Appalachian State Mountaineers

BOONE, NC - SEPTEMBER 17:  The Appalachian State Mountaineers run onto the field prior to their game against the Miami Hurricanes at Kidd Brewer Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Boone, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Appalachian State AD apologizes ‘to all those impacted by the situation’ prior to Miami game


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.

Miami says ‘no indication of inappropriate conduct’ by Hurricane players at App State

BOONE, NC - SEPTEMBER 17:  A general view of the game between the Miami Hurricanes and Appalachian State Mountaineers at Kidd Brewer Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Boone, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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As Miami looks to focus on its ACC opener against Georgia Tech next weekend, allegations from last weekend may prevent them from doing that in the here and now.

In Week 3, The U had little problem in dispatching Appalachian State in a rare Power Five road trip to Boone, NC. However, social media chatter shortly after the 35-point win indicated that Hurricane football players got physical with several members of the Mountaineers band as the former took the field.

Specifically, one member of the color guard part of the ASU marching band accused “several very large, intentionally aggressive” ‘Cane players of shoving another member of the band. Additionally, she claimed that “several other members were groped, sworn at, taunted, and touched in ways that were definitely not asked for.”

The initial member of the color guard allegedly shoved be several football players “had severe pain and had to sit for most of the game,” the social media poster, Sophie Randleman, added.

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.

“We have already followed up seeking details from both the football and administrative staff,” James’ statement began. “The University of Miami does not tolerate any kind of suggestive behavior, harassment or inappropriate conduct and we will take action if our students did engage in this type of behavior. We have been in touch with App State and we both have spoken to individuals and reviewed video and at this point, there is no indication of inappropriate conduct, but we are continuing our review.”

From the Orlando Sentinel:

In a short video shot by the Sun Sentinel from the press box at Appalachian State on Saturday, the Hurricanes can be seen running onto the field and the Miami sideline through the Appalachian State band as it is playing on the field and near the sideline. In the 12-second clip, no member of the band is seen falling to the turf.

North Dakota State narrowly misses becoming first ranked FCS team

AMES, IA - AUGUST 30: North Dakota Bison fans cheer on their team in the second half of play against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Ames, Iowa. North Dakota State defeated Iowa State 34-14. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
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North Dakota State is already in the midst of one record-breaking streak with five straight Football Championship Subdivision.

But the Bison narrowly missed making another type of history on Sunday, one that would have, arguably, topped their literal handful of national championships.

Following Saturday’s 23-21 upset of then-No. 13 Iowa, North Dakota State just missed the cut at joining Sunday’s AP poll, garnering 74 points, good enough for 28th place in a 25-team poll.

The Bison would’ve been the first team to join the poll had they received enough votes to make the cut. As it stands, their 74 points are the most ever for an FCS team. All told, ten FCS teams have earned votes in the AP poll, dating back to Appalachian State’s stunner of then-No. 5 Michigan on the opening Saturday of the 2007 season.

It’s unlikely North Dakota State will rise any higher than 28th from here on out. The Bison have no more FBS opponents left on their 2016 schedule.

While they won’t see a number next to their name at the FBS level, the Bison can take solace in this: they earned 42 more points in this week’s poll than Notre Dame.

AP’s top three teams each facing ranked road opponent for first time in poll era

Louisville's Lamar Jackson jumps over Syracuse's Cordell Hudson and scores a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Syracuse, N.Y., Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
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It’s not getting hype of Week 1, but Week 3 is shaping up to be a rather epic weekend of college football in its own right.

The top three teams in the most recent Associated Press poll, No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Florida State and No. 3 Ohio State, all play on the road, with all three games coming against ranked teams for that matter.  Top-ranked ‘Bama travels to Oxford to face No. 19 Ole Miss, which has beaten the Tide the last two seasons, while FSU must trek north to take on 10th-ranked Louisville and Lamar Jackson, the quarterback who has singlehandedly scored more touchdowns than all but 13 FBS teams.  Finally, OSU makes it way to Norman to take on a wounded but 14th-ranked Oklahoma.

The fact that the top three teams are all on the road against ranked opponents is a little bit of history in the making.

But wait, there’s more.

