Conference Power Rankings — Week 2

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Every week — starting now, of course — we here at CFT break down the good, the bad and the downright fashionably hideous (you know who we’re talking about *cough*Oregon*cough*) in each of the 11 Division 1-A conferences. How does your favorite league stack up? Take a gander below.

Also, I realize “conference allegiance” may be an alien term for some of you outside of SEC country, but what fun is it to only stress out about your team when you spend all day concentrating on the success or failure of others?

The Conclusion:

— Unless the SEC completely implodes as a result of its own competitiveness, it’s hard to see them being anything other than the best conference in college football. Call us homers (we aren’t), call us idiots (okay, maybe a little), but the last five BCS national championships have us backed on this one.

As for actual on-the-field competition, the SEC had a largely soft Week 2 from a non-conference perspective, but Alabama made easy work of Penn State and the two conference games between Georgia-South Carolina and Auburn-Mississippi State were excitingly close.

— For being on shaky ground, Big 12 football has a stable of good teams. Oklahoma State doesn’t look like it’s missed a beat since offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen left for West Virginia, and Iowa State pulled off a huge win at home against Iowa. It took overtime for Missouri — probably the Big 12’s fourth/fifth-best team — to lose on the road in overtime to a jacked up Arizona State.

— The Pac-12 had a horrific Week 1, but rebounded pretty well in Week 2. Stanford and Oregon took care of business against Duke and Nevada, respectively, and USC notched its first Pac-12 victory over Utah. The Big Ten, on the other hand, failed to take advantage of its spotlight game (PSU vs. Alabama) and had two excruciating losses (Minnesota at home to New Mexico State; Purdue at Rice). Ohio State, the recent class of the Big Ten, struggled against Toledo.

— In the ACC, Virginia Tech and Clemson made it difficult in wins against East Carolina (a good, but beatable team) and Wofford (a very beatable team). Boston College lost to Central Florida and North Carolina State fell short against Wake Forest. Yikes.

— But look what we have here, folks: Conference USA sneaking up past the Big East. Considering almost half the Big East used to reside in C-USA, it makes sense that they’re comparable. WVU and Pitt Backyard Brawl’d with Norfolk State and Maine, and the conference’s most convincing win was South Florida over Ball State. B-C-S!

— As far as the rest of the non-AQ leagues, the WAC didn’t turn up many huge wins, but losses by Fresno State (vs. Nebraska), San Jose State (vs. UCLA), and Hawaii (vs. Washington) were all close for at least part of the game. The Sun Belt scored a nice victory on national television when better-than-most-people-realize FIU defeated Louisville (see “Big East shortcomings” above).

And the MAC? Well… eh…

Michigan offers 8th grader who led varsity team in tackles

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MarMichigan has offered a scholarship to eighth-grade linebacker Tyler Martin, according to a post on Martin’s Twitter account on Thursday.

That would be the class of 2022, for those scoring at home.

Martin is not any ordinary eighth grader, though. A native of Cambridge, Mass., Martin led Buckingham Browne & Nichols with over 100 tackles and also started every game at tight end. Not Browne & Nichols’s eighth grade team, mind you. The varsity.

“He’s a tremendous kid that happens to be a tremendous athlete,” Browne & Nichols head coach Mike Willey told USA Today. “He’s worked exceptionally hard and put himself in a good position, that’s why I think Michigan says, yeah, this is the kind of guy they want.

The 6-foot-3, 227-pound linebacker is not the first junior high player to draw a maize and blue offer this year. Michigan offered Martin, Tenn., quarterback Ty Simpson in March.

Two Illinois players charged with theft for relocating deer sculpture

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A pair of Illinois players have been charged with theft between $500 and $10,000 after taking a sculpture from a Champaign park and relocating it to the top of their apartment building.

Jimmy Marchese, a junior linebacker, and Drew Murtaugh, a sophomore linebacker, told police they were walking home on the night of April 29 and saw a sculpture of a running deer, titled “Startled,” lying on the ground and took it home, placing the sculpture on the roof of their apartment. The Champaign Park District pleaded for the sculpture’s return on Facebook, and an anonymous tip led the authorities to Marchese and Murtaugh.

“Startled” has since been reinstalled at Champaign’s Scott Park, where the $5,000 sculpture will require touch-up work by the artist who created it.

“We had to have the artist come and do some work on it. We think we got it worked out to where it would be a lot harder for anyone to take it out again,” Champaign Park District director Joe DeLuce told the Champaign News Gazette.

The Illini pair has already appeared in court for a probable-cause hearing, and are due back on June 12. They face penalties ranging from probation to five years in prison.

Illinois spokesman Kent Brown told the News Gazette that head coach Lovie Smith is aware of the incident but has taken no action.

Marchese, a native of Vernon Hills, Ill., played in all 12 games in 2017 with two starts, and was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team. Murtaugh, hailing from Crystal Lake, Ill., did not letter as a redshirt freshman in 2017, but joined his partner in petty crime as an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

 

Georgia DB Tray Bishop arrested on felony charge for alleged recording of sexual act

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Georgia freshman defensive back DetravionTray” Bishop was arrested on Wednesday on charges of felony eavesdropping/surveillance. The charges stem from an incident from this past fall, according to a report from Chip Towers of DawgNation.com. Bishop, who promptly turned himself over to the authorities after a warrant for his arrest was issued, has already been released from a county jail on a $5,700 bond.

The arrest follows an investigation by University of Georgia police responded to a complaint filed by a woman in April. The woman claimed Bishop recorded a sexual act between the two without her consent back in November.

“The complainant wished to report that there was a student going around showing people a sex tape of her … without her consent,” the police report said, according to the DawgNation report. “… A subsequent investigation into this incident led us into determining that the crime of unlawful eavesdropping occurred on [Nov. 5]. The investigation showed that Detravion Bishop had recorded [victim’s name] inside his dorm room without her permission and without her knowledge.”

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has responded to the situation, expressing concern over the circumstances Bishop is caught up in.

“We are investigating the matter and it’s important that we gather all information relevant to the situation before we determine what policies may come into play,” Smart said in his statement. “Then we can take appropriate action if necessary.”

Bishop was a three-star recruit in Georgia’s Class of 2017, according to his Rivals profile. Bishop red-shirted last season.

Broker offers free Nebraska tickets if Huskers win Big Ten

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Nebraska fans now have an extra incentive for hoping their beloved Cornhuskers win the Big Ten this season, if they buy their tickets from the right ticket broker.

Ticket Express is offering a promotion to Nebraska fans that will refund all ticket purchases made before June 1 if Nebraska wins the Big Ten this upcoming season. The refund promo is good for single-game tickets as well as season packages.

Nebraska has played for the Big Ten championship once since joining the Big Ten in 2011, and it did not go well. Nebraska was blown out by Wisconsin in the 2012 Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, 70-31. Nebraska’s last conference championship was won in 1999 under current Ohio head coach Frank Solich, when the Huskers were still at the top of the Big 12. Solich, by the way, will be welcomed back to Nebraska for an event next January for a service award from the Football Writers Association of America.

Nebraska is coming off a 4-8 season and faces a difficult schedule in the first season with new head coach Scott Frost. Nebraska’s schedule is arguably the toughest in the Big Ten this season with road games at Ohio State, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan, and Iowa and a home crossover game with Michigan State. Just getting to the Big Ten championship game out of the West Division would be a pleasant surprise this fall, let alone topping the East Division champion in Indy.

Ticket Express liekly has an insurance policy to recoup the losses should things go Nebraska’s way, but this feels like a solid promotion with little risk for the broker.