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How similar could the preseason AP Top 25 be to the coaches poll?

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The release of the AP Top 25 is still a couple of weeks away, giving voters plenty of time to review every last bit of information before heading out for one final beach vacation before the start of the college football season. If you are taking your own guesses as to how the AP poll will look, consider giving the coaches poll a quick glance to help you build a foundation.

Last year’s preseason poll from the coaches and the AP had the exact same top four teams (Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Florida State) and the next six teams in their respective top 10 within one ranking spot between the two polls (for example, Michigan was No. 7 in the AP poll and No. 8 in the coaches poll, Notre Dame was No. 10 in the AP poll and No. 9 in the coaches, etc.)

If you look at this year’s coaches poll, you can probably assume a similar trend when the AP Top 25 is released later this month. Alabama figures to be as safe a bet as they come to land the top spot in the AP poll, just as the defending national champs did in the coaches poll, but the possibility of a bit more sharing of first-place votes could be expected. Clemson landed the second spot in the coaches poll and could be looking at the same position in the AP poll. After that, however, things may be a bit more interesting.

Ohio State could be the biggest question mark. The Buckeyes were No. 3 in the preseason coaches poll, but since then the status of head coach Urban Meyer has been thrown under the microscope after being placed on administrative leave and a university investigation commenced that could potentially lead to a coaching change for the Big Ten favorites. The fate of Ohio State’s head coaching situation should be confirmed before the AP ballots are due, and if Meyer is not the head coach of Ohio State, enough voters may feel a drop in the preseason pecking order could be justified at the start of the season.

It will also be interesting to see how the AP voters weigh in on programs like Michigan and UCF. Michigan has received some good buzz this offseason from certain outlets following the addition of transfer quarterback Shea Patterson to potentially be a major upgrade to an offense in desperate need of improvement. UCF is coming off an undefeated season and returns one of the top quarterbacks in the nation with McKenzie Milton, yet the coaches poll put last year’s AAC champion one spot behind another perennial Group of Five favorite, Boise State. Will the voters in the AP poll be more optimistic about UCF under first-year head coach Josh Heupel, or follow the coaches and tab the Broncos as the top G5 threat to make the New Years Six lineup at the end of the season? Just once since 2013 have multiple Group of Five programs been ranked in the preseason top 25 from the AP, when Louisville of the AAC and Boise State of the Mountain West Conference being ranked No. 9 and No. 12, respectively. There is a track record of the top G5 program from the previous season getting some AP respect in the preseason ranking the following season, so UCF fans should feel pretty confident about the chances of seeing their Knights in the preseason AP Top 25 for the first time in school history.

Knocking down the top 10 teams tends to be pretty straightforward for voters in both polls, but getting a consistent top 25 after going deeper down the rankings is where some of the bigger differences can be found. For example, last season’s preseason top 25 included Utah in the coaches poll but Washington State in the AP poll. The landing spots in the top 25 don’t usually stray too far away between spots in each poll for schools appearing in both polls, but it can happen. UCLA was No. 24 in the 2016 preseason coaches poll, but the AP placed the Bruins at No. 16 in the preseason poll. UCLA ended that season 4-8, so the coaches were at least a little bit closer to figuring out UCLA than the AP voters on this instance.

The bottom line is this; if your school is already in the coaches preseason poll, there is a very good chance your school will land in the AP preseason top 25. Furthermore, a school will likely have a similar ranking in the AP preseason poll compared to its current place in the coaches poll.

Mike MacIntyre reportedly out at Colorado at season’s end

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It appears yet another head coach will hit the unemployment line in the not-too-distant future.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, the ABC affiliate in Boulder is reporting that “Colorado will part ways with football coach Mike MacIntyre effective at the end of this season.” School officials have thus far declined to comment on MacIntyre’s future with the football program.

Based on a new deal agreed to in January of last year and approved five months later, CU would owe MacIntyre a buyout in excess of $10 million if he’s fired without cause.

In five-plus seasons with the Buffaloes, MacIntyre has posted a 30-43 record overall and 14-38 in Pac-12 play.  Coming off a 5-7 season in 2017, the Buffs won their first five games of the season and climbed to 19th in the Associated Press Top 25.  However, they’ve dropped five straight since then, with three of the five losses coming by 10 or more points.