In addition to those games, you had the likes of No. 6 Houston-Cincinnati Thursday night as well as FCS power North Dakota State at No. 13 Iowa; No. 25 Miami traveling to an Appalachian State squad that nearly knocked off No. 15 Tennessee in Knoxville Week 1; Colorado at No. 4 Michigan in a revival of the 1994 “Miracle at Michigan” game; No. 22 Oregon at Nebraska, coached by former Civil War rival Mike Riley; Pittsburgh, coming off a win over its in-state rival, at an Oklahoma State squad still hurting from the screwing they received in Week 2; Mississippi State-No. 20 LSU and No. 17 Texas A&M-Auburn in a key pair of SEC West clashes; No. 12 Michigan State at No. 18 Notre Dame in the fourth of four ranked vs. ranked matchups; USC, reeling from a series of embarrassing incidents on and off the field the past couple of weeks, trying to right the listing ship against the best the Pac-12 has to offer, No. 7 Stanford; BYU playing host to Josh Rosen and UCLA; and capping a loaded weekend with seemingly revitalized and 11th-ranked Texas heading to the Left Coast to square off with Cal.

It may not be Week 1 good, but Week 3 is about as close as you can get.

Group of Five Power-Ranking: It’s Houston and everybody else

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03:  Greg Ward Jr. #1 of the Houston Cougars takes the field for warmups with his teammates prior to the start of their game against the Oklahoma Sooners during the Advocare Texas Kickoff on September 3, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

As you no doubt know by now, one spot in the New Years Six bowl line-up at the end of the year will be reserved to the highest-ranked conference champion from the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West Conference or Sun Belt Conference as viewed by the College Football Playoff selection committee. Houston of the AAC took that honor last season with a 12-1 record and took advantage of it by smacking around Florida State in the Peach Bowl. As the 2016 season got underway, Houston left little doubt they intend to be back in the New Years Six lineup again this season, and they may even have their sights now locked in on a possible playoff debate down the line.

One thing to take note here is I tend to not give teams credit for winning games against FCS opponents. Naturally, there were a handful of those games this past weekend. Also, I do not include BYU or Army in this power-ranking, as they do not qualify for the automatic New Years Six bowl spot the way the system is currently organized. But each had solid victories this weekend as well. So, if I had to rank the Group of Five candidates after one week of games, here is how I would rank them to date.

1. Houston (1-0)

It’s pretty simple, really. Houston was the Group of Five team to beta last year and entered 2016 with that expectation once again. No better way to stay ahead of the pack than by jumping all over Oklahoma, a Big 12 favorite this season. It is predicted Houston could have a stranglehold on this top spot in my personal ranking for quite some time, as I actually have gone on record predicting an undefeated season by Houston. The odds are they could be tripped up somewhere along the way (Louisville?), but after getting by the Sooners you have to be feeling pretty good if you are a fan of Houston.

2. Western Michigan (1-0)

The Rowing PJ Flecks managed to do something in game one that Stanford was unable to a year ago; win a game at Northwestern. True, the Broncos did not have to battle against a time zone shift as the Cardinal did for an early kickoff, and the Broncos nearly handed Northwestern a win (quite literally), but a win’s a win. It’s not as though this is a hapless Northwestern squad either. The Wildcats won 10 games last season, but Western Michigan hung around long enough and took advantage of some late opportunities and had a lucky break go their way in the end. They’ll take it and claim the second spot in the ranking this week. They might just have enough to stay there for a while too.

3. Southern Mississippi (1-0)

Watch out for Southern Mississippi this season. Nick Mullens had some rough moments against Kentucky but pulled it together with a strong running game charged by Ito Smith and George Payne to rally on the road against Kentucky.Southern Miss outscored the Wildcats 28-0 after halftime en route to a 44-35 victory in Lexington, already putting the hopes of a bowl game on thin ice for Kentucky.

4. South Alabama (1-0)

Staying on the road in the SEC, we have the South Alabama Jaguars fresh off a nail biter of a road win at Mississippi State. The Jags fell juts behind Southern Miss here because they nearly let the Bulldogs off the hook. Mississippi State moved right down the field following a kickoff out of bounds, and had the game-winning field goal attempt clang(a) off the goal post, giving the Jaguars a win. But applaud the effort. They put Mississippi State in a hole when they needed it the most.

5. Boise State (1-0)

I whiffed at Boise State last season, but the Broncos got off on the right foot this season. While not of the same caliber of Houston’s win, it was hard not to be impressed with how Boise State smacked around Louisiana-Lafayette on the road. Boise State made the trip down to Louisiana and left with a 45-10 victory in far more impressive fashion than I anticipated for this one. It was the kind of blowout win Boise State would make routine in their prime a few years back. Could this be a sign of things to come? In any event, you get credit for winning head-to-head games against other Group of Five conferences, and the Mountain Wets Conference definitely needed that. Boise State could keep the pressure on Houston to keep winning, if the Broncos can avoid messing up things on their own.

On the Radar: Tulsa, Western Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Cincinnati, Navy, USF, East Carolina, Toledo, Wyoming, New Mexico, Air Force, Utah State, UNLV, San Diego State, Marshall, Georgia Southern