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Wazzu adds 24 as part of 2013 signing class

UCLA v Washington State Getty Images

(Below are the bios released by Washington State on the new members of its 2013 recruiting class.)

The following student-athletes signed Financial Aid Agreements or a National Letter of Intent and enrolled at WSU in January and are attending classes:

LYMAN FAOLIU
Defensive End
6-2 / 275
Vallejo, Calif. / Vallejo HS / College of San Mateo ‘12

FAOLIU’S JUNIOR COLLEGE CAREER
Attended College of San Mateo…as a FRESHMAN, tallied 36 tackles with 6.5 tackles-for-loss including two sacks…also intercepted one pass and forced one fumble…as a SOPHOMORE, named to the All-NorCal Conference team…recorded 46 tackles including 3.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks…also recovered a fumble…rated three stars by Rivals.com and member of ESPN’s Top-100 Junior College players…enrolled in January and have three years to play two.

FAOLIU’S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Attended Vallejo High School…as a JUNIOR, earned all-league second team honors as a defensive lineman…as a SENIOR, named all-league first team as both an offensive and defensive lineman…also threw shotput and discus.

IVAN McLENNAN
Linebacker
6-3 / 220
Hawthorne, Calif. / Leuzinger HS ‘11 / El Camino College ‘12

MCLENNAN’S JUNIOR COLLEGE CAREER
Attended …as a FRESHMAN, earned All-Central Conference honors after making 77 tackles, 10.5 tackles-for-loss and three sacks…intercepted one pass and recovered three fumbles…as a SOPHOMORE earned Junior College All-American honors and First Team All-Central Conference honors after making 79 stops including 9.5 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks…had one interception he returned of a touchdown…also forced a fumble and recovered one…rated three stars by Rivals.com…rated the No. 24 junior college prospect and No. 2 outside linebacker prospect by 247Sports.com.

MCLENNAN’S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Attended Leuzinger High School…as a SENIOR, named All-Bay League i rst team and defensive MVP of 2011 Lions All-Star game.

JACOB SEYDEL
Offensive Lineman
6-6 / 285
Riverside, Calif. / Arlington HS ’11 / Riverside City College ‘13

SEYDEL’S COLLEGE CAREER
Attended Riverside City College…full qualifier out of high school, went to junior college route…as a FRESHMAN, earned All-Central Conference second team honors…enrolled at UCLA following freshman year but came back to Riverside for the 2012 season…as a SOPHOMORE, named to All-Central Conference first team…rated two stars by Rivals.com…enrolled in January and will have three to play two.

SEYDEL’S HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Attended Arlington High School…as a SOPHOMORE, named All-Inland Valley League honorable mention…as a JUNIOR, earned First Team All-Inland Valley League honors and helped Lions to a 10-2 record…as a SENIOR, named First Team All-Inland Valley League and helped AHS to a 9-2 record.

ROBERT LEWIS
Wide Receiver
5-10, 160
South Gate, Calif. (South East HS)

As a SOPHOMORE made 14 catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns and carried 137 times for 1,085 yards and seven scores…as a JUNIOR earned second team All-Los Angeles and first team All-Eastern League honors…rushed 142 times for 1,090 yards and seven scores…caught 14 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns…had two punt returns for touchdowns, one kickoff return for a touchdown and also scored once on a fake punt…as a SENIOR was named the Player of the Year in the division, league and region…led South East HS to a 13-1 record and its inaugural City Section D-II Championship…also played running back, safety and returned kicks…scored 36 total touchdowns…had 203 carries for 2,023 yards and 30 touchdowns, and 20 receptions of 338 yards…as a defensive back made 59 tackles, five interceptions and blocked three kicks…named All-Area First Team by the Los Angeles Times and was All-Los Angeles City Section Division II Team…ranked the nation’s No. 10 running back prospect by Rivals.com…named No. 26 prospect in California by ESPNU…rated four stars by ESPNU rated the No. 106 overall prospect in the West Top 150 by Scout.com…rated the No. 13 wide receiver prospect in the West by FoxSportsNext.com.

B.J. SALMONSON
Offensive Lineman
6-5, 285
Everson, Wash. (Nooksack Valley HS)

As a JUNIOR named first-team Class 1A all-state as a defensive lineman and all-state honorable mention as an offensive lineman by Associated Press…named all-classii cations Whatcom County and first-team all-NWC on both lines… finished season with 78 tackles (30 solo) including 16.5 for loss and 9.5 sacks…as a SENIOR named to 2011 Ron Siegel Washington State Preseason Senior All-State Team…named i rst-team all-state on offensive line by Associated Press… named to Seattle Times Red Chip list.

