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College Football's Must-Read Stories Around the Web for Thursday, October 31st
South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw gets highlighted for his performance against Missouri last week.
Saturday Down South ranks the top five teams in the SEC.
Washington receiver Kasen Williams will miss the rest of the season due to a leg injury.
West Virginia's Oliver Luck is the frontrunner to be Texas' next athletic director.
Sports Illustrated visited with former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson.
Western Kentucky linebacker Andrew Jackson has been suspended indefinitely.
Will Auburn have quarterback Nick Marshall in the lineup this Saturday?
Kevin Gemmell of ESPN's Pac-12 Blog has a good story on Colorado first-year coach Mike MacIntyre.
Syracuse kicker Ryan Norton is suspended for Saturday's game against Wake Forest.
Mississippi State defensive tackle Quay Evans was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of driving without a license.
Maryland tackle Mike Madaras has decided to leave the team.
Stanford defensive end Ben Gardner will miss the rest of the season due to an arm injury suffered against Oregon State.
With Antone Exum's return, Virginia Tech's secondary is loaded with options.
A thin secondary is getting worse for Rutgers: Nadir Barnwell was suspended after being charged with driving while intoxicated and careless driving.
Wyoming dismissed defensive coordinator Chris Tormey this week.
UTEP quarterback Jameill Showers is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.
What are the biggest takeaways in the SEC from last Saturday?
FAU coach Carl Pelini resigned on Wednesday, ending his tenure with the Owls. In two years with FAU, Pelini had a 5-15 record.
Considering he had no ties to the area, Pelini was a strange fit at FAU and never seemed to be a good fit for the program.
One possible name for FAU is former FIU coach Mario Cristobal, who is currently serving as Alabama's offensive line coach. Cincinnati assistant Eddie Gran is another possibility for the Owls.
Assistant coach/offensive coordinator Brian Wright is expected to serve as the interim coach.
Northern Illinois is in the mix for a bid to a BCS bowl once again this season, and the Huskies will play on Nov. 13 against Ball State with special military-themed uniforms.
The matchup with the Cardinals is Military Appreciation Night at Huskie Stadium, and Northern Illinois will add stars to the side of the jerseys, along with a red, white and blue logo on the helmet.
Ball State-Northern Illinois should be one of the top games in the MAC this season, and the military-themed jerseys are a solid look for the Huskies.
By David Fox, 4 months 1 week ago
The college football season enters November with a less-than-stellar week of games, but hosts Braden Gall and David Fox try to make the best of it.
On this week’s podcast:
• Reviewing wins by Oregon and Stanford, setting up a major Thursday meeting next week. Fox and Gall explain why Oregon’s defense is perpetually overlooked.
• Breaking down the heartbreak at Missouri and why the Tigers are no longer an SEC East frontrunner despite behind ahead in the standings.
• The Minnesota loss may be another referendum on the tenure of Bo Pelini at Nebraska. We outline what he’s achieved and what he hasn’t and if it’s time for Nebraska to make a change.
• In this week’s games, why Michigan may be in for a world of hurt against Michigan State and why Texas Tech is still more impressive after a loss than Oklahoma State has been all season.
• And finally, in the big game this week, why Duke Johnson may be the only hope for Miami in Tallahassee.
The podcast can be found on athlonsports.com, iTunes and our podcast RSS feed.
When Texas Tech and Kansas State meet on Nov. 9, the Red Raiders will be wearing an alternate jersey, which was created to bring awareness for the Lone Survivor Foundation. The foundation helps wounded service members and their families with various areas of support.
The Red Raiders’ jerseys from the matchup on Nov. 9 will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Lone Survivor Foundation.
This is a sharp look for Texas Tech for a great cause:
Houston is off to a 6-1 in the second year under coach Tony Levine, and the Cougars’ only loss is a one-point defeat to BYU. Levine's team also has momentum after a 49-14 blowout victory at Rutgers last week.
The Cougars have a key American Athletic Conference game on Halloween night, and Levine unveiled new uniforms for the Thursday matchup.
But in the spirit of Halloween, Levine had a nice trick planned for his players. Check out this video from the jersey unveiling and the photo just below of the actual jerseys:
Rutgers will have a new helmet for Saturday’s game against Temple, as coach Kyle Flood unveiled a new look to support the relief efforts from Hurricane Sandy.
This week marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, and the helmet features the Rutgers “R” logo on the state of New Jersey.
