College Football Playoff Rankings: Oregon moves past Florida State for No. 2, TCU in

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Despite continuing to win games, Florida State could not hold on to the second spot in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings. The Oregon Ducks moved into the second spot in the rankings ahead of undefeated Florida State following a road win at Utah. Mississippi State remains atop the ranking this week for the third straight week.

TCU also moved into the top four to round out the top four spots in the College Football Playoff ranking. Alabama and Arizona State are this week’s first two teams out.

Here is this week’s ranking, according to the College Football Playoff selection committee.

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Some quick observations and thoughts…

Once again, a reminder this is not a finished product and there will still be some scores settled on the field before we can take these rankings as a faithful projection of which four teams will play in the first College Football Playoff. So when you see Mississippi State and Alabama both appearing in the top five, keep in mind this is very likely to change this week after Alabama and Mississippi State play. The question that may be worth asking is how far Mississippi State would fall if they lose at Alabama. Alabama would be a lock to appear in the top four with a win, but could Mississippi State all of a sudden fall out fo the top four with one loss, on the road, against a top-four Alabama?

Oregon over Florida State?

This is what happens when the selection committee respects one conference more than the other. There is not much other way to explain why a one-loss Oregon would have passed an undefeated Florida State. The Seminoles may have been lacking in consistent dominance, but they have managed to respond under a variety of situations this season to keep their perfect record going. Oregon’s lone loss was at home to Arizona, but the Pac-12 is clearly a more respected conference right now than the ACC. In addition to a handful of quality Pac-12 wins, Oregon also has a victory over Michigan State, which still carries more weight than Florida State’s neutral site victory over Oklahoma State and home win against Notre Dame.

So, about TCU and Baylor…

Clearly the selection committee is still favoring TCU after getting through the toughest spots on its schedule to this point with one loss. Of course, that lone loss came against Baylor. Baylor’s last few games likely present a tougher stretch than what TCU will play, so there could still be a chance to see the feeling about the Big 12 leaders change.

Is there time for Ohio State or Nebraska?

With the way this week’s rankings played out, absolutely. Of course, neither team can afford another loss. Ohio State moved into striking distance and now gets a game against another top 25 team according to the committee. Minnesota checking in at No. 25 gives Ohio State one more respected opponent. As long as Ohio State continues to win, they will have wins on the road against Michigan State, Minnesota and could add another against a ranked Nebraska or Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship. The Buckeyes may still need a little help from around the country though, but the path to a playoff spot is realistic enough to discuss.

The same holds true for Nebraska, although the Cornhuskers may need just a slight bit more help.

The committee loves UCLA

UCLA has been one of the shakiest two-loss teams this season, but that 62-point outburst at Arizona State sure looks better and better as Arizona State continues to climb the rankings. Ona  related note, Utah is still in the top 25 in the eyes of the committee despite losing two straight games (to Arizona State and Oregon)

Still no Group of Five

Another week, still no Marshall. Where the selection committee ranks teams like Marshall and Colorado State and Boise State and East Carolina remains a mystery to the public. This is a bit frustrating for fans of these schools, not knowing where their team stands in the race for an access bowl spot. Eventually, the committee will have to make this insight available, but there is no rush to do that just yet. We only need an official update for the final rankings to determine which Group of Five conference champion is going to a big bowl game.

Injuries force Oklahoma State starting LT Dylan Galloway to retire

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The Oklahoma State football depth chart has seen its offensive line take a significant hit.  But, hey at least it’s not some of the other headlines the school has seen of late.

In a text message to SI.com this week, Dylan Galloway revealed that he has decided to retire from the sport due to injuries. The offensive lineman has dealt with multiple shoulder injuries the past couple of seasons as well as a right leg injury last season.

Galloway will be leaving the Oklahoma State football team and Stillwater as a graduate.

“I’m done with football,” Galloway told the website. “I was getting hurt so much and I felt like all of my injuries were piling up to where they were effecting me too much on and off the field.”

Galloway was a three-star member of the Oklahoma State football Class of 2016.  As a redshirt, the Dallas native took a redshirt.

All told, Galloway played in 31 games during his time with the Cowboys.  He started five games at left tackle in 2018 and another nine this past season.  The 6-5, 297-pound lineman missed three games in 2019 because of the injury to his right leg.

As noted by SI.com, “[t]he Preseason Athlon’s College Football Preview has Galloway listed as second-team All-Big 12.”

Toledo reportedly hires ex-Michigan State assistant Mark Staten

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Toledo is the new home for a former Michigan State football assistant.  Reportedly.

When Mel Tucker took over for Mark Dantonio earlier this month, the former Colorado head coach retained just two of his predecessor’s assistants, Mike Tressel and Ron Burton.  Two other former Dantonio assistants, Terrence Samuel and Paul Haynes, took jobs at UNLV and Minnesota, respectively.

