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Proposed California amendment would cap coaches salaries at $200,000

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Some states do everything they can to help out athletics programs in their borders, that is something that California has never really been accused of doing. A state-wide travel ban has already caused some ripples with regards to scheduling for some teams and it seems lawmakers in Sacramento are back with a new constitutional amendment that could hamper schools ability to pay their coaches.

UCLA student paper The Daily Bruin passes along news that a new constitutional amendment was announced last week “that aims to restrict the University of California’s autonomy by reducing staff salaries, the length of regents’ terms and the authority of the UC president.” That first item is the biggest to take note of, which would institute a cap on non-faculty salaries to $200,000 per year — something that would affect everybody from coaches to the athletic director and everybody in between.

The University of California (UC) system most notably includes Pac-12 schools like UCLA and Cal, which means coaches like Chip Kelly and Justin Wilcox could be affected. To take Kelly as an example, he signed a five-year contract worth a total of $23.3 million when he was hired by the Bruins this offseason.

Head football coaches salaries are not typically paid completely by a school directly however, so there is some wiggle room should this amendment wind up passing. Often a separate athletics organization will foot most of the bill using funds raised from donors while other outside companies sometimes also get involved. Things might be a little more interesting when it comes to assistant’s salaries or non-football/men’s basketball head coaches and support staffers however, who could fall under the purview of the cap.

In other words, some creative accounting practices might have to be implemented by schools like UCLA or Cal or else they’ll be at a significant disadvantage compared to their private school peers like USC or Stanford as well as conference rivals like Arizona or Oregon.

It’s far from certain the amendment will pass given that it requires a two-thirds vote in the state legislature as well as passing muster on a state-wide ballot measure during a general election. We don’t typically see college coaches wade too far into political waters but, in this case, they might be forced to because its one that directly affects their wallets.

No. 17 Kentucky leads five newcomers in this week’s AP poll

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Carnage littered the AP Top 25 landscape following Week 4’s games, as seven ranked teams lost games — five of them to unranked opponents, and a sixth in horrific fashion.

As such, five new teams are in, led by No. 17 Kentucky. Following a 28-7 smashing of then-No. 14 Mississippi StateMark Stoops‘s Wildcats are 4-0 overall and off to their first 2-0 start since 1977. As such, they graced the AP Top 25 for the first time since Nov. 11, 2007, and just the second time since 1984. The No. 17 ranking is UK’s highest ranking since Oct. 21, 2007.

Also joining the rankings are No. 18 Texas, who was No. 23 in preseason, did not earn a single vote after losing at Maryland and now has vaulted back into the rankings after back-to-back double-digit wins over ranked opponents (both of whom are now unranked). Elsewhere, a pair of unbeaten Power 5 teams have joined the rankings for the first time this season in No. 22 Duke and No. 24 California, and Texas Tech came in at No. 25 after smashing then-No. 15 Oklahoma State by 24 points in Stillwater.

Only two of the seven losers remained in the poll: Oregon, who actually climbed a spot to No. 19 after blowing a 17-point third quarter lead to No. 7 Stanford and No. 23 Mississippi State for absolutely no reason whatsoever. (I expected this from the good-for-literally-nothing coaches’ poll, but I expected better from you, AP voters.)

Elsewhere, LSU leapfrogged Oklahoma for No. 5 after Army took the Sooners to overtime in Norman, and Penn State jumped Auburn for No. 9 ahead of a massive game Saturday night in Happy Valley.

Michigan, Miami and BYU moved up five spots, while UCF, Wisconsin and Michigan State gained three.

The full poll:

1. Alabama — 1,523 total points (60 first-place votes)
2. Georgia — 1,422
3. Clemson — 1,409 (1)
4. Ohio State — 1,363
5. LSU — 1,238
6. Oklahoma — 1,201
7. Stanford — 1,143
8. Notre Dame — 1,067
9. Penn State — 1,001
10. Auburn — 987
11. Washington — 946
12. West Virginia — 923
13. UCF — 727
14. Michigan — 698
15. Wisconsin — 662
16. Miami — 571
17. Kentucky — 541
18. Texas — 308
19. Oregon — 297
20. BYU — 270
21. Michigan State — 256
22. Duke — 244
23. Mississippi State — 241
24. California — 118
25. Texas Tech — 106

Five ranked-on-ranked matchups await us in Week 5:

No. 12 West Virginia at No. 25 Texas Tech (noon ET, ESPN2)
No. 4 Ohio State at No. 9 Penn State (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
No. 7 Stanford at No. 8 Notre Dame (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
No. 20 BYU at No. 11 Washington (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX)
No. 24 California at No. 19 Oregon (10:30 p.m. ET, FS1)

Three new teams join coaches’ top 25

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Nearly a third of the coaches’ top 25 tasted defeat on Saturday, five of them to unranked teams. But the coaches’ poll voters are typically slow to react to the events unfolding in front of them, and so four of them remain in Sunday’s top 25.

Texas A&M, Boston College and TCU dropped from the rankings, while Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State and Oregon remained in the poll. Texas A&M and TCU have two losses so they have to go, even though A&M lost to No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson, and TCU lost to No. 4 Ohio State and newly-ranked Texas.

