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NCAA Football

Around College Football: June 27th

Gus Malzahn‘s surprising departure from Auburn to Arkansas State hasn’t produced any wins yet but he’s accumulating a bevy of talent in the backfield. David Oku, former Tennessee signee, joins the Red Wolves and immediately gains eligibility for the 2012 season. A member of the ill-fated 2009 Lane Kiffin recruiting class in Knoxville, Oku was the top-ranked all-purpose back coming out of high school. He gained less than 300 yards as a Volunteer but possesses two years to follow through on his immense college football talents under a guy that knows a bit about offense. Following a transfer year, he’ll have company toting the rock for Arkansas State as former Auburn running back Michael Dyer becomes eligible as well. Should Malzahn reach Year Two in Jonesboro, the stable of backs at his disposal will rival anyone in the region.

Things got complicated, people are moving apart, there’s a job in a different city and a million other break-up cliches apply to Notre Dame and Michigan pausing their football series. The Fighting Irish and Wolverines plan to put the home-and-home on hiatus in 2018 and 2019 while they try to find themselves. Both are committed to rekindling the relationship even though that never works. Since 1996, the institutions have played every year but the looming Pac 12-Big Ten conference mandate is likely part of the decision while Michigan figures out who the hell they’ll match up with on the Left Coast. In many summaries of the subject, writers mention the first night game in the Big House last year (against Notre Dame) and the after hours tilt this year in South Bend. I did not realize the Midwest just discovered electricity but congratulations on this accomplishment and best wishes in many more hours of tailgating.

John L. Smith has plenty to deal with as the interim — that’s what he is — coach of Arkansas so you know he’s just thrilled to answer questions about players pleading not guilty to felonies. Marquel Wade, Andrew Peterson and Maudrecus Humphrey face burglary charges in connection with dorm room stupidity. The defendants walked down hallways, checking for unlocked doors before presumably absconding with the loot. Yeah, cameras exist in 2012 and felonies follow that sort of behavior. There’s been no word from former head coach Bobby Petrino on the May incident but as he created such a sterling role model to emulate, I’m sure his advice would be well-heeded.