Aside from Ducks-Bucks flip, status quo for coaches’ poll Top Five


Thanks to just two head-to-head matchups of ranked teams, and just a couple of “upsets” of ranked teams, the Week 2 USA Today coaches’ poll has taken on an eerily similar look to the one released after Week 1.

As expected, the coaches’ Top Five has exactly the same makeup it did last Tuesday, albeit with one slight adjustment: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Stanford and No. 5 Clemson.

Last week, the Buckeyes were No. 2 and the Ducks No. 3 according to the 62 coaches who make up the poll.  OSU also lost one of its three first-place votes to OU, with the Tide, as was the case last week, claiming 58.  Texas A&M received the remaining first-place nod

The first significant change comes at No. 6, previously held by South Carolina.  Following the loss to Georgia, the Gamecocks tumbled all the way out of the Top 10 to No. 14.  The Bulldogs, on the other hand, moved up two spots on the strength of that win into the Top 10 at No. 10.

Texas A&M (No. 6), Louisville (No. 7) and Florida State (No. 9) all moved up one spot each.  LSU gained three spots from last week and currently sits at No. 8.

Miami, No. 24 last week, moved all the way up to T-No. 18 with its win over Florida.  The Gators tumbled down 11 spots to No. 20.

Michigan was also one of the biggest climbers of the week, going from No. 17 to No. 12 following its home win over then-No. 13 Notre Dame.  The Irish, on the other hand, fell all the way down to No. 21 after sitting at No. 13.

Texas (No. 16 last week) and USC (No. 22) both fell out of the Top 25 after embarrassing losses.  Those two teams were replaced by Baylor (No. 22) and Ole Miss (No. 25).

USA Today Coaches' Poll Week Two

Nebraska players were pumped to go to Kendrick Lamar concert thanks to tickets from Mike Riley

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Nebraska coach Mike Riley has the well-earned reputation of being the nicest guy in college football and his players can probably give him a wholehearted endorsement after this week.

That’s because the Cornhuskers were able to attend rapper Kendrick Lamar’s concert in Lincoln on Friday night after their coach surprised the whole team with tickets to the show. Naturally, said players were quite pumped to be going.

As cool as taking the team to a Kendrick Lamar concert is, I personally can’t wait to see what one-upmanship this inspires across college football. One can already imagine Jim Harbaugh taking the team to see Migos in London next summer…

Indiana freshman DB Bryant Fitzgerald ruled a non-qualifier after compliance error

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A key member of Indiana’s recruiting class won’t be able to play for the Hoosiers this season as a result of a serious compliance gaff at the school.

Freshman defensive back Bryant Fitzgerald was ruled by the NCAA to be a non-qualifier according to a statement released by the program and, as a result, will now be unable to play or practice for the team. A waiver was requested but both it and the appeal were denied.

At the heart of the matter seems to be the IU compliance office incorrectly advising Fitzgerald what classes to take in order to be eligible right away at the school in the eyes of the NCAA. As the above statement and a later one from athletic director Fred Glass make clear, this was a mistake on the school’s part that will cost the defensive back a full season and not about anything he did or didn’t do.

Fitzgerald was a three-star recruit coming out of high school in nearby Avon, Ind. but was expected to make a serious run at playing time given past comments by head coach Tom Allen. It certainly seems like a bummer all around for player, school and coach but the situation is what it is at this point.

Lane Kiffin lands yet another talented transfer in WVU wideout Jovon Durante

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We can joke about Lane Kiffin turning FAU into the real ‘Last Chance U’ in 2017 but… it’s kind of happening for real.

In addition to adding several alums from the Netflix show, the Owls have been stocking the roster left and right with FBS transfers this offseason and added yet another just before the season starts in West Virginia wide receiver Jovan Durante.

Durante has started 17 games in his first two seasons in Morgantown, racking up 331 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore in 2016. He was expected to assume a starting role once again this year but didn’t report to the Mountaineers preseason camp for what WVU coach Dana Holgorsen described as personal issues.

The South Florida native will have to sit out the 2017 season but will have two seasons of eligibility for the Owls after he redshirts this year.

BYU linebacker looking to transfer to Utah after being forced to redshirt

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When BYU announced this week that linebacker Francis Bernard was going to redshirt this season, only a few people seemed to think anything was really amiss. That does not seem to be the case anymore just a week before the Cougars start their season.

The Salt Lake Tribune talked with Bernard’s brother, James, about the matter and it appears the family is not too happy over the situation and is now looking to transfer. While that wouldn’t normally be much to write home about, the fact that the younger Bernard wants to move up the road to Holy War rival Utah is bound to raise some eyebrows.

“Just to be clear: My brother wants to transfer, regardless,” James Bernard told the paper. “We talk almost every day. He just doesn’t want to stay there any more.”

He went on to say that the reason that first prompted the redshirt announcement was not related to academics or playing time but a potential Honor Code issue with the school. What exactly that violation was however, is not exactly being made clear by the program to the family.

Bernard was suspended from the team’s bowl game last year for an unspecified violation of team rules but was given every indication that he would be back in the good graces of the team prior to preseason camp. That is obviously not the question and it appears a brewing transfer battle to move from Provo to Salt Lake City will soon be taking place between two bitter rivals over the junior linebacker.