For the third straight week, the BCS has a new No. 1 team.
A pair of stunning upsets on Saturday for the top two ranked teams in the college football has given the BCS a new look with just two weeks before the end of the 2012 season. No. 1 Oregon was kept off balance all night by Stanford’s defense and lost in overtime 17-14. It wasn’t as close for No. 2 Kansas State, who got thoroughly knocked around by Baylor 52-24.
Now, there’s a new BCS 1 and 2. And, as expected, it mirrors the latest Associated Press and USA Today coaches’ polls. Notre Dame is the new BCS No. 1. It’s the third straight week the BCS has had a different top-ranked team, and it’s the first time the Irish have been ranked atop the BCS in school history. The only thing that keeps Notre Dame from its first BCS championship game appearance? A little rivalry game at USC this weekend.
Alabama comes in at No. 2 and would also be slotted to play in the BCS championship game if they beat Auburn and then Georgia in the SEC championship game. Speaking of the Bulldogs, they come in at No. 3. If both Alabama and Georgia win their regular season finales before the SEC championship game, the winner in Atlanta would be practically guaranteed to play in the BCS championship game. Remember when Georgia got crushed by South Carolina 35-7 in early October? Doesn’t matter anymore.
But don’t overlook No. 4 Florida. The Gators haven’t looked good at all since beating South Carolina in October, yet with a win over rival Florida State and a little help, Will Muschamp‘s team is very much in the BCS championship picture despite not even making the SEC championship game. Why? The Gators’ resume is tops.
Sitting at No. 5 and No. 6 are Oregon and K-State. Barring a complete meltdown atop the BCS, the Wildcats’ national championship hopes are done. The Ducks still have a glimmer of hope, but would need some help in front of them plus Stanford to lose to UCLA plus beat Oregon State plus win the Pac-12. When it comes to the computer averages, Florida is in a much better spot than the Ducks.
LSU comes in at No. 7 and Stanford, Texas A&M and Florida State round out the BCS top 10.
(Hat tip to the NFF for the chart)
This isn’t a good look for Butch Davis or his Florida International football program — or law enforcement. At all.
According to the Miami Herald, FIU running back Shawndarrius Phillips was arrested Wednesday for domestic battery by strangulation. The arrest stemmed from a June incident involving an ex-girlfriend, for which an arrest warrant was issued Aug. 24 by a Broward County court.
WSVN-TV in Miami writes that “Phillips was set to leave for the Bahamas for a bowl game with the team when officers picked him up on an outstanding warrant.”
Phillips saw action in 11 of the Panthers’ 12 games this season, which means the true junior played the entire 2018 regular season while being wanted on a domestic violence charge. Other than “we have no comment at this time,” an FIU spokesperson has declined to comment on the report, including whether or not the football program was aware of the situation prior to Wednesday’s arrest.
As noted by the Herald, and as is the case as of Friday morning, Phillips’ name is still listed on FIU’s official online roster.
The newspaper also detailed the events of June 17 that led to Phillips’ arrest this week:
[The ex-girlfriend] said a discussion about who she was dating a month after their breakup turned physical when Phillips, who lists at 5-foot-10 and 225 pounds, began choking her with his right hand.
As she struggled to speak or even breathe, she said, “Phillips got her on her feet and walked her back towards his couch until she fell back on the couch,” according to the affidavit.
Scratching his hand, she said, did no good and he remained atop her. She claimed Phillips got off her, saying, “Don’t you ever speak to me or my family again.” He then ordered her out, saying, “If you don’t leave, I’m going to break your jaw.”
Phillips’ 393 yards and four rushing touchdowns were both third on the Panthers this season. His 117 yards in a 63-24 win over UMass Sept. 15 marked a career-high and was the first time he had passed the century mark in his three seasons.
So much for that particular storyline.
Late last month, it was reported that Gus Malzahn would be forced to accept a reduced buyout — $32 million per his contract — to remain for his seventh season as Auburn’s head football coach. That report came just a day or so after Bob Stoops‘ name was attached to the job, which the retired former Oklahoma head coach vehemently pushed back against.
In his first meeting in front of the media since that speculation surfaced, Malzahn addressed the talk head-on and left no gray area as to his view of his situation on The Plains.
“A couple things I wanted to clear up that are out there,” the head coach said by way of al.com. “First of all, my contract has not changed one bit. I was never told I had to change my contract to keep my job. I have the support of our athletic director and president. There’s nobody hamstringing me from doing our job.”
In early November, athletic director Allan Greene publicly stated that Malzahn would be the Tigers’ head coach in 2019; this past Monday, in his first public comments since the reports surfaced, Greene reaffirmed his support.
“To confirm, Coach Malzahn is dedicated to this program and he has my support as we work together to move forward,” the AD said in a letter published on the school’s official athletics website. “Our discussions are ongoing, and we will focus on evolving in all facets of the program to achieve better and more consistent results.”
In six seasons at Auburn, Malzahn has posted a 52-27 record overall and a 28-20 mark in SEC play. After making it to the BCS championship game in his first season, the Tigers have reached double-digits in wins just one season (10-4 in 2017). After entering this year ranked in the Top 10, AU ended the regular season at 7-5.
While we came awfully close to seeing Florida play an in-state squad from the AAC (ahem, UCF) this postseason, we’re guaranteed just such a matchup down the road when the Gators hook up with USF for a previously scheduled three-game series. While that 2-for-1 was put on the books back in May, it was just announced by the schools that they’re making a change already.
According to a release, the single game that USF is responsible for at Raymond James Stadium has been shifted up to 2021 instead of the 2023 date originally agreed upon. The pair of games at the Swamp in Gainesville will remain on the docket for 2022 and 2025 so this is just a slight tweak to the series.
The moves help the Gators fill out their (more near-term) future schedules a bit more as they have just a single opening in 2021 after the Bulls adjusted their end of the series. In-state foes USF and Florida State are, however, all that’s on the docket for Florida starting in 2022 and beyond so AD Scott Strickland has some work to do over the coming months and years on that front.
The flip side is that USF has quite the slate of difficult opponents in 2021, with the home-game in Tampa against Florida sandwiched between trips to BYU and N.C. State in the same season. The team does have one more non-conference opening that year, which you would assume would wind up being a lower-level school at home.
North Dakota State is sticking with what works. Namely, that includes promoting from within.
The program announced on Thursday that defensive coordinator Matt Entz will indeed become the Bison’s next head coach in the coming weeks, taking over the job from new Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman after he was hired by the Big 12 school earlier this week.
“Having watched Matt as the defensive coordinator for the past five years, I knew he possessed the qualities to be the head football coach at North Dakota State: leadership, integrity, toughness, and a sincere appreciation for the history and tradition of Bison football,” ,” AD Matt Larsen said. “I’m eager to work with Coach Entz and his staff as they continue building upon the championship tradition of Bison football.”
This will be Entz’ first head coaching gig and comes after serving the past five years as NDSU’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Prior to joining Klieman’s staff, he found plenty of success as a DC at previous stops with FCS Western Illinois and Northern Iowa.
“Great things happen to great people, and I am so happy for the Entz family,” Klieman added. “Matt is the right guy for the job. I know the Bison will have unbelievable success. The program is in great hands.”
Both Klieman and Entz will remain in their current roles with NDSU until the conclusion of their FCS playoff run before moving on to their new gigs. The former had been promoted once Craig Bohl left for Wyoming a few years ago and that’s worked out just fine for the Bison so it appears the school has no qualms at going back to the well and doing the same thing with the latter. Entz certainly understands expectations around the ol’ Fargo Dome going forward, which includes this weekend’s upcoming semifinal game against South Dakota State.