Julio Jones

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LeBron James’ company challenges Alabama football over barbershop videos

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LeBron James vs. Nick Saban. It’s happening.

The NBA all-star and noted Ohio State fan has reportedly sent a letter to Alabama’s football program expressing a concern over possible copyright infringement regarding a series of online videos capturing typical barbershop conversations, according to ESPN. Alabama shared a tease for the first episode of it’s “Shop Talk” on Twitter recently, and it was quickly met with a letter from James’ multimedia company, Uninterrupted.

The Alabama video series preview shows a glimpse of a barbershop conversation involving Alabama head coach Nick Saban and former Crimson Tide standout Julio Jones.

James’s online video series is dubbed “The Shop” and has already released a pair of episodes on Uninterrupted.

It is worth noting that imitation is the cheapest form of flattery in many respects, and this sort of stuff happens all the time in various forms. There are few original ideas out there to use to your advantage any more, and Alabama using a barbershop series to help promote its program is just another example of that. How far this friction will go with Uninterrupted remains to be seen, although the letter sent to Alabama seeks to come to a peaceful resolution through conversation rather than have to resort to any legal proceedings if they can be avoided.

Week 11, Statistically Speaking

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A statistical snapshot of the week that was in college football…

-9 — Rushing yards for Northwestern in the one-point loss to Michigan.  Quarterback Trevor Siemian totaled minus-37 yards rushing, while the Wildcats’ leading rusher, Justin Jackson, had plus-35.

.844 — Overall career winning percentage (54-10, fifth season) for Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, the best for any ACC head coach with three or more seasons.  His winning percentage of .842 in ACC games is best of all-time, ahead of the legend he replaced at FSU, Bobby Bowden (.814).

1.3 — Interceptions for Louisville’s Gerod Holliman after a three-pick performance against Boston College.  Holliman now has 12 interceptions with two regular season games and a bowl game remaining; the all-time FBS record for interceptions in a season is 14 by Washington’s Al Worley in 1968.  Incidentally, there are only 17 FBS teams with more interceptions this season than Holliman.

2 — FBS players and who have accounted for more than 9,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing in a career, and both played at Nevada: Cody Fajardo (9,084 and 3,025, 2011-present) and Colin Kaepernick (10,098 and 4,112, 2007-10). Kaepernick’s 14,210 yard of total offense is No. 1 in FBS history, while Fajardo’s (12,109) is currently 16th.

2 — Rushing touchdowns allowed by Alabama’s defense this season, the fewest in the FBS.  Next lowest?  Utah’s allowed five.

2-7 — Record of teams the game after playing Navy this season.  That includes Notre Dame’s second loss of the season, a 55-31 decision to Arizona State this weekend.

Tevin Coleman
Tevin Coleman

3 — Weeks in a row a player from Rutgers’ opponent has been named as the Big Ten’s Player of the Week.  That streak temporarily came to an end this week as the Scarlet Knights are on a bye, although Indiana — and the nation’s second-leading rusher Tevin Coleman — await next week and could easily extend the streak to four straight.

4-3 — Touchdowns vs. incompletions for Hutson Mason in Georgia’s blowout win over Kentucky.

5 — FBS players who have ever totaled 200-plus yards rushing and 100-plus yards receiving in a single game: Brian Hill, Wyoming vs. Fresno State, Nov. 1, 2014 (281 rushing, 106 receiving); Donald Buckram, UTEP vs. Tulane, Nov. 7, 2009 (234, 109); Steve Slaton, West Virginia vs. Pittsburgh, Nov. 16, 2006 (215, 130); Emmett White, Utah St. vs. New Mexico St., Nov. 4, 2000 (322, 134); and Thomas Jones, Virginia vs. Buffalo, Nov. 13, 1999 (221, 110).

10.1 — Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett leads the FBS in passing touchdown percentage (26 TDs on 233 attempts; 11.1 percent).

11 — Games in a row Oregon’s Marcus Mariota has thrown two or more touchdown passes, the longest such streak for an FBS quarterback.

13.1Nick Chubb‘s yards per carry average as he ran for 170 yards on just 13 rushes in Georgia’s blowout win over Kentucky.

14 — 300-yard passing games for Baylor’s Bryce Petty, breaking the school record of 13 previously held by Heisman winner Robert Griffin III.

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Week 9, Statistically Speaking

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0 — Lost fumbles for UNLV in eight games this season, the only FBS team that can make that claim.  At the opposite end of the spectrum is Eastern Michigan, which has lost 14 in 2014.

0 — Games UCF has lost in American Athletic Conference play, vs. 11 wins.  The Knights are the only AAC team to have never lost a game in that conference’s brief history.

2 — Times this season, in seven games, SMU has scored more than six points in a single game, including the 48-10 loss to Memphis.  The winless Mustangs are averaging exactly seven points per game,with a high-water mark of 24 in Week 6.

2-5 — Whatever it means, that’s the record of teams the next game after playing Navy this season.  Rutgers and Temple are the only ones to avoid “The Curse of the Middies” in 2014.

3.07 — Yards per play Maryland averaged in its ugly 52-7 loss to Wisconsin.

4 — 200-yard rushing games for Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah this season; no other back at the FBS level has more than two.  The running back also totaled a school-record 341 all-purpose yards (225 rushing, 26 receiving, 90 on kickoff returns) in NU’s 42-24 win over Rutgers (previous record: 321 for Roy Helu Jr. vs. Missouri in 2010).

