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Five of 11 FBS undefeated teams hit the road in Week 7

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Over the weekend, three teams suffered their first loss of the season; Oklahoma, LSU, and Kentucky. As recent history has shown, one loss is far from enough to eliminate any one team from the College Football Playoff if they come from a power conference, so the Sooners, Tigers and Wildcats still have plenty to play for moving forward, but they now join the jumble of one-loss teams that are now potentially looking for a little bit of help along the way.

In total, there are now 11 undefeated FBS programs left standings, and there can be a maximum of seven teams without a loss at the end of the season. The undefeated teams are:

  • Alabama
  • Cincinnati
  • Clemson
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • NC State
  • Notre Dame
  • Ohio State
  • South Florida
  • UCF
  • West Virginia

From that list, a maximum of seven teams can end the regular season (and conference championship game) without a loss before the bowl season. Alabama and Georgia are the last two undefeated teams in the SEC and could potentially face each other in the SEC Championship Game with unblemished records, meaning somebody will have to lose then if not before. Clemson and NC State, the last two undefeated teams in the ACC, are off this week but meet next week in a division game. There goes another undefeated team. The AAC also has three undefeated teams in Cincinnati, South Florida, and UCF, but all three reside in the same division and have yet to play each other on the conference schedule yet. Only one team can go without a loss if any do at all.

Will any of these undefeated teams go down this week? Here is what is on tap for each this week:

South Florida at Tulsa: The Bulls travel to Tulsa on Friday night in a tricky matchup. Tulsa just gave Houston a good scare last week before big plays ultimately led to another loss for the Golden Hurricane. Can South Florida avoid being tripped up after a close call at home against East Carolina? The Bulls could be in some trouble here.

Ohio State vs. Minnesota: After a somewhat concerning showing against Indiana, look for the Buckeyes to roll against the Gophers at home.

Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh: The Irish are on the rise and host a Pitt team that has been blown out by Penn State and UCF already this season. But the Panthers have a knack for scoring a notable upset. Can they pull off a stunner in South Bend?

Georgia at LSU: LSU is coming off a hard-fought road loss at Florida, but could still pose a serious threat to Georgia. The Bulldogs will have their toughest challenge of the season in a mid-afternoon game in Death Valley. If Georgia survives this, their biggest hurdle to getting to the SEC Championship Game and to do so without a loss will be Florida. Georgia is off after this week to prepare for their showdown with the Gators in Jacksonville in two weeks. Winning in Baton Rouge is new easy task, however.

UCF at Memphis: UCF beat Memphis twice last season but the Tigers appeared to be the biggest challenge to the Knights in the AAC. Playing at home should be a benefit to Memphis, but the Tigers have been a bit more unpredictable this season while UCF continues to cook. Expect Memphis to give UCF a run, but keeping pace on the scoreboard with the Knights may once again be too much to ask for the Tigers.

Alabama vs. Missouri: Alabama will be 7-0. Moving on.

West Virginia at Iowa State: Although Iowa State had a rough start to the year, they have been feisty and competitive. A home game against West Virginia will see the Cyclones try to slow things down for the Mountaineers in an attempt to turn the game into the kind of game that favors Iowa State. West Virginia has been looking pretty good, but Iowa State is not to be taken for granted. This could be a difficult spot for WVU.

Colorado at USC: The power conference team most probably expect to be taking a loss this weekend might be Colorado. USC is a favorite at home in this key Pac-12 South matchup, but the Buffs have talent on offense to make some big plays. A win for Colorado in the Coliseum would put them on a clearer track back to the Pac-12 Championship Game even with Washington on deck.

Clemson, NC State, and Cincinnati are all off this week, so they are guaranteed to remain undefeated this time next week. How many of those playing in Week 7 will join them?

Medically retired in August, Torrence Brown to transfer from Penn State to Southern Miss

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So much for that.

In August of last year, Torrence Brown announced that, “[d]ue to multiple injuries and surgeries, my career at Penn State has come to an end.” The defensive end spent the 2018 season as a student assistant coach for the Nittany Lions, seemingly kickstarting a career in coaching.

While that may ultimately be his employment lot in life, it’s been put on hold as Brown confirmed Tuesday via Twitter that he has decided to transfer to Southern Miss to continue his collegiate playing career.  The lineman was actually committed to the Golden Eagles before flipping to the Nittany Lions in February of 2014.

