Several things to muse about on this Wednesday night, so bare with me for a little bit here folks; starting with the NFL coaching carousel surrounding former NDSU assistant Gus Bradley. Bradley was in Philadelphia Tuesday for a 2nd interview with the Eagles; where everything we were hearing that he was the frontrunner for the job. Then out of nowhere on Wednesday morning ESPN reports that Oregon’s Chip Kelly has the job. Bradley seemed unfazed, since he was on a plane later that day for Jacksonville and interviewing for the Jaguars job. The Jags have been interviewing several offensive minded coaches, so they may go in another direction and while Bison fans may be discouraged over Bradley not getting a job, Viking fans will be quick to point out that Leslie Frazier had several interviews before he got his first head coaching gig. Curious to see what happens with Gus, but one thing is for certain he’ll be ok after this process is done.
Now in my never ending posts about conference re-alignment get set for it to really kick into high gear shortly. News today that San Diego State backed out of the Big East and will stay in the Mountain West wasn’t too surprising after Boise State said they weren’t going a few weeks ago, it’s stunning though that three schools pledged to join the Big East and never played a game there (SDSU, Boise State and TCU) The trickle down will be felt thru the lower level leagues with SDSU staying, Tulsa is likely now for the Big East, making a hole in Conference USA, which they may go for Western Kentucky, which opens the Sun Belt, likely for Georgia Southern or Appalachian State. It’s been in the works for a while and looks like this will be the catalyst to make it happen. Interesting to note about Western Kentucky; the Hilltoppers left the Gateway and FCS in 2006 (opening the door for NDSU and SDSU into the Valley) and started FBS play in 2008; they only won 4 games thru their first three years in FBS, WKU has rebounded with back to back 7 win campaigns, and now are set to move up into a higher profile league from the Sun Belt to Conference USA, with slightly bigger TV money. Some NDSU fans will clamor now for the Bison to move up but this case with WKU is more about proximity and luck than anything; there’s no one that could have foreseen than WKU moved up to FBS that 6 years later they would have the opportunity to leave the league that took a chance on them for greener pastures. If GSU and App State move up guaranteed the microscope will be firmly on them in Fargo, Cedar Falls and Missoula.
Huge basketball weekend starts for NDSU tomorrow night in Indianapolis, facing IUPUI, the game as mentioned earlier will not be played in the Jungle but rather at the home of the Indiana Pacers. Interesting to see how the Bison respond after the loss of Taylor Braun, this is a HUGE three game stretch for NDSU, at IUPUI, at Western Illinois, then at SDSU. Keep an eye tomorrow night on the game in Macomb, SDSU plays Western Illinois, you’ll remember that’s a rematch of the Summit League championship from last year, the Leathernecks took the Jacks to OT before falling; this WIU team is still solid, the loss of Obi Emegano is something we’ll have to look at and all-conference center Terrell Parks is battling a knee injury, he may not play tomorrow night and his status for Saturday is up in the air, obviously that would be a huge loss for WIU, who will want this game in the 50′s. Should be fun to watch this weekend.