FSU climbs two in coaches’ poll

4 Comments

Seeing as none of the Top 14 teams from last week’s USA Today coaches’ poll lost, there was very little change, as expected, in this week’s release.

What change there was, though, was at least mildly interesting.

Florida State, on the strength of its 63-0 pasting of previously unbeaten Maryland, climbed over Georgia and Louisville into the No. 6 spot in the Week 6 coaches’ poll.  The Seminoles have seen a steady rise in the polls this year, starting the season at No. 12 before moving to No. 10 after the opener; No. 9 after Week 2; and into the No. 8 hole for the past three weeks.

No. 1 Alabama again had the most first-place votes, although the Tide lost two more to No. 2 Oregon and now holds 57 of them.  The Ducks garnered four first-place votes while No. 4 Clemson had the lone remaining.

No. 3 Ohio State, despite winning on the road against a ranked and undefeated team in Northwestern, saw their point total drop from 1,397 to 1,356.

Stanford, thanks to its 3-point home win over unbeaten Washington, remains at No. 5, with Texas A&M and Oklahoma holding serve at No. 9 and No. 10, respectively.  Georgia and Louisville, despite winning, dropped one spot each to No. 7 for the former and No. 7 for the latter.

The coaches actually showed respect to Northwestern and Washington in their losses to higher-ranked teams.  The Wildcats only dropped three spots to No. 18 after the three-10-point loss to the Buckeyes, while the Huskies slipped just one to No. 19.

Florida was the only team other than Florida State and Northwestern to move up or down more than one spot, exiting Week 6 at No. 17 after entering No. 19.

Just one team fell out of the Top 25, with Arizona State dropping out after its loss to Notre Dame.  The Sun Devils were replaced by Virginia Tech (No. 25),  The Hokies returned to the coaches’ poll for the first time since the Sept. 23 release last year.

There are currently 10 one-loss teams in the Top 25, with five coming from the SEC alone.  Those five also serve as the highest-ranked of the one-loss teams.  The Big Ten is the only other conference with more than one one-loss team in the rankings.

Conversely, there are just two undefeated teams that are unranked and, surprisingly, one of them comes from the SEC: 5-0 Missouri.  The AAC’s Houston is the only other of the 17 unbeaten team that is left out of the coaches’ poll.

(Writer’s note: Apparently, there was a glitch in USA Today’s online poll. Ohio State and Clemson are not tied at No. 3. The body of this post has been changed to reflect their error, although we’re still waiting to get the proper point totals to plug into the full set of rankings. Thanks in advance for your cooperation in this matter.)

(Updated writer’s note: USA Today has indeed updated its poll and the totals you see below are now correct. We apologize for any inconvenience and/or angst this may have caused you.)

Coaches' Poll Week Six

UNLV bringing all-you-can-eat ticket packages to college football

Getty Images
5 Comments

It’s a tremendous challenge getting fans to come out to the stadium these days. When (nearly) every game is on TV, why go to the stadium when you have to miss out on the six other games on TV plus you have to deal with spotty in-stadium plus having to fight through traffic and parking and obnoxious fans to your left and right — and, oh yeah, you still have to pay for your tickets and concessions on top of all that.

UNLV has now eliminated one of those objections.

Borrowing a page from baseball, the Rebels have introduced an all-you-can-eat ticket package. For just $79, fans get tickets to UNLV’s games against UTEP (Sept. 8), Fresno State (Nov. 3) and Nevada (Nov. 24) while gaining access to all the hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and soft drinks they can stomach.

“It’s a great way for your family to enjoy first-class entertainment and create a memory for an affordable price,” UNLV athletics director Desiree Reed-Francois told the Las Vegas Sun.

Season ticket holders will also have the option of adding the all-you-can-eat option for $30 a ticket — which works out to $5 per ticket per game.

The move feels more like a promotion that will keep on-the-fence ticket buyers in the stadium rather than brining new people out, but Reed-Francois is determined to increase attendance as UNLV plays its penultimate season in the 47-year-old Sam Boyd Stadium. The Rebels drew 17,449 fans per game to the 35,000-seat stadium.

“I’m told all of the time that this isn’t a football town,” she said. “We’ll flip that (opinion). There’s an opportunity for football in this town.”

Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook wins Manning Passing Academy throwing competition

Getty Images
2 Comments

It won’t affect the scoreboard one whit come September, but Wisconsin got a nice little victory on Saturday.