Brown started four of 14 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2016 and then started the first three games the following year before going down with a season-ending knee injury.

Because of NCAA bylaws, a player who medically retires while at one school is not permitted to play at that same school if he opts to restart his playing career.  He can, though, transfer and continue it elsewhere.

In January of 2016, Adam Breneman ended his playing career at Penn State and medically retired because of chronic knee issues; seven months later, the tight end resurfaced and continued his playing career at UMass.

Second-leading receiver one of two transferring from Virginia Tech

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Virginia Tech’s roster took a one-two personnel punch on Tuesday.

Last evening, wide receiver Eric Kumah announced on Twitter that he has “decided that [it’s] best for me to enter my name into the transfer portal.” A half-hour later, teammate and Hokies tight end Chris Cunningham announced via the same social media site that “I feel as though it is in my best interest to transfer from Virginia Tech.”

The fact that the players’ names are in the NCAA transfer database doesn’t guarantee a departure, although it is normally a sign that the player will ultimately move on to another program.  With the names in the database, other schools can contact them without receiving permission from Tech.  Conversely, Tech has the right to strip both players of their scholarships at the end of the current semester.

Both Kumah and Cunningham have already graduated from Tech and could use their final season of eligibility at another FBS program immediately in 2019.  The former also has a redshirt year available to him.

This past season, Kumah’s 42 receptions, 559 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns were all second on the Hokies.  He started 12 games in 2018 and 20 total during his time in Blacksburg.

Primarily a blocking tight end, Cunningham started a pair of games in 2018 and finished the season with 74 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches.

Miami adding UCLA transfer DT Chigozie Nnoruka

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With Manny Diaz now in charge, Miami continues to collect players with Power Five and FBS experience.

The latest for the former additions is Chigozie Nnoruka, with the former UCLA defensive tackle announcing on Twitter late Tuesday night that he has transferred to Miami.  The native of Nigeria will be coming to the Hurricanes as a graduate transfer — he’s expected to receive his degree in March — which means he can play immediately for Diaz’s squad in 2019.

The upcoming season will be the lineman’s final year of eligibility.

According to 247Sports.com, Nnoruka chose The U over an offer from Florida.

After beginning his collegiate career at a junior college and then playing in one game his first season with the Bruins, Nnoruka started 10 of the 12 games in which he played during the 2017 season.  That year, his 8½ tackles for loss were tied for second on the team.

With Chip Kelly and a new defensive coaching staff on board, Nnoruka played in 11 games with no starts this past season.  After 49 tackles the previous season, Nnoruka was credited with seven in 2018, none of which were for a loss.

In addition to Nnoruka, Miami has added safety Bubba Bolden from USC (HERE), running back Asa Martin from Auburn (HERE) and quarterback Tate Martell of Ohio State (HERE) from Power Five programs since mid-December.  Additionally, Buffalo’s second-leading receiver, K.J. Osborn, tweeted his decision to transfer to UM earlier this month.

Les Koenning is Les Miles’ second OC hire at Kansas

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For the second time this offseason, a Koenning has been added to a new Power Five coaching staff.  And, for the second time since taking over in Lawrence two months ago, Les Miles has hired an offensive coordinator.

Jan. 10, Troy announced that Chip Lindsey, hired by Miles as Kansas’ offensive coordinator the month before, would take over as the Sun Belt program’s head football coach and replace Neal Brown, who left to take the head job at West Virginia.  Two weeks after Lindsay’s departure, KU confirmed Tuesday that Les Koenning will take over for Lindsey as the Jayhawks’ coordinator.

Koenning, whose cousin, Vic Koenning, was named as WVU’s defensive coordinator by Brown earlier this month, spent the 2018 season as the running backs coach at Southern Miss.

“We are so excited to add an offensive coordinator with the experience of Les Koenning,” said Miles in a statement. “He has proven to be an innovative offensive mind who has great success recruiting and developing offensive skill players, particularly at the quarterback position.”

Koenning has served as the coordinator at six stops at the FBS level — UAB (2016-17), Mississippi State (2009-13), Texas A&M (2003-07), Alabama (2001-02), Houston (1999) and Duke (1998).