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No. 3 Oklahoma looks playoff-ready after shutting down No. 11 TCU in Big 12 championship

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Whoever is up next for the No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners (12-1), they have their work cut out for them. After slamming the door shut on No. 11 TCU (10-3) in the revived Big 12 championship game on Saturday afternoon, Baker Mayfield and the Sooners should be rolling into the College Football Playoff, and they look as strong as any potential playoff participant may be going in.

Oklahoma’s 41-17 victory over the Horned Frogs was fueled by a fast start in the first quarter and pure dominance in the second half. Mayfield put a cherry on top of his Heisman Trophy campaign with four touchdowns, 243 yards and 65 rushing yards against TCU to lead Oklahoma to the Big 12 championship, the first for Lincoln Riley as a head coach. Rodney Anderson led the ground game with 93 rushing yards on 24 carries and Marquise Brown and Mykel Jones played key roles in the receiving game,. Tight end Mark Andrews was reliable in the red zone as well with a pair of touchdown receptions.

Oklahoma’s defense was the key in the second half, however. TCU was forced to punt four times and had one turnover on downs. Kenny Kill was also picked off in the second half as the Oklahoma defense pitched a shutout after halftime. Hill passed for 234 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 51 yards in the loss.

Oklahoma will now wait to see what seed they will have in the College Football Playoff. Entering the week No. 3 in the eyes of the selection committee, the Sooners could potentially have made a loud enough statement to be considered for the No. 1 seed, depending on the results in the SEC, ACC, and Big Ten championship games. Regardless of the seeding, it would be highly unlikely for the Sooners to fall out of the top four after a blowout victory in the Big 12 championship game. So Oklahoma fans can start scouting hotels in Pasadena and New Orleans to get prepared for all of their options.

TCU could still manage to get into a New Years Six bowl game, but a 24-point loss for the third loss of the season puts TCU in a tough spot considering some of the other options in play for the New Years Six lineup. For TCU, the Big 12 championship game could hurt their chances of going to a New Years Six bowl game.

Michigan high school coach shuts doors to EMU football following shutting down of athletic programs

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Eastern Michigan University made some tough decisions this week when it cut four athletic programs. Although cutting football was not deemed to be an option by AD Scott Wetherbee, the decision is already having some ramifications for the football program moving forward as one high school in the state of Michigan says the Eagles are no longer welcome on their premises.

Noel Dean, who coaches both the football and wrestling programs at Lowell High School, stated in a public letter addressed to EMU head coach Chris Creighton that he will no longer welcome Creighton or anyone else associated with EMU to his high school for recruiting purposes if the university goes through with cutting the wrestling program. Dean also issues a warning to Creighton in the letter, suggesting it may not be long before the university takes another hard look at the value of the football program.

“I can’t stand by and not take a stand against what is happening at EMU with the wrestling program,” Dean wrote in his letter, which was shared by Michigan Grappler. “Wrestling contributes too much to the fabric of our schools systems in Michigan (a guy from South Dakota might not get it), but if I stick to the facts on this. wrestling is only a bone to keep people happy FOR NOW. They are coming for you next.

“If this goes through, you and your staff will not be allowed in any one of our buildings.”

That is most certainly a hard line in the sand putting EMU on notice. If one school in the state of Michigan decides to close its doors to EMU and this message spreads throughout the high school coaching community in the state of Michigan, EMU would be in some serious trouble.

Helmet sticker to The Detroit Free Press.


Ed Warinner goes from $250K Michigan analyst to $525K U-M line coach

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Ed Warinner‘s bank account might want to consider sending Jim McElwain a thank-you note.

In January of this year, Warinner left Minnesota to take a job as a senior offensive analyst at Michigan. However, a month later, McElwain was added as U-M’s wide receivers coach; in an unsurprising twist to that move, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Tim Drevno officially stepped down from his twin posts eight days after McElwain’s hiring and ultimately ended up back at USC.

McElwain, as had been widely expected before he was officially added to Jim Harbaugh‘s coaching staff, took over Drevno’s coordinating duties. Warinner, meanwhile, was officially named as Drevno’s replacement as line coach earlier this month.

According to, Warinner has signed a two-year contract that will pay him $525,000 in 2018 and $550,000 in 2019. His scheduled salary for his role as an analyst with the football program? A “measly” $250,000.

Warinner spent the 2017 season as the offensive line coach and running-game coordinator at Minnesota. Prior to that, He was the line coach at Ohio State from 2012-16. In 2015, he added the title of co-offensive coordinator.

Dad: Tua Tagovailoa had surgery for broken finger on throwing hand

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And now we know a little more of the rest of the story.

Tuesday, after Alabama had put the finishing touches on its first practice of the spring, Nick Saban confirmed that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had suffered an unspecified injury to the thumb on his left (throwing) hand. It was expected that the quarterback would travel to Birmingham for further evaluation of the injury.

Wednesday, it was reported that the injury was believed to be just a sprain and that Tagovailoa could return to practice soon; Thursday, that came to fruition, although Tagovailoa was only back on a limited basis.

Friday brought further perspective, with Tagovailoa’s father telling KHON-TV in their home state of Hawaii that his son underwent surgery to repair a broken index finger on his left hand.  Galu Tagovailoa told the television station that the injury was the result of a “freak accident.”

Tagovailoa, who suffered the injury after hitting his hand on a teammate, underwent surgery that same night, this past Tuesday.

While he heals from the procedure, Tagovailoa will wear a protective glove on the hand.  For the time being, he’ll essentially be limited to footwork drills and the like.

It’s unknown when Tagovailoa, who is in the midst of a battle with two-year starter Jalen Hurts, will be cleared for full participation.  According to the station, however, his parents expect him to be back before Alabama’s spring game April 21.

Injury KOs Florida State’s leading returning WR for rest of spring

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Florida State’s already-depleted receiving corps will be further thinned for the remainder of the spring.

First-year head coach Willie Taggart confirmed to reporters Friday morning that Nyqwan Murray will likely miss the rest of spring practice after suffering a slight meniscus tear.  The wide receiver sustained the injury in a non-contact drill this past Wednesday.

“He won’t be practicing, but he’s OK,” Taggart said according to “He’ll be out the rest of spring. Had a little knee injury, a little meniscus, I think it’s a tear on the side there. He’ll be back quickly.”

Last season, Murray led the Seminoles with 604 receiving yards; tied for the team lead 40 receptions; and was second with four receiving touchdowns.  With Auden Tate declaring early for the 2018 NFL draft, Stove is FSU’s leading returning receiver.

As notes, the injury to Stove also leaves the Seminoles with just three healthy scholarship wide receivers.