Here’s this week’s top college football news. We’ll post the top CFB headlines and happenings in this format at the start of the work week.
The Big 12’s Expansion Choices Are Submitting Their Official Applications
Both Cincinnati and UCF have confirmed submitted their applications to join the Big XII. It is expected that the other two rumored expansion selections, BYU and Houston, will also submit theirs by the end of the week. Additional rumors suggest that the new members could be approved as soon as the weekend. BYU would be able to join as early as next year due to being an independent, but the other three schools would have to complete negotiations with the American conference as they are under contract through 2025.
Michigan State Football Players to Receive $500 Stipend from United Wholesale Mortgage
We’ve seen some wild Name, Image and Likeness (NLI) contracts now that players are allowed to receive money for their brands. But, in a wild new deal, every Michigan State football player will now receive a $500 monthly stipend (including during the offseason) from United Wholesale Mortgage, owned by an MSU alum. Who wouldn’t want to play for that kind of deal? We expect to see more of the biggest NLI deals come from P5 teams in the coming months.
Iowa State to Wear Black Uniforms vs Iowa
Normally a uniform announcement wouldn’t make our top headlines, but this reveal has stirred up the bad blood between Cyclones and Hawks. The Iowa Hawkeyes are one of a few schools to use black as a primary color, and they have a history of getting ticked off when other schools wear black jerseys against them for this reason. So, having their biggest rival in the Iowa State Cyclones wearing all black has made some Hawkeyes blood boil. We’ll see it settled on the field this weekend in the first Top 25 match up (and both Top 10 nonetheless) of the CyHawk rivalry.
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We’re finally almost through the long, dark offseason. With football right around the corner, many of us are on the edge of our seats waiting for the first match ups. To get you ready for the return of college football, here are our top stories:
2023 5 Star Brandon Inniss Commits to Oklahoma
Brandon Inniss is the #1 ranked Wide Receiver for the 2023 class, and the #16 ranked overall player. On August 22nd, he committed to the University of Oklahoma. This is a tremendously big deal, as Oklahoma already has the #1 ranked class for 2023 (followed by Georgia and Texas A&M). Inniss went to American Heritage for High School, where his team clashed against legendary IMG Acadamy. 24/7 lists his NFL comparison as Amon Ra St. Brown.
Bryan Harsin’s Lack Of Push for the Vaccination Effort Still Has Many Concerned
With player unavailability due to COVID protocol a major concern going into the 2021 season, many coaches are making a large push for their players to get vaccinated. Bryan Harsin has not, and has been notably quiet about the issue. An AL.com article published this week stirred up more concern for Tigers fans, pointing out that forfeits could be on the table if COVID became an issue for the Auburn football team.
Big 10, Pac 12, ACC Alliance Rumors Intensify
This week, The Athletic reported that a Big Ten, Pac 12 and ACC Alliance is expected to be announced soon. This alliance is seen as a counter measure against the SEC’s power increase following the announcement that Texas and Oklahoma will join. UNC Head Coach Mack Brown has also expressed concern that power conferences are coming, stating “I do think we’ll see a group of super conferences in our lifetime and I worry about some of those teams that won’t be included in that group.” (Source: 24/7) Fans of teams in these three conferences can hope that this alliance will prevent the SEC from completely taking the reigns of college football, and use the pact to strengthen their negotiations regarding the College Football Playoff.
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I know it’s been a while. School, work, and other events have taken into my time that unfortunately I’ve had to put this series on the shelf. But this week I have plenty of time to sit down, watch some college football, and get my history fix for the first time in weeks. To make it up to you, I’ve included more facts than the usual four as an apology for taking so long. So what did we see from this week of College Football? Well, here are some of my favorite slices of history made this week.
