Maryland v Florida State

FSU climbs two in coaches’ poll


Seeing as none of the Top 14 teams from last week’s USA Today coaches’ poll lost, there was very little change, as expected, in this week’s release.

What change there was, though, was at least mildly interesting.

Florida State, on the strength of its 63-0 pasting of previously unbeaten Maryland, climbed over Georgia and Louisville into the No. 6 spot in the Week 6 coaches’ poll.  The Seminoles have seen a steady rise in the polls this year, starting the season at No. 12 before moving to No. 10 after the opener; No. 9 after Week 2; and into the No. 8 hole for the past three weeks.

No. 1 Alabama again had the most first-place votes, although the Tide lost two more to No. 2 Oregon and now holds 57 of them.  The Ducks garnered four first-place votes while No. 4 Clemson had the lone remaining.

No. 3 Ohio State, despite winning on the road against a ranked and undefeated team in Northwestern, saw their point total drop from 1,397 to 1,356.

Stanford, thanks to its 3-point home win over unbeaten Washington, remains at No. 5, with Texas A&M and Oklahoma holding serve at No. 9 and No. 10, respectively.  Georgia and Louisville, despite winning, dropped one spot each to No. 7 for the former and No. 7 for the latter.

The coaches actually showed respect to Northwestern and Washington in their losses to higher-ranked teams.  The Wildcats only dropped three spots to No. 18 after the three-10-point loss to the Buckeyes, while the Huskies slipped just one to No. 19.

Florida was the only team other than Florida State and Northwestern to move up or down more than one spot, exiting Week 6 at No. 17 after entering No. 19.

Just one team fell out of the Top 25, with Arizona State dropping out after its loss to Notre Dame.  The Sun Devils were replaced by Virginia Tech (No. 25),  The Hokies returned to the coaches’ poll for the first time since the Sept. 23 release last year.

There are currently 10 one-loss teams in the Top 25, with five coming from the SEC alone.  Those five also serve as the highest-ranked of the one-loss teams.  The Big Ten is the only other conference with more than one one-loss team in the rankings.

Conversely, there are just two undefeated teams that are unranked and, surprisingly, one of them comes from the SEC: 5-0 Missouri.  The AAC’s Houston is the only other of the 17 unbeaten team that is left out of the coaches’ poll.

(Writer’s note: Apparently, there was a glitch in USA Today’s online poll. Ohio State and Clemson are not tied at No. 3. The body of this post has been changed to reflect their error, although we’re still waiting to get the proper point totals to plug into the full set of rankings. Thanks in advance for your cooperation in this matter.)

(Updated writer’s note: USA Today has indeed updated its poll and the totals you see below are now correct. We apologize for any inconvenience and/or angst this may have caused you.)

Coaches' Poll Week Six

Kansas State holds off Texas, 24-21

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 28:  Quarterback Jesse Ertz #17 of the Kansas State Wildcats warms up before the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines at Sun Devil Stadium on December 28, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona.  The Wildcats defeated the Wolverines 31-14.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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It wasn’t pretty, but Kansas State (4-3, 2-2 Big 12) will take it. The Wildcats took control of the time of possession in the first half and held off a bit of a second-half push by Texas (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) to pick up a 24-21 victory Saturday afternoon.

Kansas State certainly gave Texas opportunities. The Wildcats had three turnovers, but Texas followed those Kansas State turnovers with two turnover-on-downs and one missed field goal. Jesse Ertz was efficient in the passing game for Kansas State, completing 20 of 27 pass attempts for 171 yards and a touchdown (one interception). Ertz also accounted for two rushing touchdowns and 78 rushing yards.

Despite missing on a number of opportunities, Texas did still manage to push Kansas State to the end of the game with a pair of second-half touchdowns. Shane Buechele‘s six-yard touchdown pass to Dorian Leonard in the back of the end zone was upheld by a video replay and cut the Kansas State lead to three after an extra-point conversion. Buechele completed 17-pf-24 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns. D'Onta Foreman led all players with 124 rushing yards, and Tyrone Swoopes added a rushing touchdown. Charles Jones was Kansas State’s leading rusher with 81 yards on 12 attempts.

