Alabama v Louisville
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Alabama increases hold on top spot in AP Top 25

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The coaches have spoken their poll piece, and now the media has done the same.

Just as USA Today did a short time ago, the Associated Press released its first in-season Top 25 of 2018 Tuesday afternoon.  The same two teams that occupied the AP’s 1-2 holes entering the new season remain the same — No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson.  The Crimson Tide, however, gained a further hold on that top spot, picking up six first-place votes to give them 48 of the 61.  The Tigers, conversely, lost six of the 18 first-place votes it came into the weekend with.

The remaining first-place vote still resides in Wisconsin, with the Badgers coming in at No. 5 after beginning the season No. 4.  Taking UW’s No. 4 spot in the media’s Top 25 is Ohio State, which came into Week 1 at No. 5.  Georgia, meanwhile, maintained its status quo at No. 3.

No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 7 Auburn, No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 9 Washington and No. 10 Stanford round out the Top 10.

As was the case in the coaches’ poll, LSU made the biggest upward move as they climbed from No. 25 all the way up to No. 11.  Virginia Tech wasn’t too far behind as the Hokies come in at No. 12 after starting out No. 20.

At the opposite end of the rankings spectrum are No. 21 Michigan and No. 22 Miami, which tumbled seven and 14 spots, respectively.

Florida State (No. 19) and Texas (No. 23) dropped out of the rankings, replaced by No. 24 South Carolina and No. 25 Florida.

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Georgia
  4. Ohio State
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Auburn
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Washington
  10. Stanford
  11. LSU
  12. Virginia Tech
  13. Penn State
  14. West Virginia
  15. Michigan State
  16. TCU
  17. USC
  18. Mississippi State
  19. UCF
  20. Boise State
  21. Michigan
  22. Miami
  23. Oregon
  24. South Carolina
  25. Florida

Top 10 stands pat in third edition of CFP rankings

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The third edition of the College Football Playoff rankings were unveiled Tuesday night and the top ten remained exactly the same from a week ago. Such a holding pattern was expected after the entire top 10 won a week ago.

It is the first time in the history of the CFP rankings the top 10 has remained the same from one week to the next.

Most notably, Oklahoma did not fall from No. 6 after being pushed to the limit by 5-4 Oklahoma State at home.

Kentucky was the highest-ranked team to lose, a 24-7 loss at Tennessee, and the Cats fell from No. 11 to No. 17.

UCF moved up to No. 11 and Syracuse to No. 12 ahead of their showdown with the Irish. UCF’s No. 11 ranking is the highest a Group of 5 team has ever appeared in 28 sets of CFP rankings.

Mississippi State remained the highest-ranked 4-loss team, edging out Northwestern at No. 21. Utah State, Cincinnati and Boise State joined the rankings in the final three spots.

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Notre Dame
4. Michigan
5. Georgia
6. Oklahoma
7. LSU
8. Washington State
9. West Virginia
10. Ohio State
11. UCF
12. Syracuse
13. Florida
14. Penn State
15. Texas
16. Iowa State
17. Kentucky
18. Washington
19. Utah
20. Boston College
21. Mississippi State
22. Northwestern
23. Utah State
24. Cincinnati
25. Boise State

Oregon grad transfer WR to redshirt, pursue second graduate transfer

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The two major rule changes in college football over the past decade have combined into one on the Oregon wide receiver depth chart.

Oregon wide receiver Tabari Hines, who arrived in Eugene by way of a graduate transfer out of Wake Forest, has announced he will take this season as a redshirt year and pursue a second graduate transfer elsewhere.

“Tabari Hines is not on roster right now,” Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal told The Oregonian.  “He is on the transfer portal. He will use this year to redshirt and transfer out.”

A native of Florence, S.C., Hines signed with Wake Forest as an early enrollee and caught 32 passes for 366 yards, a school record for a true freshman. Hines’s production increased from there, catching 38 balls as a sophomore and 53 as a junior — the most on the team.

However, Hines decided to try his luck elsewhere and left for Oregon, but has caught only three passes for 32 yards and one touchdown, all of them in a 62-14 win over Portland State in September. He has appeared in three games, none since Pac-12 play began.

Given that, Hines will use the new redshirt rule to take a mulligan and now find a third school to play for — or perhaps he realizes the grass wasn’t really greener and returns to Wake Forest.

Virginia Tech loses leading sacker to torn ACL

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Virginia Tech’s embattled defense has taken yet another hit.

Justin Fuente confirmed Monday Houshun Gaines will miss the remainder of Virginia Tech’s 2018 season because of a knee injury.  Defensive coordinator Bud Foster had previously stated that the defensive end had suffered a torn ACL.

Gaines suffered the injury in Saturday’s blowout loss to Pitt.

“House plays extremely hard and will be missed, but he’ll be very quickly on the road to recovery and we look forward to having him out there next year,” the head coach said by way of the Roanoke Times.

The redshirt junior currently leads the Hokies in sacks with 4½, while his five tackles for loss are tied for fourth.

Maryland QB Kasim Hill suffers second torn ACL in last 14 months

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Last September, Kasim Hill‘s season came to a premature end thanks to a torn ACL in his right knee.  During Saturday’s loss to Indiana, Hill suffered what appeared to be a significant injury to his other knee.

In fact, in an Instagram post Monday, the Maryland starting quarterback intimated that it was yet another torn ACL as he alluded to  “attacking the process all over again.”

Tuesday, acting head coach Matt Canada confirmed that Hill had indeed suffered another torn ACL.  Obviously, the sophomore’s season has come to an end.

Hill had started all 10 games under center for the Terrapins this season.  He completed under 50 percent of his 170 passes for nine touchdowns and four interceptions.  His passing efficiency rating of 115.7 is 10th in the Big Ten and 100th nationally.

Sophomore Tyrrell Pigrome is expected to take over for Hill as the Terps’ starting quarterback.