Five-star Alabama athlete Bo Scarbrough will start career at tailback

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In recruiting, the ‘athlete’ tag is given to a player for one of two reasons: He either has the athletic potential to excel at any number of positions, or he doesn’t really seem to have a true position and evaluators call him an athlete because they don’t know where he’ll end up.

Less than a week after signing his letter of intent with Alabama, five-star athlete Bo Scarbrough already has his position. He’s going to be a tailback in the Crimson Tide offense, according to head coach Nick Saban. But make no mistake, he won’t just be a grind-it-out type of back.

“We think Bo is a multi-talented guy but we look at him as a running back first,” Saban told Al.com. “He has really a diverse skill level for a big guy, he’s a physical guy. He has really good running ability but he also has great receiving skills. He’s actually played as much wide receiver as he has running back.”

However, Saban wants to avoid the temptation to play him at any other spot.

“As a running back, we can use him in those kind of roles and if he can learn and be ready to help us, I think that because of the kind of player he is, maybe he will be able to contribute in other ways as a player besides running back,” Saban said. “That’s how we would use him as a running back, not playing him at another position.”

If there’s any drawback to this move, it’s that Alabama’s backfield is ridiculously crowded with depth. Not only is TJ Yeldon back for at least one more season, there’s also the quickly-developing Derrick Henry, plus Kenyan Drake, Jalston Fowler, Altee Tenpenny, Dee Hart and Tyren Jones.

But at 6-foot-2, 234 pounds, Scarbrough — ranked the 16th-best player in the country by Rivals.com — has the potential to be scary good. His size-speed combination is rare. Here’s a look at his highlight reel. It won’t be the last highlight you’ll see from him.

Photo: Rivals.com.

USF WR Kevaughn Dingle arrested for felony sexual battery

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The latest incident to reset the “Days Without An Arrest” is a rather serious one.

The Tampa Bay Times, among other media outlets, is reporting that South Florida’s Kevaughn Dingle was arrested late Friday morning on one count of felony sexual battery. From the Times‘ report:

A USF Police Department release indicates that around 1 a.m. Friday, campus police received a call of a possible sexual battery occurring at the Holly C Residence Hall. The incident reportedly occurred at noon on Thursday, the release says.

Campus police launched an investigation into the allegations and interviewed Dingle, an acquaintance of the victim. Based on the information gathered, officers “developed sufficient cause” to charge Dingle with sexual battery, according to the release.

WFLA-TV in Tampa wrote that “Dingle allegedly wanted to have sex with the victim. She refused, and he assaulted her.”

The wide receiver is currently being held without bond. The football program is aware of the incident but has yet to comment publicly on it.

A three-star member of the Bulls’ 2017 recruiting class, Dingle was rated as the No. 68 player at any position in the state of Florida. He is in the midst of a taking a redshirt for his true freshman season.

Dingle is the second Bulls player to be charged with sexual assault this year. In early May, LaDarrius Jackson was arrested for sexual battery and false imprisonment. A little over a week later, he was arrested on a similar charge and dismissed.

Amidst six-decade postseason drought, New Mexico State could be forced to turn down bowl bid

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New Mexico State hasn’t played in a bowl game in nearly six decades, and are in a position to potentially end that drought.  Maybe.

Sitting at 4-5 heading into Week 12, NMSU needs wins in two of its last three games to become bowl-eligible.  With games against Louisiana (4-5), Idaho (3-6) and South Alabama (4-6) — the latter two at home — it’s certainly doable.

However, even if the Aggies do reach the requisite six wins, they may be forced to turn down an invitation because of financial considerations.

“If you stick us too far out east, then it becomes a financial issue with our fans,” NMSU chancellor and president Garrey Carruthers told the NBC affiliate in El Paso this week. “If you’re obligated to buy X number of tickets and we can’t sell them to our fans, then it would become a costly enterprise.”