The following signees plan to enroll at WSU in August, 2013:

DAQUAWN BROWN
Cornerback
6-0 / 175
Los Angeles, Calif. / Dorsey HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Dorsey High School….as a JUNIOR, earned all-league second team honors after making 52 tackles, 30 solo, and three interceptions…as a SENIOR, named All-City Section i rst team, All-Coliseum League first team and All-Region first team by the Los Angeles Times …made 55 tackles, five interceptions and broke up 10 passes…returned two kickoffs for touchdowns…selected to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl…named Most Outstanding Defensive Player at the Cal-State All-America game…named to the West Top 150 by Scout.com…rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 33 cornerback in the country and No. 55 overall prospect in California by Rivals.com…high school teammates with current Cougar linebacker Jeremiah Allison.

TYLER BRUGGMAN
Quarterback
6-2 / 202
Phoenix, Ariz. / Brophy College Prep ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Brophy College Prepatory and played for coach Scooter Molander…as a SOPHOMORE, earned All-Region honorable mention after passing for 1,304 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions…as a JUNIOR, helped Brophy Prep to an 11-1 record…named Phoenix Metro Player of the Year by Arizona Republic after completing 156-of-259 passes for 2,497 yards and 37 touchdowns and two interceptions…as a SENIOR, guided Brophy Prep to an 11-3 record and earned all classification All-State second team by the Arizona Football Coaches Association…also named All-State Division I honorable mention by Arizona Republic, Division I Section III Offensive Player of the Year …completed 177-of-323 (.548) passes for 2,803 yards with 33 touchdowns and eight interceptions…also rushed for four touchdowns…threw for 300+ yards three times and tossed 3+ touchdowns seven times…threw for 368 yards and six touchdowns against Pinnacle High School….named to Academic All-State first team…rated four stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com… one of 12 quarterbacks named to the Western 100 by the Tacoma News Tribune…ranked the No. 49 overall prospect in the West Top 150 by Scout.com…ranked the No. 18 quarterback prospect in the country by Rivals.com…ranked the No. 2 overall prospect and top quarterback prospect in Arizona by ESPN.com.

RIVER CRACRAFT
Wide Receiver
6-2 / 205
Trabuco Canyon, Calif. / Santa Margarita HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Santa Margarita High School…as a JUNIOR, earned All-State, All-CIF and All-Trinity League honors after catching 46 passes for 654 yards and six touchdowns…helped SMHS to a CIF State D1 title…as a SENIOR, named All-County by the Orange County Register and Trinity League Offensive Player of the Year after recording 51 receptions for 935 yards and 10 touchdowns…also intercepted one pass and recorded i ve pass breakups…selected to play in South Bay BMW West Coast Bowl, caught two passes for 32 yards including a 17-yard touchdown…rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 91 overall prospect out of California by ESPN.com…high school teammates with fellow Cougar signee Riley Sorenson.

ISAAC DOTSON
ATHLETE
6-3 / 210
Bellevue, Wash. / Newport HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Newport High School…as a JUNIOR, rushed for 741 yards and 12 touchdowns…also passed for 1,073 yards and 10 touchdowns…also named All-League in basketball…as a SENIOR, earned All-Area honors by the Seattle Times and allleague i rst team after rushing for 1,047 yards and 17 touchdowns…also threw for 765 yards and 11 touchdowns…named a red chip prospect, one of Washington’s top 100 prospects by the Seattle Times…rated three stars by Rivals.com and ESPN.com…ranked the No. 16 prospect in Washington by ESPN.com…father, Michael, wrestled for the Cougars 1983-86, was a three-time NCAA and Pac-10 qualii er and earned All-American honors as junior.

DANIEL EKUALE
Defensive Line
6-4 / 290
Pago Pago, American Samoa / Nuuuli Technical HS ‘12

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Nuuuli Techincal High School, graduated in 2012…rated three stars by Scout.com…ranked the No. 92 defensive tackle prospect by Scout.com and America Samoa’s top overall prospect by 247sports.com.

CARLOS FREEMAN
Offensive Line
6-3 / 290
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Midwest City HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Midwest City High School…as a SENIOR, helped MCHS to an 11-1 record and earned All-State accolades from the Oklahoma Coaches Association…named District 3 Offensive Lineman of the Year…also ranked state’s No. 1 heavyweight wrestler… allowed just one sack in 23 career starts…named to The Oklahoman’s Super 30 prospect list for the state of Oklahoma…rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 25 center prospect in the country by Scout.com and the No. 11 overall prospect out of Oklahoma by ESPN.com…carries a 4.0 GPA.

DARIUS LEMORA
Safety
6-0 / 185
Port Arthur, Texas / Memorial HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Memorial High School…as a JUNIOR, earned 5A All-State honorable mention by the Associated Press…as a SENIOR, earned All-District second team after making 54 tackles, two sacks and two pass breakups…earned Academic All-District first team…rated two stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…named the No. 96 safety prospect in the country by ESPN.com.