Colorado will play its home finale this weekend against Pac-12 South leader Utah before closing out the regular season at Cal a week later.  The Buffaloes need to win at least one of those games to reach bowl eligibility.

Right now, there are officially four openings at the FBS level: Bowling Green (HERE), Kansas (HERE), Louisville (HERE) and Maryland (HERE).  Last year, 20 FBS jobs came open for one reason or another during the 2017-18 spinning of the coaching carousel.

Nick Saban bristles at suggestion to sit Tua Tagovailoa vs. FCS team this weekend

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A few days before a final, final decision needs to be made, it doesn’t appear that Nick Saban is inclined to err on the side of extreme caution when it comes to the triggerman of his high-octane offense.

Late in the third quarter of top-ranked Alabama’s shutout win over Mississippi State, Tua Tagovailoa took a shot to his right knee, the same knee that gave him issues earlier this season, and didn’t return. As a Week 12 date with FCS Citadel looms, conventional wisdom had Saban sitting the Heisman Trophy front-runner and saving him for the annual Iron Bowl grudge match in the regular-season finale.

Essentially, the head coach scoffed in the general direction of that wisdom, stating he has no plans to sit Tagovailoa and that the true sophomore, as well as his teammates, need to do a better job of limiting the quarterback’s exposure to hits.

From al.com:

No,” Nick Saban responded when asked if sitting Tagovailoa is a consideration. “Why would we do that? To say that this is not an important game or he doesn’t need to play? I think we need to do a better job of the people playing around him doing what they’re supposed to do so he doesn’t get hit. And he needs to do a better job of stepping up in the pocket and getting rid of the ball, which he had several opportunities to do. Some of these hits can be avoided just by better execution, and I think that’s what we’re going to focus on, not trying to take a guy out of a game so he can’t improve or do what he needs to do to get better or do what we need to do to get better as a team and develop some confidence in each other.

While Tagovailoa is expected to start — provided, of course, he doesn’t suffer a setback in practice during the days leading up to what’s essentially a scrimmage that counts in the standings — it’s highly likely that his day will consist of, at most, a couple of quarters worth of work.

The Crimson Tide should make short work of Bulldogs as they have beaten FBS teams this season by an average score of 49-13. Against ranked teams, that average is 33-8.

Safety who started first four games transferring from Oklahoma State

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A one-time starting member of Oklahoma State’s secondary has opted to take his leave of Mike Gundy‘s football program.

On his personal Twitter account over the weekend, Thabo Mwaniki announced that, after “thoughtful consideration,” he has decided to transfer from the Cowboys. The defensive back gave no specific reason for his decision to transfer.

The fact that the Denton, Texas, native lost his starting job a third of the way through the 2018 season, however, would likely be a good place to start in looking for his reasoning.

Mwaniki, a three-star member of OSU’s 2017 recruiting class, started the first four games of this year. However, the safety was replaced after Week 4 and never returned to the starting lineup. All told, he played in seven games this season, none of which came the last three weeks.

Last season, Mwaniki started two games for the Cowboys; he was the only true freshman on either side of the ball to start a game for OSU in 2018.

Blood clot recurrence sidelines Oklahoma’s Jalen Redmond for rest of season

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In July, Lincoln Riley confirmed that, because of blood clots, Jalen Redmond would not play at all in 2018. However, the true freshman defied the initial medical odds and ultimately returned to play in three games thus far this season.

Unfortunately, that’ll be his only action of the year.

According to Riley, Redmond had a recurrence of the blood clots that plagued him over the summer and will not play again in 2018. Redmond had been medically cleared in October and saw his action in three games that month.

The good news for both the player and the program is that, because of the NCAA’s new redshirt rule, Redmond won’t lose a year of eligibility because he played in fewer than five games. Thus, he will have four years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2019 season.

Redmond was a four-star 2018 signee, rated as the No. 8 weakside defensive end in the country; the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Oklahoma; and the No. 135 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Just six of the two dozen signees in the Sooners’ class this year were rated higher than Redmond.