December Bedlam: Big 12 pushes back pair of games


For those people who prefer the traditional late November date for the annual Texas-Texas A&M rivalry game, you can feel free to breathe a little easier this afternoon.  For those fans of late November Bedlam, however, you’re going to have to wait a little longer for your fix in 2011.

The Big 12 announced Friday that the annual Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game as well as the Texas-Baylor game have been moved into the month of December.  Both of those games will be played Dec. 3, with one at 3:30 p.m. ET and the other at 8 p.m. ET.  While which game will be contested when is undetermined, recent history suggests Bedlam would likely be the one pushed into the prime-time slot.

Pushing contests into December is a direct result of the conference defections that took place last year.  With Nebraska (Big Ten) and Colorado (Pac-12) leaving for other leagues, the Big 12 will not be holding a championship game in early December.  Pushing these match-ups back will give the conference a television presence on the same weekend other leagues will be holding their title games.

Despite the lack of a title game, the Big 12 is still dubbing the December doubleheader “Championship Saturday”, apparently taking their cue from a Big Ten conference that consists of 12 schools.

Incidentally, the Longhorns-Aggies game will again be played Thanksgiving night on ESPN.  It had been heavily rumored over the past few months that the rivalry might be moved from the turkey holiday, where it’s been contested 63 times prior to this year, to the first weekend in December.  Based on the number of emails we’ve received on the subject, this news will come as a welcome relief to a sizable chunk of the respective fan bases.

It should be noted, though, that UT-A&M staying on Thanksgiving is for 2011 only, and could — stressing the word “could” very heavily — change for future games.  Given the fact that the Thanksgiving hiatus took a 15-year sabbatical until it resumed in 2008, we get the feeling the fans would ultimately adjust regardless of what future schedules may hold.

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Friday, ending the former Broyles Award winner’s time with the Hurricanes after only one season.

The school announced the move in a one-sentence press release, with no other detail: “Josh Gattis has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday,” read the release, sent from a university spokesman.

The Hurricanes went 5-7 in Gattis’ lone season. He was brought in by Miami only a few weeks after winning the 2021 Broyles Award – given to the nation’s top assistant coach – while serving as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and helping the Wolverines reach the College Football Playoff.

But Miami’s offense, for a number of reasons, failed to meet expectations in 2022. Part of that was injuries; starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke battled a shoulder injury, and the Hurricanes turned to Jake Garcia – who has since transferred – and Jacurri Brown for much of the season.

Miami scored 100 points in its first two games last fall, overpowering Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss. The Hurricanes averaged only 18.3 points the rest of the way, and finished the year 5-0 in games where the defense allowed no more than 14 points – but 0-7 when opponents scored more than 14.

Miami was 86th nationally in total offense last season, averaging 367.1 yards per game, and 97th in scoring offense.

Gattis played at Wake Forest and worked at North Carolina, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Alabama and Michigan before coming to Miami.

Audit: LSU discovered $1M overpayment to Kelly in 2022

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU accidentally overpaid Tigers football coach Brian Kelly by $1 million during the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, but discovered the error and has moved to correct it, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office said Wednesday.

Kelly was overpaid $1,001,368 in supplemental payments in 2022 because duplicate payments made both to Kelly’s LLC and to the coach directly.

The double payments began in May and continued until LSU officials detected the errors in November.

“LSU management and the head football coach have enacted an adjusted payment schedule so the amount of overpayment will be recouped by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023,” the Legislative Auditor’s report stated.

Kelly, who previously coached at Notre Dame for 12 seasons, was hired by LSU after the 2021 season, when the Tigers went 6-7 for its first losing season since 1999.

LSU exceeded expectations in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, winning the SEC West Division and finishing 10-4 after a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.