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Two Power Five WRs among four added to Biletnikoff Award watch list

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For the third time this month, a major college football award is adding to its watch list.

This week, the Biletnikoff Award announced that it has added four wide receivers to its in-season watch list, including two from Power Five schools and two from Group of Five programs. Those included this go-around are Washington State’s Brandon Arconado (pictured), Colorado State’s Warren Jackson, Indiana’s Whop Philyor and Tulsa’s Keyon Stokes.

Below are each players’ statistical particulars for the 2019 season:

  • Arconado: 39 receptions, 591 yards, four touchdowns
  • Jackson: 49-719-6
  • Philyor: 57-737-3
  • Stokes: 44-695-4

Both Jackson and Philyor are in the Top 20 nationally in receiving yards, while Jackson’s receptions are tied for sixth at the FBS level.

The Biletnikoff Award is handed out annually to the nation’s most outstanding FBS receiver. The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, which oversees the honor, stresses that “[a]ny player, regardless of position (wide receiver, tight end, slot back and running back) who catches a pass is eligible for the award.”

Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy was the 2018 winner of the award.  A wide receiver has won the award every year since it was first handed out in 1994.

Colorado State’s leading rusher no longer with Rams

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That was certainly a swift fall from grace.

Last week, Colorado State announced that its leading rusher, Marvin Kinsey Jr., had been indefinitely suspended for violating unspecified team rules.  A week later, the football program announced Monday night that the running back is no longer a member of the team.

No specific reason was given for the parting of ways.

Following an indefinite suspension for a violation of team rules as announced by head coach Mike Bobo last week, running back Marvin Kinsey, Jr., is no longer a member of the Colorado State football program.

At the time of his suspension, Kinsey’s 703 yards rushing were not only easily the most for any member of the Rams — the No. 2 rusher, Dante Wright, had 180 yards, although Marcus McElroy is now up to 240 — but were tops among all players in the Mountain West Conference.  He’s now third in the conference behind UNLV’s Charles Williams (793) and New Mexico’s Ahmari Davis (743).

The senior is also currently fourth on the team with 16 receptions and tied for third with two receiving touchdowns, while his 209 receiving yards are good for fifth.

This wasn’t the first suspension with which Kinsey has been forced to deal as he was sidelined for both CSU’s 2017 bowl game and the 2018 season opener for unspecified violations of team rules.

Colorado State indefinitely suspends MWC’s leading rusher

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For a team scuffling along with a 2-5 record, this development isn’t exactly optimal.

Tuesday, Mike Bobo announced that Marvin Kinsey has been indefinitely suspended from the Colorado State football program.  The head coach gave no specific reason for the punitive measure nor, obviously, how long the running back will be sidelined.

Kinsey’s 703 yards rushing are not only easily the most for any member of the Rams — the No. 2 rusher, Dante Wright, has 180 yards — but are tops among all players in the Mountain West Conference.  Those yards are tied for 19th nationally as well.

The senior is also third on the team with 16 receptions and two receiving touchdowns, while his 209 receiving yards are good for fourth.

This isn’t the first suspension with which Kinsey has been forced to deal as he was sidelined for both CSU’s 2017 bowl game and the 2018 season opener for unspecified violations of team rules.

Mountain West commish says new TV deal could be done in next month

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TV revenues have skyrocketed for those schools in the Power Five and now it’s time for a few leagues in the Group of Five to get their turn at the table. Following large deals from the MAC and AAC in recent years, the Mountain West is the next man up and it appears as though a deal could be wrapped up soon.

Speaking to reporters at the conference’s basketball media day on Tuesday, commissioner Craig Thompson said he expects something to be announced at some point in the next 30 days or so on the media rights front. One sticking point for both the league and member schools? The number of late night kickoffs (often pushing past 7 or 8 p.m. local) involved in the deal, which is expected to carry a higher price-tag precisely because MWC schools can kickoff that late to fill such time slots on the TV schedule.

“Let me just say this, there will be 8 o’clock tipoffs and kickoffs,” Thompson said, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. “I know that’s a concern for everybody – for fans, administrators. If we can possibly get the number 7 in there it would be a real bonus.”

Late night kickoffs have been an issue for Pac-12 schools as well in recent years and their Group of Five neighbor understands just as much the tough calculus to make between a game starting at a reasonable hour and the bigger paycheck that awaits when filling a time slot too late for most.

Thompson declined to get into much in terms of what kind of dollars the conference is expecting but it would be a surprise if it’s not a hefty raise over their current deals with ESPN and CBS Sports. Interestingly the commissioner noted that for as successful as the MWC has been this year, the kind of on-field performance that comes with knocking off several of their Power Five brethren isn’t really a factor in negotiations. 

While there are a lot of unknowns as a result with the upcoming TV deal in terms of years, money and partners, it was already revealed earlier this year that Boise State’s sweetheart carve-out that pays the Broncos extra money will remain once the new contracts are signed. That carve-out dates back to when the school briefly left for the Big East but decided to remain in the MWC during one of the many rounds of conference realignment.

Industry observers and conference fans are anxiously awaiting details given how long the process has played out but it seems everybody won’t have to wait much longer before things become official out West. 

UNLV embarrasses Vandy, pushes Mountain West to 3-2 vs. SEC in 2019

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There aren’t very many Power Five leagues that can claim a winning record against the SEC over the past several years.  At least one Group of Five conference can puff out its chest and make that claim, though.

To get where this post is ultimately headed, though, we’re forced to deal with the following: 1-4 UNLV at 1-4 Vanderbilt.  In a battle of non-conference lightweights whose head coaches are very much on the hot seat, the Rebels jumped out to a 24-10 halftime lead and never looked back, cruising to a 34-10 win over the Commodores.

In Nashville.

UNLV, whose only previous win this season came against FCS Southern Utah in the opener, scored on every drive of the first half with the exception of the last, a possession in which they essentially took a running knee after taking over the ball in their own territory with under two minutes left in the second quarter.  In its scoreless second half, Vandy’s possessions went as follows: punt, interception, fumble, turnover on downs, turnover on downs, turnover on downs.

With that as a backdrop, the Mountain West Conference has officially finished the 2019 season with a 3-2 record against the not-so-mighty (for the most part) of the mighty SEC.