Exactly three weeks and three days from today, No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama will face off in the first-ever BcS title game featuring two teams from the same conference.
While guaranteeing the SEC its sixth straight crystal football, it also means that the conference will suffer its first-ever loss in the championship game.
The question is, which team will become the sixth SEC team instead of the first? Personally, and maintaining the right to change my mind at any point between now and Jan. 9 in New Orleans, I’m calling for a 24-20 Tide win, if for nothing more than to validate my preseason selection of Nick Saban‘s bunch as the top team in the country. The fact that the 2011 “series” between the two teams would be tied at one apiece and create such angst, anguish and consternation among the general college football population would merely serve as a glorious bonus.
The question, though, is not who I have in the game; rather, the pertinent query is, who do y’all have? Will it be Saban nabbing his second title at Alabama in three years, and third overall — the first coming while at LSU — or will it be Les Miles grabbing his second title in the last five years for LSU?
Vote early and often below.
Despite commitment to Tennessee, Shaq Wiggins visits Mississippi State
Hit the pause button on Shaq Wiggins and his intent to transfer to Tennessee. There appears to be a new contender in the running. The Clarion-Ledger reports Wiggins is visiting Mississippi State even after previously committing to the Vols last month as he pursues a graduate transfer destination from Louisville.
Wiggins arrived at Mississippi State on Sunday and the visit will reportedly go through at least Monday night, according to The Clarion-Ledger‘s report. Wiggins is a graduate transfer so he will be eligible to play immediately for any other FBS program this fall.
Wiggins previously announced his commitment to Tennessee in late April. Now that remains in question as Mississippi State was initially going to be high on Wiggins’ personal list when he decided to transfer. With the Bulldogs once again a potential option, they could swipe Wiggins from the Vols at the 11th hour.
San Jose State safety Chad Miller is recovering in a hospital after being stabbed in a fight in San Jose this weekend. Early reports suggest Miller is expected to recover from the injury.
“He is hospitalized and is expected to recover,” a statement from San Jose State said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Chad and his family for his prompt recovery.”
According to a report from NBC Bay Area, Miller was stabbed in a brawl that involved at least 12 people. The incident occurred off campus from San Jose State, according to The Mercury News. At this time, San Jose police have not commented on the situation and are thought to be investigating the manner. No charges have been filed at this time.
Miller played in all 12 games, starting in three, for the Spartans last season. He recorded 25 tackles and forced a fumble.
“I think he definitely could be (the emergency option), for sure,” Chip Lindsey told the site. “He’s done it his whole life, so I think he could definitely do that if we needed him to, for sure.”
Auburn suffered a host of injuries at the position last season, which prompted some extended playing time for Franklin as he appeared in all 13 games of the 2016 campaign and threw for 204 yards and a touchdown. He was moved to wide receiver during spring practice following the arrival of highly touted Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham and seems likely he’ll see the bulk of the action catching passes during the year instead of throwing them.
You can bet that Lindsey and head coach Gus Malzahn want to preserve Willis’ redshirt in 2017 so it certainly makes sense to have Franklin slot in behind the team’s unquestioned top two quarterbacks if either were to go down with an injury. Even if everybody stays healthy, it seems likely we’ll even get to see Franklin in a few Wildcat packages for the Tigers given his skillset so his days behind center don’t appear to be fully over just yet.
Ex-UCF lineman sues athletic department over use of his name and likeness
Central Florida is involved in yet another lawsuit with a former player only this time it’s over the use of a former lineman’s likeness.
Jah Reid, who played at UCF from 2006-10, has sued the school’s non-profit athletics association as well as a separate corporation led by football coach Scott Frost for “improper use of his likeness,” the Orlando Sentinel reports. He is apparently seeking some $200,000 in royalties and a whopping $600,000 in damages over the case.
At the heart of the matter is apparently how Frost’s summer camps advertised using Reid’s likeness to promote it to future recruits. The former offensive lineman’s picture was reportedly used and the lawsuit brings up the fact that a brochure used the line: “come to camp and have a chance to earn an offer like Jah Reid.”
Reid did not play for Frost during his time on the team and instead was recruited and coached by former Knights coach George O’Leary. Reid was later drafted by the Baltimore Ravens and is currently a member of the Kansas City Chiefs organization heading into the 2017 season.
The use of an athlete’s name and likeness have been litigated quite in recent years, notably in the O’Bannon vs. NCAA case that continues to make its way through the court system. It will be interesting to see if the Reid lawsuit against UCF even makes it to trial in light of that or if the parties eventually settle out of court before it gets to that point.
Either way, probably not the offseason news that Frost and the UCF athletics brass wanted to see this summer.