AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Shea Patterson says he chose Michigan for chance to compete for national title

11 Comments

It remains to be seen if Michigan will be able to climb the Big Ten East Division standings this season, but it is unquestionable the Wolverines have a better shot at playing for a national title than Ole Miss does this fall. That is why quarterback Shea Patterson says he decided to transfer to Ann Arbor.

Speaking to the media following the Michigan football program in Paris, France, Patterson opened up about his decision to transfer to Michigan for the first time. A big part of the reason Patterson chose the Wolverines is the opportunity to be able to compete for a championship, which is something that would be impossible with an Ole Miss program currently restricted by NCAA sanctions, including a postseason ban.

“I can live with throwing an interception in the national championship game. Or to get there, in the playoff. It might be hard to live with that — but I don’t know if I could have lived with not being able to to get the chance to compete for one,” Patterson said, according to Mlive.com. “I think watching Michigan all last year, and with the guys we got coming back on defense, I feel like we’ve got a real good shot at doing that.”

Patterson likely solves the biggest question for Michigan coming off the 2017 season now that he has officially been ruled eligible for the upcoming season. Michigan’s defense should be loaded with talent and the Wolverines return the team’s leading rusher in Karan Higdon (not to mention a nice alternative in Chris Evans). Among the biggest issues Michigan had last week was at quarterback, which hindered the rest of the offense. With Patterson likely to win the quarterback job (and yes, Jim Harbaugh is saying there will be an open competition for the job), the offense could receive a nice boost in production and efficiency. The schedule will be tricky with road games at Ohio State and Michigan State and home games against Penn State and Wisconsin (and Nebraska?), but the offense almost has nowhere to go but up.

Michigan has yet to play for the Big Ten championship in the championship game era for the conference, and Ohio State figures to be the favorite out of the East division this season. Then again, the last two years of the College Football Playoff have included a non-division winner in the four-team field (Ohio State in 2016, Alabama last year). So the precedent has been set. If Michigan can get even a marginally improved offense with Patterson, who knows?

UConn releases update on hospitalized LB Eli Thomas

Getty Images
Leave a comment

On Wednesday, Connecticut linebacker Eli Thomas was rushed to a hospital before a team-wide weightlifting session. The school did not say why Thomas was hospitalized, only that he was in stable condition. UConn said in a release that it “will not share additional details at this time.”

Now, five days later, the school has revealed that Thomas suffered a stroke and that he is “making good progress” toward recovery.

“Thank you all for your love and well wishes for Eli,” Mary Beth Turner, Thomas’s mother, said. “TO say we are stunned by this turn of events is an understatement! A strong, healthy, 22-year-old man having a stroke is not anything we anticipated. However, Eli will fight back as he has with every challenge that has come his way with ‘Eli Style.'”

Turner’s statement begs the question why this healthy 22-year-old suffered a stroke. That detail was not revealed Monday, perhaps because it is not known at this time.

“Every day, you just never know what can happen,” UConn coach Randy Edsall. “Things like this are just very unfortunate. It’s one of those things where [you take it] one day at a time and do the very best you can every day because you just never know what can happen.”

A redshirt junior from Elmira, N.Y., Thomas first played at Lackawanna Community College in Scranton, Pa., before arriving at UConn in 2017. He sat out last season while rehabbing an ACL injury and collected 11 tackles, one TFL and one sack in four games as a linebacker and defensive end this season. He injured his neck in a Sept. 22 loss to Syracuse and missed the Huskies’ losses to Cincinnati and Memphis.

Thomas figures to miss UConn’s trip to No. 21 South Florida on Saturday as well.

Ole Miss loses WR D.K. Metcalf for the season

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ole Miss has lost standout wide receiver D.K. Metcalf for the season to a neck injury sustained during the Rebels’ win over Arkansas on Saturday. Rebels head coach Matt Luke made the announcement on Monday.

“(Metcalf) hurt his neck, and it’s worse than we originally thought,” Luke said. “He’ll be done for the season. Long-term, he’ll bounce back and he’ll be fine. We’ll make sure he gets the very best care.”

A sophomore from Oxford, Miss., Metcalf paired with junior A.J. Brown to give Ole Miss one of the best passing attacks in the SEC. While Brown leads the club in catches (50) and yards (650), Metcalf is the Rebels’ big play threat, hauling in 26 catches for 569 yards and a team-high five touchdowns. His 21.88 yards per reception average trails only Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy among all players with at least 25 grabs.

