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Coaches Poll welcomes Washington State and Miami to top 10

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A couple of losses by top 10 teams in the coaches poll led to a bit of a shakeup this week, but No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson remain the top two teams in the land for another week without much debate. After Oklahoma and Michigan took losses at home though, there was some room for teams to move into new positions in the top 10 this week.

No. 3 Penn State, No. 4 Washington, and No. 5 Georgia all moved up one spot in the coaches poll this week. No. 6 Wisconsin jumped up two spots and No. 7 TCU moved up three. No. 8 Ohio State inched up one spot and is now ranked four spots ahead of No. 12 Oklahoma despite a head-to-head loss in Columbus earlier this season. No. 9 Washington State and No. 10 Miami each moved into the top 10 this week at the expense of No. 12 Oklahoma and No. 16 Michigan. The Sooners and Wolverines each dropped nine spots in the poll this week, matching for the biggest drop in terms of how many spots they each fell.

Three schools fell out of the coaches poll — Louisville, Florida, and West Virginia — to allow some more room for newcomers to this week’s poll.No. 22 Michigan State surged up by rising 14 spots in the overall ballot count this week. No. 24 Navy and No. 25 Stanford each moved into the poll this week as well.

Here is this week’s coaches poll, with first-place votes noted:

  1. Alabama (57)
  2. Clemson (8)
  3. Penn State
  4. Washington
  5. Georgia
  6. Wisconsin
  7. TCU
  8. Ohio State
  9. Washington State
  10. Miami
  11. Auburn
  12. Oklahoma
  13. USC
  14. Oklahoma State
  15. USF
  16. Michigan
  17. Virginia Tech
  18. San Diego State
  19. Notre Dame
  20. NC State
  21. UCF
  22. Michigan State
  23. Utah
  24. Navy
  25. Stanford

Florida’s statement on Jim McElwain’s death-threat claim is interesting, to say the least

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Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s something.  Regardless, it’s something that bears watching.

Losers of two in a row and off to a 3-3 start to the season,  Florida has underperformed and underwhelmed to say the least.  So much so, in fact, that head coach Jim McElwain indicated Monday that he, his family, his coaching staff and players have been subjected to death threats by unknown individuals.

The head coach went into no detail publicly regarding the nature of the threats.  Apparently, it was the same privately when discussing the situation with his employer.

OK then.

Again, it could be in the same neighborhood as naked shark humping — nothing. Bears watching, though, as one very outspoken member of the Florida media is very much already doing publicly about a situation that was apparently reported to the media before it was reported to the police or even the university.

LOOK: Arizona State to wear Pat Tillman-themed uniforms

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Pat Tillman is essentially the Knute Rockne of Arizona State football, the central figure that will be as important to the program 100 years from now as he is today. And while Notre Dame will wear Rockne-themed uniforms later this season, so, too, will Arizona State.

The program revealed Tillman-centric uniforms on Monday for their Nov. 4 game with Colorado, based on the uniform Tillman wore as a member of the U.S. Army while fighting in Afghanistan.

Tillman played linebacker at Arizona State from 1994-97 (he was named the Pac-10’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior) and then spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before the events of 9/11 inspired him to join the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Army Rangers before he was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, at age 27.

Arizona State unveiled a Tillman statue at Sun Devil Stadium at its season-opening win over New Mexico State.

“Pat spent his whole life trying to be the best person he could possibly be,” Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother, said at the unveiling. “He didn’t focus on money, he didn’t focus on fame, he didn’t focus on a pretty statue. It was, ‘How can I make myself a better person in all these different facets of my life?’ And ASU gave him an opportunity to do that.”

Jim McElwain says family, players have received death threats over 3-3 start

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Florida has lost two in a row and is off to a 3-3 start, and that streak will probably reach three on Saturday after the Gators meet No. 3 Georgia. While everyone knows SEC fans are passionate about their football, some have taken Florida’s struggles too far.

How far? By threatening to kill the players and coaches.

“I think it’s a pretty good lesson for the way things are,” head coach Jim McElwain said, via Only Gators. “There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger. And yet, it’s freedom to show it. The hard part is, obviously, when it’s threats against your own players, death threats to your families, the ill will that’s brought upon out there. And yet, I think it’s really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament to what’s going on out there nationally. There’s a lot of angry people, and in this business, we’re the ones you take the shots at. And that’s the way it is.”

In my experience, it seems people lodging death threats are far more serious about the threat part than the, uh, other. But that’s easy for me to say, I’ve never received one.

Report: Sam Darnold expected to return to USC in 2018

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Sam Darnold was appointed the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft on the second day of 2017. As a redshirt freshman, Darnold torched Penn State to the tune of 33-of-53 passing for 453 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in a 52-49 Rose Bowl win.

One problem, though. Darnold hasn’t played like a No. 1 pick this season.

While he hasn’t been the most disappointing player on what’s turning out to be a disappointing USC team, Darnold has posted pedestrian numbers (for him): hitting 63.5 percent of his passes for an even eight yards per attempt with 17 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He ranks 38th nationally in passing efficiency. This puts him, coincidentally, one spot ahead of former USC quarterback Max Browne.

On Monday, NFL Draft analyst Benjamin Allbright shared a report that Darnold is expected to return to USC next season.

Considering Ronald Jones could return next season and that Stephen Carr is just a freshman, the prospect of Darnold returning in 2018 has to take the sting out of a lost 2017 for Trojans fans.