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AP Top 25: No. 1 Alabama stays ahead of rising Florida State, Ohio State and Michigan

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There was no change at the top of the latest Associated Press top 25 this week, with No. 1 Alabama receiving 56 first-place votes. They were followed this week by No. 2 Florida State, with the Seminoles picking up four first-place votes. Big Ten rivals No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Michigan fall in line behind the Tide and Noles, with the Wolverines picking up another first-place vote this week. No. 5 Clemson was knocked down a few spots after a sluggish performance at home against Troy.

No. 6 Houston, No. 7 Stanford and No. 8 Washington held on to their spots in the AP poll this week, and No. 9 Wisconsin was bumped up one spot. Rounding out the top 10 this week is Louisville, up three spots from the previous week. No. 11 Texas and No. 12 Michigan State remained where they were a week ago. No. 13 Iowa moved up a few spots following a dismantling of Iowa State, jumping over No. 14 Oklahoma. No. 15 Tennessee rebounded to move up two spots this week following a more convincing win compared to their opener.

No. 16 Georgia was the big loser despite winning. The Bulldogs were punished for their home struggle against Nicholls State, dropping from No. 9 down to No. 16 this week. Following the Bulldogs were No. 17 Texas A&M, No. 18 Notre Dame, No. 19 Ole Miss and No. 20 LSU.

New teams in the AP top 25 this week include No. 23 Florida and No. 24 Arkansas.

Here si the full AP Top 25 after the second week of college football action, with first-place votes noted:

  1. Alabama (56)
  2. Florida State (4)
  3. Ohio State
  4. Michigan (1)
  5. Clemson
  6. Houston
  7. Stanford
  8. Washington
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Louisville
  11. Texas
  12. Michigan State
  13. Iowa
  14. Oklahoma
  15. Tennessee
  16. Georgia
  17. Texas A&M
  18. Notre Dame
  19. Ole Miss
  20. LSU
  21. Baylor
  22. Oregon
  23. Florida
  24. Arkansas
  25. Miami

Reports: Maryland OC Walt Bell to take same job at Florida State

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Willie Taggart has found himself someone to (help) guide his first offense at Florida State.

While there’s nothing official yet from the football program, 247Sports.com was among the first to report that Maryland’s Walt Bell is set to be named as FSU’s offensive coordinator. Bell is also expected to serve as FSU’s quarterbacks coach.

ESPN.com subsequently confirmed the initial reports.

The 33-year-old Bell spent the past two seasons as the coordinator at Maryland.  Prior to that, he held the same job, along with quarterbacks coach responsibility, at Arkansas State from 2014-15.

While Bell called plays during his stint with the Terrapins, it’s expected Taggart will have play-calling responsibilities with the Seminoles.

Wazzu statement: ‘The tragic news today surrounding Tyler Hilinksi is devastating to all’

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Tuesday night, the Pullman Police Department confirmed that 21-year-old Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski was found dead in his apartment of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  Very early Wednesday morning, the football program and athletic department released statements addressing the devastating developments.

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH MIKE LEACH
We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler’s passing. He was an incredible young man and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him was better for it. The entire WSU community mourns as thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

INTERIM ATHLETIC DIRECTOR John Johnson
The tragic news today surrounding Tyler Hilinski is devastating to all. Tyler was a tremendous individual, great friend and teammate, and he will be deeply missed. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.

Earlier tonight, the football team was brought together and informed of the tragedy. There, they were met by campus and department counseling and psychological services, including athletics’ on-staff clinical psychologist and a licensed mental health counselor, along with WSU Athletics medical team. The university will continue to coordinate and provide ongoing counseling care for all student-athletes as long as needed.

Washington State QB Tyler Hilinski found dead in apparent suicide

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There is utterly tragic and horrific news coming out of Pullman Tuesday night.

According to the Pullman Police Department, Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski was found dead at his apartment late Tuesday afternoon of what was described as an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. “A rifle was discovered next to Hilinski and a suicide note was found,” the police stated in a release.

Police officers were called to the residence at 7:30 p.m. ET (4:40 p.m. local time) for a wellness check after the redshirt sophomore failed to show up for a team activity earlier in the day.

Hilinski was just 21 years old.

As of this posting, there’s been no official response from the football program regarding the passing of Hilinski.  Wednesday, the university had been expected to announce the new athletic director replacing Bill Moos, Florida Atlantic’s Pat Chun; because of the football player’s death, that press conference will be rescheduled for a later date.

In place of Luke Falk, Hilinski started Wazzu’s Holiday Bowl loss to Michigan State.  With Falk off to the NFL, Hilinski was expected to be the Cougars’ starting quarterback in 2018.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those impacted by Hilinski’s way-too-early passing.

Former Nebraska OL coach Mike Cavanaugh hired by Syracuse

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Dino Babers has added a very experienced trenchman to his Syracuse coaching staff.

The school confirmed Tuesday that Babers has hired Mike Cavanaugh as his next offensive line coach. In a coaching career that spans 32 seasons, Cavanaugh has been a line coach in some form or fashion for 31 of them.

“Mike has an outstanding track record of teaching and developing quality offensive linemen,” Babers said in a statement. “He’s done it successfully at every level in college as well as the pros. This was an opportunity to add someone whose knowledge and experience will greatly enhance our staff and benefit our players.”

The past three seasons, Cavanaugh was the line coach at Nebraska. At the FBS level, he’s also served as a line coach at Oregon State (2005-14) and Hawaii (1999-2004).

From 1997-98, Cavanaugh was the assistant offensive line coach for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers.

“I’d like to thank Coach Babers for this opportunity and for welcoming me into the Syracuse family,” Cavanaugh said. “He and his staff have coached some of the most prolific offenses in college football. I’m excited to learn from them and to be part of the championship-caliber program they are building at Syracuse.”

The 2018 season will mark the first time since 2004 Cavanaugh is not a part of a Mike Riley-coached staff.