This week, it’s being reported that a third former Dantonio assistant has landed on his coaching feet as Mark Staten is now a member of the Toledo football staff.  Staten is expected to coach tight ends and offensive tackles for the Rockets.

Interestingly, Michigan State is set to host Toledo on Sept. 19 of the college football season.

If the hiring comes to fruition, it will mark the first time since 2003 that Staten is not part of a Dantonio-led coaching staff.  From 2004-06, Staten was at Cincinnati.  He spent the past 13 seasons at MSU.  From 2007-10, Staten coached tight ends and offensive tackles for the Spartans.  Staten moved to offensive line coach in 2011, a position he held until 2018.  Amidst a reshuffling of Dantonio’s offensive staff, Staten became tight ends coach for the 2019 season.

Prior to Michigan State and Cincinnati, Staten had served as a graduate assistant at Ohio State (2002-03) and Miami of Ohio (2001).

Kansas is the latest to hit the coronavirus-related pause button on workouts as a dozen Jayhawks test positive for COVID-19

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Go ahead and add Kansas to the growing list of football programs hitting the workout pause button.

The Big 12 announced back in May that student-athletes could begin returning to campus June 15 for voluntary workouts.  Kansas was one of those football programs in the conference to take advantage of the edict.  Nearly three weeks later, however, KU has announced that it’s suspending those workouts.  The reason?  A dozen Jayhawk football players tested positive for COVID-19.  Less than a week ago, just three were positives.

“Due to the positives within our own program and the increased cases in our region including our student-athletes’ home communities, we believe all football student-athletes and staff should self-quarantine for 14-days,” the school stated in a release.  After the 14 days, all players and staff will be tested again.

Below are statements from the Kansas athletic director and its head football coach.

Jeff Long
After the increase in positive COVID-19 tests within our football program, our medical team at Kansas Team Health has recommended discontinuing voluntary workouts immediately. Our priority remains to keep our student-athletes safe and healthy, especially during this pandemic, and will follow the recommendations of our medical professionals.

“We will only resume our preparations after the 14-day quarantine is complete and our student-athletes and staff have been tested for the virus prior to participating in football activities. In the meantime, we continue to educate our student-athletes, as well as coaches and staff, on the importance of following the policies and procedures and recommendations from our Kansas Team Health physicians and the CDC.

Les Miles
When we welcomed our young men back to campus a couple of weeks ago for voluntary workouts, even with the policies and procedures in place to try and protect them from becoming infected with the virus, events outside of our control has made the decision to pause these workouts necessary. Our trainers and doctors will remain in daily contact with each of the student-athletes that tested positive to support them and what we hope will involve only minor symptoms if any. We will follow medical recommendations on returning to activities.

Kansas football is the latest but certainly not the first impacted by the pandemic.  Or the last, more than likely

Early this past week, Arizona announced that it was pausing its phased return of student-athletes to campus.  Prior to that, eight individuals connected to the Boise State football program tested positive, forcing the school to temporarily scuttle workouts.  June 20, K-State announced that it is pausing all voluntary workouts as well.  The reason?  “[A] total of 14 student-athletes have tested positive for active COVID-19 following PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing of more than 130 student-athletes.” The weekend before that, Houston decided to put a halt to voluntary on-campus workouts after six symptomatic UH student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19.

Other programs have seen a high number of players test positive but continue workouts.  Among those are Clemson (37 players tested positive), LSU (30 players quarantined), Texas (13 confirmed positives for football players) and Texas Tech (23 positives for players/staffers).

Penn State corner Marquis Wilson facing pair of pot-related charges

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Thanks to a Penn State football player, we have a post that would’ve triggered a resetting of Ye Olde Arrest Ticker.  If that were still a thing, of course.

According to the Centre Daily Times, Marquis Wilson was is facing a pair of weed-related charges stemming from an incident this past February.  Those charges are one count each of possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.  Both of those charges are misdemeanors.

During a February traffic stop, the sophomore cornerback was accused by campus police of stashing marijuana into a pill bottle.  From the Daily Times‘ report:

… Wilson was stopped in February by an officer who smelled “a strong odor of marijuana” coming from Wilson’s vehicle, police wrote.

[The defensive back], who spoke with the officer in front of Brill Hall, denied smoking marijuana. He said someone else smoked weed in his vehicle earlier, police wrote.

Wilson had red, glassy eyes and “a strong odor of marijuana on his breath,” police wrote. The officer found the bottle inside the vehicle’s center console.

Thus far, the Penn State football program has not addressed the off-field development.

Wilson was a three-star member of the Penn State football Class of 2019.  The cornerback was rated as the No. 4 player regardless of position in the state of Connecticut.

As a true freshman, Wilson appeared in 10 games for the Nittany Lions.  He was credited with 18 tackles, three forced fumbles, two passes defensed, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.  The three forced fumbles were tied for second on the team last season.  The interception came in the bowl win over Memphis.