There was not a whole lot of movement in the top portion of the Amway Coaches Poll this week, as most of the top teams maintained their positioning within the top 10. Alabama remains on top of the coaches poll, without much debate, ahead of Ohio State, Clemson and Louisville.
The Miami Hurricanes had the biggest rise in the coaches poll this week, jumping up five spots to No. 14 with a 3-0 record. The Hurricanes trail No. 13 Baylor, the highest-ranked team in the Big 12 in this week’s coaches poll.
No. 8 Wisconsin is one of three Big Ten teams in the top 10, joining Ohio State and No. 5 Michigan. No. 15 Nebraska moved ahead of No. 16 Michigan State this week.
Here is the full coaches top 25 for this week, with first-place votes noted;
- Alabama (61)
- Ohio State (2)
- Clemson (1)
- Texas A&M
- Florida State
- Michigan State
- Ole Miss
- North Carolina
- San Diego State
A lack of quality facilities has been one of the knocks on the Miami football program the past few decades but the school is certainly playing catch up very quickly on that front ever since new head coach Mark Richt was hired.
To that end, the school announced on Friday plans for the latest addition to Coral Gables in the Carol Soffer Football Indoor Practice Facility. A $14 million donation from the family of local real estate magnate Jeffrey Soffer was the lead gift for the upcoming building, which carries a price tag of $34 million.
“Today we take yet another step forward in continuing our mission of Building Champions at the University of Miami,” athletics director Blake James said in a release. “The generosity of Carol Soffer’s children and others enables us to build one of the finest football facilities in the nation, which will serve the needs of our football program and all our student-athletes for years to come. We are forever grateful to Jeffrey, and Carol’s other children for their support of and passion for UM Athletics.”
Miami was one of the few Power Five schools around the country not to have a proper indoor facility — quite a problem for the team given the weather at times in South Florida. The 81,800-square-foot facility will feature two smaller-than-regulation turf fields and a large football operations center. Football coaches’ office space, position meeting rooms, conference rooms, recruiting lounges and a video center are also part of the new building.
“An indoor practice facility means a great deal to this football program,” Richt said. “I am grateful that the University and the Department of Athletics recognized the need for an indoor facility and worked tirelessly to make it happen. I can’t thank the Soffer Family enough for their contribution and helping us bring this project to fruition. We appreciate Carol’s generous and deeply committed support of Miami Hurricane Athletics.”
Richt contributed $1 million of his own money to the facility earlier this year and the school has all but $10 million of the final cost already pledged by donors. There was not a timetable announced for groundbreaking but one would probably be safe in assuming the fancy new facility will be complete in time for the 2017 or 2018 season.
The move by Miami is just the latest in a furious arms race in the state. Florida State opened their new indoor practice facility in 2013 and Florida recently started practicing in theirs prior to this season (the Gators also are planning to build a new football building too).
Now it seems as though the Hurricanes are joining in on the building boom too.
The hits just keep coming for the Florida State defense.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher announced after Thursday’s practice that starting defensive end Josh Sweat would be out for this week’s game against South Florida and possibly longer after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
“He tried to go for a day or two, and it swelled [again],” Fisher said, according to the Orlando Sentinel.“He had a little piece of cartilage in there that they clipped out. It was very clean… He wanted to play with it, and couldn’t do it so we went to clean it out.”
Sweat originally suffered the injury during practice prior to the team’s blowout loss to Louisville last week but did play a role during the game. Junior Jacob Pugh and freshman Brian Burns will take over Sweat’s place on the depth chart until he’s cleared to return.
In addition to missing FSU’s game against in-state rival USF this week, it’s possible the former top recruit and long time starter could be unavailable for ACC clashes with North Carolina and perhaps even Miami over the next two weeks. The Seminoles are already missing the service of safety Derwin James, one of the best defensive players in the country, who also underwent surgery to repair a knee injury.
Fisher told reporters that Sweat’s injury was different from that of James’ and was hopeful that the defensive end could return to action quickly. Either way, Florida State is suddenly much thinner on defense than their head coach had hoped to be after the first month of the season thanks to the latest injury news.
It appears the latest faux in-season controversy can be put to bed.
Earlier this week, a member of the Appalachian State color guard took to social media to accused “several very large, intentionally aggressive” Miami football players of shoving another member of the marching band. Additionally, she claimed that “several other members were groped, sworn at, taunted, and touched in ways that were definitely not asked for.”
In a statement, UM athletic director Blake James indicated that “there is no indication of inappropriate conduct,” but the university is continuing to look into the allegations. App State officials looked into the matter as well and could find no credible evidence backing up those claims.
Thursday, James’ ASU counterpart, Doug Gillin, issued a statement apologizing “to all those impacted by the situation.”
On behalf of Appalachian State University, we apologize to all those impacted by the situation created as the teams took the field prior to kickoff on Saturday. The University of Miami administration has been incredibly cooperative throughout the review process. We’ve investigated the concerns, and we’ve provided support to our students. We will continue to support our students and keep their safety as a top priority.
Thus ends the Great Gropegate Brouhaha of 2016. You may now feel free to move on with your collective lives.
As the Lamar Jackson Heisman hype train hurtles down the tracks, at least one wagering establishment has wholeheartedly hopped aboard.
In its latest set of odds released Tuesday afternoon, Bovada.lv has pushed the Louisville quarterback to its pole position for the 2016 Heisman Trophy. In fact, Jackson, whose 18 touchdowns this season are more than all but seven teams have scored through three weeks, is the site’s overwhelming favorite at 1/2 after being at 6/1 just one week ago.
The Sept. 13 favorite, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, has gone from 5/1 to 8/1. Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (9/2) has slightly longer odds at 11/2, while Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett held steady at 6/1.
Greg Ward Jr. saw one of the biggest surges as the Houston quarterback went from 25/1 a week ago to 16/1.
Leonard Fournette was Bovada‘s preseason Heisman favorite at 4/1. The LSU running back dropped to 12/1 after Week 2 and 20/1 after Week 3. Around this time last year, Fournette was the Bovada favorite for the Heisman that ultimately went to Alabama running back Derrick Henry, who couldn’t even crack the top six 12 months ago.
Two players that were off the board last go ’round were added: San Diego State running back Donnell Pumphrey (25/1) and Washington quarterback Jake Browning (40/1). A handful of players were taken off the board, most notably quarterbacks Chad Kelly (Ole Miss), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) and Josh Rosen (UCLA).
Below is the complete list of Heisman Trophy odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv: