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Kendall Hinton returning to Wake, will work exclusively at WR

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While he still had a year of eligibility remaining, Kendall Hinton was a part of Wake Forest’s Senior Day activities last November, with his status with the football program up in the air ever since.  Two months later, that status was clarified.

Wake announced in a press release Thursday that Hinton will return to Wake and play his senior season for the Demon Deacons in 2019.  The football program also clarified that Hinton, a one-time quarterback, will be used exclusively as a wide receiver this coming season.

“We are excited to have Kendall returning for his senior year,” a statement from head coach Dave Clawson began. “Kendall is a very valuable member of our program and he showed a lot of promise at wide receiver during the 2018 season and in the Birmingham Bowl. We expect Kendall to be an integral part of our offense at wide receiver in the fall.”

Hinton was the primary backup to starting quarterback John Wolford from 2015-17 — he started a Week 3 win over FCS Delaware but suffered a season-ending injury in that game, and started another game the following season — and was the presumptive front-runner to claim the job in 2018 after Wolford left but was suspended for the first three games for unspecified violations of team rules.  When his suspension ended, Hinton played some quarterback, although his shift to receiver began in earnest after he climbed out of Clawson’s doghouse.

Three of Hinton’s six receptions last season and 38 of his 61 receiving yards came in Wake’s wild Birmingham Bowl win over Memphis.

Wake is looking to replace Greg Dortch, who left the Demon Deacons for the NFL with two years of eligibility still on the table.  Dortch led the team in receiving each of the past two seasons.

Alabama to No. 5, Minnesota to No. 8 in latest College Football Playoff rankings

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The second edition of the College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday night, and Alabama fell from No. 3 to No. 5 following Saturday’s 46-41 loss to then-No. 2 LSU on Saturday. As a reward for the win, LSU leapfrogged Ohio State for the No. 1 ranking, giving the Tigers a trifecta of No. 1 rankings across all the major polls.

Minnesota leaped nine spots from No. 17 to No. 8 thanks to their 31-26 win over then-No. 4 Penn State. While the Gophers greatly improved in the eyes of the committee, they remain one spot behind where they are ranked in the AP poll.

The Nittany Lions plummeted to No. 9, ahead of Oklahoma, who dropped a spot after a 42-41 near-collapse against Iowa State. Losses by Alabama and Penn State pushed Clemson from No. 5 to No. 3. Georgia followed the Tigers at No. 4.

After not appearing in last week’s rankings, Texas jumped to No. 19 after a win over Kansas State, who dropped from No. 16 to No. 24. Cincinnati remained the highest-rated Group of 5 team at No. 17, one spot ahead of Memphis. The pair will meet in Memphis on Nov. 29, and then potentially again a week later.

Appalachian State joined the rankings for the first time, checking in at No. 25. The Mountaineers replaced SMU, who dropped out after a 59-51 win over East Carolina.

No team remained in the same spot they found themselves in during last week’s initial rankings.

The full rankings:

1. LSU
2. Ohio State
3. Clemson
4. Georgia
5. Alabama
6. Oregon
7. Utah
8. Minnesota
9. Penn State
10. Oklahoma
11. Florida
12. Auburn
13. Baylor
14. Wisconsin
15. Michigan
16. Notre Dame
17. Cincinnati
18. Memphis
19. Texas
20. Iowa
21. Boise State
22. Oklahoma State
23. Navy
24. Kansas State
25. Appalachian State

Jayden Daniels expected to play for Arizona State after missing USC game

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Jayden Daniels missed Arizona State’s loss to USC with an unspecified knee injury, but it will be just a 1-game absence. Sun Devils offensive coordinator Rob Likens told Sun Devil Source on Tuesday he expects Daniels to return this Saturday against Oregon State.

“Practiced well, went through the entire practice, made all the throws, did all the running, changing directions and all that,” Likens told the site. “He looked fine.

“I was very, very pleased. I was like, ‘OK, he’s back. He rolled out, he did some bootlegs, he disconnected on some run plays and ran, and I didn’t see him limp, favor, do anything. He looked 100 percent.”

A true freshman from San Bernardino, Calif., Daniels started Arizona State’s first eight games before missing its ninth. For the year, he’s 135-of-223 (60.5 percent) for 1,902 yards with 11 touchdowns against just two interceptions while adding 273 yards and three scores on the ground. Fellow freshman Joey Yellen played in Daniels’ stead on Saturday, going 28-of-44 for 292 yards with four touchdowns against two picks in the 31-26 loss.

Arizona State sits at 5-4, meaning the Devils will need to win one more game to avoid missing a bowl game for the first time under head coach Herm Edwards.

Colorado to retire Ralphie V after home finale vs. Washington

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Colorado has retired Ralphie V at the end of this season, AD Rick George announced Tuesday.

Actually, the retirement is already partially in effect because, as The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman pointed out on Twitter, she had become too powerful.

Ralphie turned 13 in October and is in great health; she receives regular veterinarian check-ups.  As the season progressed, she just wasn’t having the consistency she had displayed in prior years.  With past Ralphies, as they aged, their speed typically decreased; with Ralphie V, she has been so excited to run that she was actually running too fast, which created safety concerns for her and her handlers.  She also wasn’t consistently responding to cues from her handlers, and her temperament was such that she was held back from leading the team out for CU’s last two home games against USC and Stanford.

“Ralphie V has served the department and the university well,” George said.  “She has been a very special buffalo and has truly been adored by many.  We hope she lives for many years to come and look forward to finding her successor.”

Ralphie V, Colorado’s mascot since 2008, will make her last appearance Nov. 23 against Washington, where she will not lead the Buffaloes on to Folsom Field but will appear on the sidelines.

“Ralphie V was our first Ralphie to serve in the age of social media,” Ralphie Program Manager John Graves said.  “Thanks to her, we were able to incorporate an educational aspect to the Ralphie Program and hundreds of thousands of fans were able to meet her and learn more about her and buffalo in general, while countless more learned via social media.  As one of the biggest and fastest Ralphies, her love for running and power was showcased every home game during her career.  It’s almost like she knew she was the queen of campus and she loved to show that fact off when she ran onto the field and at her public appearances.”

Colorado officials are currently reviewing film and making recruiting trips to select Ralphie VI, who will make her debut in 2020.

Alabama sees title odds plunge off loss to LSU

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Coming off the loss to LSU this past Saturday, it wasn’t a matter of if but how far Alabama plunged in the eyes of wagering establishments.  Tuesday, we have that answer.

According to the odds released by one offshore sportsbook, Alabama is listed at 10/1 to win the 2019 College Football Playoff championship.  That’s down from 11/4 the week before the LSU loss.

As was the case a week ago, Ohio State, ranked No. 1 in the initial CFP Top 25, is the favorite at 2/1, shortened from 5/2.  LSU, which is expected to be the new No. 1 when the playoff rankings are released later on tonight, has moved up to 5/2 (9/2 last week) while Clemson is right behind at 3/1 (11/4).

Georgia (10/1) and Oklahoma (20/1) are next up with shorter odds at 9/1 and 16/1, respectively.

A pair of Pac-12 teams are further back in the wagering pack, with Oregon (16/1) posting longer odds at 15/1 and Utah putting up the same 40/1 they were at a week ago.  A pair of unbeatens are even further back — Minnesota at 50/1 (100/1 last week) and Baylor at the same 66/1.

The only Group of Five school listed is Cincinnati, with the Bearcats going from 250/1 seven days ago to 500/1 now.