Around College Football: May 21st
The saddest news of the day originated out of Morgantown where former West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart passed away from a heart attack. Stewart took over for Rich Rodriguez when the latter left for Michigan in late 2007 and presided over an impressive Fiesta Bowl victory in early 2008. He wasn’t always perfect, the fallout with Dana Holgorsen proved that, but Stewart provided an easygoing and committed face to the Mountaineers following the departure of the best coach in school history.
His attorney continues trying to plead for delays but Jerry Sandusky‘s child sex abuse trial will begin on June 5th pending a change. At this point, Joe Amendola, Sandusky’s defense, would like more time to craft a narrative for his client but it’s difficult to ponder what that story actually is. The former Penn State defensive coordinator is headed for prison regardless of the start date and setting the proceedings in motion seemingly only delays the inevitable. That being, putting a monster behind bars.
Nick Saban has never needed a reason to recruit, it’s as natural to him as medical redshirts, but credit where credit is due to the best coach in college football. In the last week, Alabama landed their quarterback of the future, Cooper Bateman (Salt Lake City, Utah 4-star) and defensive end Jonathan Allen (Ashburn, Virginia 5-star). Because of the offensive outlook or perhaps the strength of the defense, the Crimson Tide earned a reputation in recent seasons that they weren’t recruiting standout signal-callers. Winning two national titles in three years tends to change that perception. Pass rushers? They’re as familiar in Tuscaloosa as street agents are in Eugene, Oregon.
Notre Dame keeps coming up in realignment discussions. I’m not positive where that originates from but it’s a topic that amuses me. What desire do the Irish have to abandon their independence as long as non-conference champions are eligible for a college football playoff? The SEC and Big 12 seem destined to agree on a Top Four (regardless of placement) while the Pac 12 and Big Ten appear to like the idea of conference champs included only. With their NBC television contract and an avenue of inclusion, Notre Dame isn’t in a hurry to join a conference. Until then, realignment banter probably won’t end and these headlines will appear annually with hopes that the Irish finally decide on something, namely relevance.