NCAAF Notebook: AAC adds six new schools
Week 7 of the 2021 college football season was a wild one, and it has spilled over into Week 8 with off field news stealing many of the storylines heading into the weekend. Let’s take a look at the top developments from around the country in this edition of our NCAAF Notebook.
Few things bring attention to sports like champions, fights, and fans making an absolute mockery of themselves through ill-directed passion. Saturday night in Knoxville, we were missing the first two, but Vols fans brought the last to create an absolutely wild atmosphere that few will ever forget.
The Ole Miss Rebels were in town and that meant former Tennessee Head Coach Lane Kiffin was back in front of a fanbase that he clearly left a sour taste in the mouth of. The Rebels won the game 31-26, but not before upset fans threw things like mustard bottles and golf balls onto the field in a wild scene which ultimately resulted in a quarter-million dollar fine for the University of Tennessee and a multitude of memes for fans of Twitter.
Lane Kiffin caught a water bottle on his way out of Neyland Stadium — and tossed his visor back 😅 pic.twitter.com/KVxZiPK7ZB— ESPN (@espn) October 17, 2021
SEC Football: It Just Means More.
When Texas and Oklahoma opted late this past summer to move away from the Big 12 and head toward deeper waters in the SEC, it set off a series of dominoes that are still rippling through the sport.
The Big 12 quickly moved to refill their ranks, adding Cincinnati, Houston, UCF, and BYU. It was a strong, decisive move for the Power Five conference, but it left the American Conference decimated.
This week, the American Athletic Conference took steps to try and remedy that void by inviting six teams into the fold. Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, North Texas, UTSA, Rice, and UAB should all be joining the conference, gutting Conference USA (for the time being), and adding a geographically diverse group that has been relatively successful in recent years thanks to some decent seasons and competitive play by Florida Atlantic, UTSA, and UAB especially.
The American Athletic Conference has officially voted to accept six new schools:— Front Office Sports (@FOS) October 21, 2021
➖ North Texas
The new schools will start by earning $2M annually from the AAC’s TV deal. Existing schools’ earnings, about $7M each, will remain whole. pic.twitter.com/HhIdQ5MWHx
The American Athletic Conference isn’t stronger than it was before this game of dominoes began, but it at least has a plan in place and looks like it will remain solvent moving forward.
Now all eyes will turn to Conference USA to see how they respond to the raiding of their ranks.
Happy trails to Orgeron and Rolovich
It was brought up several weeks ago as a possibility, and now reality has arrived. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich are both moving on.
Breaking: Nick Rolovich is out as the Washington State football coach after refusing to become vaccinated for COVID-19, a requirement for all state employees.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 19, 2021
First reported by The Oregonian and confirmed by ESPN. pic.twitter.com/qXu21pAY4u
Orgeron plans to continue on through the remainder of the season, while Rolovich is gone immediately as a result of state mandates dictating he accept a COVID-19 vaccine as a state employee.
Neither coach had strong legs to stand on in the form of football wins, and now both programs must look to move on. While they attempt to do so, don’t expect either team to produce very good football to close out the season.
College Football Game of the Week
This week’s best and most important game takes place in Ames, Iowa, where the undefeated Oklahoma State Cowboys go on the road to take on the Iowa State Cyclones. The Cowboys are ranked eighth on the merit of their undefeated record, but they are 7-point underdogs in this matchup.
Sat, October 23 2021, 7:30 PM
The Cyclones have two disappointing losses against Iowa and Baylor which have them unranked, but the statistics suggest they were the better team in each of those losses and at home under Matt Campbell they have been a tough opponent.
The Cyclones are talented offensively with veteran quarterback Brock Purdy, star running back Breece Hall, and a nice combination of tight ends and wide receivers to keep defenses guessing.
The Cowboys have an excellent defense, but have been underwhelming offensively, and this will certainly be their toughest test to-date if they hope to continue their pursuit of a playoff spot.