PAULO LEPUA
Defensive Line
6-3 / 265
Habor City, Calif. / Narbonne HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Narbonne High School…as a JUNIOR, tallied 14 sacks…as a SENIOR, named Los Angeles City Lineman of the Year, All-City Section first team and All-Area by the Los Angeles Times and South Bay Daily Breeze Defensive Player of the Year after recording 26 sacks…All-State first team by calhisports.com…selected to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, made three tackles including one sack… ranked the No. 64 overall prospect in the West Top 150 by Scout.com… one of 11 defensive linemen named to the Western 100 by the Tacoma News Tribune…rated three starts by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…rated the No. 41 defensive tackle in the country by Scout.com.

COLE MADISON
Tight End
6-6 / 270
Burien, Wash. / Kennedy HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Kennedy High School…as a SOPHOMORE, earned First Team All-Seamount League at defensive tackle and offensive tackle…as a JUNIOR, named First Team All-Seamount League as a tight end and defensive end and Seamount League Offensive Lineman of the Year…tallied 15 receptions for 265 yards along with 37 tackles and two sacks…invited to Army Bowl Junior Class Combine…as a SENIOR, First Team 3A All-State by the Associated Press…named Defensive Interior Player of the Year and First Team All-Seamount League as a tight end and as a defensive lineman…also earned all-league honors in basketball three times…named to the West Top 150 by Scout.com…ranked the No. 9 guard prospect in the West by Scout.com…rated three stars by ESPN.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 42 guard in the country by Scout.com and the No. 14 overall prospect in Washington by ESPN.com.

VINCE MAYLE
Wide Receiver
6-3 / 220
Natomas, Calif. / Inderkum HS / Sierra College ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Inderkum High School…as a SENIOR, rushed for 661 yards and caught 11 passes for 299 yards…also made a team-best 12 sacks.

JUNIOR COLLEGE
Played basketball for Shasta Community College in 2009-10…attended Sierra College to play football in 2012……as a SOPHOMORE in 2012, named to the All-America i rst team by the California Community College Association, All-California and Valley Conference Offensive MVP after leading all California Junior Colleges with 16 touchdown catches…tallied 61 receptions for 984 yards…rated four stars and a top-5 junior college WR prospect by ESPN.com.

MATT MEYER
Offensive Line
6-6 / 290
Lynden, Wash. / Lynden HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Lynden High School…as a JUNIOR, earned All-Northwest Conference second team…helped football and basketball teams to 2A State Championships and the baseball team to the championship game……also named All-NWAC first team in basketball and baseball…earned all-league second teams honors in football and all-league first team in basketball and baseball…as a SENIOR, earned all-league honors at both offensive line and defensive end and helped LHS to its second straight2A State Championship…named All-State offensive lineman by the Seattle Times and the Associated Press…earned All-State honors at defensive end by the Tacoma News Tribune…named a red chip prospect by the Seattle Times…rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com.

JAMAL MORROW
Running Back
5-8 / 180
Menifee, Calif. / Heritage HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Heritage High School…as a SOPHOMORE, rushed for 731 yards and eight touchdowns…as a JUNIOR, rushed 207 times for a school-record 1,777 yards and 21 touchdowns…also caught 15 passes for 139 yards…as a SENIOR, named to All-CIF Central Division first team, All-Valley Offensive Player of the Year, All-Area by the Press Enterprise and Sunbelt League Player of the Year after rushing for a school-record 2,092 yards and 15 touchdowns…reached the 200-yard mark six times…also caught two touchdown passes…averaged 9.96 yards-per-carry and helped HHS to the CIF Southern Section semifinals…also made 26 tackles, two interceptions and forced two fumbles…rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 84 running back prospect in the country by Scout.com.

CODY O’CONNELL
Offensive Line
6-8 / 350
Wenatchee, Wash. / Wenatchee HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Wenatchee High School…as a JUNIOR, named All-Big Nine second team…named Offensive Line MVP as the NW Elite Football Camp in May, 2012…as a SENIOR, earned all-classifications All-State honors by the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune despite missing most of season with knee injury…also named 4A All-State by the Associated Press and Big Nine Lineman of the Year… named a red chip prospect, one of Washington’s top 20 prospects by the Seattle Times…rated three stars by ESPN.com and Rivals.com…rated the No. 75 offensive tackle prospect in the country and No. 10 overall prospect in Washington by ESPN.com… honorable mention Northwest Nugget by the Tacoma News Tribune.

