Urban Meyer Hired As New Jaguars Head Coach ... He's Baaaack!!!

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It's official ... Urban Meyer will be back in a headset on a football sideline!!!

The Jacksonville Jaguars just announced the college football coaching legend will be their next head coach -- hiring the 56-year-old on Thursday just two years after he stepped away from his role as Ohio State's head man.

"This is a great day for Jacksonville and Jaguars fans everywhere," team owner Shad Khan said in a statement. "Urban Meyer is who we want and need, a leader, winner and champion who demands excellence and produces results."

"While Urban already enjoys a legacy in the game of football that few will ever match, his passion for the opportunity in front of him here in Jacksonville is powerful and unmistakable."

"I am proud to name Urban Meyer the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars."

Of course, this is unchartered territory for Meyer ... the guy has spent every year of his coaching career in the college ranks -- so it'll be a new world for Meyer in the NFL.

But, there's no doubt he's set up to succeed in Jacksonville ... the team has the #1 overall pick, so Meyer is expected to be able to begin his career with Clemson superstar QB Trevor Lawrence under center.

Add that to cornerstone pieces like RB James Robinson and receivers D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault -- and, suddenly, the Jags look like they've got a real shot to be a contender under Meyer.

Urban has famously won wherever he's been at ... earning National Championships at both Florida and Ohio State -- while also hoisting other big bowl game trophies at his other stops.

Unclear if Meyer will also have general manager duties to go along with his head coaching role in Jacksonville ... but either way, rejoice Jags fans.

DUUUUUUUUUVALLLLLL!!!

Tanner Kahlau College Hockey Player Dead At 22 ... After Tragic Ski Crash

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Tanner Kahlau -- a junior forward on the Fredonia State Univ. men's ice hockey team -- tragically died following a ski crash this week ... law enforcement officials have confirmed.

He was just 22 years old.

The hockey player -- real name Bernhard Tanner Kahlau -- was skiing down a trail at Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort in Lake Placid, NY on Jan. 12 when things went horribly wrong.

NY State Police say Kahlau lost control on his run, veered off course, and crashed into a tree.

A short time later, cops say the coroner pronounced Kahlau dead due to injuries he suffered to his head and neck area.

"We are saddened by the loss of our teammate, Tanner," Fredonia State head coach Jeff Meredith said in a statement. "The impact he left on our program, coaches, and teammates will forever be remembered."

"To say Tanner was a great teammate is not doing him justice," Meredith continued. "He was a teammate that everyone loved. His kind demeanor, easy way, and welcoming smile made him a leader, confidant, and friend to all.

"He was a 'team first' guy and would do anything for his boys. Tanner was incredibly humble and I am fortunate to be able to say I worked with him and got to share in his college experience."

Kahlau played in all 25 games for Fredonia State last season, scoring two goals and notching three assists. He had competed in the U.S. Premier Hockey League prior to enrolling at Fredonia State in '18.

RIP.

Patrick Mahomes & Jalen Ramsey Slam Alabama ... Injured Waddle Shouldn't Have Played!!!

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Several NFL stars had big bones to pick with Nick Saban on Monday night ... with Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Ramsey and others blasting the coach and the Tide for playing injured star Jaylen Waddle.

The future NFL wideout broke his ankle against Tennessee back on Oct. 24 ... and had to have major surgery to repair the damage.

But, Waddle still suited up for the Tide's championship game with Ohio State ... and it became clear right away, the dude was nowhere close to 100 percent.

After catching a pass on the first drive of the game, he had a noticeable limp ... and seconds later, stars throughout the NFL wondered out loud why the hell he was playing.

"Who advised 17 for Bama to play?" Ramsey said in a tweet. "Whoever it is definitely doesn’t have his best interest at heart. As a competitor, I understand why he would want to play, but no way he should be out there with the future he has ahead. I hope he can stay safe."

Added Mahomes, "Respect the heart! But you can’t let that man be out there!"

Even Tennessee Titans star A.J. Brown chimed in, writing on his social media page, "Waddle please sit down."

Waddle is expected to be a possible top-15 pick in April's NFL draft -- which caused star Colts linebacker Darius Leonard to also fire away at 'Bama, writing, "Cmon nick don’t let Waddle do this, he’s hurt and shouldn’t be out there! Cmon bro! Sometimes you gotta protect players from themselves!"

For Waddle and 'Bama's part, the school said the wideout was cleared by doctors to return to football activities with the team last week.

Saban had told ESPN in the lead-up to the game the final decision to play would be up to Waddle.

