The coaches may not have felt that the lone postseason-eligible unbeaten deserved all their first-place votes, but that certainly wasn’t the case when it came to the media.
In the latest release of the Associated Press poll, the Irish were a unanimous No. 1, receiving all 60 of the first-place votes. This marks the first time the Irish have been ranked No. 1 in the AP poll since 1993, five years after the Golden Domers’ last national championship.
As was the case in the coaches’ poll, though, Alabama is No. 2 while Georgia is No. 3. After that, the two polls begin to diverge in their respective looks.
Ohio State, unranked by the coaches because of NCAA sanctions, comes in at No. 4 according to the media. The Buckeyes and the Irish are the lone remaining undefeated FBS teams.
Oregon fell four spots to No. 5, while Kansas State trumped that drop by tumbling from No. 2 to No. 7. Florida moved up one to No. 6, while LSU (No. 8), Texas A&M (No. 9) and Florida State (No. 10) complete the Week 12 Top 10.
Just like the coaches’, the media moved Stanford up a mere three spots following their win over then-No. 1 Oregon, with the Cardinal now standing at No. 11. Stanford’s move up cost Clemson (No. 12), South Carolina (No. 12) and Oklahoma (No. 13) one spot apiece.
A total of four teams — Oklahoma State (No. 22), Northern Illinois (No. 23), Utah State (T-No. 25) and Mississippi State (T-No. 25) — moved into this week’s rankings, replacing Louisiana Tech (then-No. 19), USC (No. 21) and Texas Tech (No. 23).
Tom Herman is no doubt busy on the recruiting trail with the early signing period just days away and landing a running back in Texas’ class of 2019 took an added emphasis on Friday.
Following several reports out of Austin, Longhorns tailback Toneil Carter confirmed on his Twitter account that he would be leaving the program and transferring elsewhere. The school also confirmed the news.
The move isn’t too surprising considering there was a logjam at the position and the fact that Carter played in nine games as a freshman last year (two starts) but didn’t have a single carry in 2018. That will likely make him a redshirt unless he appeared in more than four games on special teams and would result in him having three years of eligibility left at his next program.
The New Orleans native prepped in the Houston area and was considered a four-star tailback in high school by 247Sports and held offers from the usual powerhouses like Georgia and Alabama as well as in-state programs such as Baylor.
The coaching carousel is, for now, all wrapped up.
According to the plugged-in folks at FootballScoop.com, Akron has filled the final FBS head coaching vacancy this offseason by plucking Chattanooga’s Tom Arth to be the Zips’ newest head coach.
The Ohio native is a former star quarterback for John Carroll University and most famously served as Peyton Manning’s backup with the Indianapolis Colts from 2003-2005.
Arth began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater back in 2010 and was elevated to head coach in 2013, going 40-8 with the Blue Streaks. He moved up to the FCS level with Chattanooga and doubled the Mocs’ win total in just two seasons at the school.
The move up to the MAC means Arth will replace Terry Bowden at Akron, who was fired earlier this month after going 35–52 over seven seasons with the program.
Arth won’t have much time to get acclimated to his new gig in Northeast Ohio with the early signing period just around the corner next week.
It appears Josh Ball‘s playing career at Florida State has come to an end.
In November of last year, reports surfaced that Sandra Sellers, an FSU student who dated Seminoles football player Josh Ball for a year and a half, had accused the offensive lineman of dating violence, including allegations that he physically attacked her on at least three occasions. In mid-May, in connection to those allegations, Ball was suspended by the university after a ruling by the school’s judicial panel and led him to play at the junior college level in 2018.
While there was speculation earlier this month that Ball would attempt to rejoin the Seminoles football team, the lineman posted on Twitter Thursday evening that his time in Tallahassee is over. Ball did, though, state that he is leaving the university “in good standing.”
“I have made the determination to stay closer to family and not return to Florida State even though I have been cleared and [am] in good standing to do so by the Florida State administration,” Ball wrote.
Ball started the last nine games of the 2017 season at left tackle for the Seminoles. Exiting spring practice this year, and with last year’s starter Rick Leonard no longer around due to expired eligibility, the redshirt sophomore was penciled in as FSU’s starting right tackle.
A Fredericksburg, Va., native, the 6-8, 335-pound Ball spent the 2018 football season at a Kansas junior college.
In November of last year, not even all the way through his first season with the Golden Gophers, P.J. Fleck was given a contract extension. A year and a month later, it’s lather, rinse and repeat on the contractual front.
Early Friday afternoon, Minnesota announced that the university and its head football coach had agreed to another contract extension. The extended deal was formally approved by the university’s Board of Regents earlier in the day.
With the tweaked contract, Fleck, whose original five-year contract was agreed to in January of 2017, is now signed through the 2023 season and on into 2024. Fleck made $3.35 million in 2018; there was no word on what if any financial adjustments were included in the extension.
“It is a tremendous honor to have the opportunity to lead this team and represent the University of Minnesota and our great state,” a statement from Fleck began. “Our family loves living in Minnesota, and I look forward to leading our football program into the future. Through the academic, athletic, social and spiritual development of our student-athletes, and through recruiting, we are building a championship culture that our fans can be proud of.
“Heather and I are so thankful to our staff, [athletic director] Mark Coyle, President Kaler and the Board of Regents for seeing the vision we have for our football program. We are so excited and humbled with the contract extension!”
Taking over a program that won nine games in 2016, Fleck has guided the Gophers to records of 5-7 and 6-6 his first two seasons at the school. This year, Minnesota beat rival Wisconsin for the first time since 2003 and, in the process, became bowl-eligible for the first time under Fleck.