively monitoring its first sixth-grade “prospects.” It seems that that the University of Miami has caught on with the “get ’em while they’re young” philosophy. The Hurricanes head coach Al Golden, has extended three offers to prospects who are members of the 2019 recruiting class. The recruits are currently in eighth grade and have yet to play a down of prep level football.
Oregon fans, remember that little game on January 12th of this year? It wasn’t a big deal or anything — just a small matchup with Ohio State that Oregon lost 42-20. On the off-chance you do remember the game, you may remember one of the game’s most impactful players was Joey Bosa. He was the giant wearing number 97 and constantly putting pressure on Marcus Mariota for a full 60 minutes. What would you say if there was a clone of Bosa coming to Ohio State for the next four years? Well that looks like it’s going to be the case as Joey’s little brother, Nick Bosa, is all but committed to OSU for 2016. 247 Sports reports the signing as a 100 % certainty as well as reporting that scouts from Ohio State have visited the younger Bosa at his home twice within the last month. If at the conclusion of the 2015 season Joey Bosa opts to stay in school for his senior season, he’ll be able to play one season with his younger brother and America will get to watch two Bosas coming off either edge. Stay in school, Joey. It’s too interesting a story to pass up for a couple million bucks.
Little different version http://t.co/Vd2ECRpzbT
— Nick Bosa (@nbsmallerbear) December 27, 2014
With the Big 12 burning its plans to apply for a conference championship two weeks ago, it’s always fun to speculate what alternatives could be pursued to resolve the championship game issue. The Big 12 can rationalize not having a championship game all it wants, but until they get a 13th game the other Power 5 conferences will have a leg up on them in the final rankings of the year. With that in mind, what better place to start than the possibility of expansion? The Big 12 is not allowed to host a conference championship game with only 1o teams in its conference without a waiver from the NCAA.
The Big 12 has already stated late last year that if it were to expand it would be eastward not west. So with programs like Boise State and BYU immediately eliminated from the conversation, who is left as a viable option in the east? Apparently the University of Cincinnati has already engaged in talks with the Big 12 about the possibility of joining the conference. Cincinnati would be a solid addition to the conference as it consistently fields competitive teams as well as having a well-respected head coach in Tommy Tuberville. Other intriguing options include the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Memphis. Both programs are on the rise and would make respectable additions to the Big 12. Memphis is coming off a 10-3 season that ended with a double overtime, 55-48 win over BYU in one of the best bowl games of the year: the Miami Beach Bowl. UCF has been on the rise the past three years and had a respectable 9-4 finish to last year’s season, but perhaps the program’s most memorable win was its 2014 52-42 Fiesta Bowl win over Baylor.
Most avid college football fans know the story of former 49ers and South Carolina running back, Marcus Lattimore. An amazing talent who had his promising football career derailed by a horrific knee injury during his last season at South Carolina. His career officially ended last November when he retired from the 49ers when the physical toll of rehab became too much. Despite all of Lattimore’s hardships he is moving on to the next chapter in his life. Lattimore has re-enrolled at South Carolina thanks to the Carolina Degree Completion Program offered by the university. More and more kids are leaving school early for the NFL these days without receiving a degree, and the majority of those kids aren’t sticking in the league for longer than the age-old stigma of three and a half years. Big kudos to South Carolina for instituting this program and allowing players that have given so much to their university to come back and finish their schooling. Hopefully more schools around the country will follow suit and implement similar programs.
The University of Oregon will be the home to another graduate transfer in 2015. Former Notre Dame interior lineman Matt Hegarty announced Tuesday that he will be transferring to Oregon, and because of his graduate status he will be eligible to play immediately. Hegarty made 21 appearances for the Fighting Irish in the last two seasons, rotating his time between center and guard after suffering a stroke and undergoing heart surgery in 2012. This is a big signing for the Ducks, after losing Hroniss Grassu to the NFL in this year’s draft. Hegarty will provide a much-needed veteran presence as well as versatility in the middle of an inexperienced Ducks offensive line.