Alabama's DeVonta Smith Wins Heisman Trophy ... First WR in 29 Years!!!

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If 2020 has shown you anything, think the unthinkable ... like a wide receiver winning the Heisman!

Yeah, that just happened ... with Alabama's DeVonta Smith becoming just the 3rd wide receiver EVER to win college football's most coveted award!!

Smith beat all the odds coming into the 2020 season to earn the honor -- seriously, wideouts NEVER win the award -- and he's now the first WR to inscribe his name on the trophy since Desmond Howard did it in 1991.

As for whether or not he deserved it ... there's no debate there -- Smith was a MONSTER for the Tide this season, posting 105 catches for 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns in just 12 games.

The 22-year-old also had a rushing touchdown ... and is currently the nation’s leader in all-purpose yardage heading into next week's National Championship game against Ohio State.

As for Tuesday's awards ceremony, it truly is quite the accomplishment for Smith to beat out quarterbacks for the honor -- only six receivers since 2000 have even cracked the top five in Heisman voting, let alone the top 3!!!

Smith -- who received 447 first place votes -- took down his QB Mac Jones, as well as Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence and Florida QB Kyle Trask to grab the award.

Who knows ... maybe he'll add a title championship ring to go along with it next week??

Props to DeVonta for the special season!

March Madness 2021 Entire Tourney To Be Played In Indiana ... NCAA Confirms

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March Madness -- the entire NCAA college basketball tournament -- will take place in the state of Indiana in 2021, officials confirm.

It's the first time in the history of the tournament that all 67 games will take place in the same state -- and, of course, it's all because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NCAA says it's "partnering with a local health provider to administer COVID-19 testing within the controlled environment for players, coaching staffs, administrators and officials."

"The Marion County Health Department has approved medical protocols shared by the NCAA and will continue collaborating with the NCAA leading up to and during the championship."

The majority of the games will take place in Indianapolis -- with some contests going down in West Lafayette and Bloomington.

Several Indiana-based universities will technically "host" the tournament -- including Ball State, Butler, Indiana University and Purdue, among others. The school will lend their facilities and staffs to assist with tournament operations.

The NCAA says teams will be allowed to use the Indiana Convention Center as a practice facility, with multiple courts set up inside the venue.

Most teams will stay at Marriott hotel properties -- which happens to be an official NCAA corporate partner.

COVID protocols will be in full effect -- "All teams will be housed on dedicated hotel floors, with physically distanced meeting and dining rooms, as well as secure transportation to and from competition venues."

The NCAA says Selection Sunday is still scheduled for March 14 -- with the Final Four games set to take place on April 3 and 5.

The org notes, "The exact preliminary round dates are still to be determined."

"This is a historic moment for NCAA members and the state of Indiana," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement.

"We have worked tirelessly to reimagine a tournament structure that maintains our unique championship opportunity for college athletes. The reality of today's announcement was possible thanks to the tremendous leadership of our membership, local authorities and staff."

Keyontae Johnson Does 'Gator Chomp' from Hospital Bed ... Thanks for the Prayers!!!

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LOVE THE SUPPORT

Another huge milestone in Keyontae Johnson's recovery -- the Univ. of Florida basketball star just did the Gator Chomp from his hospital bed!!

It's been almost a week since Johnson collapsed on the court in a game against Florida State. He was hospitalized in Tallahassee and was eventually transported back to the UF hospital in Gainesville.

Johnson was placed in a medically induced coma after the incident -- but has since woken up and has made tremendous progress in his recovery.

You can see in the new video ... Johnson is talking, smiling and moving his arms (hence the "Chomp"). It's all great to see.

"First and foremost, I would like to thank God," Johnson says.

"I know you all have been sending your prayers out the last few weeks and me and my parents are very grateful for all the prayers that have been going out."

"To all the doctors and medical staff at Tallahassee Memorial and UF Shands, I just want to say thank you for all the support you gave me."

"To my Gator Nation and UF athletic family, I just want to thank you for all the prayers you gave out to me."

Great to see -- and hopefully he'll continue to get better ... and maybe even get back on the court sometime soon.

Johnson is one of the top college basketball players in the country and a legitimate NBA prospect.

Notre Dame's Brian Kelly Threatens CFP Boycott ... If Players' Families Can't Attend

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Notre Dame could REJECT an invitation to the College Football Playoff if officials don't allow players' families to attend ... so says Irish head coach Brian Kelly, who just made the threat on Friday morning.