Did You Know? Auburn vs South Carolina
South Carolina’s win over #15 Auburn was the Gamecocks’ first win over the Tigers since 1933
Photo from Getty Images
More than likely you’ve heard this fact said on Twitter, ESPN, or another website, but it’s such a mind boggling piece of knowledge no matter how many times you see it. The key component for the Gamecocks today was the defense, as well as the struggles of Auburn QB Bo Nix. Key players on the defensive side of the ball for South Carolina were Jaycee Horn, who had 3 tackles and 2 INT’s, and Keir Thomas who had 8 tackles and 2 sacks. Looking at only the box score, Auburn outgained South Carolina by over 175 yards and had 7 more first downs, so what happened? Well, turnovers and penalties became the achilles heel for the Tigers. Bo Nix had 3 INT’s on the day which each led to a Gamecock Touchdown. Even a halftime lead wasn’t enough to keep Auburn in the game. The players of the game for Auburn were RB Tank Bigsby, who had 111 yards and 1 touchdown, and WR Eli Stove, who had 60 yards and 1 touchdown. A lot of skepticism was raised about this Tigers team after their win (what should have been a loss) to Arkansas last week, and a beat down loss against the Georgia Bulldogs. The Tigers will go back in action looking to rebound against Ole Miss next week. As for South Carolina, they look to extend their winning streak to three games next week as they travel down to Death Valley to take on a struggling LSU team.
Did You Know? Coastal Carolina vs Louisiana
Coastal Carolina’s win over #21 Louisiana propelled them to a 4-0 record, their best start in history as an FBS team (Since 2017), and was their first win over a ranked school in their history.
Picture taken from GoCCUSports
I’ve been saying this since the first time this Chanticleers team was featured in these Recaps. Something special is brewing in Conway, South Carolina. QB Grayson McCall was as dominant as ever in this matchup vs. the Ragin Cajuns, throwing 202 yards and 2 TD’s, as well as running for another 45 and scoring 1 on the ground. The other TD was scored by RB CJ Marable, who also ran for 73 yards. The defense for Coastal Carolina was also strong, holding Louisiana to no more than 7 points a quarter. As for Louisiana, QB Levi Lewis threw 174 yards and 1 touchdown, as well as 84 yards on the ground and 1 touchdown. RB Elijah Mitchell also helped contribute to the scoring for UL, having 39 yards rushing and 2 TD’s. This was an interesting game at halftime, with both teams going in tied at 13, with both kickers missing a PAT each late in the 2nd quarter. Going into the 4th, it was once again tied at 20, but a Massimo Biscardi 40 yard FG with 0:04 seconds left in the game clinched the game for the Chanticleers. Coastal Carolina is definitely having their best year since joining the FBS, being undefeated, having a win over a P5 opponent, and having a win over a Top 25 ranked team. They look to continue their great run against Georgia Southern next week, while Louisiana looks to rebound next week against UAB.
Did You Know? Kentucky vs Tennessee
Kentucky’s 34-7 win over Tennessee was their first win on the road against the Vols since 1984, snapping a 17 game road-losing streak.
Picture taken from UK Athletics
Well, I guess the question of “Was Tennessee overhyped?” was answered this week. The Wildcats went into Knoxville today and curb stomped this Vols team. It all had to do with turnovers. Tennessee had 4 turnovers in the first half alone. All on consecutive drives. The first was a fumble, which Kentucky could not capitalize on. The following two drives were both Pick 6’s thrown by Tennessee QB Jarret Guarantano, which gave Kentucky a 14-0 lead. Afterwards, Guarantano was benched for backup QB J.T. Shrout, who proceeded to throw an interception of his own on his first pass attempt. Guarantano was put back into the game in the second half but by then it was too late. Kentucky’s offense finally got going after it was held to just 3 points in the first half, and went on to rout the Vols 34-7 in Knoxville for their first win since 1984. Jamin Davis and Kelvin Joseph were the Wildcats who returned the first two interceptions for touchdowns, while Tyrell Ajian was the Wildcat who picked off the next one. Kentucky’s offense as a whole today was pretty slow, but the MVP of the offense was the running game, where not 1…not 2…but 6 players rushed for over 15 yards, with Christopher Rodriguez Jr. leading the rushers with 73 yards and a touchdown. The lone score for the Vols came from RB Ty Chandler in the 4th quarter. Tennessee has quite the challenge next week when they host Alabama, while Kentucky will be hoping to continue their two game winning streak when they travel to play Mizzou.