Texas will return to Austin next week to host Baylor. Entering this weekend, Baylor as undefeated and looking to make a push in the Big 12. Texas stunned a depleted Baylor last year, so Baylor will be looking for revenge. Once again, Texas head coach Charlie Strong looks to be in need of a big win to save his job.

Kansas State hits the road next week for an early kickoff at Iowa State. The cyclones entered this week with a record of 1-6, with a record of 0-4 in Big 12 play.

WATCH: Purdue honors the late Sam Foltz prior to Nebraska game

LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMBER 10: Students of the Nebraska Cornhuskers honor deceased player Sam Foltz with a banner before the game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Memorial Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Wyoming 52-14. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
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The Big Ten has fully embraced honoring the memory of Sam Foltz, and Purdue became the latest to do as much.

Like Illinois before them, the Purdue captains presented their counterparts at Nebraska with a No. 27 jersey at midfield as the two teams met for the ceremonial coin toss prior to the Big Ten contest.  The coin used, incidentally, featured Foltz on one side and Mike Sadler on the other.

Foltz, who would’ve been Nebraska’s punter this season, and Sadler, a former Michigan State punter, were killed in a July car accident on their way home from a kick camp in Wisconsin. LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye was injured in the wreck, but is kicking this season for the Tigers and honoring both by wearing special cleats.

Jeff George Jr. will reportedly get the start for Illini vs. Michigan

Illinois athletics

If you’re in the mood to feel old, here ya go.

Illinois has been hit hard by injuries at the quarterback position, with season-opening starter Wes Lunt dealing with a back issue while Chayce Crouch, last week’s starter in place of Lunt, hurt his shoulder against Rutgers.  Neither of those signal-callers are expected to be available for today’s game against Michigan.

So, just who will line up under center against the No. 3 team in the country in the Big House?  According to the Champaign News-Gazette, that honor will fall to Jeff George Jr., the son of former Illini great Jeff George.

The 6-3, 205-pound George was a two-star recruit in 2014 who took a grayshirt that year before enrolling at Illinois in 2015.  He took a redshirt his true freshman season, and has not thrown a pass at the collegiate level.

Obviously, this will mark his first career start, and it will come against a team with which his father had some familiarity.  From the News-Gazette:

George’s dad, who was scheduled to be at today’s game, started twice against Michigan in the late 1980s.

He had 135 yards in a 1988 loss and threw for 253 yards in a 24-10 loss in 1989 at Memorial Stadium.

Report: Christian McCaffery back for Stanford vs. Colorado

PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 02:  Christian McCaffrey #5 of the Stanford Cardinal runs with the ball against the Kansas State Wildcats at Stanford Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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If Stanford wants to exit Week 8 still entertaining (slim) hopes of repeating as Pac-12 North and conference champs, they’re almost certainly in must-win territory against Colorado today.  Getting their star running back back would certainly help, and it appears that’s what’s exactly going to happen.

In a tweet a short time ago, Bruce Feldman of reported that “Christian McCaffrey is expected back today” for the Buffs game.  Earlier in the week, McCaffrey’s return had been uncertain as he was extremely limited in practice.

In the third quarter of Stanford’s Week 6 loss to Washington State, McCaffrey sustained an unspecified injury that knocked him out for the remainder of the game. He was also sidelined for last Saturday’s win over Notre Dame.

A finalist for the 2015 Heisman Trophy, McCaffrey led the Cardinal in rushing (520 yards), rushing touchdowns (three), yards per carry (5.3), receptions (18), punt returns (8.0 average) and kick returns (22.8 average) prior to the injury that cost him back-to-back games.

His 188.2 all-purpose yards per game was third nationally, but he has not scored a touchdown since Week 2 and had just 84 rushing yards total the last two weeks pre-injury.