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Alabama remains in top four of latest Coaches Poll, Indiana ranked for first time since 1994


Alabama’s loss wasn’t enough for them to drop significantly in the latest Coaches Poll heading into Week 12 but the bigger news might be the history made at the bottom of the rankings.

Though they were off this past weekend, Indiana made a historic move into the Coaches Poll for the first time since 1994, posting a 7-2 mark so far this season to come in at No. 25 overall. That is quite the accomplishment for head coach Tom Allen and his staff, who have dealt with a number of key injuries but became bowl eligible before November and appear to be a fairly tough out in Big Ten play in 2019.

Nationally the bigger picture was framed by the epic LSU-Alabama duel in Tuscaloosa and the predictable effect it had on the polls. The Tigers naturally moved up to No. 1 with the win while the Tide sat as the top one-loss team at No. 4. Ohio State is the new No. 2 over a Clemson team that stayed put at No. 3 for another week.

The biggest drop came courtesy of Penn State, which fell six spots to No. 11 after losing to new No. 7 Minnesota. The Gophers moved up the same amount of places and leapfrogged No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 9 Utah and No. 10 Baylor.

No. 15 Wisconsin and No. 16 Notre Dame also flipped spots with each other despite both winning on Saturday, though the Badgers did so over a ranked team in No. 22 Iowa.

No. 23 Texas and No. 24 Appalachian State also re-joined the rankings in place of Wake Forest, Kansas State and San Diego State, who all fell out after losses.

The full Coaches Poll heading into Week 12:

  1. LSU (55 first place votes)
  2. Ohio State (5)
  3. Clemson (4)
  4. Alabama
  5. Georgia
  6. Oregon
  7. Minnesota
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Utah
  10. Baylor
  11. Penn State
  12. Florida
  13. Auburn
  14. Michigan
  15. Wisconsin
  16. Notre Dame
  17. Cincinnati
  18. Memphis
  19. Boise State
  20. SMU
  21. Navy
  22. Iowa
  23. Texas
  24. Appalachian State
  25. Indiana

Auburn’s Derrick Brown named Lott IMPACT Trophy winner

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Finally, one of the top defensive players in the nation has been recognized with a significant hardware win.

Sunday night, it was announced that Auburn’s Derrick Brown has been named as the winner of the 2019 Lott IMPACT Trophy.  This award, named for one of the game’s all-time greats, highlights a player’s performance on the field as well as off of it.

Not only does this award honor defensive excellence on the field but the player who most represents the qualities of the honor’s namesake, former USC All-American Ronnie Lott, off of it — Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Brown is the first-ever player from Auburn to win the award.  The defensive tackle is also the second-straight player from the SEC to claim it, with Kentucky’s Josh Allen serving as the 2018 winner.

In addition to Brown, the other finalists for this year’s Lott IMPACT Trophy were Ohio State safety Jordan Fuller, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and Cal linebacker Evan Weaver.

Mizzou confirms Eli Drinkwitz will retain Brick Haley

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After a run on bringing in assistants from Boone, Eli Drinkwitz has gotten about the business of retention in Columbia.

In a press release, Missouri confirmed that Drinkwitz has decided to retain Brick Haley as part of his first coaching staff with the football program.  Haley wil continue on as the Tigers’ defensive line coach, and will carry the title of assistant head coach as well.

“In my short time of being around Brick I know him to be a man of high character who gets the most out of his players,” said Drinkwitz in a statement. “His wealth of knowledge with the defensive line is exactly what we’re looking for to motivate young men.”

Haley has spent the past three seasons with the Tigers.  Prior to that, he was the line coach at Texas (2015-16), LSU (2009-14) and Mississippi State (2004-06) at the collegiate level.

From 2007-08, Haley was the line coach for the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue at Mizzou and I’m excited to work with Coach Drink and his staff,” said Haley. “Our family loves Mizzou and being part of the Columbia community, so we’re thrilled to keep stakes in the ground here and I’m looking forward to getting to work on doing great things.”

Alex Hornibrook no longer with Florida State

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It seems Alex Hornibrook‘s college career is complete.

Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins said on Saturday that Hornibrook is no longer with the Seminoles as the club prepares for the Sun Bowl

He will join (former) teammate Cam Akers in that regard.

A graduate transfer from Wisconsin, Hornibrook appeared in five games this season. His peak as a Seminole came on Sept. 28, when he completed 29-of-40 passes for 316 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. For the year, Hornibrook hit 84-of-122 throws for 986 yards with seven scores versus two picks.

In three years at Wisconsin, Hornibrook threw for 5,438 yards and 47 touchdowns.

SMU WR Reggie Roberson, Jr., to return for senior season

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SMU wide receiver Reggie Roberson, Jr., will return for his senior season in 2020, he announced earlier this week.

Roberson did so through a statement that at first read as if he would leave the Hilltop. “In the past couple of weeks, it has come to my attention that I am able to forgo my senior year and enter the NFL draft. I want to thank Coach Dykes for giving me the opportunity to come to SMU, and play the game I love in my hometown in front of my family and friends,” it began.

However, like a a classic Roberson open field move, he quickly changed directions and sprinted toward opportunity. “I have decided to come back and play my senior year at SMU. There is a lot of unfinished business that I left on the field that I need to take care of next season.”

A native of DeSoto, Texas, just south of Dallas, Roberson was one of SMU’s top players before he was lost to a foot injury in October. He caught 11 passes for 180 yards in the Ponies’ opening week win over Arkansas State and hauled in eight passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-21 drubbing of Temple on Oct. 19.

For the year, Roberson caught 43 passes for 803 yards and six touchdowns over seven-plus games. Spread over a 13-game season, he was on pace to end the year in the neighborhood of 80 receptions for 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Roberson originally signed with West Virginia out of high school.