Did You Know? Memphis vs UCF
Memphis QB Brady White set the Memphis Tigers Single Game passing yard record, throwing 486 yards and 6 TDs in the Memphis Tigers’ 50-49 victory over UCF, which is their first win against the Knights since 1990. UCF QB Dillion Gabriel also set a single game record for his school, throwing the most ever yards in a single game with 601.
Photo taken from Twitter
The history behind these two teams is a very interesting one. Memphis won the very first meeting back in 1990, and since then UCF was 13-0 against the Tigers. In the 2018 AAC championship, the last time these two teams played, the Knights and Tigers gave us a shootout with UCF winning the game 56-41. This year, for the 1st time since 1990, the Memphis Tigers came out on top. The MVP of the game was Memphis QB Brady White, who had an absolutely outstanding game. He completed 34 passes for 486 yards and 6 TDs, which is the most passing yards ever by a Memphis quarterback for a single game, and tied 3rd for the most passing touchdowns in a single game by a Memphis quarterback. On top of that, he also had 30 rushing yards and a touchdown. White accounted for every single touchdown scored today by the Tigers, which most definitely helped in their win today. UCF QB Dillion Gabriel cannot be overlooked though, as he too also had an amazing day. He threw 5 touchdowns and 601 yards, which is the most yards thrown in a single game by a UCF quarterback. He also rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown on the ground. On to the actual game, UCF took a 27-14 lead going into halftime, but a strong 2nd half performance by Memphis put them back ahead late in the 4th. UCF tried to take the lead with less than a minute to go, however UCF kicker Daniel Obarski missed a 40 yard FG. Memphis took over, lined up in victory formation and sealed the game for the Tigers. Seriously, if you have time, try and find the full game or an extended highlight reel of this matchup, it is definitely a game worth rewatching. UCF looks to regroup next week against Tulane, while Memphis looks to carry their momentum next week vs. Temple.
Did You Know? SMU vs Tulane
#17 SMU’s win over Tulane improved the Mustangs’ record to 5-0, which marks the first time they started the season 5-0 in back to back years since 1982-1983
So the NCAA cancelled SMU way back in the 80s, and I think it’s not a controversial statement to say that in these past two years, they have come back into the spotlight. SMU’s key to victory was through the air, as Shane Buechele threw for 384 yards in the air and 2 TDs. This game was very close, with the game being tied at both halftime and the end of regulation. A lone field goal in OT was the deciding factor. Tulane was able to keep close to SMU through both the air and the ground, with QB Micheal Pratt throwing 192 yards and 1 TD, with an INT. Pratt also had 26 yards on the ground and 2 TDs. Stephon Huderson rushed for 132 yards and 1 TD on the ground. This is an historic moment for SMU, as this is their 2nd year in a row where they started the season 5-0. The last time they did this was a few years before the Death Penalty given by the NCAA to SMU for violating the rules by paying its players. This scandal, and the punishment to follow, essentially left the Mustang Football program barely alive, and wasn’t able to fully recover until just last year, where they went 10-3. They are starting the year out perfect again, and look to carry that moment next week in a massive game against the Top 10 ranked Cincinnati Bearcats. Tulane looks to recover after this close loss next week against another tough opponent at UCF.
So, what do you think of this week’s facts? Learn anything new this week, or have even more facts? Talk about it in our forums or share the article with your friends! The more people know about college football history, the better. Until next week!
Week 3 has come and gone as quickly as Week 2. We had a few cancelled games such as Baylor vs. Houston and BYU vs. Army. However, the games that were played this week did give us enough to feed our appetite for college football, and with that comes a lot more facts that you may or may not have heard about. So without further ado, here is our “Did You Know” segment of the week.
