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After loss to Houston and Ohio State coming up, Oklahoma defense considering changes

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It’s not exactly time to hit the panic button for Oklahoma, but a season-opening loss to Houston was reason to wave the caution flag for Oklahoma’s defense after just one week. Look for Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mark Stoops to make some change sin his defensive secondary starting this week as a result. After getting shredded by Houston and quarterback Greg Ward Jr., Stoops says there could be some new looks on defense this week as the Sooners look to rebound against Louisiana-Monroe this week.

It’s pretty open right now,” Stoops said, according to the Associated Press. ”We’ll see who is the most consistent player out there. We need somebody to be consistent. You aren’t going to win every 50-50 ball, but you have to win your share. When they  win every time, that becomes a problem.”

It was definitely a problem against Houston.

Houston’s Ward passed for 321 yards and two touchdowns in a season-opening 33-23 victory in Houston. Ward missed on a number of passes as well, but the threat of a deep completion was still there even when Houston’s quarterback was off the mark. That should be a concern for Oklahoma, because J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State Buckeyes are coming to Norman next week. Barrett passed for 349 yards and six touchdowns in a 77-10 blowout of Bowling Green. On the bright side at least Oklahoma knows what area needs the most work on moving forward.

”When you lose, it’s hard to look at some of those positives for us,” Stoops said. ”In the long run, I’m sure it will pay off, we hope. We recognize that when you play a team like that (Houston), it exposes some of your weaknesses immediately.”

Some of the potential changes that could happen in the secondary include getting sophomore  P.J. Mbanasor and converted wide receiver Michiah Quick some looks to see how they can handle the job in the secondary. Dakota Austin and freshman Parrish Cobb were bit hard by Houston’s passing attack.

Writing off Oklahoma in the Big 12 picture after one week is silly, and it is not out of the realm of possibility this could still turn out to be a playoff contender. Is there work to be done? Absolutely, and there is ground to make up. But it was just one game. Let’s see what they do in Week 2, and more importantly, in Week 3.

Florida’s Cece Jefferson reportedly out four months after surgery

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One of the most heralded members of Florida’s 2015 recruiting class has hit a medical speedbump.

According to Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun, Cece Jefferson underwent surgery on his right shoulder earlier this week after injuring it during the Gators’ spring game.  As a result of that surgical procedure and the ensuing rehab, the defensive lineman is expected to be sidelined for the next four months.

Such a timeline would see Jefferson returning to on-field football action in mid-August, which would be right in the middle of summer camp.  Whether the lineman would be ready for the start of the 2018 regular season remains to be seen.

Jefferson was a consensus five-star prospect, rated as the No. 2 strongside defensive end in the Class of 2015; the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 7 player overall on 247Sports.com’s composite board.

This past season, Jefferson led the Gators with 13.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.  After considering early entry into the 2018 NFL draft, the 6-1, 242-pound lineman opted to return to Gainesville for one more season.

Ohio State OL Matthew Burrell transferring from Buckeyes

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For the third time this offseason, Ohio State has lost an offensive lineman to transfer.

The latest to leave the trenches in Columbus is Matthew Burrell (pictured, right), with the rising redshirt junior taking to Instagram to announce that, “after prayer and thought, I will be transferring from OSU.” While no specific reason for the decision to transfer was given, the lineman’s placement on the depth chart likely played a significant role.

A four-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2015 recruiting class, Burrell was rated as the No. 7 guard in the country and the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Virginia.  The past two seasons, the lineman had seen action in a total of 25 games, including 12 this past season.

In addition to Burrell, OSU offensive linemen Jack Wohlabaugh (HERE) and Kevin Feder (HERE) have all left the program since the end of the 2017 regular season.

UCF police go all in on national championship campaign

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Look, I get it. I know exactly how this game is played. They do it so that people like me will write about it and people like you will read it. It’s all a ploy to make everyone on campus puff their chests out just a little bit further and to keep their name on our lips just a little bit longer.

But doggone if it isn’t working.

More than three months after claiming its 2017 national championship, UCF has found a way to keep itself relevant, this time by having the campus police department get in on the act.

AD Danny White already committed to pay national championship bonuses for coaches who are no longer in the school’s employ, but that’s not even the end of this. There’s still a ring ceremony that is (or at least should) be forthcoming, and the banner reveal at Spectrum Stadium that’s surely coming at the 2018 season opener.

If you’re going to go all in on a publicity campaign, it’s best to go all the way in. As UCF has done here.

NCAA tables proposal that would allow players to play in up to four games and retain redshirt

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The NCAA’s Division I Council on Wednesday tabled a proposal that would allow players to compete in up to four games and retain their redshirts. Championed by AFCA executive director Todd Berry, the rule was touted as a necessary change in an era where teams play 14- and 15-game seasons.

The rule would allow redshirting players to replace injured players without personal cost to their careers. Presently, a coach with dwindling numbers at a given position is put in between the rock and the hard place of burning an innocent player’s redshirt or putting players at risk of injury through overuse.

Here’s how the NCAA presented the news:

The Council tabled a proposal that would allow football student-athletes to participate in up to four games per year without using a season of competition. Proponents argue that late-season injuries and other factors often require student-athletes who hadn’t played all season to burn a year of eligibility for a small number of games. Others wonder whether the proposal could be applied to other sports, as well, whether the number of games in the proposal is appropriate, and whether the timing of the four games matters.

It is not clear what opposition exists to the rule, though Big 12 commissioner, Council member and noted fear-mongerer Bob Bowlsby posited in January that teams could, for some unexplained reason, hold their best players back until the final four games of the season.

“I think it’s got a lot of merit,” he said, “but there are some hooks in it. I don’t know how comfortable people are with, suddenly in the last three games and a bowl game, you go from being a guy who’s on the scout team to [a prominent role].”

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The proposal is not all dead, as Miracle Max would say. The Council will now turn the tabled proposal over to the Football Oversight and Student-Athlete Experience Committees for discussion and feedback solicitation.