FSU climbs two in coaches’ poll

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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

Chris Spielman’s son one of five Div. III players facing felony charges over alleged hazing

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One of the greatest players to ever pull on an Ohio State uniform has seen his son show up in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.

Arrest warrants were issued this week by a DuPage County (Ill.) judge for five Wheaton College football players — James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, Benjamin Pettway, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos. Noah Spielman is the son of Chris Spielman, the former Buckeye All-American linebacker and College Football Hall of Famer who is now an analyst for FOX Sports.

All five Div. III players are facing felony charges of aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint.  $50,000 bonds for each player has been set.

As of late Tuesday night, none of those involved had turned themselves in, although they are expected to at some point in the near future.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the charges stem from an alleged hazing incident involving a 19-year-old freshman at the school. From the Tribune:

The student told investigators that he was watching the NCAA basketball tournament in a dorm room on March 19, 2016, when several teammates entered the room and tackled him, according to the documents. The freshman kicked his legs and yelled at them to stop, only to be punched and have his bare legs and wrists wrapped in duct tape, the victim said.

The players put a pillow case over the 19-year-old freshman’s head and took him from the residence hall. Though there was a “root beer kegger” taking place in the dorm that night, no students or college employees intervened as the freshman was carried out of the building, according to the records.

The freshman told investigators that he was placed in the back seat of a teammate’s vehicle and held down by at least two players while others piled into the vehicle. After the vehicle began moving, the players played Middle Eastern music and made offensive comments about Muslims, according to the victim’s account.

At one point, the players suggested to the freshman that he had been kidnapped by Muslims who wanted to fornicate with goats, the teen told investigators. They patted his foot and suggested he would be their “goat” for the evening, the records said.

The freshman told investigators that his teammates restrained him with more duct tape during the drive, pulled down his shorts and underwear, then repeatedly tried to insert an object into his rectum. After the freshman yelled at them to stop, he was beaten, he said.

The alleged victim claimed that he sustained shoulder injuries during the incident that have thus far led to two surgeries.

“This has had a devastating effect on my life,” the unnamed victim said in a statement to the Tribune. “What was done to me should never occur in connection with a football program or any other activity. … I am confident that the criminal prosecution will provide a fair and just punishment to the men who attacked me.”

Kregel, Pettway and Spielman all played in this past Saturday’s football game. The school has launched an internal investigation to conduct a review of its anti-hazing policy.

“We are profoundly saddened that any member of our community could be mistreated in any way,” a school spokesperson told the newspaper. “Wheaton remains committed to providing Christ-centered development programs and training to all our students.”

Iowa loses RB James Butler ‘at least through the bye’

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Iowa sat Akrum Wadley for much of Saturday’s 31-14 win over North Texas after he was flagged for a (frankly ridiculous) excessive celebration penalty for high-stepping his way to the Kinnick Stadium end zone. (The score was wiped off the board, but Iowa completed the drive with a touchdown anyway.) The Hawkeyes will have no choice but to give him carries now.

Running back James Butler (20) has injured an elbow that will keep him out for the next few weeks.

“I think James will be out through the bye week,” head coach Kirk Ferentz said, via Hawkeye Report. “It will be a couple of weeks before we get him back.”

A Nevada transfer with two 1,000-yard seasons to his credit, Butler was a graduate transfer addition to the Hawkeyes, announcing his transfer on July 4. He ranks second on the club with 36 carries for 158 yards thus far in 2017, carrying a season-high 16 times for 74 yards before the injury.

Butler’s carries figure to go to fellow senior Wadley and freshmen Toren Young and Ivory Kelly-Martin. Wadley leads the club with 60 carries for 258 yards and a touchdown, and Young and Kelly-Martin have combined to rush 30 times for 152 yards and two scores. Young made his debut in Wadley’s absence in the second half Saturday, rushing 19 times for 78 yards.

The 3-0 Hawkeyes host No. 4 Penn State on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, ABC), then visit undefeated Michigan State the week after (4 p.m. ET, FOX). Iowa will host Illinois before its Oct. 14 bye week.

Lincoln Riley to earn $3.1 million a year as OU head coach

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Lincoln Riley won’t be paid nearly as much as Bob Stoops was as Oklahoma’s head coach, but he’ll earn significantly more than he did as the Sooners’ offensive coordinator.

Oklahoma approved and released Riley’s new deal on Tuesday, a 5-year contract that pays him $3.1 million annually and rises $200,000 a year. Stoops made $5.5 million in his last season, according to USA Today, while Riley earned $900,000 as offensive coordinator.

Perks include 25 hours of private airplane use, not one but two private golf club membership, and bonuses ranging from $25,000 for winning Big 12 coach of the year honors to $250,000 for a national championship.

Riley is 3-0 in his young tenure, already proving himself to be a tremendous bargain for the Sooners.

SEC releases 2018 schedule

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The SEC released its 2018 slate on Tuesday, beginning the weekend of Sept. 1 and running through the SEC Championship on Saturday, Dec. 1. It would be entirely pointless to break down winners and losers of the ’18 slate considering we don’t really even know who’s good yet in 2017 — other than Alabama — and we especially don’t know who will be good in ’18 — other than ‘Bama, of course.

But we can point out some dates that look interesting as we sit here on Tuesday, Sept. 19, the year of our Lord 2017. And, no, intra-divisional games don’t count, since they are played every year.

  • Auburn vs. Washington — Sept. 1 (at Atlanta)
  • Alabama vs. Louisville — Sept. 1 (at Orlando)
  • LSU vs. Miami — Sept. 1 (at Dallas)
  • Tennessee vs. West Virginia (at Charlotte)
  • Clemson at Texas A&M — Sept. 8
  • Vanderbilt at Notre Dame — Sept. 15
  • Florida at Mississippi State — Sept. 29
  • Tennessee at Auburn — Oct. 13

Consult the full schedule here.