Did You Know? Oklahoma State vs Tulsa
Oklahoma State RB Chubba Hubbard’s 11 game streak of 100+ yards in a game was snapped on Saturday in the Cowboys 16-7 win over Tulsa.
This game was less than ideal for #11 Oklahoma State, as they struggled throughout the entire 60 minutes against in-state opponent Tulsa. The Cowboys’ struggles began in the 1st quarter, with QB Spencer Sanders leaving the game early with what appeared to be a right ankle injury. His replacement was Ethan Bullock, a JUCO transfer (City College of San Francisco). While Bullock was in, the Cowboys did not score once, which prompted Coach Gundy to put in true freshman Shane Illingworth in the 3rd quarter. Illingworth on his first drive threw 2 long passes to Tylan Wallace for 24 yards and 36 yards respectively to get the Cowboys in scoring position, where Hubbard scored on a 3 yard run. Illingworth was on the field for 3 drives, and each drive the Cowboys scored, however the other two ended in field goals. The Cowboy defense was enough to hold off Tulsa most of the game, holding the Golden Hurricanes to 278 total yards (which is actually 1 more total yard than OK State!). The offense for Tulsa was hurting though, as their #1 RB, Shamari Brooks, did not play after suffering a torn ACL on Tuesday, which was a major blow to the offense. Pair that with the Golden Hurricanes going 0-12 on 3rd downs and it just spells a recipe for disaster. Overall, it was not a good game for both teams. The subject of this “Did You Know”, Chubba Hubbard, only averaged 3.4 yards that day and had 93 yards in total. This snapped his 11 game streak of 100+ yards rushing, dating back to Week 2 of the 2019 season. The Cowboys next game is next week vs. 1-0 West Virginia, and the Golden Hurricanes next game is next week @ Arkansas State.
Did You Know? Marshall vs Appalachian State
The Marshall Thundering Herd won their first game against a ranked opponent since 2003, and their first win over a ranked opponent at home since 1976.
Photo by Adam Gue
What a win for The Thundering Herd. This is Marshall’s first win vs. a ranked opponent since upsetting #6 Kansas State on the road in 2003 and their first win against a ranked opponent at home since 1976 when they beat #20 Miami (OH). The key players for the Herd in this match up were QB Grant Wells and RB Brenden Knox, as well as the entire defense. Wells was 11/25 with 163 yards and an INT in the air, and had 43 rushing yards and a touchdown on 6 carries on the ground. Knox had 138 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown on the ground as well. The defense for Marshall also stepped up big when needed, forcing an interception in the first half on a promising drive for the Mountaineers, and a fumble in the 4th quarter on what would have been a touchdown if it had not been for Brandon Drayton of The Herd, who punched it out of the hands of Mike Evans of App State, and was recovered in the end zone by Nazeeh Johnson. App State also had a costly missed field goal late in the fourth. Had it not been for these two mishaps, the Mountaineers would have the game all tied up at 17.
The offense for App State just couldn’t find its rhythm on the ground either, being held to just 96 rushing yards one week after gaining more than 300 rushing yards against Charlotte. Marshall’s offense this year has not skipped a beat, outscoring opponents 76-7 this year, and today showed the strength of the defense against a very good App State team. Marshall has the next few weeks off, and if a game isn’t rescheduled (such as the Rice or East Carolina game) then we will see them in action again October 10th vs. 0-2 Western Kentucky. App State is in action next week looking to rebound against the 0-2 Campbell Fighting Camels.
Did You Know? UCF vs Georgia Tech
UCF QB Dillon Gabriel had a career day, throwing 4 TD’s and 417 yards, which is tied for 7th most yards thrown in a single game in UCF history. The Knights won 49-21 over Georgia Tech.
