Cam Newton Davey O'Brien Award

’10 finalists Luck, Moore headline preseason O’Brien watch list


The just-released 2011 Davey O’ Brien preseason watch list is littered with familiar names as a total of nine finalists or semifinalists from last year’s process comprise this year’s group, the Davey O’Brien Foundation announced Friday.

Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Boise State’s Kellen Moore were finalists in 2010, and, obviously, make the preseason cut this year for the award that goes to the nation’s top quarterback.  A total of seven 2010 semifinalists also made the list — Matt Barkley (USC), Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), Robert Griffin III (Baylor), Landry Jones (Oklahoma), Taylor Martinez (Nebraska) (no relation), Denard Robinson (Michigan), and Darron Thomas (Oregon).

Additionally, Case Keenum, a 2009 finalist, is a preseason selection after missing most of the 2010 season with a knee injury.

Perhaps the most glaring “omission” from the 38-player list is South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia, who just yesterday was named to the coaches’ preseason All-SEC second team.

Conference-wise, the Big Ten and Conference USA lead the way with six apiece, followed by the Pac-12 with five; the Big 12 with four; and the ACC and Big East with three each.

The O’Brien is named for former SMU great Davey O’Brien and has been awarded annually since 1981.  The preseason field will be narrowed to 16 semifinalists on Monday, Oct. 24, with the three finalists announced on Monday, Nov. 21. The 2011 Davey O’Brien winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 8.

Last year’s winner was Auburn’s Cam Newton.

Below is the complete list of the 2011 preseason O’Brien watch listers:

Matt Barkley, USC
Tyler Bray, Tennessee
Alex Carder, Western Michigan
Zach Collaros, Cincinnati
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
Dayne Crist, Notre Dame
Austin Davis, Southern Miss.
Dominique Davis, East Carolina
Nick Foles, Arizona
Jeff Godfrey, UCF
Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois
Jake Heaps, BYU
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
Case Keenum, Houston
G.J. Kinne, Tulsa
Ryan Lindley, San Diego State
Andrew Luck, Stanford
EJ Manuel, Florida State
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska
Bryant Moniz, Hawaii
Kellen Moore, Boise State
Aaron Murray, Georgia
Danny O’Brien, Maryland
Kyle Padron, SMU
Dan Persa, Northwestern
Chris Relf, Mississippi State
Sean Renfree, Duke
Corey Robinson, Troy
Denard Robinson, Michigan
Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois
Geno Smith, West Virginia
Tino Sunseri, Pittsburgh
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Darron Thomas, Oregon
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
Jordan Wynn, Utah

Ex-Penn State TE Brent Wilkerson gets probation and must register as sex offender

Brent Wilkerson

Former Penn State tight end Brent Wilkerson will serve five years of probation and must register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to indecent assault on Tuesday.

Wilkerson was accused of pushing a woman upstairs to her bedroom back in February. The two fell asleep but the woman claimed to wake up to discover she was being kissed and fondled by Wilkerson. A police report said Wilkerson was drunk but the woman was not.

Wilkerson was slated to be a key contributor to Penn State’s offense in 2016, but after initially being suspended by the program in the spring, he was dismissed by the program weeks later.

DeShone Kizer says Notre Dame players still trust Brian Kelly

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 17:  DeShone Kizer #14 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reacts to a touchdown during the first half of a game against the Michigan State Spartans at Notre Dame Stadium on September 17, 2016 in South Bend, Indiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Notre Dame may be going through a disappointing college football season, but quarterback DeShone Kizer says the players have not lost their faith in their head coach, Brian Kelly.

We have complete confidence in coach Kelly,” Kizer said, according to The Indy Star. “He has experience, he’s a winning coach, he knows how to win and he’s going to figure out whatever it takes to win. And as long as we continue to have the mentality that he is the successful coach that he is and trust in that, we’re going to be fine.:

Notre Dame is just 2-5 this season, with their bowl hopes fading quickly. As Notre Dame has struggled, Kelly has come under some fire for how he has handled the season thus far, which has included throwing others under the bus, a change at defensive coordinator and poor coaching decisions along the way. The preseason expectation of being a potential playoff contender in the eyes of some set the bar high for Kelly and the Irish, and so far Notre Dame has come nowhere close to living up to those standards.

Kelly has already received a vote of confidence from Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick. Now he has his starting quarterback behind him.

“We’ve been all over the place in this first half of the season from different motivational speeches to different mindsets each week trying to figure out what’s the best way of getting a win and doing whatever we can,” Kizer said. “But from here on out, it’s just having a good time, taking this opportunity to play for Notre Dame and doing whatever you can to bring home wins.”

Minnesota adds BYU and Colorado to future schedules

03 Nov 2001 : A giant Minnesota flag is waved during the game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapoils, Minnesota. The Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Minnesota Gophers 31-28. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Allsport
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Minnesota was busy on the scheduling front today with the announcement of future home-and-home series with Colorado and BYU.

Minnesota will host BYU on September 26, 2020 and travel to BYU five years later on September 20, 2025. In between, Minnesota will complete a home-and-home with Colorado from the Pac-12. Colorado will host the Gophers on September 18, 2021 and Minnesota will welcome the Buffs to their turf on September 17, 2022. ( notes the Minnesota-Colorado series has been known since 2012, leaving it a mystery why it was announced today).

For Minnesota, all four game swill satisfy their nonconference scheduling obligation in the Big Ten. Big Ten teams must schedule one game per year against another power conference opponent, or one deemed to be equal in status. BYU meets that standard for the Big Ten. The Pac-12 has no such scheduling obligations for its members.

Colorado is 3-0 all-time against the Gophers, with the most recent meeting between the two coming in 1992. Minnesota and BYU have never met in football.

LSU CB Dwayne Thomas says Tigers are “going to dominate” Alabama next week

Dwayne Thomas, Dak Prescott
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Alabama has clearly been the best team in the country this season, which is supported by being a near-unanimous No. 1 in both the AP and coaches polls. Either LSU cornerback Dwayne Thomas hasn’t been paying attention, watching or got the memo, but he is certainly not mincing words when he looks forward to next week’s SEC West clash with the Crimson Tide.

“I really see us dominating this offense. I really see us dominating this team,” Thomas said when discussing next week’s game with Alabama (LSU and Alabama are each off this week). “This is the year. We’ve been letting them off the hook for the last couple of years. This is my senior year. We’re going out with a bang. It’s time for us to bring that win back. We’re going to be at home. I feel like we have the edge to take it to them, and we’re going to take it to them. I feel like we’re going to dominate this game.”

Alabama has the nation’s 15th-ranked offense, averaging 498.0 yards per game. LSU has the 14th-ranked defense, allowing just 313.9 yards per game. If there is an area of concern for Alabama that LSU could exploit, it may be in the turnover game. The Crimson Tide have lost the football 12 times. Alabama has made up for it on defense though, with 16 takeaways and a ton of points scored by the defense.

Alabama has won five straight games in the series, starting with the 2012 BCS Championship Game. LSU has not scored more than 17 point sin a game against Alabama during that run. Alabama will be a solid favorite against the Tigers this season, but LSU has started to turn a corner since making a coaching change. Ed Orgeron is 3-0 since taking over for the fired Les Miles, and the impact of having a healthy Leonard Fournette was on full display last weekend against Ole Miss. LSU may be playing their best football at the best possible time. Will it be enough to give Alabama a challenge?

We’ll just have to wait to find out for sure, unless you want to just skip it and take Thomas at his word.