Nick Saban

Status quo for Top Five of AP poll

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For the second consecutive week, very few upsets has led to very few changes in the Associated Press‘ weekly poll.

In its release following Week 3 of the 2013 season, the media opted to keep the Top Five the way it was after Week 2: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Stanford.

There was movement when it came to first-place votes, however, as the Tide picked up two from a week ago and now carry 59 of the 60.  Those two votes came at the expense of Texas A&M and Clemson.  The other first-place vote went to the Ducks.

The Tide picking up support came at the expense of the Aggies, which dropped four spots to No. 10 following their home loss to the two-time defending BCS champions.

LSU took advantage of A&M’s slide, moving up two spots to No. 6.  Louisville (No. 7) and Georgia (No. 9) stayed in place from a week ago, while Florida State climbed one to No. 8 to round out the Top 10.

Matching the Aggies’ slide was Michigan, and that came after a win.  Thanks to the Wolverines’ close escape against woeful Akron in the Big House, AP voters pushed UM from No. 11 after a Week 2 win over Notre Dame to No. 15.  Ole Miss (No. 21) and UCLA (No. 13) moved up four and three spots, respectively, on the strength of non-conference road wins.

Nebraska, which coughed up an 18-point lead in Lincoln to the Bruins, tumbled completely out of the polls.  Fellow Big Ten member Wisconsin stayed inside the Top 25 despite its bizarre loss to Arizona State, moving down to No. 25 from No. 21.  The Sun Devils moved into the Top 25 (No. 23), as did Texas Tech (No. 25).

Interestingly, there are six teams in the current Top 25 with one loss, and four of them come from the SEC (Georgia, Texas A&M, South Carolina and Florida).  Three of those one-loss SEC teams are ranked in the Top 12.  The other two ranked teams with a loss are Wisconsin and Notre Dame.

Below is the complete AP Top 25 poll for Week 3 of the 2013 season:

AP Week Three Poll 2013

Ole Miss NCAA case to cost Texas assistant his job?

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 05:  The Texas Longhorns mascot "Bevo" is walked onto the field before the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on January 5, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
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It appears the tentacles of an NCAA investigation centered in Oxford could ultimately have an impact on Austin as well.

247Sports.com was the first to report that Texas and defensive backs coach Chris Vaughn are expected to part ways.  The recruiting website writes that “[i]t is unclear whether Vaughn will resign or be fired.”

Subsequent to that initial report, multiple media outlets have reported the same.

It surfaced late last month that the Ole Miss football program, the subject of an NCAA investigation, had received a Notice of Allegations from The Association regarding alleged violations in three sports, including football. There were 28 total violations spread out amongst the sports, 13 of which reportedly involved football — with nine of those occurring since Hugh Freeze took over for Houston Nutt in December of 2011.

Vaughn was a member of Nutt’s Rebels coaching staff from 2008-11 when four of the alleged NCAA violations occurred, and from which his current employment issue currently stems:

Vaughn, who was an assistant at Ole Miss six years ago, may have been implicated in part of the NCAA allegations recently levied against Ole Miss.

Vaughn coached for the Rebels from 2008 to 2011 and served as the team’s defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator. Sources tell Horns247 the facts against Vaughn “were damning.”

And then there’s this ominous-sounding Twitter update from Brian Davis of the Austin-American Statesman:

Vaughn has spent the past two seasons with Charlie Strong and the Longhorns, and has been a key recruiting component for the program.  In between his stints at Ole Miss and Texas, Vaughn was the cornerbacks coach at Memphis from 2012-13.

Zac Morgan second FCS grad transfer added to Ducks’ roster

PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 11:  The Oregon Ducks mascot performs before the game with the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on October 11, 2014 in Pasadena, California.  Oregon won 42-30.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Oregon has already landed FCS transfer Dakota Prukop this offseason. Now, the Ducks have landed another FCS player who could potentially provide protection for the quarterback this coming season as well.

The Ducks announced via Twitter Wednesday that Zac Morgan has been added to the football roster. The offensive lineman began his collegiate career playing at Dayton of the FCS.

The upcoming season will be Morgan’s final year of college football, and he will be eligible to play immediately for the Ducks.

The Ducks will be getting a lineman who has the experience to step in and contribute right away.

Over the past three seasons, the 6-7, 280-pound Morgan started 26 games, including all 12 at left tackle in 2015. Following this past season, Morgan was named to the first-team All-Pioneer Football league squad.

Miami RB Walter Tucker opts for a transfer from The U

Walter Tucker
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Seeking a better opportunity for playing time, Walter Tucker has bid adieu to The U.

Reports began to circulate Wednesday that Tucker was likely leaving Miami, with the player taking to social media to reveal he is “no longer a #cane.”  A day later, the Hurricanes confirmed in a press release that Tucker has left the team to pursue other collegiate opportunities.

The running back came to a final decision following a Wednesday meeting with first-year UM head coach Mark Richt.

“Walter and I spoke yesterday and he felt like he would have a better opportunity to finish his college football career and education at another university,” Richt said in a statement. “I wish him the very best.”

Tucker played in 32 games the past three seasons, mainly on special teams. He carried the ball three times for eight yards in 2015, and caught one pass for eight yards the year before.

It’s expected Tucker will play his final season of college football — he’ll be a fourth-year senior — at the FCS level.

Rice replaces A&M on its 2019 schedule with… Texas

AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 12:  Darik Dillard #1 of the Rice Owls breaks free against the Texas Longhorns during the second quarter on September 12, 2015 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
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Texas and Texas A&M can’t seem to get together to renew their rivalry on the football field, but the two programs still find their scheduling paths crossing every now and again.

Texas and Rice announced in separate press releases Thursday afternoon that the two schools have reached an agreement on a new three-game series that will renew the in-state rivalry yet again.  The first game of that series will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston on an undetermined date in 2019. The final two games will be played in Austin during the 2021 and 2023 seasons.

The 2019 game on Rice’s end will replace a previously-scheduled matchup with A&M.  According to Rice, A&M requested a release from that game because of a scheduling conflict.

The Longhorns and Owls have met 94 times previously, the most recent coming just this past season.  Those 94 games represent the most Rice has ever played against a single opponent.

UT owns a 72-21-1 edge in the all-time series.  The Owls only win in the series since 1965 came in October of 1994.