4 — Quarterbacks Vanderbilt has started this season, the only school that has had to reach that deep into its depth chart at the position.  Utah State will hit that mark in Week 10 as the Aggies lost their third starter of the year to injury, while SMU could very well reach the same number the same week.

Justin Hardy
Justin Hardy

4.6 — Number of receptions per game East Carolina’s Justin Hardy needs to average over the next five contests to break the FBS record of 349 career receptions set by Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles.  Hardy is averaging 8.7 catches per game in 2014 and 7.6 for his career.

5 — First-quarter lost fumbles by Pittsburgh, tying the one-quarter FBS record set by East Carolina (1980) and San Diego State (1982).  Pitt finished with six lost fumbles — on seven total fumbles — in its 56-28 loss to Georgia Tech.

7 — Games in which Dak Prescott has thrown for 200-plus yards to start the season, the first Mississippi State player to accomplish that feat in the football program’s 115-year history.

10-0 — Stanford’s record under David Shaw coming off a loss.

11.2 — Yards per carry for true freshman Mike Boone as he rushed for a career-high 212 yards in Cincinnati’s 34-17 win over USF Friday night.

13 — Different players who caught passes in TCU’s 82-27 evisceration of Texas Tech.  No player caught more than four passes.

15.6 — Yards per completion Blake Frohnapfel averaged in throwing for 438 yards and five touchdowns in UMass’ 42-35 loss to Toledo.

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Lane Kiffin gets last laugh as Alabama rolls past Florida

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Love him or hate him, Lane Kiffin is making a positive contribution to the Alabama Crimson Tide offense.

No. 3 Alabama rolled up 645 yards of total offense during its 42-21 victory over the Florida Gators.

While Alabama has been known as a run-first, methodical offense during head coach Nick Saban‘s tenure, the team’s new offensive coordinator has his unit rolling during Alabama’s 4-0.

The performance was impressive on many levels.

First, Kiffin added tempo which created explosive plays for the Crimson Tide. Alabama had two touchdown passes of 79 yards or longer in the first quarter.

Second, the offensive coordinator is doing exactly what a good coach does. He’s putting his quarterback in a position to succeed. The tempo and overall play calling helped first-year starter Blake Sims post a career day with 445 passing yards and four touchdowns.

Third, Kiffin is getting the ball to his play-makers. Amari Cooper is arguably the best wide receiver in college football. The junior wide receiver was targeted numerous times and finished the game with 10 receptions for 201 yards, which was third-best effort in Alabama history. Cooper would have broken Julio Jones‘ single-game receiving record if he didn’t have two big plays called back due to penalties.

The wide receiver shouldn’t expect his load to decrease as the season continues, though:

Finally, Alabama is still a balanced attack. Members of the Crimson Tide ran the ball 52 times. And Kiffin found a way to distribute the ball between multiple talented running backs. Derrick Henry led the team with 20 carries for 111 yards. T.J. Yeldon also had 18 carries.

All of this was accomplished against a very talented Gators defense. Excellent play calling simply exploited Florida’s weaknesses. After this drubbing at the hands of Alabama, the temperature of Florida head coach Will Muschamp‘s hot seat continues to rise.

Kiffin, meanwhile, makes Alabama’s offense as dangerous as it has ever been under Saban.

The Fifth Quarter: Week 2 Rewind

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As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.

THUMBS UP

Catchin’ With Mr. Cooper
Midway through the first quarter of Alabama’s blowout win over FAU, Amari Cooper already had four receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown.  The wide receiver ended up with six catches for 97 yards in the opening quarter, and finished with 13 catches for 189 yards and a 52-yard touchdown reception, with the receptions matching a single-game school record.  This season, Cooper has 25 receptions for 319 yards; the Tide’s single-season marks are 78 (Julio Jones, 2010) and 1,133 (Jones, 2010), so Cooper is well on his way to not only eclipsing but shattering both of those standards.  For his career, Cooper now has 129 receptions for 2,055 yards, and, as a true junior, could this season surpass DJ Hall‘s career marks of 194 and 2,923 set from 2004-07.  Based on his early play, Cooper could also find himself in the Heisman mix as the season progresses.

Badger McBounce-back
Putting it mildly, Tanner McEvoy had a horrendous performance in the season-opening loss to LSU.  With a statline that consisted of 8-of-22 passing for 50 yards , no touchdowns and two interceptions, the Wisconsin quarterback had nowhere to go but up.  On Saturday, up McEvoy went there as, following a very slow start, he completed 23-of-28 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns.  At one point, the converted safety completed 17 passes in a row. “I thought Tanner came on and, obviously, he caught some mojo there with 17 in a row,” head coach Gary Andersen said.  Sure, the game was against an FCS-level opponent, but, from a confidence standpoint, it was a critical and much-needed performance for McEvoy specifically and the offense in general — especially if Melvin Gordon‘s struggles over the past six-ish quarters bleed deeper into the season (see below).

Brutally efficient Hogs
In the first two quarters of Arkansas’ blowout win over Nicholls State, the Razorbacks’ offense had run 20 plays… and scored eight touchdowns.  Amazingly, five of those drives consisted of just a single play; even more amazingly, four of those drives were 33 yards or more — 90, 82, 50 and 33.  In that first half, UA outgained its FCS foe 425-55.  They averaged 21.7 yards per carry and 19.8 yards per pass completion.  That efficiency continued on into the second half as UA’s offense drove 48 yards in two plays to push the lead to 63-0 after just :52 had ticked off the third-quarter clock.  The Hogs took their hooves off the Colonels’ necks the rest of the game, though, as the final score was 73-7.

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