PEYTON PELLUER
Linebacker
6-2 / 225
Sammamish, Wash. / Skyline HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Skyline High School…as a SOPHOMORE, earned 4A All-State honors by the Associated Press after making 176 total tackles including 110 solo…as a JUNIOR, helped SHS to a state championship and named 4A All-State by the Associate Press after making 153 total tackles including 122 solo…as a SENIOR, helped SHS repeat as state champions…was named First Team All-State by the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune and 4A All-State by the ¬Associated Press after making 55 tackles including 40 solo, two sacks and one interception…missed four games due to an injury…selected to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, led the West team with six tackles, including three solo…named a red chip prospect, one of Washington’s top 20 prospects by the Seattle Times…rated four stars ESPN.com and three stars by Rivals.com..ranked the No. 25 middle linebacker prospect in the country and the No. 5 overall prospect in Washington by ESPN.com…one of 14 linebackers named to the Western 100 by the Tacoma News Tribune…named an honorable mention Northwest Nugget by the Tacoma News Tribune…father, Scott, started at linebacker for the Cougars 1977-80 and played five seasons in NFL for the New Orleans Saints…grandfather, John, played end for WSU 1953-55 and his great grandfather, Carl Gustafson, played flanker for the Cougars from 1925-27 and was given WSU’s Fred Bohler Award for inspiration…uncle, Steve, played quarterback at Washington and later played eight years in the NFL, five for the Dallas Cowboys and three for the Kansas City Chiefs.

RILEY SORENSON
Offensive Lineman
6-5 / 320
Santa Margarita, Calif. / Santa Margarita HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Santa Margarita High School…three-year starter at SMSH…as a SOPHOMORE, named All-State SuperSoph Team by GoldenStatePrep.com…as a JUNIOR, named All-Trinity League first team and helped SMHS to a California Division I State Championship…as a SENIOR, named All-Trinity League first team…rated three stars by ESPN.com. Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 67 offensive line prospect in the country by Scout.com…high school teammates with fellow Cougar signee River Cracraft.

GERALD STERLING
Defensive Line
6-4 / 275
Aliceville, Ala. / Aliceville HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Aliceville High School…as a JUNIOR, recorded 15 sacks and also caught two touchdowns as a tight end…as a SENIOR, tallied 15 sacks, forced 10 fumbles, recovered four fumbles and blocked one field goal…also rushed for five touchdowns rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 79 defensive tackle prospect in the country and No. 33 overall prospect out of Alabama by ESPN.com.

EMMITT SU’A-KALIO
Defensive Line
6-4 / 250
Pago Pago, American Samoa / Kanana Fou HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Kanana Fou High School…rated two stars by Scout.com…chose WSU over Utah, Wisconsin and Colorado.

CHARLESTON WHITE
Defensive Back
6-1 / 170
Amarillo, Texas / Palo Duro HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Palo Duro High School…as a JUNIOR, had 46 receptions for 759 yards and six touchdowns…as a SENIOR, earned 4A All-District 3 i rst team honors as a wide receiver and a defensive back after making 50 tackles, six pass breakups, two interceptions and catching 26 passes for 557 yards and six scores…rated three starts by ESPN.com and two stars by Scout.com…rated the No. 209 wide receiver prospect in the country by ESPN.com.

GERARD WICKS
Running Back
5-10 / 195
Carson, Calif. / Long Beach Poly HS ‘13

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Long Beach Poly High School…as a JUNIOR, rushed for 772 yards and 11 touchdowns…averaged 8.0 yards-percarry…as a SENIOR, named Pac-5 Division Offensive Player of the Year and All-CIF Pac-5 Division i rst team…also named to All-Area Team by Long Beach Telegram after rushing 156 times for 1,596 yards and 20 touchdowns…also named the Division 1 All-State team by MaxPreps…selected to play in South Bay BMW West Coast Bowl, rushed 10 times for 52 yards…named to the West Top 150 by Scout.com…one of 10 running backs named to the Western 100 by the Tacoma News Tribune…rated three stars by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…ranked the No. 51 running back in the country and the No. 77 overall prospect in California by Rivals.com

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Kenny Hill given Heisman odds, Texas A&M title odds updated

Kenny Hill

It took just one masterful performance in the season opener for Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill to be recognized as a Heisman Trophy contender. Not only was Jesse Palmer quick to draw comparisons to Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston‘s debut lasts season at Pittsburgh, but one sports book (Sportsbook.com, actually) has already put Hill on the board, and with very respectable odds.

We live in a reactionary world when it comes to sports, so it should come as no surprise Hill was added to the Heisman odds. But there was more to the Vegas lines as well, with Texas A&M moving from 100/1 odds to 40/1 (this despite lacking much on defense).

Hill etched his name in the Texas A&M history books in leading the Aggies to a season-opening road win at South Carolina Thursday night. Hill passed or 511 yards and three touchdowns, and completed 44 of 60 pass attempts in his debut as the new starting quarterback.

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Halftime: Ole Miss, Boise State combine for six interceptions

Bo Wallace

Boise State is showing to be a program that will not be intimidated by a rising program in the SEC, but the Broncos are trailing Ole Miss at the half in Atlanta in the first game in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff. Ole Miss is leading a defensive (and at times ugly) showdown, 7-3.

The Rebels have forced a trio of turnovers by intercepting three passes from Boise State quarterback Grant Hedrick, and the defense has been pressuring the Boise State signal-caller for much of the half. This is to be expected with the talent Ole Miss has on the defensive line. The Broncos have also been managing to run the football against Ole Miss but cannot break many big plays. Fortunately for Boise State, the Broncos have a defense that is holding Ole Miss down and not allowing the game to get away from them.

Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace has also been intercepted twice in the first half and the Rebels have failed to convert a third down attempt (they did convert one fourth down attempt). Ole Miss took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Wallace to Cody Core. The Broncos had a chance to tie things up but the Ole Miss defense stuffed Boise running back Jay Ajayi a couple of yards from the end zone on the corner. The Broncos settled for a field goal.

There were a number of bad penalties by both sides in the first half, but Ole Miss really racked up the penalty yardage. Both teams took some bad penalties in the first half, including Serderius Bryant of Old Miss for his hit on Hedrick. The targeting ejection was upheld following the mandatory video review, giving us the second targeting ejection of the season. The Rebels have also jumped to a false start more times than any team probably should.

This should be a good defensive battle in the second half as well. If Ole Miss cannot start flexing some muscle on offense, then Boise State will continue to hang around, and that would not be advisable for the Rebels.

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Texas A&M snaps South Carolina’s 18-game home winning streak

Kenny Hill

No. 21 Texas A&M (1-0, 1-0 SEC) has a motto saying they run the state of Texas. On Thursday night, Texas A&M ran the state of South Carolina.

The Aggies went to Columbia, South Carolina confident in what they could do, and it showed. Texas A&M snapped No. 9 South Carolina’s (0-1, 0-1 SEC) 18-game home winning streak in dominating fashion, running away from the Gamecocks 52-28.

The star of the night was without a doubt Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill, who dazzled in his debut as the Aggies starter looking to fill the shoes left by Johnny Manziel. All he did was throw for a school record 511 yards and three touchdowns. He did so by spreading the football around very well form start to finish. In all, Texas A&M got the football into the hands of 11 different receivers and four different runners. The pace and ability to spread the ball around proved too much for South Carolina to handle as the Gamecocks were left catching their breath on the field and on the sideline early and often.

Texas A&M and South Carolina played a close first quarter, but the Aggies started to pull away in the second quarter and never looked back. Texas A&M took a 31-14 lead into the half and continued the onslaught with an answer any time South Carolina looked to grab the momentum.

The Gamecocks were mostly without their top offensive player, running back Mike Davis. Davis did not start the game and was given an early rest with a rib bruise as the game was well in hand. Davis carried the football six times for just 15 yards before being given a rest. But that was not the reason South Carolina lost this one.

South Carolina will host a dangerous East Carolina team next weekend, before hosting SEC East rival Georgia in what has become one of the top game sin the division the last few years. The Gamecocks clearly have more hole son defense than many may have been counting on this season, but there may not be another team with quite as potent an offense the rest of the season than the one South Carolina faced Wednesday night.

Texas A&M should continue to put up some big offensive numbers the next couple of weeks. The Aggies will host FCS Lamar in the home opener in Kyle Field next week, followed by a home game against Rice. The next SEC game for Texas A&M will come on September 27 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington against Arkansas in SEC West play. Moving forward, Texas A&M will have to be given more respect as a threat in the wide-open SEC. This Aggies team is not going to sneak up any one in conference play, especially Alabama, LSU and Auburn.

Watch out SEC. Texas A&M is going to put up some points once again.

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Halftime: South Carolina has no answers for Texas A&M offense

Texas A&M v South Carolina

If you thought Texas A&M was going to struggle to replace Johnny Manziel under center, Kenny Hill is making you reconsider that feeling tonight in Columbia, South Carolina. Hill has been confident and calm under center and has been accurate in leading Texas A&M to a halftime lead against South Carolina. Texas A&M holds a 31-14 lead at the break.

Hill has completed 27 of 33 pass attempts for 299 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Texas A&M has done exceptionally well spreading the football around. The Aggies have had nine different players catch a pass and four players carry the football.

South Carolina’s defense has had no answers for Kevin Sumlin‘s Aggies. It does not help that South Carolina’s secondary has been depleted trying to keep up, but whoever has been on the field for the Gamecocks has simply been struggling to keep up with A&M’s receivers. To further complicate things, South Carolina is quickly learning that life without Jadeveon Clowney is difficult, because the Gamecocks have really struggled to bring any pressure on Hill in the Texas A&M backfield.

South Carolina’s star running back Mike Davis did not start the game and has been limited in the first half. At the half, Davis has just six carries for 15 yards.

South Carolina will get the football to start the second half. It is not time to panic, but starting the second half off with a solid drive and a score would sure calm some nerves in Columbia.

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Notre Dame adds one more suspension to opener

Oklahoma v Notre Dame

As Notre Dame continues to investigate an academic irregularity connected to members of the football program, the Fighting Irish have made a decision to suspend safety Eilar Hardy from team activities and games. That bring the suspension total up to five for this weekend in South Bend as a result of the ongoing investigation into academic dishonesty.