This is the second tribute Rutgers has done this year to promote the relief efforts. In the spring game, Rutgers wore these special jerseys and helmets.
By David Fox, 4 months 1 week ago
See, Oregon fans, was that such a long wait?
Even as Florida State and Ohio State demolished their Week 9 opponents, Oregon still took the leap up to the No. 2 spot in the second BCS standings as expected. Oregon defeated UCLA 42-14 to begin a stretch that will give the Ducks an opportunity to build a national title resume, no matter what the Seminoles and Buckeyes do to finish the season.
The second BCS standings were released with few surprises other than perhaps a host of SEC teams jockeying for position for an at-large bid and two non-automatic qualifying teams creeping up the rankings.
Oregon. The predicted move up the rankings began in the second BCS standings as Oregon moved from No. 3 to No. 2 thanks to a win over a top-20 UCLA team. Oregon remained No. 2 in the coaches’ and Harris polls but predictably jumped two spots due to the computer rankings. Oregon moved from fourth in the computer rankings to give the Ducks a 0.0306 edge over Florida State.
South Carolina. The Gamecocks are still in the SEC East hunt after defeating Missouri in overtime, but they also moved from No. 21 to No. 14, the threshold for an at-large BCS bid. Missouri can still win the East, but South Carolina may end up the big winner as far as bowl selection is concerned. If Carolina has only two losses and defeats Clemson to finish the regular season, the Gamecocks would be a nice option for the Sugar Bowl if it loses Alabama to the title game.
Texas Tech. Not a shock, but Texas Tech dropped five spots from No. 10 to No. 15 after a loss at Oklahoma. The Red Raiders remain in the BCS hunt with the Big 12’s automatic bid. Otherwise, Texas Tech would head to the Cotton Bowl at best.
Key Games This Week
No. 7 Miami at No. 3 Florida State. Ohio State will root for Miami to knock off one of the teams blocking the Buckeyes from the top two in the BCS. Miami isn’t the strongest top-10 we’ve ever seen after the Hurricanes needed second-half comebacks to beat North Carolina and Wake Forest, but this will be the last chance for a big FSU win during the ACC season.
No. 21 Michigan at No. 22 Michigan State. Think an Ohio State Big Ten title is a given? Last year an unranked Wisconsin team won the conference title game. The two Michigan rivals are securely in the top-25, but one could become a Legends Division frontrunner Saturday.
No. 18 Oklahoma State at No. 15 Texas Tech. This is probably a Big 12 elimination game with both the Cowboys and Red Raiders sitting on a conference loss.
• Despite close calls — including Saturday against San Diego State — Fresno State would be an automatic BCS bid if the season ended today. The Bulldogs are ranked 16th and ahead of No. 23 UCF, which would claim the American’s automatic bid. Northern Illinois is just one spot behind at No. 17.
• Baylor continues to be hammered by the computer rankings. The Bears are fifth in the coaches’ poll and Harris poll but rank 10th or lower in four of six computers.
• Alabama has a sizable lead from the No. 1 spot, a lead that will only grow if the Crimson Tide win upcoming games against No. 11 Auburn and No. 13 LSU.
• No team ranked lower than eighth in the second BCS standings has reached the national title game. That’s at least a sign of hope for the two one-loss teams in the top eight: Stanford and Clemson.
Notes on BCS selection:
• Automatic BCS bids go to the top two for the title game, the champions of the ACC (Orange Bowl), Big 12 (Fiesta), Big Ten (Rose), Pac-12 (Rose) and SEC (Sugar). The American’s automatic bid is not tied to a particular bowl.
• Notre Dame receives an automatic bid if it finishes in the top eight.
• A champion from a non-automatic qualifying league (Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt and non-Notre Dame independents) receive an automatic bid if it finishes in the top 12 of the standings or if it finishes in the top 16 and ahead of a champion from a non-AQ conference.
• To be eligible for an at-large BCS bid, a team must have nine or more wins and finish in the top 14 of the BCS standings.
• Once automatic tie-ins are placed, the selection order for BCS bids goes as follows: 1. The bowl losing the BCS No. 1 team to the championship game, 2. The bowl losing the BCS No. 2 team, 3. The Orange Bowl, 4. The Sugar, 5. The Fiesta.
By Athlon Sports, 4 months 1 week ago
The SEC has more than its share of quality quarterbacks, each with a superlatives. AJ McCarron is the winner. Aaron Murray is the career achiever. Johnny Manziel is the most dynamic.
After Saturday, it would be tough to argue against South Carolina’s as the toughest.
