Miami, Tech tumble, but few other big changes in coaches’ poll

8 Comments

After a Week 10 slate of games that was short on drama and long on yawns, not much change was expected when the latest polls were released Sunday.

As expected, the, um, expected has indeed happened, at least as far as the coaches are concerned.

Coming off its first loss of the season Saturday, Miami tumbled eight spots to No. 14 in the USA Today coaches’ poll.  Texas Tech, which suffered its second loss of the season yesterday, also dropped eight spots but remains inside the Top 25 at No. 23.

With five of the Top-10 teams from last week’s poll on a bye weekend, and with just Miami’s loss in that group, there was very little change in this week’s version of the Top Ten.  The Top Five teams remained unchanged from a week ago: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Florida State, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Baylor.

While there was no change position-wise in the Top Five, there was a shift in first-place vote allocation and the closing of a couple of gaps (slightly) when it comes to points.

Last week, Alabama (56) and Oregon (6) were the only teams receiving first-place votes.  Coming off its win over then-No. 6 Miami, Florida State picked up three first-place votes, with two coming at the expense of the Tide (54) and one from the Ducks (two).

The Seminoles are also now within 39 points of the Ducks, closing the points gap from 1,483-1,419 last week to 1,475-1,436 this week.  The Tide, meanwhile, gained on the second-place Ducks ever so slightly, with the point distance between the two going from 59 after Week 9 to 65 following Week 10.

The No. 5 Bears, despite being idle and OSU’s own impressive win, saw its deficit to the No. 4 Buckeyes drop from 82 last week to 70 this week.

The remainder of the Top Ten all moved up exactly one spot from a week ago: No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Clemson, No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 9 Missouri and No. 10 Auburn.

LSU at No. 12 is the highest-ranked two-loss team in this week’s poll, up a spot from a week ago.  The biggest upward climber of the week is Michigan State, which jumped five spots to No. 19.

Outside of Miami, Texas Tech and Michigan State, no other team moved up or down more than one spot.  Two teams held steady from a week ago (unbeaten Northern Illinois at No. 19, two-loss Notre Dame at No. 25), while Arizona State at No. 24 was the lone new face.  The Sun Devils replaced then-No. 21 Michigan.

Coaches' Poll Week 10

VIDEO: LSU RB Derrius Guice squats 650 pounds

Getty Images
1 Comment

Derrius Guice may be the most underrated player in college football.

Playing in the shadow of Leonard Fournette, Guice posted an eye-popping 8.55 yards per carry (51 rushes for 436 yards) as a freshman in 2015, then kept his big-play ability as his usage increased while Fournette battled injuries in his final college season. Guice rushed 183 times for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns; his 7.58 yards per carry average was the most among Power 5 rushers with at least 180 carries.

So, yes, Guice is really good. He’s also a physical freak.

LSU captured and tweeted video Friday of Guice squatting 650 pounds, more than three times his listed 212 pounds.

If — and this is a massive, Les Miles-firing if — LSU can consistently throw the ball in 2017, go ahead and make Guice your darkhorse Heisman contender in 2017.

(HT CBS Sports)

Former Miami TE Jovani Haskins headed to West Virginia

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jovani Haskins announced two weeks ago he was leaving Miami for “somewhere else.” That somewhere else proved to be a favorite destination of other Sunshine State transfers: West Virginia.

“WVU is my new home and I can’t wait to perform in front of the fans of West Virginia!” he tweeted on Saturday.

A 3-star prospect out of Bergenfield, N.J.., Haskins was offered by West Virginia in the class of 2016 and most recruiting experts actually had him signing with the Mountaineers before a surprise commitment to Miami.

Haskins joins two former state of Florida players on WVU’s roster: starting quarterback Will Grier (Florida) and former Miami quarterback Jack Allison (Miami). The Mountaineers also employed Florida State transfer Clint Trickett at quarterback and Miami transfer Antonio Crawford at cornerback.

Haskins redshirted in 2016 and will presumably sit out 2017 before gaining eligibility in ’18. West Virginia could use the help immediately; the roster lists one scholarship tight end at present. WVU currently has two tight ends pledged for the 2018 class in addition to Haskins.

 

BYU wearing special patch in honor of LaVell Edwards

BYU Athletics
Leave a comment

BYU got the summer media day fun started on Friday with their football media day. BYU tends to pull out all the stops on its media day with coach and player interviews, alumni returning, and a handful of announcements about the future of the program. In addition to news about their relationship with ESPN, BYU also announced the football team will be sporting a patch this season in honor of the late LaVell Edwards.

In addition to players wearing the patch on their jerseys, BYU coaches will also wear the patch on their sleeves.

Edwards passed away in December at the age of 86. The BYU coaching legend spent 29 seasons on the sidelines in Provo and accumulated 257 wins along the way. Among those was a national championship season in 1984, which remains the most recent national championship to be claimed by a program not currently in a power conference. Edwards took 22 BYU teams to a bowl game.

Now if we can just keep getting BYU to stick to that lighter shade of blue as their main home uniform, we’ll be in great shape.

Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks found guilty of rape

Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images
4 Comments

Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks was convicted by a jury on Friday for rape of a female Vanderbilt student. Following 15 hours of jury deliberations, the verdict of guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery was in.

”He’s shocked but understands that this is only the first part of this process, there’s a lot more to do from here on,” Banks’ lawyer, Mark Scruggs, said after the verdict. ”We have some really good issues to raise.”

Part of Banks’ defense was built on succumbing to peer pressure, suggesting he feared he may be beaten up by teammates if he did not participate in the scandalous activity. The jury, having reviewed videos and photos from the incident, some of which were shot by Banks, determined that was not a viable defense.

”Making fun of another person is not right, but we know it happens,” Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore said in closing arguments, according to the Associated Press. ”But it doesn’t give you a legal defense to commit a crime, particularly not an aggravated rape, an aggravated sexual battery. I mean if that’s the case, then we’d have the ‘football team defense.”’

Banks will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison. One count of aggravated rape has a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Other former Vanderbilt players had previously been convicted for their roles in the 2013 rape. Cory Batey was found guilty of aggravated rape and sentenced to 15-25 years in prison in April 2016. Brandon Vandenbeurg was found guilty and sentenced to 17 years in prison.