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Nation’s leading receivers named among 10 Biletnikoff Award semifinalists

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The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation has trimmed down the list of the nation’s top receivers to 10 semifinalists for this year’s Biletnikoff Award. The award doesn’t necessarily have to go to a wide receiver, but this year’s award will maintain that tradition with 10 semifinalists all playing the wide receiver position.

Among the semifinalists are the nation’s leading receiver, Colorado State’s Michael Gallup (1,298 yards), the nation’s leader in receiving touchdowns, West Virginia’s David Sills V (18 touchdowns), and the nation’s leader in receptions per game, SMU’s Trey Quinn (9.6 receptions per game). The semifinalist list also includes key players on conference contenders like Deontay Burnett of USC and James Washington of Oklahoma State.

A Big 12 receiver has won the award each of the past two seasons, so that may be good news for one of the three semifinalists from the Big 12 this season. Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook won the award a year ago, preceded by Baylor’s Corey Coleman in 2015.A Big 12 player has won the award a total of six times since 2007, with Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree and Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon each winning the award twice.

2017 Biletnikoff Semifinalists

  • Darren Andrews, UCLA
  • A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
  • Deontay Burnett, USC
  • Keke Coutee, Texas Tech
  • Michael Gallup, Colorado State
  • Steve Ishmael, Syracuse
  • Anthony Miller, Memphis
  • Trey Quinn, SMU
  • David Sills, West Virginia
  • James Washington, Oklahoma State

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

Associated Press
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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.

56 college football assistants named nominees for 2017 Broyles Award

AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File
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College football’s award season is coming quickly with semifinalists and finalists for various awards coming in the next few weeks. Among the awards is the Broyles Award, which recognizes the top assistant coach in college football. Today, the Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation released its list of nominees for this year’s award. All 56 of them, which is sure to keep more SIDs busy this time of year.

No school has more than one assistant nominated for the award and previous winners of the award from the past five seasons are not eligible. Clemson’s Brent Venables won the award last year, for example, so he is not eligible this season. This list of nominees will be trimmed to 15 semifinalists later this season, and that list will be cut down to five finalists for the award.

The Broyles Award was first awarded in 2010 to Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. Malzahn is currently the head coach of the Tigers. In total, five Broyles Award winners have gone on to be a head coach, with four of those currently holding head coaching positions. Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi (2013, Michigan State defensive coordinator), Texas head coach Tom Herman (2014, Ohio State offensive coordinator), and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley (2015, Oklahoma offensive coordinator) currently hold head coaching jobs. Bob Diaco, who won the award in 2012 while at Notre Dame, went on to be named the head coach at UConn and currently is an assistant with Nebraska.