Photo by Hyosub Shin
Oh man, what a day it was for Dillon Gabriel. He went 27/41 with 471 yards and 4 TD’s, along with 1 INT. He also had 8 rushes for 30 yards on the ground. This helped the Knights charge on to victory in Atlanta vs. a Georgia Tech team coming off a massive win at Florida State. The UCF offense in total had a whopping 660 total yards, which far outdid anything the Yellow Jackets could muster. The Knights started out the game strong, taking a 21-7 lead in the 2nd quarter, but the Yellow Jackets came closing in, cutting the lead down to 7 in the 4th quarter after both teams went scoreless in the 3rd. This is when Gabriel and the Knights really put it into gear, scoring 3 touchdowns on 3 drives in the 4th while holding the Yellow Jackets scoreless after the initial touchdown early on in the 4th. While Dillon Gabriel was the big name this week, I think the defense of UCF cannot be forgotten. They forced not 1, not 2, but 5 turnovers the entire game! The biggest two in my opinion were the two final offensive drives by Georgia Tech, which were an interception and a fumble respectively. This killed any momentum Tech may have had, and allowed UCF to build on their lead. This win was actually UCF’s first-ever win against Georgia Tech, and I don’t think either fan base will be forgetting this one for a long time. The Knights next game will be next week @ East Carolina, while the Yellow Jackets next game will be next week @ Syracuse.
Did You Know? Navy vs Tulane
Navy’s 27-24 comeback win against Tulane was the largest 2nd-half comeback in school history.
Photo by Chris Graythen
Who could have seen this coming? The Midshipmen were trounced last week 55-3 against BYU and Tulane was coming off a comeback win of their own against South Alabama. Here’s the crazy thing; Tulane’s win last week also ended with a score of 27-24. What a case of deja vu for the Green Wave, and one they did not want to experience. The game really looked like another blow out, until Midshipmen Defenseman Cameron Kinley intercepted the ball at the Navy 3 yard line, preventing the Green Wave from extending their lead. From there, Navy was able to out gain the Green Wave 291 to 82 in total yards, score 27 unanswered points, and win the game after all hope seemed lost. The rainy conditions lead to the ground game being the preferred offense of both teams, with the leading rushers of Tulane providing 2 of the 3 touchdowns. Tyjae Spears accumulated 199 yards on 18 carries and Cameron Carroll accumulated 62 yards on 11 carries with 2 TD’s. For Navy, Jamale Carothers gained 127 yards on 25 rushes, and Nelson Smith gained 22 yards and 2 TD’s on 6 rushes. If you are a fan of big comebacks, definitely check out the highlights or full replay of this game. Navy is back in action October 3rd when they travel to 0-0 Air Force. Tulane looks to rebound next week on the road against 0-2 Southern Mississippi.
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Here we are at last. College football finally kicked off and one week (well, two if you count week 0) is now in the record books. But one thing that has piqued my interest is those record books. Back in High School when I played football, my coach would always do a pep talk that he called “Did you know” where he would talk about the history of our team vs. our opponent before the game. This was a fun tradition, and I’ve decided to bring it over to the College Football landscape as a recap instead.
So here it is, A mixture of knowledge and a recap of a few of the games from Saturday in our first edition of “Did you know?”
Did You Know? Oklahoma vs Missouri State
Oklahoma’s 48-0 rout against Missouri State is the team’s first shutout since 2015 when they beat Kansas State 55-0.
Did anyone really expect the Sooners to struggle in this matchup against this FCS team? No, of course not. But did anyone expect the Sooners to hold the Bears scoreless and to only 135 yards total? Maybe some of you, but still an impressive feat nonetheless. Spencer Rattler’s first start as QB went as well as you can do. His stat line tells the whole story, where he went 14-17 for 290 yards and 4 TDs. His two big throws went for a 58 yard TD to Marvin Mims and a 53 yard TD to Charleston Rambo. The defense held the Bears to a total of 135 total yards, only 7 first downs, and had 1 interception. This performance is eerily similar to their 2015 game against Kansas State, the last time OU shut out an opponent. In that game, the Wildcats only had 110 total yards, 7 first downs, and 3 turnovers. The Sooners are back in action in 2 weeks when they play the Wildcats of Kansas State.
