Keith Jackson, legendary voice of college football, dies at age 89

Keith Jackson, the iconic and legendary voice of college football, passed away on Friday night. Jackson was 89.

Jackson spent his broadcasting career calling multiple events for ABC, from baseball to basketball and ABC’s Wide World of Sports, but he will always be connected to his work covering college football. If there was a big game being played on ABC, Keith Jackson’s voice would likely be behind the microphone. Jackson spent his entire career broadcasting college football starting in 1952, with the lone exception of when he did Monday Night Football one season. Jackson provided the narration for many iconic college football moments from regular season games to bowl games, and always delivered with his signature style that provided the tone of the moment but without letting the moment get buried in his signature voice.

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Jackson’s final game assignment was a true classic, the 2006 Rose Bowl BCS National Championship Game between Texas and USC. It was a fitting way for Jackson’s final broadcast assignment to send him off into retirement.

Jackson has done more to lend his voice to college football’s history over the years before and after his retirement from broadcasting. His work on team videos have helped preserve the history of various college football programs and he continued to help the Big Ten Network with documentary features as well.

Jackson was awarded the Gold Medal Award by the National Football Foundation in 1999, and the Rose Bowl stadium’s TV booth has been named in his honor. It is Jackson that is largely credited with nicknaming the Rose Bowl “The Granddaddy of Them All.” Jackson is also believed to have nicknamed Michigan Stadium “The Big House.” Jackson had a wide-spanning appeal across the college football landscape because he had a deep understanding and appreciation of the sport from multiple angles. Jackson was able to relay the significance of different traditions and stories for the games he covered because he invested himself in the pageantry and tradition wherever he traveled.

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Over the years, listening to Jackson call a game was more and more like having someone tell us a story, and we could not wait to hear what happened next.

Rest in peace, Keith Jackson, and thanks for all of the memories.

Have to admit, this one made me chuckle quite a bit.

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In late November, Mike Riley was fired as the head coach at Nebraska after three seasons.  Less than two weeks later, Riley was hired to be an assistant on Jonathan Smith‘s first coaching staff at Oregon State, where he spent two separate stints totaling 14 seasons.

Because Riley found a new job, anything he makes with the Beavers will reduce the buyout he received from the Cornhuskers.  The thing is, Riley will be paid, relatively-speaking, peanuts at his new job: a smidge over $50,000 annually.  Again, that’s $50,000.  A five, followed by a scant four zeroes.

From LandOf10.com‘s Erin Sorensen:

When Nebraska fired Mike Riley in late November, the former coach’s buyout was $6,630,000 — or $170,000 per month until Feb. 28, 2021. That total would be reduced if Riley were to obtain employment elsewhere…

Despite finding new employment, Riley’s new contract with Oregon State breaks down to only $4,167 per month. That means Nebraska still owes $165,833 per month to the former coach.

As diehard Cornhuskers fan Larry the Cable Guy might opine, I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.

One final contract note: According to the Corvallis Gazette-Times, Riley received a $35,000 signing bonus as part of the contract he reportedly signed Jan. 9.

Despite having a Power Five scholarship offer in his hip pocket, Drake Stoops and his very familiar surname have decided to stay home.

Drake Stoops, the son of former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and a 2018 prospect, announced on Twitter that he has committed to play his college football for the Sooners. The younger Stoops is coming to his dad’s old stomping grounds as a preferred walk-on.

Coming out of Norman North High School, Stoops is listed as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.com. The same recruiting website has the 5-11, 175-pound receiver rated as the No. 20 player at any position in the state of Oklahoma.

Iowa, to which he took an official visit in early December, had offered Stoops a scholarship, and it was thought he could possibly be headed to the Hawkeyes before he made the decision to be a walk-on at OU. Air Force, Arkansas State, Memphis, Ohio and Western Kentucky were the group of Five programs that offered him as well.

According to the Oklahoman, “Stoops’ twin brother, Isaac, is a two-star recruit and has an offer from Army, as well as preferred walk-on offers from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nevada, Northwestern and Kentucky. He has yet to announce his college decision.”

Colorado has added another offensive lineman to its roster, and this one comes at the expense of a fellow Pac-12 school.

The Buffs announced Friday that Kanan Ray has signed a financial aid agreement with the football program and will enroll in school for the spring 2018 semester.  Per CU, the versatile lineman will have four years of eligibility to use starting with this season and will begin practicing with his new Buffaloes teammates this spring.

“We’re really excited about Kanan and his ability on the offensive line,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said in a statement. “He can play guard and tackle and he brings a lot to the table. He was a young man we recruited before and we finally got him here, so we are excited about having him at CU and his future is very bright.”

Ray signed with UCLA as part of the Bruins’ 2017 recruiting class but never enrolled in classes at the university.  Because he was recovering from shoulder surgery, Ray was taking a greyshirt and was expected to be on the practice field when the Bruins kicked off spring practice in a couple of months.  Instead, he opted for CU, a school he strongly considered before signing with UCLA.

247Sports.com rated Ray as a three-star prospect, while Rivals.com had him as a four-star.

Randy Edsall went back to his past to find himself a new leader on the offensive side of the ball.

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UConn announced earlier Friday that John Dunn has been hired by Edsall as the Huskies’ new offensive coordinator. Dunn replaces Rhett Lashlee, who left earlier this month for the same job at SMU.

This will mark the 34-year-old Dunn’s first coordinating job and, per the school, will pay him $300,000 in the first year of a two-year contract.

“Having John join our staff as offensive coordinator/quarterback coach will enhance our staff tremendously, as he has a wealth of knowledge in different schemes and has learned and coached under some of the best offensive minds in the game,” Edsall said in a statement. “He has an outstanding offensive mind and understands how to attack people and take advantage of personnel matchups.

“His philosophy of being a multiple, no-huddle offense that (their all-caps emphasis) ATTACKS using multiple tempos, personnel groupings and formations defines our vision offensively. His NFL experience will allow us to grow our passing game and also aid in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes. John is a proven recruiter and evaluator and has recruited in the areas where we will be recruiting heavily. I’m really excited about having John on board and look forward to what we will be accomplishing as we move forward.”

Dunn spent five seasons (2011-15) with Edsall at Maryland as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. The past two seasons, he was on John Fox‘s coaching staff with the Chicago Bears.

Prior to his time with Edsall at Maryland, Dunn was an offensive graduate assistant at LSU for three years.

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