Miami v Florida State

Florida State overwhelms Miami, 41-14


No. 3 Florida State (8-0) piled up 517 yards of offense and outscored No. 7 Miami (7-1) 20-0 in the second half to capture a 41-14 victory over the Hurricanes in a battle of top 10 teams in Tallahassee on Saturday night.

Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston completed 21 of 29 passes for 325 yards and one touchdown and overcame two first-half interceptions to lead the ‘Noles to their fourth-straight win over the ‘Canes.

With the win, FSU might be equipped to leap over Oregon for the No. 2 spot in the BCS rankings that come out on Sunday, though it could be a short-lived ranking since the Ducks play Stanford on Thursday.

The two teams worked their jabs in the first half, prodding each other’s weakness with a fair bit of power running. The ‘Canes, especially, seemed content with trying to wear down the FSU defense. But the Miami defense couldn’t contain the Seminoles offense when it counted — FSU was a remarkable 11 of 15 on third downs — and FSU took a 21-14 lead into the half thanks in part to two nifty touchdowns — one running and one passing — by Devonta Freeman.

The ‘Noles showed their mettle in the second half and made sure to leave no doubt, blanking the ‘Canes the rest of the way while getting touchdown runs from James Wilder, Jr., and Freeman and two field goals from Roberto Aguayo, who remained a perfect 12 for 12 for FGs on the year. Miami had just 95 yards of offense after halftime, 275 in all.

Stephen Morris needed to have a big game for the ‘Canes to have a shot, but he was limited to 192 yards passing and two touchdowns, while getting intercepted twice. Meanwhile, the ‘Noles had their way on the ground, piling up 192 yards and four touchdowns against the tired ‘Canes defense.

In the end, FSU was a vastly superior team with vastly superior players playing in front of a rabid home crowd. There was a lot of talk before the game about this historic rivalry being ‘back’ but Miami has a ways to go before it lives up to its end of the bargain.

Unlike Missouri, 5-7 Nebraska will jump at opportunity to go bowling

Cethan Carter
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Nebraska will be first in line to accept a bowl invitation when it arrives in the mail, despite going 5-7 this season. The Huskers, who are first in line among 5-7 candidates based on APR scores, will reportedly accept a bowl invitation to fill the first vacancy left to fill once all bowl-eligible teams are slotted into the postseason mix.

Missouri released a statement earlier today saying it will not accept a bowl invitation following a 5-7 season. The Tigers would have been the second team among 5-7 teams to receive a bowl invitation based on APR scores. According to a report by Brett McMurphy of, Kansas State would be next in line, followed by Minnesota, San Jose State, Illinois and Rice.

Missouri and Nebraska would appear to have different agendas of course. Nebraska is coming off the first season under new head coach Mike Riley, while Missouri is in the midst of a full coaching search. The decision not to go to a bowl game allows Missouri’s coaching staff in place under the now retired Gary Pinkel to pursue new opportunities without having bowl preparations get in the way.

Maryland sack master Yannick Ngakoue entering NFL Draft

Yannick Ngakoue, Christian Hackenberg
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Maryland will have a new head coach in 2016. Whoever that head coach ends up being will have to find a way to replace one of Maryland’s best players. Defensive lineman Yannick Ngakoue says he will skip his final year of eligibility with the Terrapins and declare for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Ngakoue was the second in the Big Ten with 13.0 sacks this season, trailing only Penn State defensive lineman Carl Nassib. Ngakoue’s sack total is a Maryland school record and was one of the few reasons for optimism for Maryland’s dreadful football season, which ended with just three wins.

5-7 Missouri says it will not participate in a bowl game


A 5-7 team is going to go bowling this season, but Missouri will not be one of them. Missouri athletics director Mack Rhoades released a statement Monday evening confirming the Tigers will not accept any bowl invitation.

“Following this weekend’s football games, there have been significant discussions nationally concerning 5-7 teams participating in bowl games,” the statement read. “After careful consideration, we have decided it is not in the best interest of our football program to seek permission from the NCAA to participate in a bowl game. Our focus remains on identifying the right leader for our program and moving forward with the transition process.”

Missouri would have been among the first of the 5-7 schools to receive an invitation to whatever bowl is left needing to fill a bowl spot this season after it became mathematically impossible to fill all available bowl spots with bowl-eligible teams. Based on APR scores, Missouri was expected to be one of the first 5-7 schools to fill an empty spot. Nebraska would be the first school in line base don APR scores, followed by the Tigers. Not anymore.

The decision also means Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel has coached his final game for the Tigers. After announcing his retirement earlier in the month, effective at the end of the season, Pinkel was prepared to coach until the end of the season even if that mean going to a bowl game. As noted in the statement, Missouri is focused on hiring a successor to Pinkel, and that search continues to develop.

Now, what other schools are going to forfeit a bowl trip?

Last call! Orlando bar gave out 15,000 free beers during UCF’s 0-12 season

Chad Banschbach
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It was a long season for fans of the UCF Knights, but at least one bar may have been the biggest loser of all. Orlando bar The Basement committed to giving away free beer during UCF football games after starting the season with four losses. The free beer promotion would continue until the Knights won a game, which of course never happened. USF demolished UCF on Thanksgiving night to bring an end to a dreadful 0-12 season in Orlando. So, what was the final tab?

An estimated total of 15,000 free beers were given away to patrons during UCF games this season, and the promotion is expected to continue into the 2016 season.

“We thought the next two games after we came up with the offer were our most winnable games of the season,” Jake Whitacre, marketing director for The Basement, said in a local TV interview. “Once we lost those two we realized we had really gotten ourselves into a hole.”

Whitacre said the bar still ended up making money thanks to customers buying other beverages in addition to receiving free beer.

If you were curious, UCF opens the 2016 season at Michigan unless they fill a scheduling vacancy on September 3.