Hardy is a reserve player on the Notre Dame roster, but obvious depth concerns are mounting for the Irish defense in light of this potential academic scandal. Earlier this month Notre Dame suspended wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, linebacker Kendall Moore, cornerback KeiVarae Russell and defensive end Ishaq Williams. All five players will miss the season opener this weekend against Rice.

As noted by JJ Stankevitz on CSN Chicago, the Irish are still relatively deep at the safety position even with this latest suspension news. The Irish have Austin Collinsworth, Max Redfield, Elijah Shumate and Matthias Farley as well as Nicky Baratti available at the safety position.

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Mike Davis not starting for South Carolina

Mike Davis

The first game of the SEC season is about to get started, but one of the top running backs in the conference will not be making the start. South Carolina running back Mike Davis will not start tonight’s season opener against Texas A&M.

Davis rushed for 1,183 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. His absence from the game tonight is not much of a surprise after sitting out a week of practice due to a rib injury. Head coach Steve Spurrier may still try to get Davis involved when he feels the moment is right, but it will be something to keep an eye on. Spurrier has said Davis is ready to go, so expect to see him play a role in the South Carolina offense anyway.

Brandon Wilds was announced as the starting running back for tonight’s game. Last season he rushed for 221 yards and three touchdowns in a reserve role.

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Iowa professor to protest pink visiting locker rooms

VISITORS LOCKER ROOM

The Iowa Hawkeyes have had a long-standing tradition of having the visiting locker room painted pink. It was a brain game move by former head coach Hayden Fry in 1979 and has remained a part of attempting to give Iowa a home field advantage. A professor at Iowa is planning a formal protest against the pink locker room at the same time the school plans to honor Fry on Friday.

Kembrew McLeod is organizing a “million robot march” to protest what he believes demonstrates the university allowing the football program to taunt an opponent by pushing homophobia and sexism. It has been suggested the pink finish in the locker room is designed to break down the visiting team’s mental toughness. Whether it works or not is probably uncertain for sure, but there must be something to having the pink finish all these years. This is hardly the first time a concern about the pink locker rooms has surfaced at Iowa though. the gimmick has been criticized by a number of feminists, lawyers, gay rights activists and more over the years, and there will likely be more to come in the future as long as the locker room remains pink.

McLeod tells the Associated Press he and his fellow protesters will dress as robots and shout “Binary code yes! Gender binaries no!” as they address their concerns on Friday.

Iowa has no plans to redo the visiting locker room at Kinnick Stadium.

“To tear that apart and spend the money right now to redo that just seems like a very low priority to me,” University of Iowa president Sally Mason said. “Would a pink locker room have been my first choice? Probably not. But that predates me by quite a little bit.”

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VIDEO: Brian Kelly stumps for eight-team playoff

Notre Dame v Michigan

As you may have heard, a new system for determining an FBS champion will be implemented after the 2014 season, with four teams fighting for the right to be called the first-ever champion of the College Football Playoff.

While we’ve yet to even make it to the first year of the CFP, many people, myself included, feel it’s a matter of when, not if, the field is expanded to at least eight teams.  The reasoning is simple: already astronomical, the money an expanded field would bring in would be too much to overlook as football programs, Power Five and Non-Power Five members alike, look to unearth any and all revenue streams in a sport that will see costs rise in the very near future.

In that vein, there are also five power conferences, which means that at least one of those leagues, and perhaps two, will be on the outside of the playoff looking in any given year.  It won’t take long for a conference or two to get snubbed X amount of times over a period of years before the league or leagues start stumping for an expanded playoffs.

And then there’s the obvious: much like arguing over which teams are Nos. 4/5 is progress over which teams are Nos. 2/3, arguing over which teams are Nos. 8/9 — or even Nos. 16/17 — represents progress over Nos. 4/5.

During an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show Thursday, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly discussed numerous topics, including the playoffs.  Kelly, who began his coaching career at Grand Valley State — a school in Div. II, which utilizes a playoff system to determine a champion — used some of his time with Patrick to push for an eight-team playoff, saying “four’s a great start but I don’t think it’s enough.”  Along with the eight teams, Kelly is in favor of, if there is an expanded playoff, first-round games being held on the campus of the higher seed.

Of course, all of that is at least a few years down the road, but it’s still worth a listen.

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SEC commish Mike Slive undergoes back surgery

Mike Slive AP

One of the most powerful men in all of sports is recovering from what appears to be a minor medical procedure.

Via Twitter, the SEC announced Thursday afternoon that commissioner Mike Slive “underwent successful surgery Tuesday to relieve pain he had experienced in his back for several weeks.” In another tweet, the conference wrote that “Commissioner Slive is receiving great care from his doctors and will be watching SEC games from home this weekend.”

Slive is expected to be released from the hospital in short order.