The annual Manning Passing Academy came to a close on Saturday with the Air It Out competition among the camp’s counselors, which was comprised of a who’s who of returning college quarterbacks. Among a group that included Penn State’s Trace McSorley, Missouri’s Drew Lock, UCF’s McKenzie Milton, Washington’s Jake Browning, Georgia’s Jake Fromm, Alabama’s Jalen Hurts and others, Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook was the only player able to hit the golf cart streaking down the right sideline.

Hornibrook, a rising junior, completed 198-of-318 passes (62.3 percent) for 2,644 yards (8.3 per attempt) with 25 touchdowns against 15 interceptions, good for a 148.61 efficiency rating, which rated 24th nationally. He led the Badgers to a 13-1 record, a Big Ten West championship, an Orange Bowl victory over Miami and a No. 7 final ranking in the AP poll.

LSU graduate transfer CB Terrence Alexander set to join team Monday

Getty Images
1 Comment

LSU graduate transfer cornerback Terrence Alexander is set to get his purple-and-yellow stripes on Monday, according to Nola.com.

Alexander announced his intention to graduate transfer from Stanford to LSU in the spring, but the thing about graduate transfers is that you have to graduate before you can play. Alexander earned his degree from Stanford last Sunday, clearing him to play for LSU this fall. (Stanford operates on the quarters system, pushing its graduation ceremonies a month later than schools that follow the semester system.)

A New Orlean native, Alexander played in only one game in 2017 after suffering a season-ending injury in the opener against Rice. He appeared in 13 games as a reserve in 2016.

He figures to compete for the open cornerback spot opposite All-America candidate Greedy Williams against sophomores Kary VincentJontre Kirklin and Mannie Netherly. Kristian Fulton would be included in that group, but he remains suspended by the NCAA.

Father of USC freshman WR dubbed the ‘Lavar Ball of college football’

Photo by Alius Koroliovas/Getty Images
13 Comments

The basketball world got to know LaVar Ball quite well the last few years. If there is a college football of that on the horizon, the LA Times seems to think they found him.

John Brown, the father of USC Class of 2018 wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, has drawn comparisons to LaVar Ball for a variety of reasons that include the demand and vision for excellence in professional sports for his son. St. Brown was a five-star recruit for the Trojans in the most recent recruiting cycle, according to his Rivals profile. He was also ranked as the top recruit in the state of California and the top wide receiver in the nation. That alone brings reason to expect big results for St. Brown at USC.

The genes are certainly running in the family. John Brown is a former championship body builder. St. Brown’s oldest brother is former Notre Dame wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown. Osiris St. Brown, the middle son in the family, will be a redshirt freshman this fall at Stanford. With so much talent in the family, John Brown may be tapping into his inner Lavar Ball by suggesting Amon-ra could play in the NFL right now.

This is, of course, a ridiculous thought considering that even the most talented college freshman still have a long way to go to be ready to compete at the high level the NFL demands. But where Brown differs from Ball is he expects his sons to have to earn any accolades that may come their way.

“I’m going to request [USC head coach Clay Helton] put his butt at the bottom of the charts and see what he’s made of,” John said in a featured story published by the LA Times this week. “Make him fight. Sharpen the knife.”

John even goes so far to suggest Amon-ra has his eyes on making some unprecedented (and likely impossible) college football history.

“He’s serious about everything,” John says.

Ask Amon-ra what his goals are for his first year with the Trojans. With an unblinking, straight stare he will tell you, “I want to win the Heisman. All three years.”

All three years, eh? Putting aside the prediction that Brown is already predicting his son is jumping to the NFL after his junior season (an idea that is not at all far-fetched if St. Brown plays out the way recruiting experts and USC expect he will), we have to smile at the historic bar Brown is setting for his son.

Only one player has ever won the Heisman Trophy twice (Ohio State’s Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975). It is also worth noting the last wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy was Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991. Tim Brown of Notre Dame (1987) and Johnny Rodgers of Nebraska (1972) are the only other receivers to win the award since the Heisman Trophy was first presented in 1935. This may not go down in the history books alongside Beano Cook predicting two Heisman Trophy awards for former Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus (which never came close to happening, of course), but that does set the bar high for Amon-ra’s personal goals.

Brown may lay the foundation for athletic success for his sons, but fortunately for the college football world, he seems to be far more tolerable than LaVar Ball.