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Nebraska still working through possibilities for adding 12th game

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Nebraska did not play its scheduled opener against Akron on Saturday night, and the game was not played Sunday, either, after Nebraska offered to house the Zips across multiple dorm facilities on Saturday night.

Huskers AD Bill Moos told reporters Wednesday he would still like to get his team a 12th game, and is still working through the possibility of re-scheduling Akron for Dec. 1. Nebraska is off Oct. 27 and Akron isn’t. Akron is off Sept. 29 and Nebraska isn’t.

But neither team has a scheduled game for Dec. 1, and Moos said that remains the likeliest option at this point.

“I did leave with (Akron athletic director) Larry Williams the options of a 12th game. I thought we had very good dialogue. We kind of left it verbally that we’d like to play the game,” Moos said, via HuskerOnline. “We don’t have a common bye so it’d have to be at the end of the year. If both schools agreed to it, we could play on the Saturday after the end of the regular season barring if either team was in their conference championship game.

“That’s a loose end out there. That’s an option.”

Moos also said Nebraska could schedule an FCS opponent for Oct. 27, however, that would require lining up another team that happens to have a bye week and is willing to take a pummeling on short notice.

There is still the money factor to be worked out as well. For now, Nebraska is holding onto both the gate it made from selling 85,000 or so tickets and the $1.17 million it promised Akron. A no-refund policy is printed on each ticket, so Nebraska’s technically within its rights there, though Moos said it would honor the sold tickets should a 12th game be added. As for the guarantee, it’s not due until March. Moos said Nebraska will definitely cover Akron’s travel expenses, but it remains up in the air as to whether Nebraska would pay the rest for a game that didn’t happen. Akron, obviously, wants the money it was banking on. Nebraska, obviously, doesn’t want to pay for something that never happened.

That’s why the cleanest option for both sides seems to be to reschedule the game for Dec. 1, barring a surprise visit to the conference title game for either side.

Florida State did the same thing a year ago. Hurricane Irma forced the cancelation of the ‘Noles Sept. 9 home opener with ULM, and FSU rescheduled the game for Dec. 2. In one of the most awkward college football games of all time, Jimbo Fisher had already bounced for Texas A&M and it was incredibly obvious the 5-6 ‘Noles only played the game to keep their 36-year bowl streak alive. (And they did, winning 42-10.)

That game wasn’t officially rescheduled until November, so Moos and Nebraska have some time. What will be interesting to watch is both sides’ enthusiasm for a lame duck game if, say, a 7-4 Nebraska is contractually obligated to play a cold, meaningless game against a 4-7 Akron.

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.