Under Slive’s stewardship the past 12-plus years, the SEC has seen unprecedented growth in sports in general and football specifically. And specifically as it relates to the amount of money going into membership coffers.

The SEC Network, Slive’s sports pride and joy and a future source of significant revenue for memebrs, will televise its first live football game tonight as Texas A&M travels to Columbia to take on South Carolina.

Slive turned 74 last month, and there’s been talk that he could step down at some point in the near future. In an excellent profile that appeared in USA Today this morning, Slive addressed the retirement question head on when he was asked about a specific timetable for a departure.

“I’ll be done when I’m done. When they don’t want me anymore or when I don’t want to be there,” the commish said.

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Penn State-UCF game a pot of gold for Irish economy

Penn State arrives in Dublin, August 27, 2014

It appears that Icelandic volcano will allow the Penn State-Central Florida game to be played Saturday in Dublin, and that’s a very good thing for the Irish economy.

Peter McKenna, director of Croke Park Stadium, where the Nittany Lions and Knights will meet Saturday, told PennLive.com that the game should bring 20,000 visitors and roughly 30 million euros which, Google’s handy dollar-euro convertor tells me equates to roughly $39.5 million.

McKenna’s estimation is based on an average stay of three to five days, and each tourist spending anywhere from $395 (300 euros) to $527 (400 euros) per day. “I think the real figure will be far higher than that,” McKenna told the paper. “The city is going to get really wound up.”

The 2012 game between Notre Dame and Navy, played in Aviva Stadium before 48,820 fans, generated a reported $131 million for the Irish economy. Former Ireland minister for transport tourism and sport Leo Varadkar told PennLive.com that the Penn State-UCF game (8:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2) is “every bit as important” to the Irish economy as the Notre Dame-Navy game two years ago.

McKenna says his group is using the same as a marketing informercial to a captive American audience. “It’s going to be on early in the morning, no other games are going to be on, and Dublin is going to be showcased to millions of Americans,” he said. “They’ll say ‘Wow, what a great place. Let’s put that on my bucket list.'”

Joyce Polan, manager of Dublin’s Woolshed Pub, sums up the Irish attitude toward their American visitors with a perfect quote. “We love Americans here,” Polan said. “They eat tons of chicken wings.”

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USC RB Anthony Brown ‘couldn’t play for a racist,’ quits team

Syracuse v USC Getty Images

This has not been a very good last 7-10 days for the USC football program.

Late last week athletic director Pat Haden was hospitalized twice for undisclosed medical reasons.  Then, senior captain Josh Shaw turned from hero to fabricator in less than 48 hours, with his future on the team in limbo.  Now?  Some ugly and startling accusations are hurtling out of the Land of Troy.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian confirmed to the local writers covering the team that Anthony Brown has decided to quit the football team.  Prior to that, the senior running back — he had recently been moved from cornerback in a switch he requested — went on Instagram and, well, went here:

Instagram Racist

That social media post appeared to be the impetus for Sarkisian’s announcement.  From Scout.com:

Sark said he was “shocked” at these allegations, called them “ridiculous” and welcomed us to talk to anyone in or around the program and they would tell us that it simply wasn’t true.

Sark said they tried to accommodate Brown, moving him to running back. He was unfortunately hurt but Sark said they still tried to get him to stay on the team. Sark felt he could help the team. Brown refused, quit the team then posted the following on Facebook:

“Couldn’t play for a racist man!!!!!!!!!!!
#FightOn”

Sarkisian is getting set to enter his first season as USC’s head coach and hasn’t even coached a game, yet he’s already seen two messy situations that need cleaning.

Already, though, his players are jumping to their head coach’s defense via Twitter.

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Michigan Stadium rakes in $2.55 million from soccer clash

Already home to the largest crowd to ever witness a college football game, Michigan Stadium added a few more titles to its prodigious in 2014: highest-attended hockey game in U.S. history, and highest-attended soccer game in U.S. history.

It got paid quite well to do so.

According to a report from the Detroit News, Michigan was paid $2 million by promoted Relevant Sports to lease the Big House for the Aug. 2 match between European soccer superpowers Manchester United and Real Madrid. The Wolverines were also paid $550,000 for making the stadium available for practice the day prior to the match.

Manchester United won the game 3-1, thereby clinching a spot in the International Cup Final, before a crowd of 109,318.

Michigan was also received a $5 million check for hosting the NHL’s Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, where 105,491 showed up to see the Toronto Maple Leafs defeat the Detroit Red Wings. The college football attendance record was set when 115,109 spectators watched Michigan topple Notre Dame on Sept. 7, 2013.

Athletics director Dave Brandon told the Detroit News he’d be interested in renting out the Big House – provided the right event comes along. “It would be good to have a big event once a year or every other year and stage a big event in the stadium, as long as it’s a big event,” Brandon told the paper. “I view these things as a wonderful opportunity to bring new people to the stadium.”

