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Big Ten strikes out with Ohio State-Penn State start time on FOX thanks to World Series


Today was a busy day for those who like to nibble on college football scheduling news. Kickoff times for a number of games were confirmed today with announcements flying out of the offices of ESPN, FOX, the ACC, Big 12 and more. As for the Big Ten? What could be the game of the year will serve as a lead-in to the World Series on FOX.

Ohio State’s home game on October 28 against defending Big Ten champion Penn State will be played before a national television audience on FOX, but the game will be slotted in the middle of the afternoon with a 3:30 pm kick. That has to be a bit of a disappointment for the Big Ten if the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions manage to live up to expectations for the 2017 season. The World Series is scheduled to begin on October 24, a Tuesday. Game Four of the World Series would be slated for October 28.

Ohio State is expected to be a playoff contender this season and could have a win against Big 12 favorite (and another playoff contender) Oklahoma in the books. Penn State will certainly be in the conversation in the early going, and the case for the Nittany Lions will build momentum if Penn State gets off to a good start by picking up revenge against Pittsburgh and Michigan before getting to the Buckeyes. It is very reasonable to think the showdown between the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions will establish the top contender for the Big Ten championship (not just the East Division) who could carry the weight of the conference in the College Football Playoff picture moving into November. Throw in the storyline following the two teams after last season — Penn State upset Ohio State and wiggled their way to a Big Ten title but were left out of the playoff while Ohio State was invited — and you have the possible makings of a game that is tailor-made for primetime.

Instead, the game will go head-to-head with Notre Dame vs. NC State on NBC, Florida vs. Georgia on CBS and whatever games end up airing on ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, among other options. It may just be a minor scheduling consequence of the Big Ten’s agreement with FOX, but for one season the new partnership looks like it could swing and miss on one of the top games in the conference because FOX has to work around the World Series schedule.

That can’t sit well with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, especially if Ohio State and Penn State are top 10, or top 5 teams by late October. Then again, Delany sits on a pile of money, so he may actually be OK. But the missed opportunity for a spotlight game in primetime for what could be a pair of playoff contenders is a tough blow for both Ohio State and Penn State.

VIDEO: LSU RB Derrius Guice squats 650 pounds

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Derrius Guice may be the most underrated player in college football.

Playing in the shadow of Leonard Fournette, Guice posted an eye-popping 8.55 yards per carry (51 rushes for 436 yards) as a freshman in 2015, then kept his big-play ability as his usage increased while Fournette battled injuries in his final college season. Guice rushed 183 times for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns; his 7.58 yards per carry average was the most among Power 5 rushers with at least 180 carries.

So, yes, Guice is really good. He’s also a physical freak.

LSU captured and tweeted video Friday of Guice squatting 650 pounds, more than three times his listed 212 pounds.

If — and this is a massive, Les Miles-firing if — LSU can consistently throw the ball in 2017, go ahead and make Guice your darkhorse Heisman contender in 2017.

(HT CBS Sports)

Former Miami TE Jovani Haskins headed to West Virginia

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Jovani Haskins announced two weeks ago he was leaving Miami for “somewhere else.” That somewhere else proved to be a favorite destination of other Sunshine State transfers: West Virginia.

“WVU is my new home and I can’t wait to perform in front of the fans of West Virginia!” he tweeted on Saturday.

A 3-star prospect out of Bergenfield, N.J.., Haskins was offered by West Virginia in the class of 2016 and most recruiting experts actually had him signing with the Mountaineers before a surprise commitment to Miami.

Haskins joins two former state of Florida players on WVU’s roster: starting quarterback Will Grier (Florida) and former Miami quarterback Jack Allison (Miami). The Mountaineers also employed Florida State transfer Clint Trickett at quarterback and Miami transfer Antonio Crawford at cornerback.

Haskins redshirted in 2016 and will presumably sit out 2017 before gaining eligibility in ’18. West Virginia could use the help immediately; the roster lists one scholarship tight end at present. WVU currently has two tight ends pledged for the 2018 class in addition to Haskins.


BYU wearing special patch in honor of LaVell Edwards

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BYU got the summer media day fun started on Friday with their football media day. BYU tends to pull out all the stops on its media day with coach and player interviews, alumni returning, and a handful of announcements about the future of the program. In addition to news about their relationship with ESPN, BYU also announced the football team will be sporting a patch this season in honor of the late LaVell Edwards.

In addition to players wearing the patch on their jerseys, BYU coaches will also wear the patch on their sleeves.

Edwards passed away in December at the age of 86. The BYU coaching legend spent 29 seasons on the sidelines in Provo and accumulated 257 wins along the way. Among those was a national championship season in 1984, which remains the most recent national championship to be claimed by a program not currently in a power conference. Edwards took 22 BYU teams to a bowl game.

Now if we can just keep getting BYU to stick to that lighter shade of blue as their main home uniform, we’ll be in great shape.

Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks found guilty of rape

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Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks was convicted by a jury on Friday for rape of a female Vanderbilt student. Following 15 hours of jury deliberations, the verdict of guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery was in.

”He’s shocked but understands that this is only the first part of this process, there’s a lot more to do from here on,” Banks’ lawyer, Mark Scruggs, said after the verdict. ”We have some really good issues to raise.”

Part of Banks’ defense was built on succumbing to peer pressure, suggesting he feared he may be beaten up by teammates if he did not participate in the scandalous activity. The jury, having reviewed videos and photos from the incident, some of which were shot by Banks, determined that was not a viable defense.

”Making fun of another person is not right, but we know it happens,” Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore said in closing arguments, according to the Associated Press. ”But it doesn’t give you a legal defense to commit a crime, particularly not an aggravated rape, an aggravated sexual battery. I mean if that’s the case, then we’d have the ‘football team defense.”’

Banks will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison. One count of aggravated rape has a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Other former Vanderbilt players had previously been convicted for their roles in the 2013 rape. Cory Batey was found guilty of aggravated rape and sentenced to 15-25 years in prison in April 2016. Brandon Vandenbeurg was found guilty and sentenced to 17 years in prison.