Did You Know? FSU vs Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech’s 16-13 road win over Florida State is their first road game win against an ACC opponent to open up a season since 1996.
Well, this was certainly a surprise. Florida State had higher expectations after bringing in Mike Norvell from Memphis, but as it turns out, the former-FSU-commit-turned-Georgia-Tech-QB Jeff Sims helped push the Yellow Jackets to victory. He went 24-35 with 277 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT. What really sealed the deal was the mistakes by Florida State, who committed 3 turnovers throughout the entire game, including a fumble deep in their own territory which let the Yellow Jackets take the lead late in the game. The entire game was full of mistakes on both sides though, as Georgia Tech had turnovers, missed field goals, and bad offensive drives. This was evident in the score at halftime where FSU had a 10-0 lead. However, the Seminoles just couldn’t pull away, and their mistakes on offense and turnovers on defense lead to GT to come back and eventually take the win. This win is special, as it’s the first time GT has won an opening game on the road vs. an ACC team since 1996 when they beat Wake Forest 28-16 with a strong performance by eventual College Football Hall of Famer Joe Hamilton.
Did You Know? UTSA vs Texas State
This was the first year in the I-35 rivalry between UTSA and Texas State where the game went into Overtime.
If I told you about a game where both teams had around 500 yards, both teams had more than 20 first downs, you had a pick 6 for one team, both teams scored more than 45 points, AND it went into 2OT before we had a winner, would you want to watch?
Look no further than Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, TX where the Roadrunners of UTSA and the Bobcats of Texas State did battle Saturday night in a 51-48 shootout in probably the best game of this rivalry, to which UTSA now holds a 4-0 all time series lead dating back to 2012. It started looking like an early UTSA rout, with the Roadrunners taking a 24-7 lead by halftime, however the Bobcats came storming back to tie it at 41, and would have won the game if not for a missed PAT, which sent the game into overtime. There, after the teams traded touchdowns, Texas State kicker Alan Orona missed a field goal from 20 yards, and UTSA won the game on the next possession with a made field goal of their own. Stars of the game go to Texas State Quarterback Tyler Vitt, who went 26/40 with 346 yards and 4 TDs (along with 2 INTs) and UTSA running back Sincere McCormick, who had 197 yards on 29 carries with 1 touchdown. Seriously, go watch the highlights (or full game) if you can, this will definitely be a hidden gem for this season, and has been the best game in the entire history of meetings between these two teams.
Did You Know? Coastal Carolina vs Kansas
Coastal Carolina now has a 2-0 all time record vs. the Big 12 conference* and are 2-1 against P5 opponents under head coach Jamey Chadwell.
*Yes, I know, it’s Kansas, but can you still understand how absolutely insane that is? The Jayhawks didn’t just lose, they were throttled. The Chanticleers scored 28 straight points before the Jayhawks were able to put points on the board with a field goal.
The real star of the game was Coastal Car. QB Grayson McCall, who went 11-18 with 113 yards and 3 touchdowns in the air. On the ground, McCall also had 73 yards on 11 rushes with 2 touchdowns. That’s right, McCall had a role in every single touchdown that was scored by the Chanticleers. This recently absorbed school into the FBS level has now never lost a game against a Big 12 opponent.
The other Big 12 school they played was West Virginia, but that was before the Mountaineers joined the Big 12 Conference, so in my eyes it doesn’t count as a game against the conference. This matchup was a lot more entertaining compared to last year though, as the score was 12-7 in 2019. However, the clear elephant in the room is how far Kansas and Les Miles still need to go before the Jayhawks can be excited for something other than basketball. The Big 12 overall had a rough time with the Sun Belt conference last night, as Kansas State and Iowa State also lost to Sun Belt members Arkansas State and Louisiana respectively.
So, did you know all four of these facts? If you didn’t, now you know!
Unless Kevin Warren and the Big Ten do some major backtracking, Ohio State will not be playing football this fall. However, the state of Ohio will be.
