Florida v MIssouri

Seven Top-10 spots change hands in latest AP poll


In the latest release of the USA Today coaches’ poll, eight of the spots in the Top Ten saw different teams from the week before.

The Associated Press‘ latest Top 25, on the other hand, had a little less upheaval than its coaching counterpart.  Very, very little.

Alabama at No. 1, Oregon at No. 2 and Ohio State at No. 4 remained static from a week ago.  Everywhere else in the Top 10, it was change as far as the eye could see.

As it did in the coaches’ poll, Florida State moved past the Buckeyes into No. 3 spot vacated by Clemson, which dropped to No. 9.  Missouri, No. 7 according to the coaches, climbed nine spots into the Top Five at No. 5.  Baylor at No. 6 (No. 12 last week), Miami at No. 7 (No. 10), Stanford at No. 8 (No. 13) and Texas Tech at No. 10 (No. 16) round out the Top 10.

Baylor’s No. 6 ranking is the Bears’ highest in the AP poll since January 1, 1980.  The No. 5 coaches’ poll ranking is the football program’s highest in any poll since they were AP’s No. 3 team in 1953.

Auburn, which made its 2013 AP poll debut last week, took the biggest move upward this week, moving all the way up to No. 11 from No. 24.  Unlike the coaches, the one-loss Tigers are actually rated ahead of the two-loss team it just beat as Texas A&M dropped seven spots to No. 14.  On the other hand, UCF, which beat Louisville Thursday, is ranked three spots behind the No. 18 Cardinals despite both exiting Week 8 with one loss apiece.

An unprecedented trio of losses on the same weekend staggered the SEC East in this week’s release: South Carolina, which lost to Tennessee, tumbled all the way down to No. 20 from No. 11; Georgia (No. 15) and Florida (No. 22) fell completely out of the rankings courtesy of losses to Vanderbilt and Mizzou, respectively.

In addition to UCF, which is ranked for the first time since 2010, two other teams entered the Top 25: No. 24 Michigan and No. 25 Wisconsin.  As was the case in the coaches’ poll, Georgia, No. 20 Washington and Florida all exited the rankings.

AP Week Eight Poll

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah

Report: Duke Williams injured Auburn teammate with punch in ‘bar rampage’

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29:  D'haquille Williams #1 of the Auburn Tigers misses a touchdown catch in the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.

Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program.  A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.

The unnamed, however, now has a name.

According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”

Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to al.com.

No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.

“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”