Associated Press

Second straight week of seven ranked-on-ranked matchups signals HUGE Showdown Saturday slate


As yet another regular season begins to quickly and swiftly wind down, there’s yet another huge weekend on tap dripping with playoff and conference implications.

Last week, for the first time since the 2006 season and just the sixth time in history, there were seven games played in which both teams were ranked in the Associated Press poll. As we enter Week 11, it’s back-to-back for that particular phenomenon as, yet again, there are seven ranked-on-ranked matchups.

All 14 of the teams involved, incidentally, currently reside in the College Football Playoff Top 25, which is obviously the poll measure with the most import and the rankings for which are used in setting up the scrumptious Week 11 menu below.

  • No. 1 Georgia at No. 10 Auburn
  • No. 2 Alabama at No. 16 Mississippi State
  • No. 3 Notre Dame at No. 7 Miami
  • No. 6 TCU at No. 5 Oklahoma
  • No. 20 Iowa at No. 8 Wisconsin
  • No. 12 Michigan State at No. 13 Ohio State
  • No. 15 Oklahoma State at No. 21 Iowa State

Georgia has already clinched the otherwise woeful SEC East, but needs a win to keep pace in the national chase. Both undefeated Alabama (with an Auburn loss) and unbeaten Wisconsin can join UGA in a division-clinching Saturday with wins, the former the SEC West and the latter the Big Ten West; the winner of the Michigan State-Ohio State matchup all but clinches the Big Ten East as well. Oklahoma and TCU enter gameday tied atop the Big 12 at 5-1 in conference play, with the winner of that matchup grabbing very firm control of one of the two spots in the league championship game renewal with two games remaining and the loser falling out of playoff contention.

The lone non-conference matchup in the group, Notre Dame traveling to Miami, could very well find the loser, much like the Pac-12 and especially if it’s the Irish, on the outside of the playoff window looking in when the regular season is all said and done.

Outside of the ranked-on-ranked matchups, CFP No. 4 and defending national champion Clemson can clinch the ACC Atlantic by dropping stumbling rival Florida State at home, while No. 11 USC can do the same in the Pac-12 South if it takes care of business against Colorado on the road. In the Group of Five portion of the program, unbeaten and 18th-ranked Central Florida will look to strengthen its hold on a potential New Year’s Six berth by taking care of UConn, with No. 22 Memphis, the only other CFP ranked G5, facing a stiff test against SMU as it tries to stay within shouting distance of UCF.

So, other than all of that, there’s really not much at stake this weekend. At all.

Clemson DT Christian Wilkins on substitute teaching: I felt like Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘Kindergarten Cop’

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Those of a certain age may look back on going to grade school and think fondly on those rare days where the regular teacher was out and a substitute filled in. For many around the country, that often meant watching a movie or two for class instead of doing, well… actual work.

If you happen to be a kindergarten student at James M. Brown Elementary School in Walhalla, South Carolina though, having a substitute teacher for class has been taking on a whole different meaning the past few weeks. That’s because 300-pound Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins has been moonlighting as a sub and trying to corral little kids on a much gentler scale than he corrals quarterbacks on Saturdays in the fall.

“It was fun, but took a lot out of me,” Wilkins told ESPN earlier this week. “I felt like Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘Kindergarten Cop’ with all those little kids. Talk about energy, but it was a real cool experience.”

Perhaps the most accurate line from Chris Low’s excellent story on Wilkins’ substitute duties came by one young pupil who muttered, ‘That’s one big mister.’ The senior All-American is only getting $80 for a day’s worth of work with the kids but seeing the massive defensive tackle walk into a room is probably as priceless for Wilkins as it is for those at the school.

UCF claims undefeated season was worth $200+ million in exposure for football program

Getty Images

How much is an undefeated season worth for a program? If you ask the most recent team to accomplish the feat, the answer is a lot of dough. Like nine figures worth.

According to a release by UCF, the school commissioned a report compiled by Joyce Julius & Associates on just how much value they got from their football team’s perfect season that was capped off with an AAC conference title and a Peach Bowl victory over Auburn:

When combining national television game broadcasts, television news coverage, print media, Internet news and social media, the value of the exposure for UCF Football from Nov. 17, 2017-Jan. 31, 2018 was $171,079,417.47. Combined, the entirety of the 2017 UCF Football season’s exposure was valued at well over $200 million.

Further more, the study found roughly 160,000 total social media posts “generated nearly 655 million impressions with an estimated exposure value of $17,696,403.81. Of the 160,792 posts the study found, over 138,000 of them were on Twitter.” No word how many of those tweets were fans ridiculing the school for claiming a national title or just angry Alabama supporters yelling back about the sport’s true champion last season.

There’s no doubt that the Knights’ story and resulting publicity from claiming to be “national champions” was worth plenty to the school, but it seems like a bit of fuzzy math to claim all of $200 million worth of exposure even with new state license plates and trips to Disney World. One wonders if UCF can claim low nine figures from a “championship” run you’ve got to think Nick Saban’s actual title-winning Alabama team might be able lay claim to more than double that amount for winning the College Football Playoff after all.

Louisville signee Jairus Brents caught speeding, arrested for outstanding shoplifting warrant

Getty Images

It’s never good for a head coach to get a call that one of his players was arrested and equally bad when the player in question hasn’t even arrived on campus. Such is the case for Louisville coach Bobby Petrino as one of his recent signees was arrested by police on Wednesday.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that four-star cornerback Jairus Brents was cited for speeding by local police and then was arrested due to an outstanding warrant that was the result of a shoplifting citation from shortly before National Signing Day. He was reportedly going 86 mph in a 55 mph zone and was also cited by police for reckless driving and driving without a license.

While that’s not great to say the least, here’s what the Courier-Journal says about the reason for Brents’ actual arrest:

He was arrested because of a warrant stemming from an alleged incident on Jan. 26. According to police, Brents and an “unknown (co-defendant)” took five tank-top shirts and four boxer briefs from the JCPenney store at St. Matthews Mall. Brents’ court date was set for March 5, but court records show that he was not present.

Louisville has not released a statement about the matter yet but Brents is still expected to remain a member of the Cardinals’ recruiting class. In addition to being rated as a four-star defensive back by 247Sports, the local star was also listed as the state’s No. 2 prospect in the class of 2018.

Either way, not the way one wants to begin a career in college football… before it really even begins.

With offensive line coach recovering from a broken hip, Baylor turns to former QB to fill in as coach during spring practice

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Spring practice has arrived in Waco and things are probably not off to the smooth start that Baylor head coach Matt Rhule was hoping for after a turbulent 2017 campaign.

In addition to suspending two players amidst sexual assault allegations, the program is dealing with being a coach short on the field for the next several weeks. That’s because offensive line coach George DeLeone is recovering from a broken hip and the ensuing surgery, resulting in former Bears quarterback Shawn Bell stepping into his spot to coach the big boys up front.


“And it’s because of his character and because of his patience and never really questioning anything,” Rhule told the school’s website of the change. “Luckily, there’s no egos with anybody there. I think George kind of hand-picked Shawn, saying he’s the right guy.”

Bell is currently an offensive analyst for the program and was hired when Rhule first arrived in Waco after several years as a head coach in the high school ranks in the state of Texas.