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Headlinin’: Larry Fedora is the new head Heel at North Carolina

Matt Hinton
Dr. Saturday

Making the morning rounds.

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Happy Trails. As expected, Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora has agreed to an offer from North Carolina, according to the Winston-Salem Journal, which expects an official announcement today. Fedora leaves USM after four years with a school record for wins in a season and the Golden Eagles' first Conference USA championship since 2003. He's greeted in Chapel Hill by an array of pending NCAA sanctions. [Winston-Salem Journal, Hattiesburg American]

Fedora's exit from the game looks like good news for the coach he just beat in the C-USA title game, Houston's Kevin Sumlin, who was also going head-to-head with Fedora for the vacancies at Arizona State and Texas A&M. Both were among the four candidates A&M reportedly interviewed in New York City this week, and Sumlin now appears to be the lone frontrunner in College Station. [Dallas Morning News]

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Fresh meat, part one. For the second year in a row, Georgia has landed arguably the most hyped running back prospect in the nation: This time, it's Keith Marshall, a top-100 recruit out of Raleigh, N.C., rated by Rivals as the No. 1 all-purpose back in the 2012 class. Marshall verbally committed to UGA on Tuesday (no commitment is binding until signatures are allowed in early February), immediately replacing the disappointing Isaiah Crowell as the object of Bulldogs' fans affections — one day after Crowell was named SEC Freshman of the Year. [UGASports.com, Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Comings and goings. The wave of post-Edsall attrition continues at Maryland, where three more players — starting safety Titus Till and reserve running backs Rahsaan Moore and Jeremiah Wilson — announced pending transfer plans on Tuesday, bringing the tally to six departing Terps and counting since the end of a 2-10 debacle in coach Randy Edsall's first season. Till is the second starter in that group, on the heels of the team's most experienced offensive lineman, R.J. Dill. [Baltimore Sun] {YSP:MORE}

Fresh meat, part two. More on this later, but today is D-Day for the Big East's long-rumored expansion plans: Boise State, Central Florida, Houston, San Diego State and SMU are all expected to be announced as future members at a 5 p.m. ET press conference. Notable omissions from that list: The service academies, Air Force and Navy, both of which have been targeted for expansion but haven't committed to making the leap just yet — and in Air Force's case, may be preparing to reject the offer altogether. [Associated Press, Colorado Springs Gazette]

Welcome back, bro. Everybody's doing the coordinator shuffle at Arkansas, where offensive coordinator Garrick McGee (the new head coach at UAB), special teams coordinator John L. Smith (the new head coach at Weber State) and defensive coordinator Willy Robinson (who "resigned" on Tuesday) have all vacated the premises in the last 72 hours. Fortunately, McGee's position was an easy one to fill: Paul Petrino, brother of head coach Bobby Petrino, is already on his way back from a two-year stint in Illinois. [Associated Press, HawgSports.com]

Quickly… Big 12 athletic directors could be onboard with a Plus-One format after Oklahoma State's snub from the title game. … Super agent Jimmy Sexton is changing agencies. … Tennessee warns local car dealers of "potential dangers" in dealing with student-athletes. … Purdue suspends its third-leading receiver for an unspecified violation of team rules. … The Fiesta Bowl has an $8.2 million deal with a local visitor's bureau to drive high-end hotel sales, at the expense of traveling universities. … Tim Keown on the death of the sports interview, at the hands of "talk about." … And Wikipedia says "LaRon Zook loves the Cornhuskers," so you know it must be true.

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Matt Hinton is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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