Luke Joeckel

Jake Matthews headlines Outland Trophy Watch list


Given annually to the nation’s top interior lineman on either side of the ball, the Outland Trophy Thursday morning became the latest in an ongoing line of awards to release their preseason watch list.

This year, 75 players make up the initial grouping of players to watch, including the lone Football Writers Association of America first-team All-American from last year to make the list — Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews.  Matthews’ teammate, Luke Joeckel, became the first Aggie to take home the Outland Trophy last year, a few months before being selected No. 2 overall in the April NFL draft.

All three finalists from a year ago — Joeckel, Alabama’s Barrett Jones and North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper — have gone on to the NFL.

Of the 75 players, 25 are offensive tackles; 20 are defensive tackles; 19 are guards; and 11 are centers.

Stanford was the only team with three players represented (Kevin DanserCameron Fleming and David Yankey).  11 other teams had two players each.

Conference-wise, the SEC leads the way with 16 players on the initial watch list.  The only conferences in double figures are the Pac-12 (12), ACC (11), Big Ten (10) and Big 12 (10).  All told, all 10 FBS conferences are represented, as well as three players from two different independent programs (two from Notre Dame, one from BYU).

Below is the complete 75-player watch list:

2013 Outland Trophy Watch List

Malzahn not ready to name Sean White Auburn’s starter vs. Kentucky just yet

Sean White
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Auburn got back in the win column after two straight losses. While winning a game must have felt nice, head coach Gus Malzahn  is not prepared to say whether or not Sean White will be the team’s starting quarterback moving forward.

“I thought he competed; he did some good things,” Malzahn said after the game Saturday, per “We’ll take this thing week-to-week like we’ve been doing it. We’re starting to kind of get good answers to the questions that we needed.”

White replaced Jeremy Johnson at quarterback last week against Mississippi State. Johnson, a preseason Heisman favorite for some, struggled out of the gate of the season with six interceptions thrown and a lost fumble. That forced Malzahn to make a change at quarterback after a woeful performance against FCS Jacksonville State and a loss to LSU. White lost his first game as a starter against Mississippi State but the offense has been marginally better. White has yet to throw a touchdown pass in his first two starts.

Against San Jose State, White completed six of 10 pass attempts for 1087 yards. Auburn’s running game is what helped push the Tigers by the Spartans, with Peyton Barber scoring all five touchdowns in the 35-21 victory. Auburn’s next game is in two weeks against Kentucky, on Thursday, October 15 in Lexington.

Big changes in AP poll, but Ohio State still comfortable on top

Ezekiel Elliott, Cardale Jones

The Ohio State Buckeyes remain atop the AP Top 25 this week, but the Big 12’s top contenders have bumped Michigan State down two spots. No. 2 TCU picked up five first-place votes and managed to stay ahead of No. 3 Baylor despite the Bears getting 10 first-place votes.

No. 5 Utah picked up seven first-place votes and No. 9 Texas A&M received the last first-place vote available. The big mover in this week’s AP poll was No. 11 Florida, with the Gators jumping 14 spots in the poll after dismantling Ole Miss Saturday night. The Rebels dropped from No. 3 down to No. 14. No. 15 Notre Dame fell nine spots after losing at No. 6 Clemson. No. 19 Georgia also tumbled this week, down 11 spots after being blown out at home by Alabama. It was also a rough week for No. 20 UCLA, falling 13 spots after losing to Arizona State at home.

New teams in the AP poll this week include No. 22 Iowa, No. 24 Toledo and No. 25 Boise State. Iowa and Boise State also made appearances in the coaches poll earlier today, but Toledo did not. Memphis appears in the coach spill but is the third team in its own conference in the others receiving votes category, behind Houston and Temple. Memphis tied with division foe Navy in that category as well.

  1. Ohio State (38 first-place votes)
  2. TCU (5)
  3. Baylor (10)
  4. Michigan State
  5. Utah (7)
  6. Clemson
  7. LSU
  8. Alabama
  9. Texas A&M (1)
  10. Oklahoma
  11. Florida
  12. Florida State
  13. Northwestern
  14. Ole Miss
  15. Notre Dame
  16. Stanford
  17. USC
  18. Michigan
  19. Georgia
  20. UCLA
  21. Oklahoma State
  22. Iowa
  23. Cal
  24. Toledo
  25. Boise State