Two seasons have been put in the books since Texas A&M made the decision to leave the Big 12 for the SEC. The move was ridiculed by many and few suspected the Aggies would thrive on the field to the level Texas A&M has since making the move. I’ll throw myself under the bus. I was one of the doubters. Off the field was always a different story. The move to the SEC had many benefits that were easy to see, and with the Aggies more than holding their own on the field, the move seems to be scored as a success in the early years.
Texas A&M is the top college football program in the state of Texas right now. So what does the pecking order after that look like? Not quite as orange as you might suspect.
Longhorn Digest asked four anonymous high school football caches recently to get their take on how the college football powers stack up right now, in addition to some more specific questions regarding Texas and new head coach Charlie Strong. Texas A&M was the unanimous number one choice of the four coaches. Defending Big 12 champion Baylor was a consensus number two. Just behind the Bears came the Texas Longhorns. Yes, Texas has slipped to number three not just in the eyes of the college football world, but also the high school coaches in a state that is incredibly rich with respect for the high school game.
“Because they are Texas it is an easy gap to close if there is any,” said one of the high school coaches polled. “I think there is a bigger gap between Texas and Texas A&M. But that can close in a number of ways.”
“A&M has the momentum right now,” said another coach. “As you know, one winning season at Texas will change everything.”
“They could come back right now and take over A&M if they want to,” another coach said. “That’s how powerful they are. They can do anything they want. They are the Texas freaking Longhorns.”
So, how bad to the Texas freaking Longhorns want to be back on top?
We haven’t yet reached the first-ever early signing period, and Oregon has already bolstered its 2018 defense.
Jalen Jelks confirmed to The Oregonian that he has decided to push off the NFL and will instead return to Oregon for another season. The redshirt junior indicated that he needs to work on his game before he takes it to the next level.
“I’m back for sure,” the redshirt junior defensive end told the newspaper. “I talked to my parents and my family and everything and just probably the best decision for me is to make the best out of next season and make a lot more plays than I did this season.
“I missed a lot of plays, and if I can capitalize on that and translate it to next season I could contribute a lot to the draft.”
This season, Jelks led the Ducks in tackles for loss with 15; in sacks with 6.5; and in quarterback hits with four. The tackles for loss were second in the Pac-12 to Washington State’s Hercules Mata’afa‘s 21.5.
A little over a year after his death, one of the most noteworthy pieces of Rashaan Salaam‘s athletic career finds itself up for sale to the public yet again.
According to the Denver Post, the former Colorado star running back’s 1994 Heisman Trophy will be auctioned off next month and is expected to sell for upwards of $300,000. A portion of whatever the trophy fetches will be donated to CTE research.
Salaam, who took his own life at the age of 42 last December, was diagnosed with CTE symptoms postmortem.
After rushing for more than 2,000 yards, Salaam in 1994 became the first, and thus far only, Buffaloes football player to win the most prestigious trophy in college football. In 2013, Salaam sold the trophy to a sports memorabilia dealer who subsequently sold it to the unnamed individual who is selling it at auction. “The trophy also includes a letter from Salaam, acknowledging the 2013 sale,” the Post wrote.
Based on what we’ve found, the largest amount a Heisman Trophy has ever brought in was the $395,000 a California businessman paid for Minnesota’s Bruce Smith‘s 1941 award in 2005.
Could Nick Saban have inadvertently played a role in the outcome of a historic election? Believe it or not, that may actually be a valid question.
As this is a college football site, we won’t go into the background of the contentious U.S. Senate campaign waged between Democrat Doug Jones and scandal-plagued Republican Roy Moore in the state of Alabama. In the run-up to the special election in the state Tuesday, however, one Democrat-leaning political action committee urged Republican voters who couldn’t vote for a Democrat and were leery of voting for Moore to use a write-in vote, specifically using the name of the Alabama head football coach to illustrate that option.
With 99 percent of the vote tabulated, NBC News reported earlier this morning that Jones held a lead of just under 21,000 votes. It has since been reported that, with 100 percent of the votes in, there were nearly 23,000 write-in votes cast, with Jones’ lead still holding at just under 21,000 votes.
Because of a new state law, some are saying it’s likely we’ll know exactly how many of those write-in votes were for Saban. From fivethirtyeight.com late Tuesday night:
With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Jones has a margin of 0.7 points over Moore, and the share of write-in votes is more than double that, at around 1.7 percent. Who were people writing in? If that difference holds, we’ll know in due time. In 2016, the Alabama state legislature passed a law requiring the write-in votes to be tallied if the share of write-ins exceeds the margin between the first- and second-place candidates — exactly the situation we’re in now.
“I’m a life-long Republican,” voter Gary Dobbins told MSNBC by way of al.com. “This is the first time in my entire life that I haven’t voted for the Republican candidate.
“I wrote in Nick Saban instead. The reason why is at first I was going to vote for the other guy. Then, I had a crisis in the voting booth and started thinking about what Richard Shelby had said and Condoleezza Rice. I just wrote in Nick Saban.”
After a brief pit stop at the junior college level, Keith Washington has found his way back to the FBS level.
The defensive back announced via Twitter that he has committed to West Virginia and will continue his collegiate playing career with the Mountaineers. As Washington spent the 2017 season at a Mississippi JUCO, he will be eligible to play for WVU immediately in 2018.
Washington held two other Power Five offers in this second round of recruitment, and both were from fellow Big 12 programs — Kansas and Texas Tech. East Carolina, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Toledo and UAB had extended offers as well.
Washington was a three-star member of Michigan’s 2015 recruiting class, Jim Harbaugh‘s first with the Wolverines, coming out of high school in Alabama. After redshirting as a true freshman, he played in nine games during the 2016 season.
Before the start of this past season, he decided to transfer from the Wolverines.