Each school that qualifies for a bowl game is required to purchase an allotment of tickets, and then in turn sells them to fans traveling to the game.  Any unsold tickets can’t be returned to the bowl, forcing the school to eat the costs.  Add in the travel costs associated with it, and playing in a bowl game in, say, Florida o even Alabama, would be financially prohibitive for a Group of Five program like NMSU.

Fortunately for the Aggies, most bowl projections have them playing in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, with Tucson serving as just a 300-mile or so road trip from El Paso.  A smattering also has them playing in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

NMSU hasn’t played in a postseason game since the 1960 Sun Bowl.  In fact, all three of their postseason appearances were in the same game.

Two weeks from Championship Saturday, here are all of the division-clinching scenarios

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Unbelievably, we’re down to the penultimate full weekend of the 2017 season. And, with that, races for divisional and conference championships are both heating up and winding down — or, in a handful of cases, already settled.

Below is how each of the 10 leagues stands with just two Saturdays remaining before championship weekend.

AAC EAST
The winner of the Nov. 24 USF (6-1) at UCF (6-0) game will win the division, regardless of what happens in UCF’s game against Temple at noon today.

AAC WEST
Memphis (5-1) beat Houston (4-2) in mid-October. Memphis clinches the division with a win in either today’s game against SMU or East Carolina in the regular-season finale, regardless of what Houston does. Houston needs for Memphis to lose both of those games, plus win their final two games Tulane and Navy.

ACC ATLANTIC
Clemson has already clinched the division.

ACC COASTAL
Miami has already clinched the division.

BIG 12
Unless Oklahoma (6-1), which beat both TCU (5-2) and Oklahoma State (5-2) earlier this season, loses its last two games — ROTFL one of them is against Kansas — the Sooners have essentially clinched one of the two spots in the conference title game. TCU needs to either win one of its last two games (at Tech, vs. Baylor) and have OSU lose at least one, or win out regardless of what OSU does in order to claim the other spot. OSU, meanwhile, needs to win out (vs. K-State, vs. Kansas) and have the Horned Frogs lose at least one. West Virginia (5-2), which lost to both TCU and OSU, needs to beat Texas and win at OU while TCU and OSU lose at least one game apiece.

There’s also the possibility that all four teams finish at 6-3, getting there by way of OSU, TCU and WVU winning out.  In such a scenario, Oklahoma and TCU would play for the Big 12 title by virtue of a 2-1 record against the foursome.  At 1-2, Oklahoma State and West Virginia would be eliminated.

BIG TEN EAST
If Ohio State beats Illinois AND Michigan loses to Wisconsin today, the Buckeyes will win the division. If that doesn’t happen, the B1G East race will play out in Week 13. Courtesy of the Big Ten Network, below are all of the scenarios heading into Week 12:

Ohio State (6-1): Win vs. Illinois AND Michigan loss at Wisconsin OR win final two games (vs. Illinois; at Michigan).
Michigan (5-2): Win final two games (at Wisconsin; vs. Ohio State) AND Michigan State and Penn State lose one game.
Michigan State (5-2): Win final two games (vs. Maryland; at Rutgers) AND Ohio State loses final two games.
Penn State (5-2): Win final two games (vs. Nebraska; at Maryland) AND Ohio State loses final two games AND Michigan State loses a game.

BIG TEN WEST
Wisconsin has already clinched the division.

CONFERENCE USA EAST
Florida Atlantic (6-0) clinches the division with a win over Florida International (4-2) later today OR with a win over Charlotte in Week 13 even with a loss to FIU. FIU needs to beat FAU AND Western Kentucky AND have FAU lose to Charlotte as well.

CONFERENCE USA WEST
North Texas has already clinched the division.

MAC EAST
Akron and Ohio are both 5-2, but the Zips beat the Bobcats this past Tuesday night. Thus, Akron wins the division with either a Week 13 win over Kent State OR an Ohio loss to Buffalo. Ohio, meanwhile, needs to win next week AND have Akron lose.

