Nine weeks of the college football season has certainly brought a lot of excitement. With the more weeks that go on, more news and notes will be put together. Here are some of the things happening around the sport of college football heading into week 10.
Initial CFP rankings released
The College Football Playoff committee has released the initial rankings for the season. There were a few surprises including UCF ranking 12th, after reaching that point in the final committee rankings last year after going undefeated. Notre Dame was also fourth, getting beat out by a one-loss LSU team.
Here’s the full #CFBPlayoff Top 2️⃣5️⃣ rankings for games played through October 27.
Is your team in? 👀 pic.twitter.com/CnmGi1MMVx
— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) October 30, 2018
Maryland will reinstate D.J. Durkin (UPDATE: Maryland Fires Durkin on Wednesday)
The Maryland Board of Regents recommended that the university retain D.J. Durkin as head coach and Damon Evans as athletic director after an investigation into the football program after the death of Jordan McNair. In his return to the team, things didn’t go exactly as expected.
We have confirmed that multiple players walked out of DJ Durkin's meeting with the team today.
— Emily Giambalvo (@EmilyGiam) October 30, 2018
Maryland offensive lineman Tyran Hunt: “A paycheck was chosen over” Jordan McNair’s life. https://t.co/QTd9Akcqnm
— Emily Giambalvo (@EmilyGiam) October 31, 2018
University president Wallace Loh will retire at the end of the academic year. Per Durkin’s contract:
Should Maryland terminate Durkin without cause, it would pay him 65 percent of his remaining contract. Half of the buyout would be paid to Durkin through a lump sum within 60 days, while the other half would be paid out through installments in normal university payroll intervals.
Maryland is 5-3 this season without Durkin and is 3-2 in the Big Ten Conference. Matt Canada has been coaching the team in Durkin’s absence.
A day after announcing that he had been reinstated, the University of Maryland has decided to fire head football coach D.J. Durkin according to multiple reports.
The decision to fire Durkin was made public via a letter from university president Wallace Loh to the Maryland community.
Here is the letter:
Dear University of Maryland community,
I am writing to inform you of actions I am taking that are in the best interest of the University of Maryland.
Yesterday, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents announced numerous recommendations, including employment decisions about specific personnel on our campus. I accepted the Board’s recommendations. At the same time, I announced my retirement as president in June 2019.
Since returning to campus after yesterday’s press conference, I have met with the leadership of the Student Government Association speaking on behalf of numerous student organizations; the Senate Executive Committee; Deans; department chairs; and campus leadership. The overwhelming majority of stakeholders expressed serious concerns about Coach DJ Durkin returning to the campus.
The chair of the Board of Regents has publicly acknowledged that I had previously raised serious concerns about Coach Durkin’s return. This is not at all a reflection of my opinion of Coach Durkin as a person. However, a departure is in the best interest of the University, and this afternoon Coach Durkin was informed that the University will part ways.
This is a difficult decision, but it is the right one for our entire University. I will devote the remaining months of my presidency to advancing the needed reforms in our Athletic Department that prioritize the safety and well-being of our student-athletes.
Wallace D. Loh
This decision came from Loh, who will retire at the end of the academic year, and Evans, who thought to move on from Durkin was the best possible move a day after the Board of Regents suggested they keep him.
Baylor fined $2 Million for damage to the conference’s reputation
After it’s sexual assault scandal during the tenure of Art Briles, the Big XII was withholding conference revenue sharing funds from the school. The conference is finished doing that, but the school is being fined the $2 million for “reputational damages to the conference and its members.”
The Big XII has said that Baylor is fully compliant now and there won’t be additional penalties.
Per Yahoo Sports Sam Cooper, “In all, the Big 12 withheld $14,255,000 in revenue from Baylor. A total of $1.651 million — “for legal costs associated with the Verification” — will be immediately reimbursed. The remaining $12.6 million will be “invested for the next 48 months,” with net earnings being distributed to Big 12 schools to support a variety of causes”
USC Helton to take over play-calling duties
USC head coach Clay Helton announced that he will take over play calling duties for the rest of the season and OL coach Neil Callaway has been relieved of his duties. #FightOn pic.twitter.com/ur8F1VATvj
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) October 29, 2018
Clay Helton will take over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Tee Martin. Martin has been a candidate for some head coaching jobs in past years. Assistant coach Tim Drevno will coach both running backs and the offensive line for the rest of the season.
Two Florida State players suspended
Wide receiver Nyqwan Murray and linebacker Zaquandre White are suspended for the first half of the Seminoles’ game against North Carolina State. Both players were involved in separate incidents and threw punches at Clemson players during Florida State’s game this weekend.
The Seminoles will be fighting to get two more wins in their last four games to become bowl eligible. They have been bowl eligible every year since 1981.
Illinois defensive coordinator resigns
Illinois Illini defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson has decided to resign for personal reasons. In a statement, Nickerson mentioned it had to do with his health.
Illinois defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson has resigned "for personal reasons."
Nickerson: "Due to health-related circumstances beyond my control I must step aside at this time." pic.twitter.com/JFRxpz3Lga
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) October 29, 2018
Urban Meyer plans to keep coaching
After questions have come up about Meyer’s health, he had to answer questions about his future. Meyer has said that he plans on coaching Ohio State for the future.
Urban Meyer on retirement rumors: "I plan on coaching."
Reporter: "Can you say for sure you'll be back next year at Ohio State?"
Meyer: "Yes." pic.twitter.com/dHZ74bwq9j
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) October 29, 2018
Other News and Notes
- Justin Herbert is questionable for the game Saturday as he is in the concussion protocol.
- Iowa State quarterback Zeb Noland will transfer due to playing time.
Make sure to check out our college football page for more updates and rankings.