Graham Watson

  • Dino Babers on UCF job: 'I have not signed anything, I'm not going anywhere'

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 hr ago

    Bowling Green coach Dino Babers said Monday he has no intention of leaving Bowling Green despite rumors that linked him to the job opening at Central Florida.

    Babers' full quote, "I have not signed anything. I am not going anywhere, OK. I have no secret deals, no above deals, no verbal deals."

    "I will not lie to my guys. And they know that when I tell them something it's gospel. So everybody else can speculate..."

    "But when I talked to senior leadership and when I talked to those young men last night and I told them why I told them, the story was done" reported Sunday night that Central Florida was expected to hire Babers. However, that report was quickly refuted by other outlets and Babers himself, who sent a text to the Toledo Blade claiming the rumors were false.

    Monday, Grant Heston, UCF vice president for communications and marketing, tweeted that UCF had not yet secured a new coach to replace George O’Leary.

    - - - - - - -

  • USC strips interim tag, names Clay Helton its new head coach

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 3 hrs ago

    USC has hired interim coach Clay Helton to be the team’s permanent head coach, the school confirmed Monday.

    Helton took over for Steve Sarkisian in October and has gone 5-2 in the seven games since. The Trojans rebounded from 3-2 start to finish the season as the Pac-12 South champion. It will play Stanford in the title game on Saturday.

    Players had been championing Helton for the job for weeks and while Pat Haden had been mum on his coaching search — there were rumors he was courting Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles — it was clear the players' calls for Helton did not fall on deaf ears.

    "We want Coach Helton, plain and simple, we don't need to meet with Pat Haden, he knows we want Coach Helton, the way he's got this team back together … everybody on this team would give an arm and a leg for Coach Helton," linebacker Su'a Cravens told the L.A. Times. "Now we take it personally, Helton's job being on the line is making us fight even harder."

    USC has not yet announced the specifics of Helton deal.

    - - - - - - -

  • Penn State relieves OC John Donovan of his duties

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 day ago

    Penn State offensive coordinator and tight ends coach John Donovan has been fired, the school announced Sunday.

    Donovan had been a member of coach James Franklin’s staff for five seasons, including three at Vanderbilt, but came under fire this year after the Nittany Lions' offense ranked 82nd in the nation in passing, 106th in rushing and 108th nationally in total offense.

    The Nittany Lions averaged 23.7 points per game this season, which ranked 101 st nationally.

    Donovan is the first Penn State assistant Franklin has let go in his two seasons with the program.

    Penn State ended the regular season with a 55-16 loss to Michigan State. The Nittany Lions finished 7-5.

    For more Penn State news, visit

    - - - - - - -

    Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!Follow @YahooDrSaturday

  • Georgia fires coach Mark Richt after 15 seasons

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 day ago

    Georgia has fired coach Mark Richt, according to various reports.’s Mark Schlabach was the first to report the move.

    Georgia will hold a press conference on Monday.

    Richt was 145-51 in 15 seasons with the Bulldogs, including a 9-3 record this year. The Bulldogs defeated Georgia Tech on Saturday to end the regular season.

    Richt won two SEC titles at Georgia, but the last came in 2005. Georgia hasn’t played for an SEC title since 2012. However, Richt has only had one season where he’s finished with fewer than eight wins (6-7 in 2010).

    Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity issued a statement Sunday thanking Richt for his service and offering him a chance to stay at the university in a lesser role.

    Rumors of Richt’s firing have been floating around all season, but many believed after a 9-3 campaign that included three straight wins to end the season, Richt would survive for at least another year. However, Georgia was under a bit of pressure to make a move, especially with Florida getting better in the first year under a new coach and other fellow SEC East opponents Missouri and South Carolina looking for new leadership as well.

    - - - - - - -

  • Mike London resigns at Virginia after six seasons

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 day ago

    The Mike London Era at Virginia is over.

    Athletic director Craig Littlepage announced London’s resignation Sunday morning after meeting with the coach to discuss the future of the program. London is 27-46 as the head coach of the Cavaliers, including Saturday’s 23-20 loss to Virginia Tech, the 12 th consecutive time the Cavaliers have lost to their in-state rivals.

    "Mike London has been an outstanding representative of the University of Virginia,” Littlepage said in a statement. “During his tenure, Mike created a positive culture for our student-athletes to develop as young men, who improved each year in the classroom and represented us very well in the community. Mike was a tremendous mentor for his players and many of our coaches. His ability to inspire others helped our program establish great relationships among the high school football coaches in the state and he has been a tremendous ambassador for the University. We are thankful for Mike’s numerous contributions representing the University and Virginia athletics.”

    London’s contract was set to expire following the 2016 season. The University will pay him approximately $2.7 million through 2016.

    - - - - - - -

  • Oklahoma claims Big 12 title and probable CFP spot with win against Oklahoma State

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 day ago

    Oklahoma is the Big 12 champion and perhaps the first team to lock up a spot in this year’s College Football Playoff.

