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Alabama holds firm to top spot in coaches poll; Big Ten has four of top 10

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Following a dismantling of the USC Trojans, No.1  Alabama remains atop the latest Amway Coaches Poll, released this afternoon. The Crimson Tide locked up 62 first-place votes to stay comfortably ahead of No. 2 Clemson. The top two spot sin the coaches poll were unchanged from last week, but there was plenty of movement after that after this wild opening weekend to the college football season.

No. 3 Florida State and No. 4 Ohio State each moved up one spot in the coaches poll, followed by No. 5 Stanford and No. 6 Michigan moving up two spots each. No. 7 Houston jumped up six spots, moving ahead of No. 8 Michigan State in the process. No. 9 Georgia was bumped up seven spots as teams took a free fall out of the top 10, and No. 10 Iowa rounded out the top 10 this week. That puts four teams from the Big Ten in the top 10 of this week’s coaches poll.

No. 13 Oklahoma, No. 21 Notre Dame and No. 22 LSU each fell by at least 10 spots in this week’s poll following losses. LSU took the biggest hit, dropping 16 spots following a loss to Wisconsin in Green Bay. Notre Dame took a harsh hit for an overtime loss at Texas, falling 12 spots. No. 18 Ole Miss fell just six spots after blowing a big lead against Florida State. Teams dropping despite a win included Oregon and Tennessee.

Here is the full coaches poll, with first-place votes noted.

  1. Alabama (62)
  2. Clemson (2)
  3. Florida State
  4. Ohio State
  5. Stanford
  6. Michigan
  7. Houston
  8. Michigan State
  9. Georgia
  10. Iowa
  11. Washington
  12. TCU
  13. Oklahoma
  14. Tennessee
  15. Louisville
  16. Wisconsin
  17. Oklahoma State
  18. Ole Miss
  19. Baylor
  20. Texas
  21. Notre Dame
  22. LSU
  23. Oregon
  24. Texas A&M
  25. Florida

Others Receiving Votes: Miami (Fla.) 108; North Carolina 62; Utah 61; Boise State 52; UCLA 38; Nebraska 37; Arkansas 21; Auburn 16; Brigham Young 15; San Diego State 12; Western Kentucky 11; Navy 10; Pittsburgh 9; West Virginia 8; North Carolina State 7; Southern California 6; South Florida 5; Duke 4; South Alabama 3; Southern Mississippi 2; Colorado 1; Appalachian State 1; Toledo 1.

Notre Dame LB Te’Von Coney pleads guilty to marijuana possession

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Notre Dame linebacker Te’Von Coney on Tuesday pleaded guilty to marijuana possession as part of a case stemming back to 2016. Coney was one of five Irish players arrested on Aug. 19, 2016, when an Indiana State Police trooper made a traffic stop for speeding and discovered marijuana and an unregistered handgun in the car. Notre Dame safety Max Redfield, wideout Kevin Stepherson, cornerback Ashton White and running back Dexter Williams were also arrested.

Through a plea deal, Coney was sentenced to 363 days of probation and had a 180-day jail sentenced suspended down to time served.

White, Redfield and Stepherson were either booted from the team or transferred, while Coney and Williams have gone on to shine in South Bend. Williams rushed 39 times for 360 yards and four touchdowns last season and is expected to split starting duties this fall, while Coney was Notre Dame’s leading tackler a year ago, collecting 116 stops and 12.5 TFLs.

A Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., native, Coney’s plea is not expected to impact his status on the team. Irish head coach Brian Kelly said earlier this month he expected Coney, who is taking summer classes at Notre Dame right now, to play this fall “if he takes care of it (the court case) in the manner I expect him to.”

Wake Forest adds pair of graduate transfer kickers

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Wake Forest was active on the graduate transfer market Tuesday, picking up two kickers to add to its 2018 roster.

The Deacons announced Darren Ford as a transfer from Division III Hope College in Michigan and Eric Osteen from Army.

Ford connected on 25-of-38 field goals and 99 PATs at Hope while also averaging 40 yards per punt over the past two seasons. He also handled kickoffs for the past three seasons at Hope.

Osteen is a rare case; he graduated from Army back in 2013 and recently completed a 5-year tour of duty in the U.S. Army. He will kick for Wake Forest while pursuing an MBA. He was the Black Knights’ kickoff specialist in his former career, totaling 40 touchbacks in 110 kickoffs from 2011-12. He recorded five kickoffs in six tries during Army’s 2012 game against Wake Forest.

Ford and Osteen figure to slide into starting roles for the Deacons’ 2018 squad. Mike Weaver, a senior, handled place-kicking and kickoff duties for Wake Forest a season ago. He made 21-of-25 field goals and 52-of-56 extra points and posted 33 touchbacks in 83 total kickoffs.

WATCH: Netflix releases “Last Chance U.” trailer

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Netflix’s smash hit “Last Chance U.” is back next month for its third season, but in a way it’ll be its first. After following East Mississippi Community College and its firebrand head coach Buddy Stephens for two seasons, college football’s answer to Amazon’s “All or Nothing” has moved to a new subject. After considering a number of schools, “Last Chance U.” will follow Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas, coached by Jason Brown, for its third season.

“Last Chance U.” will follow the Pirates as they navigate the entire 2017 season, which concluded with a 9-2 record, a Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference championship and a win over Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in the Midwest Bowl.

The new season premiers July 20.

FCS team suspends head coach amid probe into ‘alleged violations of university policy’

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We don’t normally do much with the FCS level of football here at CFT; when we do, though, it normally doesn’t trend toward the positive.

Such is the case in this instance, with Stephen F. Austin announcing Monday night that head coach Clint Conque has been suspended.  In its statement, the university wrote that the suspension is “pending an investigation into alleged violations of university policy.”

The alleged violations weren’t detailed.

“The investigation is expected to take several weeks,” the school’s statement read, in part. “No comments will be made by the university until the investigation is complete.”

The Magnolia Reporter wrote that “Conque’s suspension comes two weeks after SFA appointed Ryan Ivey as the new director of Athletics – a position he is set to officially assume on July 1.”

Conque has been the head coach at SFA the past four seasons.  In that span, he went 21-25 overall and 17-18 in Southland Conference play.  Since going 8-5 and qualifying for the FCS playoffs his first season, the football program has gone 4-7, 5-5, 4-7 the last three years.

Prior to that, Conque was the head coach at Central Arkansas from 2000-13, with the last seven of those years spent in the Southland Conference.  During his time with the Bears, he went 105-59.

In a statement released by that university in July of 2010, prior to the start of his 11th season with that FCS team, Conque admitted to what he described as “an inappropriate relationship” that stemmed from “some poor personal decisions.”

During a period of time in my life I made some poor personal decisions. I had an inappropriate relationship in the past that I regret and these mistakes and missteps have hurt the ones that I love the most. While we have been dealing with these issues privately, I regret that we must now deal with this in a public manner.

“I take sole and complete responsibility for my actions as my family and I continue the process of healing and rebuilding. I want to once again sincerely apologize first to my family, also to the university community, the administration, the university’s athletic staff, and to our football staff and team. I will emerge from this a better man, husband, father and coach. I appreciate the support that I have received from the Board of Trustees, President (Allen) Meadors, (Athletic Director) Dr. (Brad) Teague, and the university during this extremely difficult time.

“I would genuinely appreciate everyone extending Angele and my three sons the privacy and compassion needed to move forward in our personal lives. I look forward to the 2010 football season and the beginning of fall practice.

Conque remained on as the head coach at Central Arkansas for four more seasons, going 32-16 in that post-admission span and qualifying for the FCS playoffs twice for good measure.