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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.

Florida State AD Stan Wilcox takes over Oliver’s Luck’s old NCAA job

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Boston College at Florida State
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As had been rumored, Florida State is in search of a new athletics boss.

The NCAA announced Monday that Stan Wilcox has accepted the position of executive vice president of regulatory affairs. Wilcox has been the athletic director at Florida State since August of 2013, and FSU will now be forced to launch a national search for a replacement.

Wilcox will replace Oliver Luck, the former West Virginia athletic director who left the NCAA in June of this year to take on the job of XFL commissioner.

“Stan is a highly-respected, visionary leader in intercollegiate athletics, and I’m excited to have him join our senior leadership team at the national office,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “Stan’s nearly three decades of experience working in athletics administration at Notre Dame, Duke and Florida State, among others, have clearly demonstrated his commitment to providing student-athletes with the opportunity to excel in both academics and athletics while being successful in life.”

“I want to thank Stan for everything he has done at FSU. We’re excited for him, and we all wish him the best in his new position,” said FSU president John Thrasher in his statement. “Our success on the playing fields under his leadership has been exceptional, with national championships in football, soccer, and softball over that time. We finished ninth in the 2017-18 Learfield Director’s Cup last year, and our student-athletes reached a cumulative 3.0 GPA this past year.”

Below is Wilcox’s full statement on his departure from Tallahassee:

I am honored and humbled to join Mark Emmert’s leadership team at the NCAA.

I am so grateful for the opportunities and experiences that have led me to this point. The Big East Conference, Notre Dame University, Duke University and most recently Florida State University have provided a depth and breadth of experiences on which I will rely heavily moving forward.

I am excited to return to the NCAA, where my intercollegiate athletics career began.

Lastly, I would like to express my gratitude to former Florida State University Presidents Eric Barron and Garnett Stokes, and current President John Thrasher. The success we have enjoyed in Tallahassee would not have been possible without their trust, guidance and support, and without the fine efforts of our student-athletes, coaches and athletics support staff.

My wife Ramona and I are excited to start this new chapter in my career and in our lives together.

Ohio State board likely to recommend suspension for Urban Meyer

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In the last few days, there’s been a growing sense that Urban Meyer could very well survive and keep his job at Ohio State.  One report Monday did nothing to extinguish the hopes of Buckeye Nation.

OSU announced earlier in the today that the university’s Board of Trustees will meet Wednesday morning to discuss “personnel matters related to the investigation involving Urban Meyer.” The two-week probe into the head coach’s handling of domestic abuse allegations leveled against a now-former assistant was completed Sunday.

The 19-member board will review the investigative committee’s final report on the results of their investigation, with OSU president Michael V. Drake determining Meyer’s fate after receiving a recommendation from the regents. And, according to a pair of Columbus Dispatch sources, “the likely recommendation [from the board] is a suspension for Meyer.” Just how long of a suspension potentially facing Meyer was not relayed by the newspaper.

Not only that, Meyer might also avoid any further punitive measures, period. “Drake and the board could also opt for a ‘time served’ punishment since Meyer has been removed from football activities for more than two weeks.” the Dispatch wrote.

While the board will meet Wednesday and present its recommendation to Drake the same day, it’s unclear at this point when the university’s president will make his announcement.

Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave Aug. 1 as questions into his handling of domestic abuse allegations made against his now-former assistant coach, Zach Smith, surfaced.  The university announced the launching of an investigation into Meyer’s actions the day after the head coach’s leave was announced.

Zach Smithfired by Meyer as OSU wide receivers coach July 23 in the wake of allegations that he abused his ex-wifeCourtney Smith, during their marriage, met with the investigative team on Tuesday of last week.  Courtney Smith, along with her attorneys, met with investigators the day before her ex-husband.

In a statement Aug. 3, Meyer claimed that he has “always followed proper reporting protocols and procedures when I have learned of an incident involving a student-athlete, coach or member of our staff by elevating the issues to the proper channels.” Allegations of domestic abuse stemmed not only from Zach Smith’s time at OSU, but while he was on Meyer’s Florida staff in 2009 as well.

Meyer’s boss in Gainesville, former UF athletic director Jeremy Foleydeclined comment on that 2009 incident earlier this month.  Meyer’s current boss in Columbus, OSU athletic director Gene Smith, could also be in the university’s crosshairs as Zach Smith alleged that the AD contacted him about the allegations in October of 2015.

As the investigation reached its midway point, Gene Smith was on vacation but “available to speak with the investigative team.” It’s unclear if Smith spoke to the investigators; it’s also unclear if Smith, also on the selection committee for the College Football Playoff, will continue on as OSU’s athletic director moving forward.

As Meyer is barred from interacting with his players and coaches during his leave, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day has been handling OSU’s preparations for the Sept 1 opener against Oregon State after being named as the Buckeyes’ acting head coach. The university has also kept players or coaches from speaking to the media throughout Meyer’s leave.

Louisville places TE coach Klenakis on leave following DUI arrest

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Louisville tight ends coach Chris Klenakis was arrested early Sunday for driving under the influence, and now he has been placed on administrative leave by the Cardinals.

According to an Associated Press report, Klenakis was driving with a BAC of 0.165, which is more than twice the legal limit. From the report, it sounds as though Klenakis was lucky to have been caught with by police, because a police report says Klentakis walked into the road during a sobriety test and was nearly hit by a passing truck.

Police charged Klenakis with reckless driving, wanton endangerment and possession of open containers on top of the DUI charge.

How long Klenakis remains suspended by the university remains to be seen, as does his overall job status with the football program. Klenakis has been Louisville’s coaching staff since 2014 and has previously coached offensive line.

Louisville opens the 2018 season on September 1 against No. 1 Alabama in Orlando, Florida.

Mike Bobo remains hospitalized as Colorado State prepares for season opener vs. Hawaii

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Colorado State will begin a brand new college football season this weekend at home against Mountain West Conference opponent Hawaii, but it remains to be seen if head coach Mike Bobo will be on the sidelines to coach the Rams. Bobo remains in a hospital after checking in for medical evaluations last week.

An update from Colorado State Athletics Director Joe Parker on Monday confirmed Bobo has moved to a new hospital in Denver and continues to be evaluated to determine why he might have felt numbness in his feet recently. Parker said it is possible Bobo could be released from the hospital any day, but the Rams coaching staff will continue preparing the team for this weekend’s game as if Bobo will not be available just in case.

With that being the case, there is some uncertainty over how the staff would run the team with responsibilities like calling plays. That appears to be a detail the staff will worry about later in the week in the event it is determined such a need arises. In the meantime, Bobo has been able to stay in touch with the staff and review film to keep sticking to his job as head coach, but nobody at Colorado State is going to push Bobo to get back as soon as possible if there are concerns about his health still to deal with.

Colorado State faces Hawaii in the season opener on Saturday, August 25.