Virginia Tech remains ranked thanks to a now-worthless Labor Day win at Florida State, and despite a loss to previously winless Old Dominion. Mississippi State has yet to beat anyone with a pulse. Oklahoma State does own an impressive win over Boise State, but the Cowboys followed that up with a 24-point home loss to Texas Tech. Oregon fell back just one spot as punishment for its collapse to No. 7 Stanford.

Kentucky joined the poll for the first time this season, vaulting all the way to No. 17. Texas re-joined the rankings at No. 22, one spot ahead of undefeated Duke.

The full poll:

1. Alabama — 1,597 total points (61 first-place votes)
2. Clemson — 1,497 (2)
3. Georgia — 1,473
4. Ohio State — 1,431 (1)
5. Oklahoma — 1,300
6. LSU — 1,234
7. Stanford — 1,206
8. Notre Dame — 1,136
9. Penn State — 1,108
10. Auburn — 997
11. Washington — 959
12. West Virginia — 946
13. Wisconsin — 776
14. UCF — 705
15. Michigan — 603
16. Miami — 554
17. Kentucky — 531
18. Michigan State — 376
19. Mississippi State — 311
20. Oregon — 281
21. Oklahoma State — 199
22. Texas — 171
23. Duke — 170
24. Virginia Tech — 160
25. Boise State — 145

Gene Smith addresses report saying Ohio State considering making Ryan Day head coach-in-waiting

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It was another wild Saturday in college football, but perhaps the biggest development came from off the field.

After Urban Meyer returned to the sideline for the first time this season, Ari Wasserman of The Athletic reported Ohio State is considering naming offensive coordinator Ryan Day its head coach-in-waiting.

Day, of course, served as the No. 4 Buckeyes’ acting head coach through training camp and the first three games of this season, leading the club to three wins. And Ohio State was impressed with him well before August, too. After his first season in Columbus, Ohio State promoted him to offensive coordinator, handed him a 3-year contract and made him the school’s first $1 million coordinator.

But Saturday’s report indicated Ohio State is considering tying Day to the program for the long-term on a more formal basis.

On Sunday, Ohio State AD Gene Smith addressed the report, largely by talking around it.

“We obviously are appreciative of Coach Day’s great work, and hope he continues to be one of our offensive coordinators for a long time, but we are more than confident Coach Meyer will be our head coach for quite some time,” Smith tweeted.

Wasserman’s report said the plan is still in the discussion phase and that Ohio State is in no hurry to push Meyer out of his job, and this statement doesn’t contradict or refute that.

Smith could have ended all speculation by saying something to the effect of, “There are no discussions of naming Coach Day or any other assistant as our head coach-in-waiting. Coach Meyer is our head coach and will remain so as long as he likes.”

But he didn’t, and so the speculation lives.

 

No. 10 Washington rides defense to win over slumping Arizona State

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Take one of the Pac-12’s best rushing attacks, mix in the league’s best receiver on the other sideline and stir after dark to get some wild, offensive-laden craziness in Seattle, right? Uh, not even close.

No. 10 Washington rode their incredible defense and used a handful of big plays from their offensive veterans to secure a bruising 27-20 win on Saturday night and drop the fighting Herm Edwards’ of Arizona State to a slumping .500 on the season.

Huskies QB Jake Browning crossed the 10,000 yard passing plateau for his college career and continued closing in on several school records with an efficient 202 yard game. That included three excellent throws into the end zone for touchdowns, one to Aaron Fulleranother to Ty Jones and the best of the bunch in the fourth quarter to help salt the game away to a tip-toeing Cade Otton.

The signal-caller’s play balanced out another solid (if not quite the usual spectacular) effort from Washington’s one-two punch in the backfield as Myles Gaskin recorded 86 yards on the ground and Salvon Ahmed chipped in with 71 more on limited carries. The team punted just three times all game and probably could have gotten off to a better start had their signature Chris Petersen trick play on the first play of the game — in this case, a double-pass — not been picked off.

The real star of the show might have been the defense though. Linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven looks like a budding All-American and finished with 20 tackles and two forced fumbles while the entire front seven was a load for the Sun Devils to handle. Eno Benjamin had just one long run on his way to 104 yards plus a TD and otherwise had to fight for running room on every carry.

He was still a bright spot for ASU all things considered… namely how rough of an outing it was for QB Manny Wilkins (104 yards passing) and star receiver N'Keal Harry (five catches, 20 yards). The entire group seemingly continued their struggles from last week’s loss against San Diego State and will now need to find some way to regroup with the heart of their Pac-12 slate coming up next month. After grabbing the nation’s attention with a victory over Michigan State, now will really be the time we’ll find out what Edwards can do as a college coach as he tries to rebound from a losing streak for the first time.

The Huskies, meanwhile, can rest easy knowing they didn’t get swept up in the wild nature of the day in college football with so many ranked teams falling to unranked squads. It was by no means a crisp outing for Petersen’s group but it is a precious win nevertheless and does set up a very intriguing game next Saturday night against a ranked BYU squad. At this point late into the night on Saturday, surviving and advancing is nothing to overlook and, thanks mostly to their defense, Washington did just that against Arizona State.