Tayson Hill, Kyler Fackrell

Four safe college football win total picks for 2014

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As we inch closer and closer to the start of a new college football season, we et little morsels of gambling goodness dropped in front of us like a bread crumb trail leading us to the first kickoffs of the new year. Award watch lists are one thing, but gambling numbers are something else. Just the other day we got to look over a number of win totals to review.

5Dimes set the over/under numbers for a good number of schools this fall, and Kegs ‘n Eggs shared them with the public. You can review the full list available to see if your school is listed (Florida State is not, for example), but here are five you can probably feel pretty good about, keeping in mind these numbers are strictly based on the regular season.

BYU: 8.5 (Over -160, Under +120)

BYU has won eight game sin each of the past two seasons, but this 2014 season looks to be a tad more difficult than you might think. To beat the over, BYU is going to probably need to get off to a good start. That would mean winning games at Texas and at home against a talented Houston team. BYU also plays Utah State, at Boise State and at UCF. Can BYU win nine games? Yes, probably, but if you have to go one way on this the under seems like a safer bet.

Maryland: 7.5 (Over +100, Under -140)

Maryland joins the Big Ten this season and will be placed in the same division as Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State. The Terps may have the most talented group of wide receivers in the conference, but getting to eight wins looks to be a tall order in 2014. Maryland has non-conference games against West Virginia and Syracuse as well, and neither of those games should be considered automatic wins by any stretch of the imagination. The Under seems safe, as the numbers surely indicate.

Miami: 7.5 (Over -160, Under +120)

Miami won nine games last season but the Hurricanes could have some quarterback issues facing them in 2014. Miami gets road games at Louisville and Nebraska in September, not to mention division games with Duke and Georgia Tech. Cincinnati could also be a challenge in non-conference play and the Hurricnaes have a rough stretch in the second half of the season including a Thursday night game at Virginia Tech and home games against UNC, Florida State and Pittsburgh. There may only be three sure wins on this schedule, and just getting to eight is going to be a battle. That over seems risky, and I am as big an Al Golden fan you may find.

Nebraska: 7.5 (Over -130, Under -110)

Nebraksa could very well be entering October with five wins with games against Northwestern, Rutgers, Purdue and Minnesota all still to be played. Personally, this over seems almost too easy to hit, but this is Nebraska we are talking about. Even if the Huskers take a loss in September, or two, getting to eight wins should be realistic given the track record (at least eight regular season wins each season since 2008).

Helmet sticker to Kegs ‘n Eggs.

Oklahoma DB facing charges after early morning arrest

NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 3:  Safety Hatari Byrd #4 and cornerback Jordan Thomas #7 of the Oklahoma Sooners take the field before the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers October 3, 2015 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated West Virginia 44-24.(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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Oklahoma defensive back Jordan Thomas was arrested early Thursday morning and stands accused of three offenses.

Cleveland (Oklahoma) County sheriff arrest records show the 20-year-old Thomas was booked at 2:45 a.m. on charges of assault and battery, public intoxication and interference.

A school spokesperson told The Tulsa World the department is aware of and monitoring the situation.

Thomas, who reportedly has been released on bond, was second on the Sooners with nine pass defended last season and was credited with 46 tackles. He had five interceptions.

The World notes Thomas has been in trouble both with the law and the team previously.

Thomas was jailed in Grady County before last year’s Orange Bowl after failing to appear in court following a traffic citation.

The junior also has faced issues on the team. He missed the first quarter of the 2015 opener against Akron and the entire Tulsa game for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.

The Sooners won the Big 12 last season and made the College Football Playoff.

They are expected to be contenders again this season and have a showdown with Ohio State looming in Norman on Sept. 17.

Joker Phillips among Urban Meyer’s new hires at Ohio State

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators is congratulated by head coach Joker Phillips of the Kentucky Wildcats at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida defeated Kentucky 48-14 for Meyer's 100th career victory.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
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Ohio State has quietly added Joker Phillips and Brian Knorr — two experienced college coaches — to Urban Meyer’s staff.

Although the athletics department has not made an announcement yet, Phillips is listed in Ohio State’s employee directory as a sports program associate with the working title of “Football QC – kicking,” which presumably means he is a quality control assistant for the Ohio State kicking game.

Knorr is listed simply as an athletics intern.

Of the two, Phillips is the more experienced. Now 53, he began his coaching career as a G.A. at Kentucky, his alma mater, and eventually spent six seasons as a full-time receivers coach for the Wildcats in the early 1990s.

He also coached at Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina before returning to Lexington as an assistant and eventually rising to head coach in 2010.

The Wildcats went just 13-24 in his three seasons, and he spent last year as wide receivers coach of the Cleveland Browns. He also spent a season coaching receivers at Florida, where he was found guilty of a level two recruiting violation.

Knorr was most recently the defensive coordinator at Indiana. He spent two seasons in Bloomington after six at Wake Forest.

A Kansas native, he played quarterback at Air Force and previously worked in the Buckeye State as an assistant to Jim Grobe and then Frank Solich at Ohio University from 1995-2004.

The Hoosiers ranked last in the Big Ten in scoring defense and total defense last season, and he was replaced by Tom Allen in January.

Texas’ plunder of Baylor’s recruiting class continues

SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 30:  Texas Longhorns mascot Bevo wears a harness in honor of head coach Mack Brown during the Valero Alamo Bowl against the Oregon Ducks at the Alamodome on December 30, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Make that four new additions to Texas’ 2016 recruiting class in late June.

The school announced Wednesday that Patrick Hudson, an in-state offensive lineman from Silsbee, has signed a financial aid agreement and is expected to enroll in Austin in July when the second summer session begins.

Hudson is a four-star prospect and the 50th-best player in the country according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.

He signed with Baylor in February but was granted a release from his letter of intent after a report accusing members of the school and athletics department of mishandling accusations and incidents of sexual assault delved the school into controversy.

J.P. Urquidez and brothers Devin and Donovan Duvernay also signed with the Longhorns in the past week.

“We’re really excited to have Patrick joining our program,” Texas coach Charlie Strong said in a release. “Patrick coming to Texas, along with J.P. and Donovan earlier this week, are tremendous additions to an already impressive class of 2016. Patrick and J.P. are two big, physical, talented linemen, and Donovan is an explosive athlete who has played on both sides. We’re looking forward to getting them on campus and working with the team.”

Urquidez is also a four-star offensive lineman while Devin Duvernay is a four-star receiver and Donovan Duvernay is a three-star athlete per 247Sports.

Texas’ class is ranked seventh nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12 as Strong looks to put a rocky start to his tenure behind him and return the Longhorns to national prominence.

They start the season with a visit from Notre Dame on Sept. 4.

Northwestern remembers Randy Walker 10 years after his passing

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Ten years ago Wednesday, the college football world was rocked by the unexpected and sudden loss of Northwestern coach Randy Walker.

The athletics department produced a touching video tribute to the man who suffered a heart attack at the age of 52, seven years into his tenure in Evanston.

Walker’s death unexpectedly thrust a young former Wildcats linebacker named Pat Fitzgerald into the head coach’s chair.

“I would prefer to be toasting to his longevity right now,” Fitzgerald says in the video.

Walker posted a 37-45 mark at Northwestern, including a surprising 8-4 campaign in 2000.

That followed a successful nine-year run at Miami University, the southwest Ohio school where he was a player.