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Coaches poll drops PSU, TCU and welcomes Iowa State, Memphis, Mississippi State, Arizona

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With a couple of top four teams taking a loss this weekend, a shakeup was bound to happen in the polls. The Amway Coaches Poll saw just that with a handful of teams moving up at the expense of Penn State and TCU. No. 1 Alabama remains the top team in the coaches poll with all 65 first-place votes.

No. 2 Georgia moves up in the poll to give the SEC the top two teams in the nation. Other SEC teams appearing in the poll include No. 15 Auburn, No. 20 LSU, and No. 22 Mississippi State. The Big Ten is next in line in the coaches poll with No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Wisconsin moving up to stay ahead of No. 5 Clemson of the ACC. Continuing the trend of two teams per conference, No. 6 Miami comes in just behind the defending national and ACC champions.

No. 7 Penn State was dropped five spots in the polls after their one-point loss to Ohio State on Saturday. While the drop was somewhat significant, TCU was hit even harder by falling eight spots from No. 4 to No. 12. Between Penn State and TCU sits No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 9 Oklahoma, No. 10 Oklahoma State, and No. 11 Washington (the highest-ranked Pac-12 team in the coaches poll). TCU is still ranked four spots ahead of the team that just defeated them, No. 16 Iowa State.

Iowa State is joined as a newcomer to the coaches poll this week by No. 21 Memphis, Mississippi State, and No. 25 Arizona. The team taking the biggest tumble in the poll this week that remained in the top 25 is No. 23 USF, who fell nine spots after a loss to Houston. Washington State, Michigan State, West Virginia, and Texas A&M all fell out of the poll.

Coaches Poll

  1. Alabama (65 first-place votes)
  2. Georgia
  3. Ohio State
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Clemon
  6. Miami
  7. Penn State
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Oklahoma State
  11. Washington
  12. TCU
  13. Virginia Tech
  14. UCF
  15. Auburn
  16. Iowa State
  17. USC
  18. Stanford
  19. NC State
  20. LSU
  21. Memphis
  22. Mississippi State
  23. USF
  24. Michigan
  25. Arizona

Others receiving votes: Michigan State, Washington State, South Carolina, Kentucky, Toledo, West Virginia, Boise State, San Diego State, Texas A&M, Troy, Navy, Iowa

UCF’s Shaquem Griffin wins inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award

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UCF has won another trophy for last season and this is one they can very proudly display in the school trophy case.

That’s because recent Knights linebacker Shaquem Griffin was named the winner of the inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award during a ceremony in the Dallas area on Thursday night. Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph were also finalists for the new award.

Griffin was one of the best players in college football for UCF despite the fact that his left hand was amputated when he was younger because of a congenital condition called amniotic band syndrome. A tenacious pass rusher, he was the AAC’s defensive player of the year in 2016 and was recently named the defensive MVP of the Peach Bowl as his team capped off a perfect season.

The award honors “exemplary leadership” on and off the field from a Division I college football player and was presented by Witten’s foundation. The former Tennessee star and All-Pro tight end with the Dallas Cowboys started the award last year and serves somewhat as the college version of the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

HBO releases new trailer for Joe Paterno movie starring Al Pacino

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We’re inching closer to the release date of HBO’s Paterno about former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno and his story in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. Emotions already run high in State College whenever this subject is brought up and that seems like it will be the case again after today as the worst scandal in college sports history is relived and brought vividly to life on cable TV.

This is something that is happening however and HBO released a new, official trailer for the film on Friday that gives us an extended look at both Al Pacino in the title role and a bit more on some of the plot lines that are being brought to the silver screen.

In addition to starring Pacino, Barry Levinson is directing the movie, Riley Keough plays reporter Sara Ganim, Kathy Baker is Sue Paterno and Darren Goldstein was cast as former Nittany Lions coach-turned-whistleblower Mike McQuearyAs you can see in the trailer above, the film is mostly centered on what Paterno did or did not know about Sandusky — the team’s defensive coordinator who was found guilty on 45 of 48 child-sex abuse charges in June of 2012 and is currently serving a prison sentence of at least 30 years.

Paterno premieres April 7th on HBO.

UConn head coach Randy Edsall: We’ve become a farm system, pay the players

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The FBI sting into college basketball malfeasance has gotten a lot of folks riled up on Friday afternoon, especially when it comes to NCAA rules and potential violations. This, in turn, is leading to everybody and their brother rehashing the argument to pay (or not pay) players.

While you would probably not have expected it, even football coaches are wading into the discourse and there’s a somewhat surprising line of thinking being taken by UConn head coach Randy Edsall on Twitter:

While Edsall’s first point about football coaches getting nervous about the FBI probe spilling over into their sport probably rings true, it’s not every day you see a head coach openly advocating for paying players and calling college football a farm system for the NFL.

The Huskies head coach’s latter tweet is referring to a proposal put forward by the SEC that was approved last month which essentially allows non-coaching analysts to evaluate film of recruits in ways they could not previously do so. This has led to many expecting programs (looking at you, Alabama) creating player personnel departments in even greater numbers to streamline evaluating prospects and allow certain staffers to handle more of the recruiting load.

Edsall is far from the first coach to advocate paying players but something says his comments on Friday will also mean he will just be the latest in a long line of advocates for advancing much the same cause, especially in light of the payments going on in college basketball that are just beginning to come to light.

Charlotte’s Greg Adkins reportedly Marshall’s new O-Line coach

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Country roads, take him home.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman, Charlotte assistant Greg Adkins is expected to return to his alma mater of Marshall to take over as the Thundering Herd’s next offensive line coach.

Adkins is well known around Huntington for his work with the team back in the early 1990’s when they were winning NCAA titles and making regular title game appearances at the then-Division I-AA level. He also had stops at Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma State and with the Buffalo Bills among others before being hired at Charlotte by Brad Lambert.

The return of Adkins fills the hole on Marshall’s staff after the departure of offensive line coach Alex Mirabal, who left for Oregon earlier in the week.