Shaw sustained a knee injury in the loss to Tennessee, making him an emergency-only quarterback against Missouri. With backup Dylan Thompson struggling, South Carolina couldn’t afford to hold Shaw out any longer. Steve Spurrier turned to Shaw in the second half as the veteran quarterback led a 17-point comeback to beat Missouri 27-24 in overtime.
The effort earns Shaw Athlon Sports National Player of the Week honors.
“I went over and asked him if he could play and he said sure,” Spurrier said. “I said we had to make the move now. Dylan was just a little off here and there. I thought he had a few guys open and he zinged them out, but he threw some good balls. It just wasn't his night and Connor gave us a little sharpness in there.”
Shaw finished 20 of 29 for 201 yards with three touchdowns to keep South Carolina alive in the SEC East race.
Athlon Sports Week 9 Awards
National Offensive Player of the Week: Connor Shaw, South Carolina
Shaw, nursing a knee injury, came off the bench in the third quarter with his team trailing 17-0. About two hours later, the Gamecocks walked off the turf at Faurot Field with an improbable 27-24 win in double-overtime. Shaw was the man most responsible for Carolina’s season-saving win. The senior completed 20-of-29 passes for 201 yards with three touchdowns — despite not playing the entire first half. The Gamecocks tied the game when Shaw connected with Nick Jones on a 2-yard touchdown with 42 seconds remaining in regulation and sent the game into a second overtime when Shaw found Bruce Ellington for a TD on 4th-and-goal from the 15.
National Defensive Player of the Week: Trent Murphy Stanford
Murphy, much like the rest of the Cardinal defense, was all over the field against Oregon State. Murphy posted eight tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks against the nation's leading passer. He leads the Pac-12 with 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss after back-to-back stellar showings against UCLA and Oregon State. The Cardinal's defensive performance — holding the Beavers to a season-low 288 yards — on the road was a championship-style performance.
National Freshman of the Week: John O’Korn, Houston
Houston has been one of the biggest surprises this season that has gone virtually unnoticed. The Cougars eclipsed last season’s win total by picking up their sixth win of the season with a 49-14 victory over Rutgers. Making the start more unlikely has been the play of freshman quarterback John O’Korn, who stepped in to replace injured starting QB David Piland earlier this season. O’Korn completed 24 of 30 passes for 364 yards with five touchdowns in the rout of Rutgers. O’Korn arrived to Houston from South Florida high school powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas.
National Coordinator of the Week: Jim Knowles, Duke
The Blue Devils’ defense had some help from a sluggish Virginia Tech offense, but for the second week in a row, Duke’s defense has stepped up when it mattered. The Blue Devils didn’t allow a point in the second half of last Saturday’s victory over Virginia and held the Hokies to just 55 yards in the fourth quarter, which was just enough for Duke to score a 13-10 win in Blacksburg. The Blue Devils forced four interceptions off Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas and generated four tackles for a loss. Duke has held its last three opponents to five yards or less per play, and only one team in the last three games against the Blue Devils has scored more than 10 points. Knowles has pushed the right buttons this season, and the key stops on defense are a key reason why Duke is 6-2.
Athlon Sports Week 9 Conference Awards
Offense: Duke Johnson, Miami
Defense: Kelby Brown, Duke
Freshman: Jameis Winston, Florida State
Coordinator: Jim Knowles, Duke
Offense: Desmond Roland, Oklahoma State
Defense: Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
Freshman: Shock Linwood, Baylor
Coordinator: Josh Heupel, Oklahoma
Offense: Braxton Miller, Ohio State
Defense: Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota
Freshman: Tyvis Powell, Ohio State
Coordinator: Matt Limegrover, Minnesota
Offense: Tyler Gaffney, Stanford
Defense: Trent Murphy, Stanford
Freshman: Scooby Wright, Arizona
Coordinator: Derek Mason, Stanford
Offense: Connor Shaw, South Carolina
Defense: Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina
Freshman: Jeremy Johnson, Auburn
Coordinator: Mark Snyder, Texas A&M
By Steven Lassan, 4 months 2 weeks ago
Nebraska suffered a disappointing loss at Minnesota on Saturday, but running back Ameer Abdullah turned in one of the few bright spots for the Cornhuskers.
In the fourth quarter, Abdullah hurdled a Minnesota defender to put the Cornhuskers into scoring position. Abdullah finished with 165 rushing yards on 19 attempts.
Check out this play by Nebraska’s No. 1 running back:
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