The Shea Patterson ruling cracked the door. Thursday, Thomas Mars‘ righteous tenacity kicked the door wide open for his remaining clients.
Throughout the evening, it was confirmed that five players who had transferred from Ole Miss in the midst of sanctions levied on the football program had been granted a waiver by the NCAA that allows them to compete immediately at their new schools. The quintet impacted by today’s confirmations include defensive back Deontay Anderson (Houston), offensive tackle Jack DeFoor (Georgia Tech), Breon Dixon (Nebraska), wide receiver Tre Nixon (UCF) and linebacker Jarrion Street (UAB).
All of those players were 2016 signees who will have three years of eligibility remaining, and all five will likely contribute to their new teams immediately in 2018.
The Patterson decision, announced late last month and which granted him immediate eligibility at Michigan, came after the quarterback’s new school and his old school, Ole Miss, “worked together over the last several days in conjunction with the NCAA national office staff, and with a focus on the best interest of the student-athlete, to put forward a new waiver application.” That resolution certainly paved the way for these collective decisions less than two weeks later, and decisions that were the absolute correct ones for the student-athletes involved.
Just like the AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll this week, the Super 16 Poll form the Football Writers Association and National Football Foundation had some cleaning up to do after a messy Week 7. Of course, when the dust all settled, Alabama remained the runaway team sitting atop the Super 16 Poll, but there were plenty of changes throughout the rest of the poll this week.
Alabama received 50 of 51 first-place votes this week from the voting members of the poll. Notre Dame received the only other first-place vote but the Fighting Irish stand behind Alabama, Ohio State, and Clemson.
New appearances in this week’s poll include No. 12 Oregon, No. 14 Kentucky, and No. 16 NC State. All three fill holes in the poll left by Penn State, Wisconsin, and Miami who all fell out of the top 16 this week after suffering their second losses of the year.
Here is this week’s Super 16 Poll:
- Alabama (50 first-place votes)
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame (1)
- West Virginia
- NC State
As a disclaimer, three contributors to College Football Talk are voters in the Super 16 Poll; Zach Barnett, Bryan Fischer and myself (Kevin McGuire).
As expected, LSU has been fined by the SEC offices after Tiger fans stormed the field following LSU’s blowout victory over defending SEC champion Georgia on Saturday afternoon. The offense, the second charged against LSU, amounts to a fine of $100,000.
Per the release from the SEC offices;
SEC schools unanimously approved the policy which requires fines to be applied when spectators enter the playing field after a game. The policy states that “access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and properly-credentialed individuals at all times. For the safety of participants and spectators alike, at no time before, during or after a contest shall spectators be permitted to enter the competition area. It is the responsibility of each member institution to implement procedures to ensure compliance with this policy.”
LSU was previously fined by the SEC for fans rushing the field following a 2014 game against Ole Miss. Ranked No. 24 at the time, the Tigers edged No. 3 Ole Miss 10-7 on October 25, 2014.
All fine money paid by schools goes to the SEC’s Post-Graduate Scholarship Fund.
USC linebacker Porter Gustin saw his 2018 season come to a close with a season-ending ankle injury suffered in the final minutes of USC’s Saturday night victory over Colorado. Gustin will undergo surgery this week and begin his rehab process.
“We are all kind of numb right now, to be honest with you,” USC head coach Clay Helton said Sunday night, per the Los Angeles Times. “He’s a force of nature, and you think of him as a superhero, as Thor, as we say, and to know that he’s not going to be with us for the remaining part of the season is obviously something that hurts us all.”
Unfortunately for Gustin, he has spent a bunch of time rehabbing from injuries during his time at USC. Gustin missed the start of this season due to an injury, and he may have missed some more playing time if the Pac-12 correctly called an obvious targeting call on him in a game against Washington State.
The loss of Gustin, one of USC’s top defensive players, could never come at a good time, but the injury comes at a critical time for the Trojans. Now in the position to take firm control of the Pac-12 South Division after a head-to-head win against Colorado, USC is heading on the road this week to play Utah. A win for USC will put the Trojans in the best spot in the division, while a loss leaves the door open for Utah to make their own run to the division crown.
Gustin was a watch list player for the Bednarik Award, Butkus Award, and Lott Trophy. Now, the injured senior will likely think about preparing for what comes next after this season, the NFL Draft.
Colorado lost for the first time late Saturday on the road at USC. The result was not entirely puzzling given Colorado may have been due for a loss and USC can be difficult to top in Los Angeles, but a decision to go for a two-point conversion after a late Colorado touchdown cut into the USC lead left many watching scratching their heads. After the game, Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre explained the rationale behind the two-point conversion attempt, and it was rather simple.
MacIntyre didn’t know Colorado scored a touchdown and thought it was a first-and-goal situation.
The two-point conversion attempt came following a Steven Montez 19-yard touchdown run with 3:23 to play. The touchdown cut the USC lead to 31-20. A successful two-point conversion would have made it a nine-point game whereas an extra point would have created a 10-point deficit for Colorado. You could argue Colorado still needed two scores in the final minutes anyway and a two-point try would allow for the possibility of a win. The conventional logic, however, suggests there is a better win probability if you only need a touchdown and a field goal. Not that Colorado had a great chance either way to come back and win (which of course, they did not), but the decision to go for two points was a bizarre one. And now we know why.
So, was MacIntyre given incorrect information on the field? Shouldn’t somebody on Colorado have known the team just scored a touchdown, be it an official, a staffer, or one of the players on the field? Who is to blame for this messy situation? The fault should fall on the shoulders of the head coach here. It may not have ultimately altered the outcome of the game, since Colorado did recover the onside kick after all fo this but failed to pick up a first down.