This morning, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that all high school sports are allowed to start next week. This includes football. So, if you’re a football junkie in the state of Ohio, you may just have to tune in on Fridays instead. Gov. DeWine had been working with the Ohio High School Athletic Association to set guidelines for fall competitions before giving the go-ahead.
However, you won’t be able to be a fan at these games unless you’ve got a family member on the team. Attendance will be limited to the family of players. But, football will be happening in the state of Ohio, and it appears Ohio State (and along with them, MAC teams Bowling Green, Ohio, Akron, Kent State, Miami and Toledo) will be left out of the fun.
Do you think Ohio State should have pushed back harder on the Big Ten, or do you think they made the right call? Either way this will be quite an unrecognizable season. Let us know what you think in the comments and on Twitter @Sidelines_SN.
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The largest apparel deal in CFB is not with a playoff team. In fact, it’s not even with a Top 25 team. Perhaps even more surprising, the company writing the check isn’t Nike.
Image Courtesy 247 Sports
In May 2016, Under Armour inked a 15 year, $280 million deal with UCLA to be their official shoe and apparel sponsor. This is the largest such deal in the history of college athletics.
For Under Armour, it was just another move in the imperialist game of athletic apparel brands. While Nike has claimed most of the lucrative brands like Ohio State and Texas, Under Armour planted a flag in the second largest TV market in the country.
The largest brand Under Armour has under its belt is arguably still Notre Dame, but the addition of UCLA expands their growing foothold to the West Coast – right in the heart of Nike Territory.
For UCLA, it’s more than just money – of course, it *is* an unimaginably large amount of money. But this contract identified them as one of the most valuable brands in athletics. By market value alone, they now stand shoulder to shoulder with the Alabama’s and Michigan’s of CFB. With a coach like Chip Kelly, who carries attention with him wherever he goes even if his teams haven’t performed as of late, eyes will be on UCLA every preseason.
This is huge for recruiting as well. A recruit going to UCLA knows media attention will be on them, as well as millions of dollars for facility improvements and equipment.
The Under Armour – UCLA deal was done 4 years ago. A lot has changed in CFB, but a lot has stayed the same too – mainly, money is still king. So, which deal will beat UCLA’s?
The first thing to think about is obviously the team itself. Better performing teams will always bring more money, but as Texas has shown, fan following and brand power matter far more. This leaves a pretty short list of teams that could be expected to make a landmark deal, and it’s pretty similar to the list of teams that have a chance of making the CFB playoff every year: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, UGA, OU, LSU, Notre Dame, Penn State, Nebraska, Oregon, Florida, Florida State, Texas, Texas A&M, USC. We can immediately cross off a few – Oregon will never need a payout to stick with Nike, and Clemson and Florida State just don’t have the size of fan base or brand power to milk that large of a contract.
The second thing to look for is geography and market; this is arguably the main reason why UCLA has the largest apparel deal right now. There are no New York teams worth paying a super contract too. Chicago is tied to Notre Dame, a good candidate for the largest contract (they currently have the fifth largest, also with Under Armour). LA could be snatched up on the other end by paying out to USC.
Finally, you have to look at the companies themselves. What are Nike’s goals? They have the most money – which battles are they going to choose to fight? Nike already runs the west coast, and I don’t think they are interested in stealing Notre Dame from Under Armour. Adidas is also a major player we haven’t discussed much thus far – their cash cow is Texas A&M, who they gave the most lucrative deal in the SEC. They actually held the UCLA deal before Under Armour took it. SEC deals are huge for a brand, and a few contracts there are expiring soon.
Taking all of this into account, it seems likely the next biggest contract will go to a team that is already a massive brand, probably to rip them away from another apparel company. It will likely be Nike, since them and Under Armour have been the biggest spenders but Under Armour has faced extreme financial difficulties recently as they stand on the line of bankruptcy. I would guess Nike might try to rip a big brand away from another company. Maybe Texas A&M away from Adidas, although they already have Texas in that region.