What a week it’s been since our last meeting.
In case this is your first drop in, this is Tomahawk Nation’s new weekly series that takes a look at what Florida State’s main rivals (Florida, Miami, and Clemson) are up to.
We save the best for last this week, but overall, we’ve got some good ol’ home cooked content for y’all.
Let’s dive in.
The human Tickle-Me-Elmo himself, Mr. Dabo Swinney, signed a brand new eight-year contract on Aug. 25, effectively making him the third-highest paid coach in football.
Swinney, who has had his name tossed around as a possible eventual replacement for Nick Saban at Alabama, now has $54 million reasons to stick around at Clemson. With a national title and three ACC Championships, it’s safe to say he’s earned the cash.
For some light reading, here’s Shakin’ the Southland on Clemson’s potential problems for 2017.
Clemson opens the season this Saturday against Kent State. The game is scheduled for 12 p.m., and will be shown on ESPN. The Tigers are 40-point favorites, with an over/under of 51 1/2.
Let’s check in our Miami’s newest man under center, Malik Rosier:
From the Palm Beach Post’s, “Yes, Malik Rosier, you really are the Miami Hurricanes’ starting QB:”
When the Hurricanes stepped onto the practice field for the first time since Malik Rosier was named the starter, Rosier popped a question to quarterbacks coach Jon Richt that everyone could look back on and laugh about.
“Coach, what’s the rotation for quarterbacks?” Rosier recalled Wednesday.
“He was like, ‘Malik, you’re with the 1s.’ I was like, ‘Oh, OK.’ ”
From the Post’s, “Miami Hurricanes hope Malik Rosier is ready to ‘light it up’ as starting QB:”
After he was named starting quarterback for UM, Malik Rosier didn’t handle the spotlight as well as his coach hoped.
For “a day or two,” Mark Richt said, Rosier was “not as sharp.”
“Most of all, we’ve been telling him to not go into it too amped, but not too low, either,” senior tight end Chris Herndon said. “Just to go into it level, focus and take it play by play. Also, not to get too riled up about what happened. Just breathe and focus.”
And don’t be quiet, either. Rosier, whose speaking voice is smooth and Southern, is still developing his command of the huddle.
“I think he can be louder,” offensive coordinator Thomas Brown said. “Sometimes he gets a little too cool at times. For the most part I think he’s pretty good.”
“It’s just huge to follow up this legacy of great quarterbacks,” Rosier said, acknowledging he had yet to process the weight of the role.
Miami will start its season off against Bethune-Cookman, with the game broadcasting on regional ACC networks.
Aaaaaaand it’s the main attraction!
On Wednesday, Aug. 31, two big bombs dropped from Florida:
1) Redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks will start at quarterback against Michigan
2) Running back Jordan Scarlett, along with wide reciever Rick Wells, have also been suspended as part of a debit card fraud scheme involving several other Florida players
The Franks news is relatively expected, as he’s shown throughout the summer to be the quarterback with the most upside out of Luke Del Rio and Malik Zaire. It’s to be determined if the length of the quarterback battle was due to an inability for Franks to separate himself from the pack or a bit of gamesmanship from Jim McElwain, but it’s still funny that for the fourth year in a row, Florida will be starting a new quarterback under center.
It’s also fully possible that Franks will start the game, but not be the only quarterback featured. In 2015, McElwain had Treon Harris start against New Mexico but he only played him for three series before inserting in Will Grier, who would play the majority of the game.
The next week against East Carolina, Grier got the start, but it was Harris who got most of the reps in the fourth quarter to prevent a Gator loss. In the third game against Kentucky, Grier fully took over the starting position by passing for 125 yards and an interception.
NOW, as for the the second part of news, with the suspension of Scarlett and Wells, Florida now has 10 players suspended for its season opener against Michigan.
From Alligator Army:
Trey Wallace and Oliver Connolly of The Read Optional — who helped break the original story of the seven suspensions in mid-August — further report that Scarlett and Wells became part of the scope of an ongoing investigation into possible fraud by Florida players as it expanded with “a deeper look into each student aid card,” that the school has already received restitution from the seven players previously suspended, and that Scarlett and Wells, at least, are expected to return next week.
It appeared when those seven suspensions were announced in mid-August that no criminal charges are likely for any of the players involved in this incident — or incidents. But Florida’s sweeping suspensions of seven players also suggested that the program had found the full breadth of whatever misdeeds had been done, and a subsequent suspension for related activities sure seems to undercut that notion.
This is the second suspension for both players as Gators. Scarlett was suspended for the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl — Florida’s last game against Michigan — after a citation for possession of marijuana, while Wells was suspended for the Gators’ 2016 season opener after an incident in which he and fellow freshman Tyrie Cleveland shot BB guns into an on-campus housing complex.
In addition to those two, wide reciever Antonio Callaway, linebackers James Houston and Ventrell Miller, defensive linemen Jordan Smith and Keivonnis Davis and offensive linemen Kadeem Telfort and Richerd Desir-Jones are the rest of the players.
Scarlett and Wells were both apparently implicated by a fellow teammate, and there may be more suspensions to come.
Last season, Callaway and Scarlett combined to produce 36% of the Gators’ offensive yardage so it’ll be interesting to see what Florida struggling on offense will look like.
Florida’s season opener against Michigan (the Gators’ first away from home since 1987, first against a power conference opponent since 1992 and first non-conference game outside of Florida since 1991) kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday on ABC. Michigan is currently favored by as low as three, with an over/under hovering around 44.
Questions? Comments? Trash talk? Leave ‘em below, and I’ll see y’all at the same time next week.