Poll: Who should LSU play in title game if it finishes No. 1?

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All of the glorious, wondrous chaos that has transpired over the past 24 hours has caused us to change the tack we normally take in our weekly poll.

As one of the two remaining unbeatens, LSU, as they have been for quite a number of weeks, is the clear-cut and unquestioned No. 1 team in the country.  Thus, a normal “Who is the No. 1 team in the country?” poll officially ceases to make sense.  So, instead, the direction we’re headed with the Week 12 poll is this: if LSU beats No. 6 Arkansas next week and hands the Hogs their second loss and then goes on to beat No. 13 Georgia in the SEC championship game, who would you want to see the Bayou Bengals play for the BcS title?

Let the questions begin, armed with the assumption that all of the following teams win their remaining games…

Would you want to see a rematch with No. 3 Alabama, which wouldn’t even win its own division let alone its conference?  How about No. 8 Stanford, which would probably be in the same non-winning division and conference boat as the Tide?  Like the Cardinal, No. 10 Boise State lost to a two-loss team at home; would you want to see the team that everybody either loves to love or loves to hate get a crack at the crystal?  Despite the soul-crushing loss Friday night, No. 2 Oklahoma State still has just one loss and would certainly be a huge part of the discussion in this scenario as well.

Or, what about No. 9 Virginia Tech?  As it stands at this moment, the Hokies are the only other team from a BcS conference with one loss; would Tech deserve a spot opposite LSU in New Orleans?

And then there’s No. 11 Houston.  The Cougars are the only other unbeaten Div. 1-A team left in this up-is-down, right-is-left 2011 season.  In their past six games, UH has won by an average of 42.6 points.  On the flip side, their opponents in those games are just a combined 23-41, including a 3-11 mark against teams from BcS conferences.  Is that a résumé deserving of a spot in the title game?

(Don’t even get me started on the following scenario that is entirely possible and, worse yet, very plausible: LSU and Houston are undefeated; Boise State has one loss; and every other team in the country has at least two losses.)

OK, there’s your premise.  Now, go vote before your head implodes over all of the possibilities.

Former LSU QB Brandon Harris announces commitment to UNC

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Former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris has found himself a new home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Harris announced via Facebook and Twitter he has chosen to commit to North Carolina.

“Obviously, it has been an important time for me, looking for a great situation and another opportunity to grow as a young man and as a student as well as a football player,” Harris said in his statement. “After my [official] visit this weekend to the University of North Carolina, I’m going to get that opportunity. With that being said, I’m fully committed to UNC this upcoming year and I look forward to the opportunity to play for coach [Larry Fedora] and UNC.”

Harris will be eligible to play for UNC immediately this fall after graduating from LSU this summer, and the timing may not be better for Harris. UNC is losing its starting quarterback (Mitch Trubisky) to the NFL and has a wide open spot to fill in the starting lineup as a result. But the job will not automatically go to Harris upon his arrival at UNC after missing out on spring practices at North Carolina.

Harris played in just four games last season, in which he passed for 139 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. Since the season-opener against Wisconsin, Harris was reduced to backup duty and did not play in any of LSU’s seven final games of the 2016 season, including the bowl game against Louisville. Harris announced his decision to transfer in February, which was pretty much expected given how last season played out amid a coaching change.

Report: Foot injury puts Georgia WR Riley Ridley on sideline for spring

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Georgia wide receiver Riley Ridley has not been practicing this spring, but it has nothing to do with his offseason misdemeanor from a couple of weeks ago. Instead, a foot injury appears to have sidelined Ridley for the spring.

According to a report from Gridiron Now, Ridley has been out due to the foot injury. When the foot injury occurred is not reported. Even if his foot was not injured, it remains unknown if Ridley would be participating int he spring, at least at this point. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has said Ridley will be internally disciplined for his misdemeanor pot possession from earlier this month.

“He’ll receive discipline,” Smart said. “We are very disappointed in his decision. We do not condone that behavior. I think Riley is going to learn a valuable lesson from this mistake.”

When Ridley may be available again remains unknown, as does what exactly the punishment to him will be from Smart. A one-game suspension is the expected result for Ridley according to the university’s student-athlete handbook.

USF DB Hassan Childs in stable condition after overnight shooting incident

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USF defensive back Hassan Childs was injured in a shooting incident overnight. Fortunately, Childs is currently said to be in stable condition, according to USF.

“We are deeply concerned that an incident occurred overnight in which one of our guys, Hassan Childs, was injured in a shooting,” a statement from USF head coach Charlie Strong said. “Thankfully, Hassan is in stable condition and being well cared for, and no one else was injured. There is an ongoing investigation of the incident and we are in the process of gathering further information.”

The shooting took place off campus, but details about the incident have not been reported.

Childs played in eight games for the Bulls last year. He recorded 16 tackles and returned two punts for three yards in a backup role.

Turner Field on schedule to be ready for Georgia State season opener

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The Atlanta Braves opened the doors to their brand new baseball stadium over the weekend to fans as the baseball team gets ready to open the 2017 season in their new digs. Meanwhile, at the old home of the Braves, Georgia State University is moving along according to schedule in downsizing and renovating Turner Field to serve as the permanent home of the football program. So far, so good, as the university fully anticipates the stadium will be ready to go for the season opener on August 31 against Tennessee State.

The job that’s being done is incredible,” Athletic Director Charlie Cobb told 11Alive. “Each and every time I walk in, I see something new being done.”

Renovation and construction at Turner Field got started in February. The entire project will be done in phases as the university plans to develop around thew football stadium for an expanding university. As far as the stadium goes, the seating capacity will be retrofitted to hold a capacity of 23,000 fans. That will be the first phase of the master plan, with a second phase to complete building the rest of the stadium and add additional seating for fans.

“We plan on doing some unique things capturing the history of the stadium, but also creating a football facility that speaks to Georgia State,” Cobb said. “One of the stories we want to tell is the fact that it went from being an Olympic venue, to the home of the Braves, and now to the home of Georgia State. I think we can write that third chapter.”

Georgia State previously played its home games in the Georgia Dome, the now former home of the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. The Falcons are also moving into a new football stadium this season. The Falcons’ new home at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will also welcome some college football action to the stadium this season with the annual Chick-fil-A Kickoff will move to the new stadium from the Georgia Dome. This year’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff features Alabama and Florida State on September 2 and Georgia Tech and Tennessee on September 4. The SEC Championship Game and the Peach Bowl will also be hosted in the new stadium and the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game will be played there on January 8, 2018.

Georgia State may have their new home, but perhaps one day they will get to play in the new stadium too.