December 13, 2011
Making the morning rounds.
• Happy trails. According to his father, Central Florida quarterback Jeff Godfrey has been granted a release to transfer after two seasons as the Knights' starter, on the same day he was declared ineligible for the spring semester for unspecified reasons. In 2010, Godfrey — a three-star recruit from Miami who allegedly had offers from Miami, Florida State and Georgia, among other heavy hitters — was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year for leading the Knights to the conference championship and the first top-25 finish in school history following a Liberty Bowl upset of Georgia. This year, he struggled and wound up splitting time with freshman Blake Bortles as UCF sunk to 5-7 despite fielding the No. 1 total and scoring defense in the league.
"It was the right time to go when he started to have lack of playing time," Jeff Godfrey Sr. told the Orlando Sentinel. "He never had any problem with competing for the starting job. It was just a question of whether he would get a fair chance to compete."
Godfrey is free to transfer to any school outside of Conference USA (the Knights' current league) or the Big East (the Knights' future league), a list that is reportedly topped by his hometown school: Miami. Which would be interesting, considering Godfrey was one of the recruits implicated by former 'Cane booster Nevin Shapiro in the sprawling improper benefits scandal that rocked Miami earlier this year, and likely owed his eligibility in 2011 to his willingness to cooperate with NCAA investigators in their case against the U. [Orlando Sentinel, Miami New Times]
• No, seriously, where's your coach? Toledo, you have a new head coach, and you may not be able to tell him apart from the players: At 32 years old, newly promoted Matt Campbell is the youngest boss in the I-A/FBS ranks by a good three years. Still, as new head coaches go, you can hardly call him inexperienced — Campbell grew up as a coach's son in football-crazy Massillon, Ohio, played on three national championship teams at Division III power Mount Union and won two more titles there as an assistant coach before moving on to Bowling Green and then Toledo, where he's been offensive coordinator since 2009. Get ready to feel old: He graduated college in 2002.
"Matt Campbell is one of the brightest young minds in college football today," said outgoing coach Tim Beckman at his first press conference in Illinois. "He's a winner. He's a champion. He's been involved in national championships as a coach and as a player. He's a coach's son. I guarantee you I'll be trying to get Matt Campbell." Sorry, coach. [Associated Press, Toledo Blade]
• We hardly knew ye. In other Miami news, 'Cane running back Lamar Miller has elected to forego his final two years of eligibility for the NFL Draft, a major blow to the offense after Miller hit his stride with 1,272 yards on the ground this year — the third-highest total in school history. He's the third Miami player to declare for the pros in the last week, following defensive tackle Marcus Forston and wide receiver Tommy Streeter. [South Florida Sun Sentinel]
• What, that? What? No, forget that. A week after he was rumored to be on his way to Arizona State, SMU coach June Jones told the Dallas Morning News Monday that although he thought a deal with ASU was "inevitable," he's now "convinced" SMU will be his last coaching job. "I have voiced that I thought this would be my last job, but I'm more convinced of it now because by my faith I live and I believe the thing [at Arizona State] didn't work out," Jones said. "I have so many things I know we can do here as a team and me individually, deeper than just winning football games. I couldn't do that at a public institution. And I'm speaking about my commitment to inner-city kids and ministry. If I was at another school, I couldn't do that. This is a really unique place, and I really feel that's why I'm here." [Dallas Morning News]
• Comin' to your citaaay. The Dayne Crist derby began over the weekend in Kansas, where the now-former Notre Dame quarterback reunited with his old coach, Charlie Weis, with an eye toward a potential transfer to Lawrence. Crist's tour of potential suitors continued Monday in Delaware, and is expected to include Wisconsin by the end of the week. [Chicago Tribune]
Quickly… Oklahoma running back Roy Finch is cited for misdemeanor property molestation after allegedly damaging a friend's computer. … Nebraska defensive end Eric Martin is cited for leaving the scene of a minor accident last weekend. … Pro Football Weekly names its annual All-America team from the scouts' perspective. … Tommy Tuberville drops the guillotine on Texas Tech's coaching staff. … Virginia Tech is struggling to unload its allotment of Sugar Bowl tickets. … Onterio McCalebb may be considering a leap into the draft. … Rich Rodriguez gets to know his new constituents in Arizona. … Apparently Malcolm Gladwell thinks college football should be banned. … And in case you were wondering, no, the refs in the BCS Championship Game won't be from the SEC.