The Associated Press top 25 saw no changes at the top of the poll, much like the coaches poll. No. 1 Alabama received a convincing 54 first-place votes to separate itself from No. 2 Clemson. Much like the coaches poll before it, the rest of the poll had a brand new look compared to its preseason version.
Clemson received a pair of first-place votes, which was half as many as division rival, No. 3 Florida State. No. 4 Ohio State received no first-place votes but stayed in front of its primary rival, No. 5 Michigan. The Wolverines picked up one first-place vote this week. No. 6 Houston jumped into the top 10, moving up from No. 15 after a win over previous No. 3 and current No. 14 Oklahoma.
Newcomers to the AP Top 25 this week made huge jumps in their season debuts in the poll. No. 10 Wisconsin went from unranked to rounding out the top 10 after edging No. 21 LSU. The Tigers were ranked No. 5 in the preseason poll. No. 11 Texas also made a huge impression with the voters in defeating No. 18 Notre Dame (previously No. 10). No. 20 Texas A&M also cracked the poll after missing the preseason cut, debuting at No. 20 after knocking UCLA off and out of the top 25. No. 25 Miami makes their first appearance in the top 25 after a blowout win over Florida A&M in Mark Richt’s coaching debut with the Hurricanes.
The voters slammed No. 17 Tennessee for a narrow win at home over Appalachian State. The Vols fell eight spots despite winning. No. 13 TCU was not hit quite as hard for a tougher-than-expected win at home against a lesser opponent. The Horned Frogs fell two spots to No. 15 after pulling away from South Dakota State.
Here is the full AP Top 25, with first-place votes noted.
- Alabama (54)
- Clemson (2)
- Florida State (4)
- Ohio State
- Michigan (1)
- Michigan State
- Notre Dame
- Ole Miss
- Texas A&M
- Oklahoma State
Baylor’s sprawling sexual assault scandal is increasingly starting to make its way through the court system and one major trial is already forcing several former school officials to defend themselves in their handling of the matter.
Ex-Bears athletic director Ian McCaw, who now holds the same position at FCS program Liberty, made a court filing in one such case on Friday according to the Associated Press. Not surprisingly, McCaw claimed that he properly handled the case of former player Tevin Elliott, who was convicted in 2014 of raping a woman and is currently behind bars.
McCaw told the court that upon learning of the allegations in one specific case at the time, he told then-head coach Art Briles about the matter and Elliott was subsequently suspended from the football team.
While Elliott was convicted on criminal grounds, former student Jasmin Hernandez has sued Baylor by accusing the university of violating Title IX as a result of keeping Elliott around despite multiple rape claims against him. It is one of several cases set to take place over the coming years in a scandal that led to the departures of McCaw, Briles and school president Ken Starr.
The 2017 NFL Draft has come and gone, and once again it is the SEC claiming another NFL Draft national championship. A grand total of 53 players from the SEC were drafted by NFL teams. It is the 11th straight year the SEC has had the most players drafted by NFL teams.
The ACC ended the draft with 42 players drafted, followed by the Pac-12 (36) and Big Ten (35). The Big 12 ended the draft with just 14 players drafted.
Helping to contribute to the SEC’s NFL Draft total was Alabama setting a school record with 10 players drafted.
Alabama’s nine players drafted in the first 80 picks was also a new Alabama record.
Michigan ended up having more players drafted than any other Big Ten team, slipping past Ohio State by the time the draft closed up shop this year. For the Wolverines, 11 players ended up being drafted. The previous school record for draft picks was 10, set in 1972 and tied in 1974. Head coach Jim Harbaugh will get plenty of the praise for developing that many players getting a chance to be drafted, but Brady Hoke should be recognized for recruiting those players as well (and blamed for not developing the talent he brought in).
One of the top players from Air Force was ineligible to be drafted by the NFL this weekend, and it had nothing to do with NFL rules. It also had nothing to do with NFL teams backing away from a particular player due to off-field concerns. Instead, a policy at Air Force is what is to blame for wide receiver Jalen Robinette not moving on to the NFL at this time.
The U.S. Air Force will not approve requests from academy graduates to defer their two years of active duty in order to be allowed to play professional football. Just a year ago, the Department of Defense changed the policy to allow for the possibility, which made it possible for Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds to be allowed to play. Reynolds later joined the Baltimore Ravens. Reynolds had received a recommendation to be allowed to play by the U.S. Naval Academy.
“The Air Force notified academy leaders [Thursday] that the service would not approve requests to waiver active duty military commitments for cadet athletes,” a statement from Air Force read. “Cadets will be required to serve two years active duty prior to entering Ready Reserve, which would allow their participation in professional sports. The Air Force places tremendous value on our cadet athletes and their contributions to the nation as we continue to build leaders of character, engage in combat operations overseas and continue to ensure our highest military readiness at home.”
Because of the policy change and confirmation, Robinette was not able to be drafted. He may still have been a long shot to be drafted by an NFL Team, but the policy also means he is unable to be signed as an undrafted free agent as well.
Any time a player that has previously undergone neck surgery goes down on the field and needs to be carted off is quite the scary moment. On Saturday, the Arkansas football program had that exact scare when Rawleigh Williams went down on the field in pain and ended up having to be carted off the practice field during the Arkansas scrimmage.
Williams was placed on a stretcher and taken out of the facility on a cart to receive medical attention. His legs and arms were moving on the ground, a slight sigh of relief given the hit and his injury history. In 2015, Williams was carted off and had to undergo surgery on his neck. Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said the injury concern on Saturday was apparently not related to the previous neck injury, which was expected to have a full recovery.
It is an unfortunate ending to the spring for Williams, because all indications seemed to be he was certainly improving running the football. Bielema said earlier in the week Williams was running with more patience, which is always a key for a running back.
Arkansas moved its final scrimmage of the spring indoors due to bad weather rolling through the area.