Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Connecticut v Oklahoma

Sooners top preseason coaches’ poll

7 Comments

In case you weren’t aware, we unveiled our preseason Top 25 — along with conference-by-conference breakdowns — Wednesday night.

The USA Today coaches’ poll did the same Thursday morning and, suffice to say, they disagreed slightly with the team we placed at the top.  And, with most of the other slotting, actually.

In the coaches’ initial offering for the 2011 season, Oklahoma is the No. 1 team in the nation, garnering 42 of the 59 first-place votes on their way to 1,454 points.  At No. 2 is Alabama with 13 first-place votes and 1,414 total points from the coaches.  No. 3 Oregon (2) and No. 4 LSU (2) were the only other teams to receive first-place votes.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Florida State, Stanford, Boise State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Wisconsin.

Last year’s BcS champion Auburn comes in at No. 19; in last year’s preseason poll, the Tigers were ranked No. 23.  That ranking for Auburn is the lowest for a defending champion since Minnesota was unranked in the early sixties.  TCU, which finished 2010 right behind the champs in the final coaches’ poll, will begin this season at No. 15.

There were five teams not ranked at the end of 2010 who begin 2011 inside the Top 25: No. 18 Notre Dame, No. 22 Georgia, No. 23 Florida, No. 24 Texas and No. 25 Penn State.

Once again, USC is ineligible for the coaches’ poll because of NCAA sanctions.

As expected, the SEC leads all conferences with eight ranked teams, followed by the Big 12 and the Big Ten with five apiece.  The ACC, Mountain West and Pac-12 each had two teams in the preseason poll.  The Big East was the only BcS conference without a ranked team; West Virginia finished second in the “others receiving votes” category.

Below is the coaches’ complete preseason rankings:

2017 Ole Miss signee arrested, jailed on burglary charge

police car with siren light closeup
Getty Images
1 Comment

Off the field, it’s not been a good last few days for the Class of 2017.  Or for one SEC program in particular, come to think of it.

According to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, a member of Ole Miss’ 2017 recruiting class, Tae-Kion Reed, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on a burglary charge.  Other than Reed attempted to burglarize a home, no details of what led to the arrest and charge have been released.

As of this posting, Reed remains jailed, a Lowndes County Jail official confirmed.

The football program is aware of the development. “We are gathering facts on the matter,” a spokesperson told the Clarion-Ledger.

Originally committed to Mississippi State, the three-star defensive tackle flipped to MSU’s Egg Bowl rivals on National Signing Day last month.  He made waves with the manner of his commitment as he tossed a Bulldogs hat across the room before donning a Rebels cap at his signing ceremony.

Chris Weinke confirms he’s joining Alabama football staff

9 Oct 1999:  Chris Weinke #16 of the Florida State Seminoles passes the ball during the game against the Miami Hurricanes at the Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida. The Seminoles defeated the Hurricanes 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons  /Allsport
Getty Images
Leave a comment

It appears Nick Saban has added a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback to his SEC juggernaut.

The Tuscaloosa NewsAaron Suttles is reporting that Chris Weinke has joined the Crimson Tide off-field football staff.  Weinke subsequently confirmed the development.

The former Florida State signal-caller will serve as an offensive analyst for Saban. That was the same role expected to be manned by Clint Trickett, who instead opted for the tight ends coach job at Florida Atlantic under former UA offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.

Weinke had spent the past two seasons as the quarterbacks coach of the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams.  He was let go from that position in mid-January.

Prior to that, the former Carolina Panthers quarterback was the director of football at the elite IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., from 2010-2014.  Bo Scarbrough, the Tide’s third-leading rusher in 2016 as  sophomore, spent his senior season in high school at IMG.

Western Michigan’s leading tackler granted release, will transfer

KALAMAZOO, MI - NOVEMBER 19:  Robert Spillane #10 of the Western Michigan Broncos sacks Grant Rohach #19 of the Buffalo Bulls in the third quarter at Waldo Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The most productive player on the defensive side of the ball during Western Michigan’s breakout 2016 season is moving on.

The football program announced via its official Twitter account that Robert Spillane has asked for and been granted a release from his scholarship. A rising true senior, it’s unclear if the linebacker will be leaving WMU as a graduate transfer.

If he is, he’ll be eligible to play at another FBS program in 2017. If not, he’d have to sit out the upcoming season before using his final season of eligibility in 2018.

Last season, Spillane led the Broncos in tackles with 111 — next closest was Asantay Brown‘s 95 — while he was second in tackles for loss with 10.5 and tied for third in sacks with three. His three interceptions were tied for second as well. The last of those three picks came at the end of the MAC championship game that helped seal WMU’s win over Ohio.

The past three seasons, Spillane started 28 games for the Broncos. He started all 14 games last season.

Surgery knocks out MTSU starting QB Brent Stockstill for the spring

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 10:  Quarterback Brent Stockstill #12 of the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders throws a pass during the first half at Vanderbilt Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

In early November, a right shoulder injury knocked Brent Stockstill out for the remainder of Middle Tennessee State’s season.  Four months later, a procedure on the other side of the same area has sidelined the starting quarterback yet again.

MTSU announced Tuesday that Stockstill will miss the whole of spring practice, which is set to kick off March 15.  The rising junior recently underwent surgery on his left (throwing) shoulder.

The procedure is not expected to have any impact on his availability for the upcoming season.

“The doctors just went in and cleaned some stuff up in his shoulder but he should be ready to go this summer,” Rick Stockstill, MTSU’s head coach and the player’s father, said in a statement. “He will be held out of spring drills.”

After just two seasons as the starter, Stockstill already owns school records in touchdown passes (61), 300-yard passing games (14), 400-yard passing games (2) and passing yards per game (303.3).