Category: Atlantic Coast Conference

Mark Richt
Associated Press

Don’t ask Mark Richt about his job status


Mark Richt is deep in preparations for his 15th game against downstate rival Georgia Tech. He’s also closing in on the end of a hectic, disappointing regular season, one in which many questions about his job status have arisen.

Combine those two facts and add in some uncomfortable questions and you get a feisty, possibly paranoid Richt.

“Who made you ask that question?” Richt said  when asked about his job status, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I know you didn’t think of that one. My focus is beating Georgia Tech right now. That’s my answer to you.”

Then another arrived, this time from the hometown Athens paper. “Then I probably won’t answer it, I can tell you that,” Richt said when appraised of the nature of the question. “So go ahead.”

It is worth noting, according to the AJC, Richt provided those terse answers through smiles and a chuckle.

“My focus right now is Georgia Tech,” Richt finally answered. “Who made you ask that one?”

Richt then attempted to head off another job question before learning the inquiry was actually about the Bulldogs’ offensive line.“You’re gonna ask the same one? We  can end this thing as fast as you want,” Richt said. “I’m here to talk about the game.”

Georgia plays Georgia Tech Saturday. By Sunday, Richt will have to find a new reason to avoid answering questions about the only subject fans care to hear.

Oklahoma, Iowa move into top four in latest College Football Playoff rankings

C.J. Beathard, Zach Poker, Mike Caprara
Associated Press

The fourth set of College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday night, and Clemson is No. 1 for the fourth consecutive week. Alabama remained second, and Oklahoma leapt from seventh to third after winning their second consecutive game against a top-20 team. Iowa moved up a spot from fifth to fourth, and Michigan State jumped from No. 9 to No. 5 after its massive road win over Ohio State.

Ohio State fell from third to eighth due to that loss. Baylor passed the Buckeyes for No. 7 following their decisive win at then-No. 6 Oklahoma State, and Notre Dame dropped from fourth to sixth after a close win a Boston College.

Washington State, Mississippi State, UCLA, Toledo and Temple jumped into the rankings, while LSU, Houston, Memphis, USC and Wisconsin fell out.

The full rankings:

1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma
4. Iowa
5. Michigan State
6. Notre Dame
7. Baylor
8. Ohio State
9. Stanford
10. Michigan
11. Oklahoma State
12. Florida
13. Florida State
14. North Carolina
15. Navy
16. Northwestern
17. Oregon
18. Ole Miss
19. TCU
20. Washington State
21.  Mississippi State
22. UCLA
23. Utah
24. Toledo
25. Temple

Finalists for O’Brien, Outland, Bednarik, other awards announced

Christian McCaffrey
Associated Press

A slew of finalists for college football’s major individual awards were announced Tuesday evening, highlighted by multi-award finalists Derrick HenryChristian McCaffrey and Deshaun Watson. Eleven of the 12 awards listed below (excluding the Burlsworth Trophy) are members of the National College Football Awards Assocation and will have their winners announced during ESPN’s Home Depot 25th Anniversary College Football Awards Show, to be broadcast from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on Thursday, Dec. 10 (7 p.m. ET).

The winner of the Rimington Award as the nation’s top center will also be revealed on ESPN’s show, but finalists aren’t announced until Monday, Dec. 7.

The finalists are:

Maxwell Award (best overall player)
Derrick Henry, Alabama
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
Deshaun Watson, Clemson

Davey O’Brien Award (best quarterback)
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Deshaun Watson, Clemson

Doak Walker Award (best running back)
Leonard Fournette, LSU
Derrick Henry, Alabama
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

Biletnikoff Award (best wide receiver)
Corey Coleman, Baylor
Josh Doctson, TCU
Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss

John Mackey Award (best tight end)
Hunter Henry, Arkansas
Austin Hooper, Stanford
Jordan Leggett, Clemson

Outland Trophy (best interior lineman)
Spencer Drango, Baylor
Joshua Garnett, Stanford
A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama

Chuck Bednarik Award (best defensive player)
Tyler Matakevich, Temple
Carl Nassib, Penn State
Reggie Ragland, Alabama

Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back)
Jeremy Cash, Duke
Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
Desmond King, Iowa

Lou Groza Award (best kicker)
Daniel Carlson, Auburn
Jake Elliott, Memphis
Ka’imi Fairbairn, UCLA

Ray Guy Award (best punter)
Michael Carrizosa, San Jose State
Tom Hackett, Utah
Hayden Hunt, Colorado State

Burlsworth Trophy (best walk-on)*
Luke Falk, Washington State
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Carl Nassib, Penn State

Wuerffel Trophy (best community servant)
Ty Darlington, Oklahoma
Landon Foster, Kentucky
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana

* – winner not announced at ESPN awards show

Battle at Bristol gets a title sponsor and TV deal

Battle At Bristol
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The 2015 season is coming to a close, but it is never too early to start thinking about the 2016 season, right? One of the more noteworthy games scheduled in the first couple weeks of the 2016 season will take place in Bristol, Tennessee when Tennessee and Virginia Tech square off in the infield at Bristol Motor Speedway in Week 2 on September 10, 2016 in a game already being hyped for a projected attendance of 150,000. Now the game has a title sponsor (because what neutral field game doesn’t come complete with a title sponsor) and has a television deal in place.

According to a Forbes report by Kristi Dosh, Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America, will serve as the sponsor for the Battle at Bristol. The game will be aired by ESPN, either on an ESPN network or ABC. Terms of the television deal for the game have not been reported.

Neutral site games continue to offer big financial incentives to schools playing in them. According to a report by USA Today, both Virginia Tech and Tennessee could make as much as $4.3 million by playing in the game if all tickets are sold.

Betting Odds: Clemson QB Deshaun Watson gaining momentum as Heisman Trophy favorite

Deshaun Watson

Alabama running back Derrick Henry continues to be the top favorite to win the Heisman Trophy according to the latest odds released by Bovada, but Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is gaining momentum as the season draws to a close. Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott and LSU’s Leonard Fournette have seen their betting odds become less favorable in the past week as well.

Henry is currently listed as a 2/5 favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, becoming Alabama’s second Heisman Trophy winner in program history (Mark Ingram was the first). Last week, Henry’s odds were listed at 2/3. Watson has closed the gap, moving from 7/1 down to 3/1. Elliott and Fournette each slipped from 9/2 down to 14/1. Stanford’s Christain McCaffrey held steady at 50/1 from last week, but Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman stumbled from 25/1 odds to 66/1 odds.

Per Bovada, three new players are now officially on the board as well. The most notable newcomer to the Heisman odds is Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has been given a 14/1 chance of winning the Heisman Trophy. Mayfield has surged on the scene in recent weeks, thanks in large part to Oklahoma’s road win at Baylor and last week’s win over TCU. Mayfield gets one final showcase game this week against Oklahoma State with the Big 12 championship, and a possible playoff spot, on the line.

Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds has also been recognized by the oddsmakers. Reynolds is listed with a 25/1 shot to win the Heisman Trophy. No player from Navy has won the Heisman Trophy since Roger Staubach in 1963. Florida State’s Dalvin Cook is also listed at 50/1 by Bovada.

With rivalry games and conference championships on the line in the next two weekends, it is time for some signature Heisman moments to determine who will end the season posing with the most famous individual award trophy in sports.