Metcalf posted two games of at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown grab this season and provided Ole Miss’s only points in a 62-7 loss to No. 1 Alabama earlier this year, hauling in a 75-yard touchdown grab to open the scoring.

Dana Holgorsen calls fans rushing the field ‘very unprofessional’

Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images
9 Comments

The war on fans rushing the field continued Monday. In addition to LSU getting a fine of $100,000 from the SEC for their fans rushing the field after the Tigers beat Georgia, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen shared his opinions on the matter just days after he experienced the same situation on the road at Iowa State.

Calling the action “very unprofessional,” Holgorsen said it was quite a hassle just getting his players off the field as Iowa State fans rushed the field to celebrate the big win over the Mountaineers.

To be fair, Holgorsen has a point. Fans rushing the field is a dangerous situation for any team, especially the road team, to be caught up in. The concerns extend to basketball as well, as similar concerns by Duke men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski has long been speaking out against it. (Although, there are some rules that can be applied.) Storming the playing surface may be more of a hazard for opposing teams in basketball where the space is more condensed compared to a football field, but the dangers and hazards are the same for both sports.

Our job is to keep players safe,” Holgorsen explained, per a Des Moines Register report. “We didn’t have time to get (players) off the field. That was not good. No one was hurt that I’m aware of. It was dicey for a while.”

This video watching the Iowa State fans rushing the field after Saturday night’s win, handing West Virginia its first loss of the season, has someone commenting in the background there was a fight taking place on the field as fans lefts the stands.

At this time, Iowa State has not been penalized by the Big 12 for allowing fans to rush the field in such fashion. The Big 12 does not have a standardized penalty system for field and court rushings the way the SEC has, and each case is reviewed internally by the league office.

Five of eight undefeated teams play on the road in Week 8

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Another week in the books, and three more teams suffering their first loss of the year. With Georgia, West Virginia and Colorado all falling for the first time this season on the road, we are now left with just eight undefeated teams in college football. In addition to the three teams taking their first loss, there were also some close calls for Texas, UCF, and South Florida. Even Ohio State had a tough time putting Minnesota out of reach for a while and Notre Dame looked to be in danger at home against Pitt. No team appears to be safe on any given week, unless you just so happen to be Alabama, although the Crimson Tide will have to make a trip to Baton Rouge to play LSU in a few weeks. That could be interesting, right?

The Big 12 and Pac-12 each lost their last remaining undefeated teams in Week 7, leaving the ACC, Big Ten and SEC as the only conferences with an undefeated team in the mix. The ACC has two, but one of them is going down this weekend.

The remaining undefeated teams in college football are:

  • Alabama
  • Cincinnati
  • Clemson
  • NC State
  • Notre Dame
  • Ohio State
  • South Florida
  • UCF.

With Clemson and NC State set to play this week and Cincinnati, South Florida and UCF all scheduled to play division games against one another, we are left with a maximum of five teams that can possibly end the regular season (including conference championship games) without a loss. They are:

  • Alabama
  • Ohio State
  • Notre Dame
  • Clemson or NC State
  • Cincinnati or South Florida or UCF

ON TAP FOR WEEK 8

Notre Dame is off this week, so they’ll be safe for another week after their scare at home against Pitt. While the Fighting Irish are off, there will be five undefeated teams hitting the road this week. Will the road be as unforgiving this week as it was for three undefeated teams last week?

Cincinnati at Temple: The Bearcats head to Philly to play a Temple team that has shaken off a rough start to the season and won three of their last four games.

Alabama at Tennessee: Tennessee ended a bunch of droughts on Saturday with their win against Auburn, but can they pull off a massive upset in Neyland against the best team in the country?

Clemson vs NC State: Something has to give. The last two undefeated teams in the ACC collide in a key division game, setting up the winner to take the inside path to a possible ACC championship.

UCF at East Carolina: Don’t expect much of a challenge from the Pirates in this one.

South Florida vs. UConn: The Bulls had a close call in Week 7, but the Huskies should not be a threat.

Ohio State at Purdue: The Boilermakers are rolling with three straight wins. Can they keep the hot streak going enough to give the Buckeyes a scare?

Do you think any of these teams will take a loss for the first time this weekend?