Miami v Virginia

Virginia win over Miami further muddles ACC Coastal


Florida State’s win over Virginia Tech Thursday provided some clarity in the ACC Atlantic race. All the Seminoles have to do now is beat Maryland next weekend.

The ACC Coastal? It’s about as up for grabs as you can get thanks to Virginia’s 41-40 thriller over Miami on Saturday. To get right down to it, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech can all still claim the division. North Carolina is currently serving a postseason ban for NCAA violations.

Duke (6-4 overall, 3-3 ACC) is off this weekend, but if the Blue Devils win at Georgia Tech (5-5 overall, 4-3 ACC) next weekend, they will play Miami at regular season’s end for the right to go to the ACC championship. Miami (5-5 overall, 4-3 ACC), remember, is still contemplating whether or not to impose a bowl ban this season with the NCAA continuing to investigate the program from the fallout of the Nevin Shapiro scandal. Expect a decision on that once/if Miami becomes bowl eligible. Basically, a lot could change depending on what the Hurricanes decide to do.

If Duke loses to Georgia Tech, well, things get a little more complicated. Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech (4-6 overall, 2-4 ACC) still have shots, although theirs are admittedly longer than Duke’s or Miami’s.

Most of this should be sorted out in the next week. Until then, bask in the possibilities of “what if’s”.

Vols ‘very confident there was no inappropriate conduct’ between Butch Jones, player

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers watches the action during a game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Neyland Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”

Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.

At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August.  The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.

“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”

Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.

Michigan’s keeping ‘fingers crossed’ for leading rusher’s availability

De'Veon Smith
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Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5.  The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.

De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland.  Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.

“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”

Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.

Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).

In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well.  The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury