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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?

Suspension stands: LSU’s Devin White to miss first half of Alabama game

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Right or wrong (mostly the latter), LSU will be missing a significant piece of its defense for the first half of its huge Week 9 matchup with Alabama.

In the second half of LSU’s win over Mississippi State this past Saturday, Devin White was ejected after being called for targeting on MSU quarterback Nick Fitzgerald.  As a result, White, one of the top linebackers in the country, would be in line to miss the first two quarters of next Saturday’s game against the Crimson Tide.

The subsequent outrage over what was, at best, an asinine targeting call — a call that was inexplicably upheld upon further review — led to a GoFundMe page being created to funnel donations toward billboards that would be erected in and around SEC headquarters in Birmingham, Ala.  Those billboards would’ve carried the hashtag #FreeDevinWhite, an attempt to get the conference to bend to public pressure and rescind the half-game suspension.

Additionally, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva very publicly looked to put pressure on the SEC to reverse what was seemingly an irreversible punishment.  In the end, we’re right back where we were three days ago — White will be watching from the sidelines when the LSU-Alabama game kicks off and will continue doing so until the second half kicks off.

“Discussions with the SEC made clear there is no process for appeal,” LSU senior associate athletic director Robert Munson told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “The suspension will stand.”

White currently leads the Tigers in tackles with 76, and is tied for second on the team in tackles for loss with seven.  Additionally, he leads the team with six quarterback hits and two fumble recoveries.  His four pass breakups are tied for second as well, while his four passes defensed are tied for fourth.

Michigan losing four-star 2017 signee James Hudson to transfer

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For the second time in less than a week, Michigan has lost a four-star member of its 2017 recruiting class.

Amidst speculation regarding James Hudson‘s future with the football program, a U-M spokesperson has confirmed that the offensive tackle has decided to transfer from the Wolverines. The move away from Ann Arbor comes a couple of days after Hudson, the No. 2 right tackle, did not enter the win over Michigan State when starter Juwann Bushell-Beatty went out with an injury.

Instead, redshirt freshman Andrew Stueber took over on the right side of the line. After the game, Jim Harbaugh explained that Hudson has been dealing with a dislocated finger sustained the week before and that’s the reason Stueber entered the game.

That turn of events was also the likely trigger for Hudson’s decision to transfer.

A four-star member of the Wolverines’ recruiting class last year, Hudson was rated as the No. 13 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Ohio. Only one other defensive tackle in that class, Aubrey Solomon, was rated higher than Hudson, although he was moved to the other side of the ball this offseason.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Hudson played in three games this season.

In the middle of last week, another four-star 2017 signee, linebacker Drew Singleton, asked for and was granted a release from his U-M scholarship.

‘Mutual agreement’ sees RB Trelon Smith, Arizona State ‘part ways’

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A coach’s decision had kept Trelon Smith on the sidelines for the first half or so of the 2018 season. A player’s decision, in concert with the football program, will now keep the running back sidelined permanently, at least at Arizona State.

Both 247Sports.com and the Arizona Republic have reported that Smith has decided to transfer from the Sun Devils. The former website tweeted that Smith is “no longer a part of the team… [after] a mutual agreement [was reached],” while the latter wrote that “Smith and the ASU football program are parting ways” for unspecified reasons.

Smith did not play the first three games this season because of a coach’s decision/violation of unspecified team rules.

Smith was a three-star 2017 signee who played in nine games as a true freshman, carrying the ball just once for four yards. This season, after climbing out of his head coach’s doghouse, he carried the ball 11 times for 56 yards. Eight of those attempts and 45 of the yards came in his first game back, a loss to Washington Sept. 22.

Because he played in just four games and hasn’t yet used his redshirt, he’ll be able to keep a year of eligibility thanks to the new NCAA rule that has played a significant role in roster attrition this season. Including next season, Smith will have three years of eligibility at his disposal.

Injury issues force Ohio State DE Malik Barrow to medically retire

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Coming off an embarrassing on-field beating over the weekend, Ohio State’s roster depth has taken a bit of a hit as well.

On his personal Twitter account Sunday, Malik Barrow announced that, “due to unfortunate circumstances throughout my football career, I found it was in my best interests to medically retire.” The redshirt sophomore defensive tackle will remain on scholarship, but won’t count against OSU’s 85-man limit.

Barrow tore the ACL in one knee as a senior in high school, then, in the fourth game of the 2017 campaign, tore the ACL in the other knee during his redshirt freshman season with the Buckeyes. His rehab of the second serious knee injury extended on into spring practice this year, and the lineman hasn’t played at all during the 2018 season.

A four-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2016 recruiting class, Barrow was rated as the No. 32 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 42 player at any position in the state of Florida. He played in two games last season before going down with the injury.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Barrow’s departure, along with Nick Bosa withdrawing from school in order to get healthier and prep for the 2019 NFL draft, leaves the Buckeyes with 84 scholarship players.