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No. 5 Wisconsin blanks Minnesota, 31-0, to complete 12-0 regular season

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No. 5 Wisconsin (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten) put the finishing touches on an undefeated regular season in blowout fashion, defeating Minnesota (5-7, 2-7 Big Ten) on the road by a score of 31-0. Say what you might about the level of competition Minnesota has faced this season, but the Badgers have done everything asked of them to be in the College Football Playoff discussion, and they may be one win shy of reaching the playoff for the first time in school history.

Wisconsin had a straightforward approach to beating Minnesota fueled by steady defense and a good running game. Jonathan Taylor rushed 20 times for 149 yards and a score in the big win to continue a dominant freshman season. Alex Hornibrook passed for 151 yards and three touchdowns for an efficient afternoon when needed.

All that stands in the way for the Badgers now is Ohio State and the selection committee. A win against the Buckeyes to string together a 13-0 record with a Big Ten championship capped by a win against a top 10 team feels like it should be enough on its own to be rewarded with inclusion in the College Football Playoff. And with the top two teams in the nation losing this weekend, it still remains a guessing game how the selection committee will evaluate the situation. Nothing should be considered a given, but if Wisconsin is the last undefeated power conference team standing at the end of the season, then that should be enough if the Badgers can pull it off.

Wisconsin will play Ohio State next week in the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis. Minnesota’s season is now done with a 5-7 record, bringing the first season under P.J. Fleck to a close. There were some positives at times, but the Gophers have plenty of rowing to do to take steps forward in the Big Ten West pecking order and to give Wisconsin a decent run.

Appalachian State and Liberty schedule future home-and-home series

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Appalachian State and Liberty have agreed to a future home-and-home series beginning in 2024. The schools announced future games to be played at Appalachian State in 2024 and at Liberty in 2025.

Appalachian State will host the Flames on Sept. 28, 2024. Liberty will host the Mountaineers the following fall on Oct. 11, 2025. Although this will not be the first time the two programs have played each other, it will mark the first time the two schools have faced each other with both being full FBS members.

Appalachian State and Liberty have faced off 10 times before. The most recent meeting in the series took place on Oct. 11, 2014, when Appalachian State was in its first season transitioning to from the FCS to the FBS. Liberty won an overtime shootout, 55-48. Liberty made the move from FCS to FBS in 2018 and is coming off its first bowl appearance, and victory, this past season against an Appalachian State rival, Georgia Southern.

“One of our goals in football scheduling is to play regional opponents to which our fan base can easily travel, and we’ve been able to do that with series like this one,” Appalachian State Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said in a released statement.

The addition of Liberty to Appalachian State’s future schedules fills the non-conference portion of the 2024 schedule for the reigning Sun Belt Conference champions. Appalachian State will also host East Tennessee State and play road games at Clemson and East Carolina in 2024. Appalachian State has two openings on its 2025 schedule, as of now. A home game against South Carolina is also booked for 2025 in addition to the road game at Liberty.

Liberty now has seven games booked for the 2024 season. The independent program will also host Coastal Carolina and Marshall and play road games at North Carolina, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, and UMass in 2024. Liberty still needs three more games to fill up the 2025 schedule, which is highlighted by road games at Army and Duke and a home game against Wake Forest.

Second Oklahoma State WR this week enters transfer portal

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Thanks to the portal, the ranks of the Oklahoma State football receiving corps has been thinned a bit over the past couple of days.  Again.

On Twitter TuesdayTyrell Alexander announced that he has decided to transfer from the Oklahoma State football team and “reopen my recruitment process.” The wide receiver would be leaving Stillwater as a graduate transfer for his final season of eligibility.

Thursday, it’s now being reported that teammate and fellow receiver LC Greenwood has entered the portal as well.  On his personal Twitter account late Thursday morning, Greenwood confirmed his impending departure.

“I have built relationships and bonds that will last me a lifetime,” Greenwood wrote. ” My time here has been amazing and I enjoyed every minute of being a [C]owboy.”

A four-star member of the Oklahoma State football Class of 2017, Greenwood was rated as the No. 35 receiver in the country and the No. 42 player regardless of position in the state of Texas.

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, however, Greenwood never lived up to the four-star rating.  Greenwood played in three games in 2018 but didn’t record any statistics.  This past season, he caught three passes for 12 yards.

Greenwood and Alexander were actually the second and third wide receivers to leave the Oklahoma State football team this cycle, joining Patrick McKaufman. All told, 11 Cowboys have left the program.

Tight end Grayson Boomer was another of those transfers.

Boston College’s leading receiver reverses course, pulls out of portal

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Like Stanford, the Boston College football program is on the receiving end of a positive portal flip.

Earlier this month, Kobay White entered his name into the NCAA transfer database, signaling his intent to move on from the Boston College football team.  As we continuously note, players are permitted to pull their name from the portal at any point and remain with their original school.

Apparently, that will be the case with White as it’s now being reported that the wide receiver has withdrawn his name from the database.  Such a move is an indication that White will return to the Eagles, although that hasn’t yet been confirmed.

White came to the Boston College football team as a three-star 2016 signee.  Only one offensive player in the Eagles’ class that year, quarterback Anthony Brown, was rated higher than White.  Brown, incidentally, entered the portal last month.

This past season, White led Boston College with 29 receptions and five receiving touchdowns.  His 460 receiving yards were second on the team as well.  In 2018, he was the Eagles’ leader in both catches and yards.

For his career, the Pennsylvania native has totaled 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns on 96 receptions.

Nebraska loses one player to transfer portal, another to architecture

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Congratulations, Nebraska Cornhuskers football.  You’re the latest subject of a portal post.

On his personal Twitter account Wednesday, Pernell Jefferson announced that he has decided to enter his name into the NCAA transfer database.  If he opts to leave the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team, he would do so as a graduate transfer.  2020 would be his final season of eligibility.

“First off, I’d like to thank the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the opportunity to play football and obtain an education from this prestigious university,” the linebacker wrote. “Sometimes in life you need to move on to new opportunities.”

Jefferson was a three-star 2016 signee.  According to the Omaha World-Herald, Jefferson’s departure leaves the Huskers with eight scholarship outside linebackers.

The move by Jefferson into the portal is the second personnel paring in a week for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football roster.

Last Friday, John Raridon confirmed that he has decided to retire from the sport of football.  According to the offensive lineman, he’s leaving in order to pursue a career as an architect.

Raridon came to the Cornhuskers as a four-star member of NU’s 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 5 guard in the country and the No. 1 player regardless of position in the state of Iowa.  Despite that recruiting pedigree, Raridon played in just six games for the Cornhuskers.

Jefferson, incidentally, is the third Nebraska Cornhusker football player to leave the program via the portal, although the first two did so because of off-field issues.  Another two players, HERE and HERE, have been dismissed from the team since mid-November.