Kelly spelled out his feelings on the matter in a heated Zoom sesh with reporters ... saying, "I'm not sure we'll play in the playoffs if the parents can't be there."

"Why would we play if you can't have families at the game? If you can't have families at bowl games, why would you go to a game where your families can't be part of it?"

Kelly continued, "What's the sense of playing a game in an area of the country where nobody can be part of it?"

The NCAA had planned to hold one of its CFP semifinal games at the Rose Bowl this season ... and, despite Los Angeles not allowing spectators at sporting events due to COVID, the org. is still pushing forward with that plan.

Kelly clearly believes that's a ludicrous idea ... saying the NCAA should just move the game to another site so players' family members can watch in person.

"Maybe they need to spend a little less time on who the top four teams are and figure out how to get parents into these games because it is an absolute shame and a sham if parents can't be watching their kids play," Kelly said.

"My kids have been on campus since June. They haven't seen their families very much at all. They've had to fight through COVID, some of them have had COVID. They can't be around their families for Christmas, and you're going to tell me we're going to have a playoff and maybe one site can have families and the other can't? Please."

Kelly added, "Somebody's got to wake up in that room and figure this out or you might as well call this the professional league. I am so sick and tired of this playoff committee talking about having sites where you can't have parents at and their families. It's ridiculous."

For now, Kelly's Fighting Irish team is firmly in the CFP picture, currently ranked No. 2 behind Alabama and ahead of Clemson and Ohio State.

Sarah Fuller 1st Woman to Score in Power 5 Game ... Makes History with Vandy

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Sarah Fuller went from being the first woman to play in a Power 5 college football game to now becoming the first woman to score in a Power 5 game ... this after putting her kicking skills to good use.

The Vanderbilt University athlete trotted out to the gridiron Saturday in a game against the Tennessee Volunteers, where she kicked a field goal for an extra point in the first quarter to help tie things up 7 to 7.

Fuller showed no hesitation ... she shot the ball straight through the goalposts, and made history in the process. You could tell she was pretty excited, as were male teammates ... all of whom gave her props and dabbed her up after scoring. It was an awesome moment.

Just a few weeks ago, she made history by becoming the first female player to partake in a Power 5 game -- kicking off to the opposing team, but failing to score at the time.

She was named the SEC Player of the Week after that -- a huge honor -- and something tells us she'll get it again now.

Congrats!!!

Ohio State Will Play In Big Ten Title Game ... Conference Amends 6-Game Rule

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10:23 AM PT -- 12/9 -- The Big Ten has decided to ax its 6-win requirement to play in the conference title game ... which now paves the way for Ohio State to play against Northwestern on Dec. 19.

The news comes as OSU's matchup with rival Michigan was canned due to COVID-19 ... leaving the 5-win Buckeyes scrambling to figure out how to earn eligibility for the conference title game.

Now, the Bucks will likely make the College Football Playoff ... that is, as long as they handle business against the 5-1 Wildcats next weekend.

Ohio State vs. Michigan is officially off -- after the Wolverines announced their COVID situation is so bad, they can't field a team to play this weekend.

The #4 ranked undefeated Buckeyes were scheduled to host the 2-4 Wolverines in The Game on Saturday -- one of the most anticipated rivalries in college football and really, all of sports.

But, the Michigan football program has been badly impacted by the pandemic -- and the school says it can't pull together enough healthy players to take the field on Saturday.

"The number of positive tests has continued to trend in an upward direction over the last 7 days," Michigan AD Warde Manuel said Tuesday.

"We have not been cleared to participate in practice at this time. Unfortunately, we will not be able to field a team due to COVID-19 positives and the associated quarantining required of close contacted individuals."

"This decision is disappointing for our team and coaches but their health and safety is paramount, and it will always come first in our decision making."

Michigan also canceled last week's game against Maryland after at least 12 members of the program tested positive for COVID.

The situation is especially bad for Ohio State which is still in the college football playoff hunt.

They need to schedule another opponent ASAP -- and hopefully against a top opponent -- if they want to qualify for the post-season.

The NCAA says teams have to have at least 6 wins to be bowl eligible -- and OSU is currently 5-0.

One potential matchup could be Texas A&M ... since their game against Ole Miss was scraped because Ole Miss couldn't field a team.

Texas A&M is also 7-1 and ranked #5 in the country.

Ohio State has won 8 in a row against Michigan -- with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh 0-5 against his rivals.

The first Ohio State vs. Michigan football game took place in 1897 -- and it's been a heated rivalry ever since.