MAC WEST
Toledo (6-1) and Northern Illinois (6-1) are left standing, with Toledo beating NIU in the first week of November. So, Toledo wins the West with either a win over Western Michigan OR an NIU loss. Northern Illinois needs to beat Central Michigan AND have Toledo lose to WMU at home to win the division.

MWC MOUNTAIN
Boise State (6-0) beat Wyoming (5-1) Oct. 21. Thus, Boise State wins the Mountain division if it wins its last two games (vs. Air Force, at Fresno State) regardless of what Wyoming does; if it wins one game regardless of what Wyoming does; if it loses its last two games and Wyoming does the same. Conversely, Wyoming needs to win its last two games (vs. Fresno State, at San Jose State) while Boise State loses its last two.

MWC WEST
Fresno State (5-1) beat San Diego State (4-2) Oct. 21. Thus, Fresno State wins the West division if it wins its last two games (at Wyoming, vs. Boise State) regardless of what San Diego State does; if it wins one game regardless of what San Diego State does; if it loses its last two games and San Diego State does the same. Conversely, San Diego State needs to win its last two games (vs. Nevada, vs. New Mexico) while Fresno State loses its last two.

PAC-12 NORTH
And now we come to the somewhat convoluted portion of the program. Stanford and Washington State are both 6-2, while Washington is 5-2. Stanford has beaten Washington but lost to Wazzu, while the Apple Cup awaits next Saturday. So, off we go with how each team can win the division.

Stanford: win vs. Cal in Week 12 AND Washington State loss to Washington in Week 13.
Washington: win vs. Utah in Week 12 AND win vs. Washington State in Week 13 AND Stanford loss to Cal in Week 12.
Washington State: win vs. Washington in Week 13 OR losses by Washington AND Stanford in Week 12.

And, if all three teams finish 6-3? Washington, by virtue of its record in divisional games — 4-1, compared to 3-2 for the others — would get the nod.

PAC-12 SOUTH
USC has already clinched the division

SEC EAST
Georgia has already clinched the division

SEC WEST
This one is really simple: the winner of the Alabama-Auburn Iron Bowl next Saturday will clinch the division.

SUN BELT
There’s Pac-12 North convoluted, then there’s SBC convoluted. Entering Week 12, this conference has four teams with just one loss apiece — Troy, Georgia State and Appalachian State at 5-1, Arkansas State at 4-1. To make matters even worse, there has been just one game played between the four — Troy beat Georgia State — and just two in the remaining three weeks of the season — Troy vs. Arkansas State, Georgia State vs. Appalachian State. Things will become (a little) clearer after Week 12 play for the only FBS league that doesn’t have a league game to determine a champion.

UNC banned Miami’s turnover chain creator from contact with Tar Heels

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With the Miami Hurricanes roaring up the rankings, much attention has been directed at their new signature, the turnover chain. The turnover chain has had its own feature stories written about it in recent weeks, and the creator of that new signature sideline piece of art has become more well known because of it. According to a report from The News & Observer, however, that same jewelry artist has also been banned from having any contact with players from UNC.

According to the report, Anthony John Machado was contacted by the University of North Carolina in 2010 to request he disassociate with any Tar Heel player. The timing of the letter is not coincidental, as the university was under investigation for alleged violations within the football program connected to alleged improper benefits.

UNC on Oct. 25, 2010, sent a letter of disassociation to Machado addressed to his store, A.J.’s Jewelry, in Cutler Bay, Fla. In the letter, Dick Baddour, who was the UNC athletic director at the time, wrote that Machado’s “involvement with one of our student-athletes has led to the NCAA declaring one of student-athletes permanently ineligible.”

The school at one point returned some jewelry provided by Machado to an unnamed student-athlete. The investigation conducted that led to the request to Machado was also the one that led to the dismissal of former Tar Heel Marvin Austin, who had commented on a party lifestyle in Miami that caught the attention of the university.

The expiration date on that request to not have contact with UNC players has since expired, although it is unknown if any UNC player has been in contact with Machado at any point since 2010.