    Oklahoma defeated rival Oklahoma State 58-23 in what ultimately became the de facto Big 12 title game in the final regular season contest for both teams.

    However, Oklahoma had the most to lose since it had climbed to No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings and a loss to the Cowboys would not only have eliminated the Sooners from playoff contention, but probably eliminated the Big 12 as whole.

    But Oklahoma left no doubt with a dominating performance against an Oklahoma State team that was undefeated up until a week ago. After falling behind 10-7, the Sooners scored on back-to-back runs of 68 and 66 yards by backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon to open up the game early in the second quarter and finished the first half with a 44-20 lead.

    Once the Sooners started to understand the type of offense they were facing, Walsh became ineffective. Most of his passing yards came on underthrown passes that were misjudged by Oklahoma defenders. The Oklahoma State running game mustered just 132 yards against the Sooners stingy front four.

    - - - - - - -

  • USC clinches Pac-12 South title with 40-21 win against UCLA

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 day ago

    USC is heading to its first Pac-12 title game courtesy of Saturday’s 40-21 win against rival UCLA.

    Saturday’s game was a de facto Pac-12 South championship game with the winner of the contest heading to Santa Clara to play Stanford for the conference title. The game was close early, with the two teams trading points through much of the first half. However, a 42-yard punt return late in the second quarter gave the Trojans a 20-14 lead and momentum heading into the half.

    UCLA tried to steal that momentum back early with a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Paul Perkins, which gave the Bruins a 21-20 lead. It would be their last lead of the game.

    UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen lost a fumble and threw an interception on the Bruins’ next two possessions and the Trojans turned both mistakes into touchdowns. Rasheem Green picked up the Rosen fumble and ran it 31 yards into the end zone. Darreus Rodgers hauled in a 20-yard touchdown pass to complete an eight-play drive following the interception. Rosen’s interception marked his first in 245 passes. He actually threw two on the day and had a couple potential interceptions dropped.

    - - - - - - -

  • So. Miss defeats La. Tech 58-24 to claim C-USA West title

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 day ago

    Three years ago, Southern Miss failed to win a game.

    On Saturday, the Golden Eagles became Conference USA West Division champions.

    Southern Miss scored three touchdowns on three Louisiana Tech turnovers in the fourth quarter to blow out the Bulldogs 58-24 and earn a berth in the Conference USA title game. The Golden Eagles will play at Western Kentucky next weekend.

    Southern Miss jumped out to a 24-3 lead late in the second quarter thanks to a balanced passing and rushing attack. But the Bulldogs cut the lead to 24-10 right before halftime to give themselves a chance.

    Louisiana Tech scored first in the third quarter to cut the Golden Eagles lead to a touchdown, but Southern Miss quarterback Nick Mullens answered quickly with a one-yard touchdown pass to Korey Robertson. After that, the wheels fell off for Louisiana Tech.

    The Bulldogs turned the ball over on three consecutive plays and Golden Eagles running back Ito Smith rushed for touchdowns on each subsequent possession. In less than a minute at the start of the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs went from trailing by 14 points to 51-17 deficit.

    - - - - - - -

  • Reports: Justin Fuente to succeed Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 day ago

    It appears Memphis coach Justin Fuente has been tabbed as the man to replace Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech.

    Multiple reports surfaced Saturday indicating an announcement would be made next week and that defensive coordinator Bud Foster and running backs coach Shane Beamer, the son of Frank Beamer, would remain on the Hokies’ staff.

    Justin Fuente will be new coach at Virginia Tech. Bud Foster & Shane Beamer will remain on Hokies' staff, source told @espn

    Yahoo Sports’ columnist Pat Forde speculated earlier this week that Fuente would be the Hokies’ choice and that he had been the favorite for awhile.

    Fuente has spent four seasons at Memphis. He won just seven games in his first two seasons before a breakout 10-win season a year ago. The Tigers are 9-3 this season.

    Memphis did say it made a competitive offer to Fuente to get him to stay with the Tigers but did not specifically say how much that deal was worth. Reports did cite the number was more than $3 million.

    - - - - - - -

  • Illinois announces two-year deal to make Bill Cubit its head coach

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 2 days ago

    Bill Cubit has dropped the interim title at Illinois.

    Cubit and the university have agreed to a two-year deal pending approval by the U of I Board of Trustees.

    The agreement extends Cubit’s current contract and will pay him $1.2 million per year.

    Cubit was named interim coach on Aug. 28 after head coach Tim Beckman was fired. Cubit has led the Illini to a 5-6 record. Illinois plays Northwestern for bowl eligibility on Saturday.

    Cubit's two-year deal is definitely a stopgap for the Illini, who are fighting public perception after several football players alleged verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of Beckman. Illinois also is looking for a new athletic director in the wake of those allegations.

    For more Illinois news, visit

    - - - - - - -

    Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!Follow @YahooDrSaturday