Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Coaches Poll: Big Ten takes four of top 10, Louisville surges to No. 4

21 Comments

Alabama once again maintains a sizable lead atop the latest Amway Coaches Poll after coming from behind to put away Ole Miss on the road this weekend. The Crimson Tide received 59 first-place votes out of 64 to cement their place on top of the coaches poll once again. No. 2 Ohio State earned three first-place votes from the coaches this week after a road win at Oklahoma, who fell out of the top 25 at 1-2.

No. 3 Clemson picked up the lone remaining first-place vote after finally appearing to wake up against South Carolina State. Louisville, despite blasting last week’s No. 2 team (Florida State), did not pick up a first-place vote from the coaches. They did, however, jump up to No. 4. Florida State was dropped to No. 14. No. 5 Michigan, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Houston, No. 8 Michigan State, No. 9 Washington and No. 10 Wisconsin complete this week’s top 10 according to the coaches.

Oklahoma and Notre Dame each fell out of the top 25 in the coaches poll this week after their second loss of the season, but No. 21 Ole Miss managed to stay just inside the top 25 with an identical record despite blowing double-digit leads two times in the first three weeks. No. 25 Iowa barely hangs on to a spot in the top 25 following a home loss to FCS juggernaut North Dakota State. Perhaps that indicates the respect the coaches have for the Bison.

Here is the full coaches poll for this week, with first-place votes noted:

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

Butch Jones says the most Butch Jones quote of all time

Getty Images
5 Comments

It’s become a theory among some in the media that Butch Jones is conducting a social experiment or participating some sort of performance art. While that’s the more charitable and fun interpretation, I tend to think the Tennessee head coach is just frighteningly insecure and, thus, fighting for every inch of public approval he can in a likely doomed attempt to keep his job.

That approach has backed him into some verbal corners that, in the long run, make his job more difficult on himself.

I’m talking about the “Champions of Life” quote of last season or, in February, actually stating that he didn’t want 5-star players, he wanted 5-star hearts.

This season has seen Jones go on an odd rant blaming the media for negative recruiting and saying Tennessee had one of the best bye weeks ever last week.

It wasn’t one of the best bye weeks ever, because Tennessee lost at home to South Carolina, 15-9. And you’re not going to believe Jones’s explanation for why Tennessee loss. Scratch that. You will believe his explanation, and that’s the problem here, isn’t it?

Here’s the full quote.

Jones is 33-24 in his four-plus seasons in Knoxville, and 14-21 in the SEC. Those numbers will likely fall to 33-25 and 14-22 after Saturday, when the Vols face No. 1 Alabama. The end is likely near.

And here’s the grand irony of Jones’s everything’s-sunny-here p.r. strategy: his attempt to keep his job by stating blatantly cliche quotes in the state of the obvious will live on much longer than Jones’s actual tenure. Two and three years from now, when Jones is working on someone else’s staff or sitting on his buyout money, the next time an on-the-hot-seat coach says his team won the game everywhere except the scoreboard, we’ll see he Pulled a Butch.

Houston Nutt settles lawsuit with Ole Miss

Getty Images
3 Comments

Houston Nutt wanted money and an apology from Ole Miss. He’ll have to settle for the second of the two — and a largely different future for the program he used to lead.

It was Nutt’s lawsuit, remember, which exposed the documents that led to a Mississippi State fan finding Hugh Freeze‘s call to a Tampa escort service, which led to Freeze’s resignation, which led to… we have no idea what it will lead to, but, whatever that future is, it will be wildly different than if Freeze was still the Rebels’ coach.

Nutt amended his lawsuit in August to seek simply an apology from Ole Miss, and that apology finally came on Monday.

Each side released their own bitter, short statements.

Nutt will go on, with his apology but without any monetary compensation, while Ole Miss will play out the string of this season, hire a new coach, and move into a future that will be immeasurably different that the one it would have lived had it apologized to Nutt in the first place.

Washington loses LT Adams, CB Miller for the season

Getty Images
Leave a comment

No. 12 Washington’s loss to Arizona State was a disaster on the field — for more reasons than one.

The Huskies not only put their College Football Playoff hopes in danger — they’ll need to sweep their next six games, including a finishing kick that calls for games against No. 22 Stanford, No. 15 Washington State and, presumably, No. 11 USC, two of them away from Seattle. But the road to get there became noticeably more difficult after losing two starters.

Left tackle Trey Adams suffered a torn ACL in his right knee, and cornerback Jordan Miller sustained a broken ankle. Head coach Chris Petersen confirmed Monday that both will be lost for the season. Miller is the third Husky this season to suffer a broken ankle.

The Seattle Times noted that Washington is also without another starting corner in Byron Murphy, who is expected to return later this year from a broken foot. The Huskies are expected to replace Miller with either a pair of true freshmen or a converted running back.

But Adams may be the bigger loss for the Huskies. A junior, Adams was widely expected to be a first round pick in this spring’s NFL Draft. It’s the second straight season Washington has lost a key player in the trenches to a season-ending injury; a year ago, it was linebackers Joe Mathis, who finished one sack away from the team lead despite playing in only seven games, and third-leading tackler Azeem Victor.

Maryland AD Kevin Anderson to take 6-month sabbatical

Getty Images
1 Comment

Maryland AD Kevin Anderson will not be the Maryland AD for the next six months.

Anderson announced Monday he will take a 6-month sabbatical to focus on “professional development.” That leave of absence will see him remain on his national committees with the NCAA and NACDA, the professional organization of ADs.

It was reported over the weekend that Anderson would be out completely as Maryland’s AD, but those reports were knocked down by the university.

Additionally, Maryland announced that former Georgia AD and current Terps associate AD/CFO Damon Evans will run the department in Anderson’s stead.