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For now, ACC tables talk over eight- or nine-game league slate

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The Big 12, Pac-12 and, this season, the Big Ten will all play a nine-game league schedule this season.  Whether the ACC joins them at some point in the future remains to be determined.

Earlier this week it was reported that ESPN had gained scheduling concessions from the ACC in exchange for a conference network set to launch in 2019.  As part of those concessions, the ACC has to determine whether it wants to play eight conference games and two non-conference games against Power Five teams each season, or nine conference games plus one Power Five non-conference game.

Friday morning, ACC commissioner John Swofford and the conference’s 14 athletic directors participated in a conference call to discuss the scheduling issue, with the potential existing for a vote on the preference moving forward.  Instead, the league has tabled the talk for the moment.

“ACC athletic directors remained deadlocked Friday on the league’s future football scheduling model and delayed resolution, perhaps until October’s annual fall meeting,” David Teel of the Newport News Daily Press wrote.

Before concessions were made to ESPN in order to acquire their own network, it’s believed the conference’s athletic directors were 8-6 in favor of an eight-game slate.  A nine-game schedule would allow for teams to play those in the other division more often, and there seems to be a growing sentiment in favor of that tack.

According to Teel, however, “[s]chools with annual state rivalries against Southeastern Conference opponents – Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Louisville – advocate 8-plus-2.”  North Carolina, North Carolina State and Virginia are among those who favor the 9-plus-1 model.

Boston College QB Patrick Towles dedicates season to Harambe

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 2: Flowers lay around a bronze statue of a gorilla and her baby outside the Cincinnati Zoo's Gorilla World exhibit days after a 3-year-old boy fell into the moat and officials were forced to kill Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland silverback gorilla June 2, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The exhibit is still closed as Zoo official work to up grade safety  features of the exhibit.       (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
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Remember Harambe?

The Cincinnati Zoo gorilla was gunned down in a tragic incident in June after a toddler fell into his enclosure. Many felt Harambe could have been contained through a non-lethal option, but zoo experts agreed with Cincinnati officials’ decision.

“The tranquilizer possibly could have worked, but the key term there is ‘possibly.’ And if you were to fire a dart at an animal, he could react violently to the first opportunity that presents itself, and that would have been that small child,” American Association of Zoo Keepers CEO Ed Hansen told NBC News at the time. “Unfortunately for the gorilla, the only really positive way to ensure the safety of the child was to dispatch the lethal force.”

Since then, the 17-year old, 450-pound lowland gorilla has become something of a cultural touchstone for some.

And that includes Boston College quarterback Patrick Towles.

Towles1 Towles2

In the event the Kentucky transfer leads Boston College from an 0-8 ACC showing in 2015 to a conference title, we’ll know who’s enormously powerful hands reached down from above to guide them.

(Screenshots via @billmoneyhan)

Les Miles’ son, a 2017 fullback, commits to Nebraska, wants to ‘be my own man’

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 29:  Head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers waits near the bench area before the start of their game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium on December 29, 2015 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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First of, of course one of Les Miles‘ football-playing son is a fullback. Secondly, of course he’s taking a different path.

Back in May of last year, Manny Miles, one of the LSU head coach’s sons, announced that he had verbally committed to play his college football at North Carolina. A little over a year later, Manny Miles’ brother, Ben, announced Sunday his future college football plans and, like his older sibling, those plans don’t include playing for dad in Baton Rouge.

Miles is a three-star 2017 recruit rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 3 fullback in the country as he enters his senior season at Baton Rouge Catholic High School. In an interview with the Lincoln Journal-Star‘s Steven Sipple Monday morning, Miles explained very plainly why he didn’t commit to his dad’s Tigers, with who he’s held an official offer for more than a year.

“I just always grew up wanting to do my own thing and be my own man,” Miles said. “Obviously, LSU is a great place to play football and get an education. But for me, I just want to do something different.”

Additionally, the Cornhuskers’ offense and how they utilized the fullback last season played a role in Miles’ decision.

In addition to NU and LSU, Miles held offers from, among others, Boston College, Michigan State, Navy and Purdue.

The son of Keyshawn Johnson, four-star 2017 wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson Jr., committed to Nebraska in late March, meaning the parents section at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln has the potential to be very interesting next year and beyond.

Temple adds future home-and-homes with BC, Duke, Maryland

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 5: Temple Owls fans celebrate during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions on September 5, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Owls defeated the Nittany Lions 27-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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Temple’s non-conference schedules will have a decidedly Power Five flavor to them in the future.

The AAC school announced Friday that it has reached agreements on future home-and-home series with a pair of ACC schools, Boston College and Duke, as well as one from the Big Ten, Maryland.  The series with BC and UofM both start in 2018 and both are on the road, with the Owls traveling to College Park Sept. 15 and to Chestnut Hill two weeks later.  The Blue devils will play in Philadelphia Sept. 14, 2019, to conclude the series, while the Eagles come calling September 18, 2021.

Temple will start their series against Duke with a road game to open the 2022 season Sept. 3, while the Blue Devils will make their way to Philly Sept. 16 the following season.

Temple and BC have faced each other 35 times since 1937, with the latter holding a decided 27-6-2 edge in the series.  The team’s last played in 2004, and the Owls’ last win came in 1999.  Maryland and Temple have squared off just eight times, the first coming in 1997 and the last in 2012.  The Terrapins have won seven of the eight, the only loss coming by 31 points at home in 2011.

Duke and Temple have never faced each other on the gridiron.

With this announcement, plus the recent announcement of a three-game series with Oklahoma, Temple will play 14 games against Power Five teams the next eight seasons.  Those will include, in addition to the aforementioned, games at Penn State (2016), at Notre Dame (2017) and a pair of home-and-home series against Rutgers (2020-21, 2022-23).

ACC media poll has Clemson repeating as conference champions

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 7: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Clemson Tigers pumps up fans prior to the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Memorial Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Tyler Smith/Getty Images)
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DeShaun Watson is back from last year’s College Football Playoff runner-up, and with that, there was little debate in the ACC media poll about who will repeat as conference champions in 2016.

Clemson, with 144 votes, was picked to repeat as ACC champions in the conference’s annual media poll. Florida State (39), North Carolina (seven) and Louisville (one) also received votes.

Watson, the Tigers’ junior quarterback, was picked to be the ACC Player of the Year with 164 votes. Florida State running back Dalvin Cook (18), North Carolina running back Elijah Hood (four), Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya (two), Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (two) and Duke cornerback/returner DeVon Edwards (one) also received player of the year votes.

Here’s how the voting broke down by division, with first-place votes in parentheses:

Atlantic                    
1. Clemson (148) – 1,293
2. Florida State (42) – 1,176
3. Louisville (1) – 961
4. NC State – 704
5. Boston College – 441
6. Syracuse – 426
7. Wake Forest – 347
Coastal                
1. North Carolina (121) – 1,238
2. Miami (50) – 1,108
3. Pitt (14) – 859
4. Virginia Tech (3) – 697
5. Duke (2) – 597
6. Georgia Tech (1) – 588
7. Virginia – 261