2017 Broyles Award Nominees

  • Alabama – Brian Daboll, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • Arizona – Rod Smith, Co–Offensive Coordinator
  • Arizona State – Phil Bennett, Defensive Coordinator
  • Arkansas State – Brian Early, Defensive Line Coach
  • Auburn – Kevin Steele, Defensive Coordinator
  • Boise State – Andy Avalos, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Bowling Green State – Matt Brock, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • California – Beau Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
  • Central Florida – Troy Walters, Offensive Coordinator
  • Clemson – Tony Elliot, Co–Offensive Coordinator, Running Backs
  • Eastern Michigan – Neal Neathery, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • FAU – Chris Kiffin, Defensive Coordinator
  • FIU – Brent Guy, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Fresno State – Orlondo Steinauer, Defensive Coordinator
  • Georgia – Mel Tucker, Defensive Coordinator
  • Georgia State – Nate Fuqua, Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers
  • Iowa State – Jon Heacock, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
  • Kansas State – Sean Snyder, Special Teams Coordinator
  • LSU – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator
  • Memphis – Joe Lorig, Special Teams Coordinator; – Outside Linebackers
  • Miami – Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator
  • Michigan – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Michigan State – Harlon Barnett, Co–Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
  • Mississippi State – Todd Grantham, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Missouri – Josh Heupel, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • NC State – Dwayne Ledford, Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator
  • North Texas – Graham Harrell, Offensive Coordinator
  • Northwestern – Mike Hankwitz, Defensive Coordinator
  • Notre Dame – Mike Elko, Defensive Coordinator
  • Ohio State – Larry Johnson, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach
  • Oklahoma – Bill Bedenbaugh, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • Oklahoma State – Mike Yurcich, Offensive Coordinator/QBs
  • Ole Miss – Derrick Nix, Running Backs Coach
  • Oregon – Jim Leavitt, Defensive Coordinator
  • Penn State – Brent Pry, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • San José State – Bojay Filimoeatu, Linebackers Coach
  • SMU – Joe Craddock, Offensive Coordinator
  • South Carolina – Coleman Hutzler, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • Southern Miss – Tony Pecoraro, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
  • Stanford – Mike Bloomgren, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • Syracuse – Brian Ward, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • TCU – Chad Glasgow, Defensive Coordinator
  • Temple – Jim Panagos, Defensive Line
  • Texas – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Toledo – Brian Wright, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
  • Troy – Vic Koenning, Defensive Coordinator
  • U.S. Military Academy – Brent Davis, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • USC – Tee Martin, Offensive Coordinator/WR Coach
  • Utah State – Mark Tommerdahl, Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs
  • Virginia Tech – Bud Foster, Defensive Coordinator
  • Wake Forest – Warren Ruggiero, Offensive Coordinator
  • Washington – Pete Kwiatkowski, Defensive Coordinator
  • Washington State – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator / Secondary
  • West Virginia – Tony Gibson, Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Western Kentucky – Clayton White, Defensive Coordinator
  • Wisconsin – Jim Leonhard, Defensive Coordinator

AAC West undergoes shakeup as Houston, Navy fall in Week 7

Associated Press
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Entering Week 7, Houston and Navy were 1-2 in the AAC West.  Exiting it?  Not so much.

At 2-0, Houston led the conference’s West division.  At 3-1, No. 25 Navy was right behind.  In a span of about a half-hour Saturday, however, both teams put the finishing touches on losses, the former to Tulsa 45-17 and the latter to Memphis 30-27.

The Cougars’ loss, especially the margin, is borderline stunning as the Golden Hurricane came into the contest sporting a 1-5 overall record and a 0-2 mark in conference play.  Just a week ago, Tulsa was taken to the woodshed by West rival Tulane in a 62-28 whooping.

Meanwhile, the Tigers’ win over the Midshipmen, coupled with the Cougars’ loss, pushes the U of M to the top of the division with a 3-1 record in conference play.  While unranked, Memphis could replace Navy in the Top 25 when the new set of rankings are released Sunday afternoon.

Also lurking in the division are SMU, which enters the weekend 1-1 and will leave with the same mark as the Mustangs are on their bye, and Tulane, also 1-1 and will be that way entering Week 8 as they face Conference USA’s Florida International Saturday night.

SMU unveils photos of fancy new player lockers to be installed after the season

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If you’re a college football program nowadays, chances are you redesign your locker room every decade or so to keep things fresh and impress recruits. In the state of Texas at least, the cycle seems continuous and on a much shorter time frame.

The latest program to unveil new player lockers was SMU, which tweeted several images of a mockup they will use when they rip out the current set and replace them at the end of the 2017 campaign in Dallas.

Interestingly, the Mustangs are using the same company that in-state rival Texas had do their $10,000-per-locker renovation earlier this year. While the SMU version does share many similarities with the pricy Longhorns version, something says that the final bill won’t be in quite the same ball park despite the school having plenty of money to throw at facilities upgrades.

Still, the new lockers look pretty slick and will no doubt have plenty of practical purposes as well once they get installed. Given some high-profile renovations at Texas A&M, TCU and others around the Lone Star State, it seems it’s time for the Mustangs to finally get their update to bring the locker room up to standards.