After last weekend’s crazy upsets, at least we have one constant: No. 1 LSU wins again and will play for the SEC championship and a spot in the BCS national championship.
LSU dismantled Arkansas in the second half en route to a 41-17 win over the No. 3 Razorbacks. The win locks up the SEC West for the Tigers, who will play Georgia next Saturday in the SEC Championship.
After 12 games, what more can you really say about LSU? Les Miles‘ team has gone in to every test this season — the opener against Oregon, the road games against West Virginia and Alabama — and come out on the right side of the win column each time.
The idea of a team not winning their conference or division and still playing for the national championship has become insufferable because of the BCS, but even if LSU somehow, some way slips up next week against Georgia, could they really drop beyond No. 2 in the final BCS rankings after everything they’ve accomplished? Is a one-loss LSU any worse than a one-loss Oklahoma State, or Virginia Tech?
Just about anybody with a reasonable head on their shoulders would conclude LSU is the best team in college football right now, and the BCS is designed to pair the two highest rated teams at the end of the season based on their whole body of work. That’s where guys like BCS executive director Bill Hancock make laughable statements like “every game matters.” It’s laughable because even they know it’s not true. If Alabama beats Auburn on Saturday, “game of the century” part deux becomes a very real possibility.
Good thing they didn’t already decide it on the field on Nov. 5.
It’s not that I’m opposed to a rematch — Alabama is arguably second-best team in the country — I’m just opposed to a rematch as long as the BCS is involved.
If Oklahoma State can rally from their loss to Iowa State and beat Oklahoma next week, there’s a great chance they could find their way back into national title picture. Are the Cowboys really the second-best team in the country? I don’t know, we have a system in place that judges how great a team is based on when they lose. But, after watching LSU today, OSU — or, any team for that matter — may want to take a rain check on the national title this year.
What we do know is that Duke will be without its starting piece of its defense. What we don’t know is for how long.
The football program announced Wednesday that Jeremy McDuffie underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured right thumb. The junior sustained the injury during a recent Blue Devils practice.
As a result of the injury and subsequent surgery, McDuffie will be sidelined indefinitely.
McDuffie transitioned from cornerback to safety this past spring. Entering summer camp, the defensive back had been listed as a starter for the Blue Devils. The past two seasons, McDuffie had played in 24 games.
Duke opens the 2017 season Sept. 2 against NC Central. They will kick off ACC play three weeks later on the road against North Carolina.
Most expect Josh Rosen to be one of the first quarterbacks selected when the next NFL draft rolls around. Rosen’s coach, though, doesn’t see the outspoken junior being a part of the pool of available draftees.
“My firm belief is that he will not leave,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora told Yahoo Sports‘ Pete Thamel over the weekend. “I don’t think he’ll leave. …
“I want a disclaimer, I have an option to change my opinion. But as we sit here right now, I can really honestly say I don’t think he’s going to leave.”
Mora’s proclamation comes less than two weeks before the Bruins kick off the 2017 season and around five months before draft-eligible early entrants have to officially file their paperwork with the NFL.
Rosen flashed brilliance as a true freshman in 2015, passing for nearly 3,700 yards and 23 touchdowns. His sophomore campaign was marred by a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder that sidelined him for the final six games of the season. Rosen has resoundingly rebounded from that health issue, and will head into the 2017 season 100-percent healthy.
Whether he enters the 2018 season 100-percent Bruin remains, his head coach’s confidence notwithstanding, highly unlikely or even doubtful, especially given his recent comments that football and school don’t mix.
Not surprisingly, more details are surfacing in Hugh Freeze‘s unceremonious exit from Oxford.
Freeze resigned as the head football coach at Ole Miss last month in part because of Jan. 19 phone call to an escort service that was initially deemed to be a misdial. According to the Wall Street Journal, that call came a few hours after a university plane landed in Tampa, Fla., as part of a five-day, 13-stop recruiting trip. On that plane was Freeze as well as other members of the Rebels football staff.
The discovery of the link between the call and recruiting trip came after a review of phone records and other documents.
After Freeze’s “resignation,” Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork described an unspecified pattern of personal misconduct that led to the coach’s departure. Bjork somewhat expounded on that pattern to the Journal.
Although school officials had previously declined to characterize the alleged misconduct, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said in response to questions from the Journal about Freeze’s travel that the university’s investigation uncovered “calls of a similar nature” over the course of several years, often matching up with travel logs showing the coach’s use of the school plane. The school said it examined his travel logs from peak recruiting times—often November, December and January—when Freeze would travel out of state, using the school plane and other public resources.
“When we say pattern, we are describing other phone numbers that when you Google them pull up similar type websites, services, however you would describe them,” Bjork said. “We took action swiftly.
Speculation of late has there being more, potentially much more, to Freeze’s forced resignation. Only time will tell how much more will ultimately come out — especially if another former Ole Miss head coach’s lawsuit, kicked out of federal court for lack of jurisdiction, is revived in the state of Mississippi as expected.
In his college football preview Bible, the great Phil Steele had Michael Pittman listed as one of three starting wide receivers for USC. With the start of a new season a little more than two weeks away, Pittman doesn’t appear set to make that magazine projection come to fruition.
According to multiple reports, Pittman suffered an ankle injury during practice Tuesday and was taken off the field via a cart after having a boot placed on his left foot. While X-rays taken post-practice showed no break or fracture, the sophomore has been diagnosed with the dreaded high-ankle sprain.
As a result, the Los Angeles Daily News writes that “[i]t seems unlikely he would be able to play against Western Michigan.” Rivals.com tweeted that the injury “[p]robably keeps him out of season opener.”
At least for now, the football program has yet to officially rule Pittman out for the opener.
Pittman was a four-star 2016 recruit, rated as the No. 9 receiver in the country. As a true freshman last season, he caught six passes for 82 yards.