Oct 7, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; A general view of an end zone pylon prior to the game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Miami flips 5-star DT Justin Scott from Ohio State

Five-star defensive tackle Justin Scott has flipped his commitment to Miami from Ohio State in a move with significant implications for both programs.

Scott, who plays for St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, is the No. 3-ranked defensive lineman and 12th overall recruit in the country by 247Sports Composite rankings for 2024. He committed to the Buckeyes in July, but said that South Florida had remained on his mind.

“From the first time they offered me to now, they have never changed. Even when I committed they still recruited me and emphasized the need for my position there,” Scott told On3. “I’ve built so many strong relationships there as well with everybody on the staff.”

Ohio State and Miami were among Scott’s initial finalists along with Michigan, while he was also receiving interested from the likes of Alabama and Georgia. Scott committed to the Buckeyes, but said South Florida remained on his mind due to strong connections with Hurricanes coach Mario Cristobal and defensive line coach Joe Salave’a.

It also helps that Scott’s close friend, Marquise Lightfoot, has also committed to Miami. The pair are now part of one of the nation’s top-rated recruiting classes.

“I have been down there three times and I always loved it,” he said. “It always felt like family, and it is a place I wanted to stay each time I visited because of how I felt around the staff. And they have shown that young guys have great opportunities to make big impacts. Coach Mario Cristobal plays young players, and that stands out to me because I will go in and have a chance to make an early impact.”

Meanwhile, Scott’s departure serves a significant blow to Ohio State’s recruiting class, which had been rated as high as No. 2 in the nation. Buckeyes coach Ryan Day still has commitments from three other five-star prospects, including wide receiver Jeremiah Smith out of Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Hollywood, Fla.

Ohio State does have commitments from defensive linemen Eddrick Houston and Eric Mensah and is scheduled to host four-star D-lineman Ernest Willor Jr. in December, according to On3.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2022; Gainesville, Florida, USA;South Florida Bulls head coach Jeff Scott prior to the game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

South Florida fires coach Jeff Scott

South Florida, in the midst of a 1-8 season, fired head football coach Jeff Scott on Sunday.

Special teams coordinator Daniel Da Prato was named interim head coach for the rest of the season.

“When Jeff came to Tampa in December of 2019, we had high expectations for where he could take our football program,” athletic director Michael Kelly said in a statement. “While he did so many things right, including rebuilding our culture, pushing forward our Indoor Performance Facility, and engaging our community, the on-the-field results fell well below our standards. He is a tremendous person and class individual and we wish him, Sara, Savannah and Hunter all the best in the future.”

The Bulls lost their seventh straight game Saturday when host Temple pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 54-28 win. South Florida is 0-5 against American Athletic Conference opponents and won its only game against Howard, an FCS opponent.

Scott was hired ahead of the 2020 season after serving as Clemson’s wide receivers coach, run game coordinator and co-offensive coordinator between 2008 and 2019. He originally signed a five-year deal and also inked a two-year extension following the 2021 season.

But South Florida went just 4-26 under Scott, including a paltry 1-19 in conference.

“I would like to thank our players, coaches and staff members for all their hard work during my time as the head coach at USF,” Scott said in a statement. “I especially want to thank USF President Rhea Law and Vice President/Director of Athletics Michael Kelly for giving me the incredible opportunity to lead the football program the last three years. I will miss this team and will do anything in my power to help them in the future. I am disappointed that our hard work didn’t translate to more success on the field, but I am confident that we have set a new foundation. I know the future of USF football is bright and my family and I will always remember our time at USF as a very special chapter in our lives.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher prior to a game against the  Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher big favorite to be next coach fired

Jimbo Fisher has gone from sparring with Nick Saban over NIL deals to fighting for his job in just six short months.

The Aggies opened the season ranked No. 6 in the AP Top 25 and viewed as a potential title contender. However, Texas A&M has stumbled to a 3-5 record that leaves have stumbled to a 3-5 record that leaves the program battling just to become bowl-eligible.

After opening their SEC schedule with a come-from-behind win at Arkansas, the Aggies have suffered four consecutive defeats. After the latest — a 31-28 setback at bitter rival Ole Miss — Fisher has been installed as the +200 favorite by SportsBetting.ag to be the next FBS coach fired this season.

Texas A&M suffered its first loss of the season at home in shocking fashion to Appalachian State. The Aggies appeared to put the wheels back on the wagon with wins over Miami and Arkansas before the four-game skid, with the past three losses coming by a combined 13 points.

Complicating matters is the massive 10-year contract extension Fisher signed last year. If Texas A&M were to fire Fisher after the 2022 season, the school would be on the hook for nearly $86 million.

His fate in College Station could be determined by the Aggies’ final three SEC games — at home versus Florida this Saturday followed by a road game against Auburn, which just fired its coach, Bryan Harsin, and the regular-season finale against LSU on Nov. 26.

The next-shortest odds to be the next coach fired belong to South Florida’s Jeff Scott at +350 and Stanford’s David Shaw at +500.

Next Coach Fired Odds
Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M (+200)
Jeff Scott, South Florida (+350)
David Shaw, Stanford (+500)
Steve Sarkisian, Texas (+700)
Justin Wilcox, Cal (+750)
Jedd Fisch, Arizona (+800)
Jeff Haley, Boston College (+900)
Neal Brown, West Virginia (+900)
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern (+1200)
Ken Niumatalolo, Navy (+1600)
Mel Tucker, Michigan State (+2500)
Mario Cristobal, Miami (+3300)
Brent Venables, Oklahoma (+5000)

Harsin became the sixth Power 5 coach fired this season on Monday. He followed Scott Frost (Nebraska), Herm Edwards (Arizona State), Geoff Collins (Georgia Tech), Paul Chryst (Wisconsin) and Karl Dorrell (Colorado).