Originally published -- 12/8 10:38 AM PT

Lou Holtz Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom ... Praises Trump

10:21 AM PT -- 12/3 -- Holtz just received the award at a ceremony at the White House on Thursday ... and the college football coaching legend raved about Trump after getting the honor.

"I want to assure you how proud I am not only to receive the award," Holtz said, "but I'm even prouder to receive it from President Donald Trump, who I think was the greatest president during my lifetime."

Holtz had a big smile on his face after Trump adorned him with the medal ... and POTUS gave a little fist pump as they were posing for pics.

It should be noted ... people at the ceremony were NOT wearing masks.

Both Holtz and Trump have had battles with coronavirus recently.

Ex-college football coach Lou Holtz will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday, the White House announced.

The award is recognized as the "Nation's highest civilian honor," according to the White House ... usually given to someone who has "made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public endeavors."

So, why Lou? Here's what Trump's team is saying ...

"America recognizes Lou Holtz as one of the greatest football coaches of all time for his unmatched accomplishments on the gridiron, but he is also a philanthropist, author and true American patriot."

83-year-old Holtz is most well known for leading Notre Dame to a 12-0 record in 1988 -- when the Fighting Irish were crowned national champions.

His career record as a college football coach is 249-132-7 -- with 22 bowl appearances (he won 12 of them).

Outside of football, Holtz has been a staunch Trump supporter who campaigned for POTUS ... and even spoke at the Republican National Convention.

In fact, it was at the RNC when Holtz attacked Trump's opponent Joe Biden over his position on abortion -- saying the former Vice President is a "Catholic in name only."

During his presidency, Trump has given the M.O.F. to several sports legends -- including Tiger Woods, Jerry West and Roger Staubach.

Originally Published -- 12/2 9:33 AM PT

Vanderbilt's Sarah Fuller Wins SEC Player Of The Week Award ... After Historic Kick

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Awesome honor for Sarah Fuller ... the Vanderbilt kicker, who just became the 1st woman to ever compete for a Power 5 college football team, has now earned an SEC Player of the Week award.

The conference announced the selection Monday ... splitting this week's Special Teams Player of the Week honors between Fuller and Florida punt returner Kadarius Toney.

"Fuller made history Saturday," SEC officials said in a statement.

Fuller -- who just joined the Commodores' football team last week after it was left shorthanded due to COVID-19 -- kicked just one ball for Vandy on Saturday, but she made it count.

In the opening kickoff of the second half of the Commodores' loss to Missouri ... Fuller executed a planned squib kick to perfection that was downed at her opponents' 35-yard line.

Afterward, Fuller -- who's the school's women's soccer team's starting goalkeeper -- said, "I just want to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to. Like, you really can."

"And, if you have that mentality all the way through, you can do big things."

Well said ... and congrats!

Vanderbilt Commodores Sarah Fuller 1st Female ... To Play in Power 5 Football Game

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The Vanderbilt University football team made history this weekend by enlisting the athletic prowess of one its star soccer players for their own sport ... and this time it's not a man.

Sarah Fuller took the field Saturday in Vandy's NCAA match against the Missouri Tigers -- where she suited up and kicked off to the opposing team in the second half ... and etching her name in the record books while doing so.

She delivered an effective onside kick to the Tigers, and then jogged off the field to lots of applause. Her play marks the first time a female has played in a Power 5 college football game ... which is a huge deal. The first woman to play the game ever at the college level was Liz Heaston in 1997 ... but that wasn't NCAA.

In 2001, Ashley Martin did the honors there ... but as far as Power 5 (the most competitive tier of collegiate football), Sarah is the first to ever do it -- an historic feat.

Now, as for how this came to be ... word is a few players on Vanderbilt's squad -- including some kickers -- are out right now due to COVID-19, so they were in need of some emergency reinforcements from other athletic departments on campus.

Sarah's actually the goalkeeper for Vanderbilt's women's soccer team, which just won the SEC championship. The Vanderbilt football coach reportedly was considering different options amid his team being down a handful of guys, and thought of Sarah because of how good she was with the soccer ball. One thing led to another, and they had her practice with a football. Obviously, she was a fit.

Some folks -- including certain media personalities -- criticized the move and questioned Vandy's motives for recruiting a female soccer player instead of a guy ... wondering if it was all for publicity and more for PR than actual merit.

Of course, those people are getting dragged through the coals, with many replying ... is it possible that she was the most qualified to play in this spot? Yes, yes it is.