Brandon also reported the soccer game generated $25 million for the Ann Arbor economy and, assuming that figure is anywhere close to accurate, there is no reason not to do so, especially considering the Big House sits empty approximately 358 days per year.

Michigan plays seven home games in 2014, beginning with Appalachian State on Saturday (12 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

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Ethan Farmer cleared by NCAA, can play for Tar Heels

Miami v North Carolina Getty Images

Finally, some good news on the personnel front for North Carolina.

Initially via Twitter, UNC announced that starting defensive tackle Ethan Farmer has been cleared to play for the Tar Heels this season by the NCAA.  An undisclosed eligibility issue has been hanging over Farmer’s head throughout summer camp, even as he’s continued to practice with the team.

As late as Tuesday after practice, head coach Larry Fedora was intimating that he didn’t expect a ruling on Farmer’s availability prior to the opener against Liberty Saturday.

“We are thankful to have Ethan cleared to play and I know he’s excited to have this behind him,” said Fedora in a statement that was released after the team broke the news on Twitter. “Ethan is our only experienced player on the defensive line and we’ll be counting on him for senior leadership in that group. He has practiced hard during the preseason and has not let this situation affect his preparation for the season.”

Farmer started all 13 games for the Tar Heels in 2013, and is expected to be the starter in 2014 as well.  Thanks to departures since the end of last year, including two this summer, Farmer is the only returning starter on the defensive line.

UNC had previously announced that four defensive players have been suspended for the opener for violating unspecified team rules.  Those suspensions came on the heels of a hazing report earlier in the week.

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CFT 2014 Preseason Top 25: ‘Noles look to go back-to-back

Jimbo Fisher, Jameis Winston AP

Over seven months ago, Florida State staked its claim to the last-ever Bowl Championship Series Trophy. The question now is, can the Seminoles win the first-ever College Football Playoff trophy?

At least as far as the CFT writers are concerned, the answer was a resounding “hell yes!!!” as all three of us — Brent Sobleski, Kevin McGuire and I — placed FSU at No. 1 in our preseason Top 25 rankings.

In somewhat of a surprise, Oregon was next up at No. 2, followed by Alabama, No. 2 in the Associated Press and coaches’ poll, at No. 3, Ohio State at No. 4 and Oklahoma at No. 5. Were the poll to be conducted today, there’s a very good chance the Buckeyes would slip to the bottom of the Top 10 — or even out of it — on the strength of Braxton Miller‘s season-ending injury.

As for the remainder of the Top 10, UCLA checks in at No. 6, followed by, in order from Nos. 7-10, South Carolina, Auburn, Baylor and Stanford.

The only Non-Power Five conference team to make the preseason cut was the Mountain West’s Boise State at No. 24.

Conference-wise, the SEC leads all leagues with six in the Top 25, the lowest of which is Ole Miss at No. 17. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have five teams each, with the ACC (four) and Big 12 (three) bringing up the Power-Five rear.

For comparison, the AP poll had eight SEC teams in the Top 25 and six from the Pac-12. The coaches’ poll also had six from the Pac-12, while only seven from the SEC.

Below are the complete set of CFT preseason top 25 rankings. And, for a repository on all of our 2014 preseason previews, click HERE.

No. 1 Florida State
No. 2 Oregon
No. 3 Alabama
No. 4 Ohio State
No. 5 Oklahoma
No. 6 UCLA
No. 7 South Carolina
No. 8 Auburn
No. 9 Baylor
No. 10 Stanford
No. 11 Michigan State
No. 12 Georgia
No. 13 LSU
No. 14 USC
No. 15 Notre Dame
No. 16 Clemson
No. 17 Ole Miss
No. 18 Wisconsin
No. 19 Duke
No. 20 Texas
No. 21 Nebraska
No. 22 Arizona State
No. 23 North Carolina
No. 24 Boise State
No. 25 Iowa

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Mike Gundy confirms J.W. Walsh to start at QB vs. FSU

J.W. Walsh AP

It’s been all but a foregone conclusion throughout summer camp that J.W. Walsh would get the nod as Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback in the opener.  After all, Walsh has the experience edge and took most of the reps with the first-team offense.

Still, Mike Gundy has been reticent to publicly tab his man under center — until Wednesday.

During a radio interview, Gundy confirmed that, yes, Walsh will be the first quarterback to trot out onto the field when OSU opens the season against No. 1 Florida State Saturday night in Arlington, Tex.  Said the head coach, “JW has taken the majority of the reps and will be the guy who goes out there and starts for us.”

Walsh had been involved in a nominal competition with Daxx Garman and Mason Rudolph throughout camp even as the latter two worked sparingly with the No. 1 offense. When it comes down to it, Walsh’s experience is the trump card.

In 2012, Walsh was named the Big 12’s Offensive Freshman of the Year. In 2013, he started five of the eight games in which he played. Neither Garman (a redshirt junior) nor Rudolph (a four-star true freshman) have thrown a pass at the collegiate level.

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