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson (26) breaks up a pass intended for Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Tajae Sharpe (4) in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

NFL transaction roundup: Panthers’ Donte Jackson agrees to 3-year deal

Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson agreed to terms on a three-year contract on Saturday.

Financial terms were not disclosed by the team, however NFL Network reported it was a $35.1 million deal.

Jackson, 26, recorded 61 tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble in 12 games (all starts) last season. He missed the final five games due to a groin injury.

Jackson has 209 tackles, 12 interceptions and one sack in 55 career games (51 starts) since being selected by the Panthers in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

–Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and running back Boston Scott agreed to terms on one-year contracts.

The Eagles released Cox on Thursday in hopes of re-signing the six-time Pro Bowl selection to a reworked deal. Multiple reports said the two sides agreed on a $14 million deal.

Cox, 31, had 35 tackles and 3.5 sacks last season. He recorded 443 tackles, 142 quarterback hits, 58 sacks, 14 forced fumbles and 12 fumble recoveries, and has scored three touchdowns in 156 career games (150 starts).

Scott, 26, had 87 carries for 373 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 games last season. He has rushed for 992 yards and added 499 receiving yards for 14 total touchdowns (13 rushing, one receiving) in 43 career games with the Eagles.

–Atlanta Falcons hybrid offensive threat Cordarrelle Patterson agreed to terms on a contract, NFL Network reported.

Terms were not disclosed in the deal for the wide receiver-turned-running back, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2021.

Patterson, 31, recorded career-high totals in carries (153), rushing yards (618), rushing touchdowns (six), receiving yards (548) and receiving touchdowns (five). His 52 catches matched his career-high total, set in 2016 with the Minnesota Vikings.

Patterson has collected 1,635 rushing yards, 2,635 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns (14 rushing, 15 receiving, eight special teams) in 143 career games with the Vikings, then-Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears and Falcons. He was selected by Minnesota with the 29th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.

–Kicker Randy Bullock is returning to the Tennessee Titans.

The Tennessean reported Bullock is signing a two-year contract.

Bullock, 32, signed with the Titans last September after an injury to Sam Ficken. He hit 26 of 31 field goal attempts with a long of 51, and also converted 42 of 45 field extra-point tries.

Three of his field goals were game winners.

The Titans are Bullock’s sixth team. A fifth-round draft pick in 2012 by Houston, he also has spent time with the Texans, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers.

In 123 career games, he has made 83.3 percent of his field goal tries (194 of 233) and 95.2 percent of extra points (194 of 233).

–Quarterback Garrett Gilbert agreed to terms with the Las Vegas Raiders, his agent announced.

Gilbert, 30, spent part of last season on the practice squad of the Patriots, working with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, now the Raiders head coach.

Originally a sixth-round draft pick in 2014, Gilbert has appeared in eight games through his career with Carolina, Cleveland, Dallas and Washington. He’s 0-2 as a starter and has completed 43 of 75 pass attempts for 477 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

–The Cleveland Browns are trading veteran quarterback Case Keenum to the Buffalo Bills for a 2022 seventh-round draft pick, NFL Network reported.

Keenum, 34, won both of his starts for Cleveland in 2021, completing 47 of 72 passes for 462 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

He is 29-35 as a starter with six NFL teams since 2013, passing for 14,876 yards with 78 TDs and 48 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Jul 24, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott speaks during Pac-12 football media day at Hollywood & Highland. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Pac-12 request for expanded CFP turned down

The Pac-12 requested an eight-team playoff for this season but the College Football Playoff management committee turned it down, ESPN reported Wednesday.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott urged the committee to make the change amid the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which will lead to teams playing fewer games in the 2020 campaign.

But the committee that includes the 10 FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick reviewed the situation and determined to stick with the status quo of four qualifying teams.

“They decided that doing that now would be such a significant change, and come with so many challenges, especially given the timing with the season already underway, that they concluded that the best outcome would be to make no changes in the format,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN. “They will continue to discuss the future, which is just good, responsible business practice, although I must say that dealing with COVID has become everyone’s focus now.”

In Scott’s view, the pandemic has so gravely affected the season that expanding the number of teams would have been the most equitable solution. For example, the Pac-12 and Big Ten haven’t yet started their schedules while the ACC, Big 12 and SEC have already begun play.

“In light of the pandemic and the varied schedules and reduced number of games — including no nonconference games for most teams — the committee will have to evaluate, I felt it was our responsibility and important to consider an expanded playoff that would include more teams and automatic qualifiers who are conference champions this year,” Scott told ESPN.

Stanford coach David Shaw told reporters the number of playoff teams will eventually increase.

“Whether it’s six or eight, at some point in time it’s going to happen,” Shaw said. “We all know it; we all believe it. We’re just going to do it very, very slowly and methodically, but it’s the only thing that makes sense.

“The only thing that should matter is: Did you fight really, really hard your entire season to win your conference? If you did, you should get a ticket to the dance. Now, outside of those five, now who deserves it? You have to look at independents, you have to look at No. 2s in some of those conferences, look at the roads they traveled. That’s the only thing that truly makes sense, and I believe eventually we will get there, whether it’s six or eight teams, I think it’ll eventually happen.”

According to Hancock, there will be no change this season to how the selection process is handled.

“They trust the judgment of the 13 experts on the (selection) committee to make the best decisions, understanding how much more difficult 2020 will be,” Hancock said.

–Field Level Media