Vanderbilt Football Considering Female Soccer Star to Kick ... After Team Hit By COVID

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Something historic might come out of the COVID pandemic ... Vanderbilt's head football coach says he's considering using a female soccer player to be his team's placekicker this week after the Commodores were hit by coronavirus quarantines.

Derek Mason, who's coached Vandy football since 2014, said Wednesday the school's women's soccer team's goalie, Sarah Fuller, "is an option for us" in the team's game against Missouri on Saturday.

FYI -- if Fuller does log a snap in the game ... it's believed she will be the first woman EVER to compete in live-action for a Power 5 football program.

As for why Mason's considering it ... aside from Vanderbilt's kicking woes this season -- the team had to place a bunch of special teamers in quarantine this week due to a possible COVID outbreak.

LOOKIN' AT ALL OPTIONS
ESPN 102.5 The Game Nashville

"Well, right now, we’re just looking at all options," Mason said of Fuller on ESPN 102.5 The Game. "She’s a complete competitor. She’s an option for us. So, right now, that’s where we sit."

According to the Vanderbilt Hustler, Fuller suited up for the Commodores at their practice Tuesday ... but did NOT kick with the team.

Instead, per the report, Fuller -- who donned full pads -- just went through walkthroughs with the team and coaches.

Fuller helped lead Vandy's women's soccer team to an SEC Championship last weekend in a COVID-shortened season ... playing in 8 games and logging 25 total saves.

The Commodores football team, meanwhile, sure could use her help ... they're winless this season in 7 games and their kickers are a combined 3-for-7 on field-goal attempts so far.

Nick Saban Positive for COVID Again w/ Mild Symptoms ... Out for Iron Bowl

Breaking News

Alabama football coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 -- again -- only this time he's symptomatic and will likely not coach in the Iron Bowl against Auburn on Saturday.

"This morning we received notification that Coach Saban tested positive for COVID-19," the University said in a statement.

"He has very mild symptoms, so this test will not be categorized as a potential false positive. He will follow all appropriate guidelines and isolate at home."

#1 ranked Alabama is set to take on #22 ranked Auburn in the Iron Bowl this weekend -- a HUGE game -- but Saban is not expected to be on the sidelines this time around.

Saban previously tested positive for COVID back in October -- but was not symptomatic and he ultimately coached just 3 days after the positive test when Bama took on Georgia. The Tide won that game in a 41 to 24 shellacking.

After the game, Saban was seen on video dancing in the locker room with players while NOT wearing a mask.

Get well soon, Coach.

Miami Hurricanes Football Coach Manny Diaz Has COVID ... Plans to Coach Virtually

Breaking News

University of Miami head football coach Manny Diaz says he's been diagnosed with COVID -- the latest in a wave of positive tests to hit the team.

"I have tested positive for COVID-19," the 46-year-old said Friday morning.

"I am currently in isolation and feeling good overall. I will continue to work with our team virtually as we prepare for our next game at Wake Forest."

The Hurricanes have been hit hard by COVID -- starting back in October when 8 players weren't available for the Oct. 24 game against Virginia.

Leaving 11 players unavailable for the Nov. 6 game against North Carolina State -- and then it grew again to 13 this past weekend against Virginia Tech.

On Monday, University of Miami officials announced a 2-week stoppage -- meaning the team would resume its season on Dec. 5, against Wake Forest.

But, WF has its own COVID problems which led to the school canceling this weekend's game against Duke.

Despite all of the COVID issues, the 'Canes are 7-1 on the season and are considered one of the best teams in the country -- they're currently ranked #12 in the AP Poll.

Urban Meyer I Beat COVID-19 ... 'Just Recently Gotten Over It'

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COVID-19 can't stop Urban Meyer ... the college football coaching legend just revealed he beat the virus after contracting it recently.

The former Ohio State head man said he was fortunate ... and only experienced minor effects.

"I did deal with it," the 56-year-old told WBNS 10TV this week. "I've just recently gotten over it. I was relatively symptom-free."

Meyer -- who now works as a CFB analyst for Fox Sports -- says his positive test was the reason he and his other co-hosts had to bail on their “Big Noon Kickoff” pregame show earlier this month.

Urban added he doesn't believe his diagnosis affected any of his co-workers.

"The good thing is none of my partners and teammates had it," Meyer said, "and we're going to be back at it this weekend."

Of course, it's great news for Meyer ... he's battled multiple health issues in the past -- and there was obviously huge concern a coronavirus diagnosis could have ended up much worse.

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