Art Briles, Paul Rhoads

Baylor cracks coaches’ poll Top Five as change reigns


Just a few hours ahead of the first release in the final year of the BCS, and as expected based upon the carnage Saturday, change is at the forefront of the latest USA Today coaches’ poll.

In the poll that constitutes one-third of the BCS rankings, there are five new faces inside the Top Ten alone.  In are Baylor (No. 5, from No. 12), Miami (No. 6, from No. 11), Missouri (No. 7, from No. 14), Stanford (No. 8, from No. 13) and Texas Tech (No. 9, from 15).

Exiting the Top 10 are last week’s Nos. 6-10: Louisville (No. 16), Texas A&M (No. 15), LSU (T-No. 13), South Carolina (No. 20) and UCLA (No. 11).

Clemson, which lost to then-No. 5 Florida State, fell from No. 3 to No. 10.

As has been the case every week this season, Alabama is a solid No. 1.  The Tide is followed by Oregon at No. 2 and Florida State, which leapfrogged Ohio State, is at No. 3 coming of its thumping of the Tigers.  The Buckeyes dropped back one to No. 4.

Alabama actually lost one first-place vote, coming in this week with 57.  Oregon, meanwhile, picked up one vote and now has four, while Florida State presumably picked up Clemson’s first-place vote from a week ago.

As is ofttimes the case when it comes to the coaches’ poll, there is some, to be kind, head-scratching and downright inexplicable placement of teams.  Two-loss A&M, which lost to one-loss Auburn just yesterday, is two spots higher than the Tigers.  One-loss Louisville, which lost to one-loss UCF Thursday, is nine spots higher than the Golden Knights.

Making the slottings even more maddening?  Those were conference road wins for Auburn and UCF.

Despite all of the tumult, a pair of unbeaten teams barely budged in this week’s rankings: the MWC’s Fresno State moved up one to No. 18, while the MAC’s Northern Illinois also moved up one to No. 23.

Dropping out this week are Florida (No. 22), Georgia (No. 16) and Washington (No. 25).  They were replaced by Auburn (No. 17), Wisconsin (No. 24) and UCF (No. 25).

1. Alabama (7-0) (57)
2. Oregon (7-0) (4)
3. Florida State (6-0) (1)
4. Ohio State (7-0)
5. Baylor (6-0)
6. Miami (Fla.) (6-0)
7. Missouri (7-0)
8. Stanford (6-1)
9. Texas Tech (7-0)
10. Clemson (6-1)
11. UCLA (5-1)
12. Oklahoma (6-1)
13. (tie) Oklahoma State (5-1)
13. (tie) LSU (6-2)
15. Texas A&M (5-2)
16. Louisville (6-1)
17. Auburn (6-1)
18. Fresno State (6-0)
19. Virginia Tech (6-1)
20. South Carolina (5-2)
21. Nebraska (5-1)
22. Northern Illinois (7-0)
23. Michigan (6-1)
24. Wisconsin (5-2)
25. Central Florida (5-1)

Dalvin Cook remains day-to-day for FSU vs. Miami

Dalvin Cook
Associated Press
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One of the more underrated storylines heading into Week 6 continued its tack of uncertainty Tuesday.

During the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, Dalvin Cook tweaked his hamstring and didn’t return to the contest.  The sophomore running back was initially labeled as day-to-day for this weekend’s game against Miami, and that hasn’t changed as Jimbo Fisher reaffirmed that Cook’s status for the in-state rivalry game remains up in the air.

We’ll keep waiting,” the head coach said, adding that, because of Cook’s knowledge of the offense, he could sit out of practice the entire week and still take the field against the Hurricanes.

“He knows what to do, you can keep him healthy and do that there’s no doubt about that,” Fisher said.

Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th. The Seminoles’ No. 2 rusher, Mario Pender, is still dealing with the aftereffects of a collapsed lung that will sideline him for at least another week.

Ryan Simmons, one of Okla. St.’s ‘unquestioned leaders,’ out for rest of 2015

AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 16:  Ryan Simmons #52 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys brings down Jaxon Shipley #8 of the Texas Longhorns during a game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on November 16, 2013 in Austin, Texas.  Oklahoma State won the game 38-13.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Oklahoma State’s defense has taken what will likely prove to be a very significant and impactful blow.

On Twitter as well as Instagram late Tuesday night, Ryan Simmons announced that he “recently tore my MCL & PCL which will require surgery.” As a result, Simmons, who was injured in the Week 5 win over Kansas State, will miss the remainder of the 2015 season, even as OSU has yet to officially confirm the linebacker’s status moving forward.

Because Simmons is a senior, and this is his final season of eligibility, the end of his 2015 season would also mean the end of his collegiate career.

Simmons has started the last 31 games for the Cowboys. He was second on the team in tackles last season, and his 26 career tackles for loss makes him OSU’s active leader in that category as well.

On his official bio, it’s written that Simmons is “[o]ne of the unquestioned leaders of the team, both on and off the field.”