One of the bigger storylines heading into Week 7 was the fact that there were no ranked vs. ranked matchups, the subliminal implication being that this would be an uneventful weekend. As is ofttimes the case, the sport of college football scoffed in the general direction of conventional wisdom.
Friday night begat No. 2 Clemson falling to Syracuse and No. 8 Washington State embarrassing itself against Cal; Saturday afternoon begat No. 10 Auburn coughing up a second-half lead in a loss to LSU.
Early Sunday morning brought additional Top 10 carnage.
Ranked fifth nationally and winners of nine straight in the regular season, Washington entered the weekend comfortable favorites over 2-3 Arizona State. In a game that didn’t feel as close as the final score indicated, however, UW fell from the ranks of the unbeaten as Arizona State laid a stunning 13-7 loss on the Huskies.
UW’s loss means that four of the teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 10 coming into Week 7 went down in defeat ahead of Week 8 in the biggest top-shelf shakeup of the 2017 season thus far. The teams that avoided being caught up in the upset maelstrom? No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Penn State, No. 4 Georgia, No. 6 TCU, No. 7 Wisconsin and No. 9 Ohio State.
The Nittany Lions were on a bye this weekend, while the other five Top 10 teams left unscathed won by an average of 25.4 points; take away UW’s eight-point win over Purdue, and that average jumps to nearly 30. Add it all up and it was, on all fronts, a seismic shift when it comes to the Power Five balance of power.
Then there’s this: when you add in No. 19 San Diego State getting beat by Boise State — a significant development in the Group of Five — five undefeated teams suffered their first losses of the 2017 season this weekend.
And, again, this great sport scoffs in the general direction of what you think may or may not happen any particular weekend.
One member of the Boise State program has more than football to worry about for the immediate future.
According to the Idaho Press-Tribune, a Broncos football player is under investigation by the Boise Police Department for the alleged battery of a BSU student in the early-morning hours last Sunday. While the Press-Tribune declined to name the player involved in the investigation, the Idaho Statesman has identified him as walk-on safety Jace Richter.
And, according to the Statesman, the alleged victim’s lawyer has already filed a civil lawsuit Friday against Richter “in order to give his client the ability to gather more information.” Thus far, there are but a few details as to what led to both the investigation and the suit.
From the newspaper:
Taylor’s attorney, David Claiborne, said that Richter was seen repeatedly knocking on a door in the dormitory. When Taylor answered the door, Richter punched his client, jumped on top of him and continued hitting him, Claiborne said. Taylor’s suit doesn’t offer a motive.
Taylor suffered “severe injuries to his head, face, neck and left arm,” according to the suit.
As a result of the allegations, Richter has been indefinitely suspended by the football program. Below is a statement from the university addressing the situation:
Boise State officials are aware of a reported incident involving a student-athlete, and the individual has been suspended from team activities as the University conducts an investigation into the allegations. Campus and athletics officials take all questions of student safety and behavior seriously, however all student investigations by the University are protected from release by federal privacy laws. Boise State will have no further comment at this time.
As of this moment, no charges have been filed in connection to the incident.
Barring a change of heart, Khalil Oliver will finish his collegiate playing somewhere other than where it started.
Oliver confirmed Wednesday that he has decided to leave Oregon and transfer to an undetermined elsewhere. While the defensive back told the Idaho Statesman that he’s already been in contact with a few unnamed schools, he won’t make a final decision on a transfer destination until he graduates from UO this winter.
As a graduate transfer, Oliver would be eligible to play immediately in 2018. That season would be his final year of eligibility — unless, as The Oregonian reported is a possibility, he gets a year of eligibility back for this season.
“I just felt like it was best for me to move on from the university and pursue other options,” Oliver told the Statesman. “After talking about it with my family and the team chaplain, I felt like this was the decision I needed to make for myself and my future.”
One team to keep an eye on could be Washington as Oliver had committed to play at Boise State before Chris Petersen left for UW. The Idaho product then flipped and signed with UO as part of the Class of 2014.
Oliver played in 26 games during his time with the Ducks, and was named as the team’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player for the 2016 season. He started the opener this season, his first career start, but hasn’t played since because of an injury sustained in that game vs. Southern Utah.
That injury situation lends credence to the safety getting this year back eligibility-wise.
For the second time in as many days, it’s time to push the “Days Without an Arrest” ticker back to double-zeroes.
The latest to do the honor is Boise State’s Michael Young, with the Idaho Statesman reporting that the defensive back was arrested early Sunday morning on a charge of driving under the influence. KTVB-TV in Boise reported that Young failed a field sobriety test and blew a .142 on a breathalyzer test.
The arrest and charge came after Young was pulled over for allegedly running a red light.
“Boise State is aware of Michael Young’s arrest earlier this morning,” a statement on the incident from the university began. “As is always the case, the matter will be handled appropriately and internally.”
Young is a backup defensive back who has played in the last three games after missing the season opener for undisclosed reasons. He had a career-high four tackles in the 19-point loss to Virginia in Week 4.
Young is also the second Broncos football player arrested in a little over a week. Last weekend, defensive lineman David Moa was charged with disturbing the peace following an incident outside of a Boise nightclub. Moa, a starter who was first-team All-MWC last season, did not play at all in the first quarter in the first game after his arrest this past weekend.
Boise State got their starting quarterback back. Whether he’ll be back to starting remains to be seen.
Bryan Harsin confirmed Wednesday that Brett Rypien has been cleared to play in Friday’s game against Virginia. Rypien sustained a head injury in the first quarter of the Washington State loss in Week 2 and didn’t return, then was sidelined for the Week 3 win over New Mexico as well.
While there has been no confirmation from the school, it has been reported that Rypien sustained a concussion.
“Brett has been practicing, he’s been cleared,” the Broncos head coach said according to the Idaho Press Tribune. “He’s good. He’s been back in the mix and there’s no issue there.”
Left unsaid is whether he or Kansas transfer Montell Cozart will get the start against the Cavaliers. In his first start for the Broncos, Cozart directed an offense that finished with its lowest yardage output (264) in five years. Individually, Cozart produced solid stats in the win as he completed 15 of his 19 passes for 137 yards while adding 71 on the ground. He also accounted for three touchdowns — two passing, one rushing.
Regardless of who starts, Harsin acknowledged that both Cozart and Rypien will play in the non-conference game.