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AP Top 25: North Dakota State receives votes and Buckeyes and Louisville move up in top 3

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Following a dominating performance at home against Florida State, the Louisville Cardinals moved to No. 3 in this week’s Associated Press top 25. Alabama remained on top, and Ohio State moved into second in this week’s Top 25.

Louisville picked up six first-place votes in the AP Top 25, two more than No. 2 Ohio State received by far below the 50 accumulated by Alabama. No. 4 Michigan somehow received one first-place vote from the voting panel after their victory over Colorado. No. 5 Clemson, No. 6 Houston and No. 7 Stanford all stayed firm in the poll this week, while No. 8 Michigan State jumped into the top 10 ahead of No. 9 Washington and No. 10 Texas A&M. No. 11 Wisconsin fell two spots to make room for the newcomers.

Speaking of newcomers, No. 20 Nebraska, No. 22 San Diego State and No. 24 Utah all make appearances in the poll this week. Despite home losses and 1-2 records, No. 23 Ole Miss and No. 25 Oklahoma remain in the AP Top 25. Notre Dame also is 1-2, but the Fighting Irish were dumped by the AP voters this week.

The AP voters were not as forgiving to Iowa as the coaches were this week. While the Hawkeyes managed to remain on the fringe of the top 25 in the coaches poll, the AP voters dumped Iowa after losing at home to North Dakota State. North Dakota State received votes from the AP voters and is listed as the third team in the others receiving votes category, behind TCU and UCLA. The Bison are one spot ahead of Boise State in the vote totals.

Here is the full Associated Press Top 25 for this week, with first-place votes noted:

  1. Alabama (59)
  2. Ohio State (4)
  3. Louisville (6)
  4. Michigan (1)
  5. Clemson
  6. Houston
  7. Stanford
  8. Michigan State
  9. Washington
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Wisconsin
  12. Georgia
  13. Florida State
  14. Tennessee
  15. Miami
  16. Baylor
  17. Arkansas
  18. LSU
  19. Florida
  20. Nebraska
  21. Texas
  22. San Diego State
  23. Ole Miss
  24. Utah
  25. Oklahoma

Florida DL Taven Bryan declares for NFL Draft

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The Dan Mullen era has everyone excited in Gainesville, but one key contributor won’t stick around to see it.

Defensive lineman Taven Bryan announced Monday he will leave school to enter his name in the 2018 NFL Draft. According to the statement released on his Twitter account, it sounds as if he made his mind up during the Jim McElwain and Randy Shannon regimes and nearly returned upon Mullen’s arrival.

Bryan ranked fifth on the team with 40 tackles while also recording six TFL and four sacks, just half a sack off the team lead.

A native of Casper, Wyo., Bryan will attempt to become just the third Wyoming native to be among the ranks of active NFL players.

SMU reportedly tabs former Cal, La Tech head coach Sonny Dykes as new head coach

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Sonny Dykes will take over as SMU’s head coach, according to multiple reports. The move was first reported by FotballScoop on Monday morning, and since confirmed by ESPN and Sports Illustrated.

Dykes takes over for Chad Morris, who left last week to become the head coach at Arkansas.

Morris was hired to re-establish ties with the Texas high school community after the program flatlined under June Jones, and Dykes has a similar appeal as his predecessor. Like Morris, Dykes is a former Texas high school coach, though only briefly. (He spent one year as the running backs coach at Richardson Pearce High School in 1994.) But more importantly he’s a name that will resonate with Texas high school coaches as the son of the legendary Spike Dykes.

The younger Dykes served as an assistant at Navarro Junior College and Texas Tech before taking over as the head coach at Louisiana Tech, where he led the Bulldogs to a 22-15 mark with one WAC championship from 2010-12. That success led him to Cal, where he took the Golden Bears to one bowl game in four seasons.

He was let go after the 2016 season, and spent the 2017 campaign laying low nearby the Hilltop, as an offensive analyst at TCU.

Dykes will inherit a 7-5 SMU team that ranked eighth nationally in scoring offense and 113th in scoring defense. The Mustangs will meet Dykes’s former team Louisiana Tech in the inaugural Frisco Bowl on Dec. 20 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Interim head coach Jeff Traylor garnered significant support inside the locker room to take over on a full-time basis, so it will be interesting to see if Dykes works to keep the former Texas high school coach on staff, perhaps in an offensive coordinator capacity.

Report: Former Stanford QB Tavita Pritchard named Cardinal offensive coordinator

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It can be argued Tavita Pritchard started the current era of Stanford football. Trailing 23-17 with 48 seconds left, it was Pritchard that hit Mark Bradford for a 10-yard touchdown to push the Cardinal past No. 2 USC for a 24-23 win in 2007, at the time the largest point-spread upset in college football history and kickstarting the Jim HarbaughDavid Shaw era that continues today.

And now it will be Pritchard’s job to keep the ball he first pushed way back when rolling.

According to Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated, Pritchard will be named Stanford’s offensive coordinator.

Still only 30, Pritchard graduated from Stanford in 2009, but he never really left the Stanford football program. He volunteered with the coaching staff in 2010, began working with the Cardinal defense in 2011 and was promoted to the full-time coaching staff in 2013, working with the running backs.

Pritchard was moved to quarterbacks and wide receivers in 2014 and has remained there the past four seasons, but is now in line to take over the entire offense with offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren now the head coach at Rice.

Led by Doak Walker Award winner Bryce Love, Stanford concluded the regular season ranked 32nd in rushing, 61st in passing efficiency, 19th in yards per play and 39th in scoring at 32.0 points per game. The 13th-ranked and Pac-12 North champion Cardinal will meet No. 15 TCU in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28 (9 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Darrell Dickey to join Texas A&M staff as offensive coordinator

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Memphis offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey is taking the same job at Texas A&M, according to a report from, uh, me.

Dickey has been on the Memphis staff for the past six years, first as an original member of Justin Funete‘s staff and continued on under new head coach Mike Norvell. His 2017 unit ranked among the top five nationally in scoring, total offense and yards per play, and came within a defensive stop of winning the American championship and playing in the Peach Bowl.

Beyond Memphis, the appeal for Jimbo Fisher is Dickey’s extensive experience in Texas. A Galveston, Texas, native, Dickey broke into coaching as a graduate assistant on Jackie Sherrill‘s staff at Texas A&M and bounced around in the state as the offensive coordinator at UTEP, SMU and Texas State, and served as the head coach at North Texas from 1998-06. He led the Mean Green to four straight Sun Belt championships from 2001-04.

It will be interesting to see how much control of the offense Fisher gives to Dickey. Memphis ran 882 plays in its 12 games this season, 41st nationally, while Florida State ranked 122nd with 734 — a difference of a dozen snaps a game.