Report: Auburn president considering a coaching change

"News" broke earlier this afternoon that Auburn president Jay Gogue has told AU Board of Trustees members that he is possibly planning to dismiss head coach Gene Chizik, according to AuburnUndercover.com. According to the report, Gogue has contacted board members about forming a search committee to name a new head coach "within days after the end of the season", should he decide to make a change

The report also stated the athletics director Jay Jacobs would be retained and that executive associate athletics director Tim Jackson, who oversees football, would be reassigned. 

Chizik's buyout presently stands at $10 million but drops to $7.5 million on December 1, according to AL.com.

For a full summary of the report, please click here

To be clear, Chizik has not been let go. 

In the meantime, Auburn hosts Georgia on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2). The Tigers are 2-7 on the season and 0-6 in SEC play. 

David Cutcliffe outlines plans for Wallace Wade Stadium renovation

Duke announced last months a $3.25 billion campaign for improvements across the university, with $250 million earmarked for athletic facility improvements. On Wednesday, head coach David Cutcliffe detailed to the Raleigh Sports Club what the improvements will entail for Wallace Wade Stadium. 

“We’ll do what Stanford did, and as soon as we finish the last ball game (in 2013), construction will start,” Cutcliffe told the Raleigh-Durham News & Observer. “It will require a day and night operation to get it up and running.”

In the off-season between the 2013-14 seasons, Duke will remove the track surrounding the field, lower the playing surface and update the stadium's facade to match the rest of campus. 

Originally opened in 1929, Duke Stadium was renamed in honor of College Football Hall of Fame coach Wallace Wade in 1968. Originally opened with a 35,000-seat capacity, the stadium grew to 44,000 in 1942 but has been downsized twice since, most recently to 33,941 in 1982. 

The toughest positions to play according to Jim Mora

After practice this morning, Jim Mora explained that there are two positions that stick out to him as the hardest to master from a technique perspective. Those two positions are corner, and offensive tackle.

As Mora sees it, you're protecting your side of the ball's most valuable asset, and in many cases, doing it out on your own island. For the corners, it's the goal line that they protect, and for the tackles it's the quarterback.

Both great points.

Hear more from Mora on the subject below. 

This would definitely make for some solid late night debate at the AFCA convention with some cold beverages in hand. What are your thoughts?

The Scoop on tonight's games

Here's The Scoop on everything you need to know about tonight's tripleheader. 

Florida State at Virginia Tech (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

On paper this should be a certain win for Florida State. Jimbo Fisher's team is the clear statistical leader in the ACC, ranking first or second within the league in 11 of the 17 official categories tracked by the NCAA. The Seminoles pace the ACC in total offense and total defense, scoring offense and scoring defense as well as passing efficiency and passing efficiency defense. 

The problem, however, is that certain wins have so often turned out not to be the case over the past decade for Florida State. According to Matt Hinton at SundayMorningQB.com, Florida State is 0-8 in ACC play while playing on the road as a ranked team against an unranked underdog since 2005. That number includes the Seminoles' only setback in 2012, a 17-16 setback at N.C. State on Oct. 6. (FSU is a two touchdown favorite tonight.) Since that loss, Fisher's squad has rebounded to win three straight; at 8-1 overall and 5-1 in conference play the Seminoles stand in first place of the ACC's Atlantic Division. 

That brings us to tonight as Florida State travels to Blacksburg to face a Virginia Tech team in the midst of a very un-Frank Beamer-like season. At 4-5 overall and 2-3 in league play, the five-time ACC Coastal champions are one game above the basement in the division. They come into tonight off a 30-12 loss to Miami last Thursday night, a game in which the Hokies were the team that endured a blocked punt, an 81-yard kickoff return, a missed field goal and a missed extra point. 

Tonight marks Florida State's first visit to Lane Stadium since 2007, a place where Virginia Tech has won its last seven games. Frank Beamer's team is 19-6 on Thursday nights and 25-3 in November since joining the ACC. Those sterling marks will be put to test against Florida State, the only squad that ranks among FBS's top eight in total offense and total defense. 

Louisiana - Monroe at Arkansas State (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

The Sun Belt title could be decided tonight when two of the league's top offenses square off in Jonesboro, Ark. ULM leads the league at nearly 38 points per game, while Arkansas State checks in at No. 3 with 34 points per game. Gus Malzahn's team enters tonight with a four-game winning streak in which they've posted nearly 40 points per game. 

Red Wolves quarterback Ryan Aplin has heated up over the last month, connecting on 78-of-108 (72.2 percent) of passes for 1,023 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. Arkansas State's stretch of good football hasn't just been limited to Aplin; the Red Wolves have rushed 157 times for 714 yards (4.5 ypc) for 13 touchdowns over their past four games while limiting opponents to 580 yards on 151 attempts (3.8 ypc) and three scores. Arkansas State has also secured a 10-to-3 turnover margin over that span.

Todd Berry's team had its five-game winning streak snapped on Saturday, but still claims the Sun Belt's top scoring offense and turnover margin. Offensive coordinator Steve Farmer calls a balanced offense as ULM averages 40 passes per game to go with 36 rushes per game. That balance was thrown off in the 40-24 loss to Louisiana - Lafayette as the Warhawks only managed 74 rushing yards on 20 attempts. The Warhawks will need to run the ball better tonight without starting quarterback Kolton Browning, who suffered an injury early against ULL, in the lineup. Browning was working on a Sun Belt Player of the Year campaign, leading the league in total offense and accounting for 27 touchdowns. Senior Cody Wells steps in for Browning, bringing in a resume that includes 226 attempts for 1,499 yards and an 11-to-14 touchdown-to-interception ratio over his career.

Both teams share a 4-1 conference record coming into tonight, sitting atop the league along with Middle Tennessee (also 4-1 in Sun Belt play). ULM already owns a victory over the Blue Raiders, while Arkansas State hosts MTSU in the season finale on Dec. 1. A win tonight will go a long way toward a first conference championship for Berry's program, while Malzahn's squad hopes to defend its 2011 league title. 

Noth Alabama at West Alabama (7:30 p.m. ET, GSC-TV)

Bobby Wallace returns to Livingston, Ala., to face his old team and former offensive coordinator Will Hall, who is now at the helm of West Alabama. North Alabama (5-4) enters tonight ranked tenth in D2Football.com's Super Region 2 rankings, while West Alabama (7-3) checks in at No. 7. Hall's offense puts opposing defenses under a tremendous amount of pressure when things are clicking. The Tigers score nearly 44 points per game in their seven wins but just 16 points per game in their losses. 

Tonight marks Wallace's first trip back to West Alabama, where he led the program for five years. He is in his second stint at North Alabama, returning to the school where he coached from 1988-97 and won three NCAA Division II national titles. After winning four straight games in which they allowed a total of 28 points, the Lions have dropped three straight games and surrendered 100 points in the process.  

Gruden reportedly wants back in

We saw a report earlier today from NFL writer Gregg Rosenthal that ESPN's Jon Gruden wants to get back into coaching.

In itself, that should not come as a major surprise to anyone. Gruden is only 49 and his name always seems to come up with numerous high profile jobs each off season. This season will be no different.

Rosenthal goes on to explain that he has heard from his source (Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com) that Gruden has already reached out to a few assistants, including former Eagles defensive coordinator and offensive line coach Juan Castillo and Chargers specials teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, about their potential availability after the season wraps up.

Take it for what it's worth, but Rosenthal says Campbell has been pretty accurate when it comes to NFL movement, and notes that Gruden is waiting for the perfect opportunity in a large media market, otherwise he's more than happy at ESPN and as president of the FFCA (Fired Football Coaches Association).

Read Rosenthal's full take on the Gruden situation here.


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