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Joe Burrow pads Heisman résumé as top-ranked LSU weathers Ole Miss’ relentless ground attack


Outside of the top-ranked team in the nation’s run defense, there was no hangover from its huge win over Alabama. That “outside of,” though, looms large perception-wise moving forward.

The good: No. 1 LSU went into Oxford and held serve, heading back to Baton Rouge with a 58-37 win over Ole Miss (4-7). The bad: LSU allowed 402 yards rushing after coming into the game 13th nationally in rushing yards per game at 100.7. The ugly: THE NO.1 TEAM IN THE COUNTRY ALLOWED 402 YARDS RUSHING.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that not many, if any, teams that have allowed 400-plus yards on the ground in a single game have gone on to win the national championship in the same season. I’ll also go out on an even sturdier limb and state that the College Football Playoff selection committee will be forced to think long and hard about keeping the Tigers at the top when its latest rankings are released Tuesday night.

John Rhys Plumlee was the main ground agitator for the Rebels, with the freshman quarterback rushing for 212 yards and four touchdowns in the game. Plumlee scored on runs of 60, 46, 35 and five yards in becoming just the fifth SEC quarterback — Nick Fitzgerald, Cam Newton, Jesse Palmer, Tim Tebow being the others — to account for four rushing touchdowns in a single game.

Entering Week 12 as the overwhelming Heisman favorite, Joe Burrow did nothing much to hurt that standing as he passed for a career-high 489 yards and five touchdowns in the win. He did, though, throw a pair of interceptions after coming in with just four total on the season.

With the win, LSU is a step closer to wrapping up the SEC West and a spot in the conference championship game opposite Georgia, which won the East earlier in the day.  With two conference games left — home tilts with Arkansas and Texas A&M — LSU needs to win just one of those games to book its early-December trip to Atlanta

Report suggests Matt Luke will continue coaching Ole Miss in 2020

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As we approach the end of the college football regular season, it’s just about time for the coaching carousel to get spinning once again. A few of programs have already made some coaching changes (Arkansas, Rutgers, and Florida State), but it does not appear any changes will be made at Ole Miss. According to a report from Football Scoop, Matt Luke is expected to remain the head coach in Oxford, Mississippi in 2020.

Not too surprisingly, the cost of a buyout is a key piece of information in this particular story. While the price to buy its way out of Luke’s contract is $6.5 million, the actual cost to move on from Luke is nearly doubled when Ole Miss accounts for the buyout costs of Luke’s assistants. Namely, offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez and defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre. Rodriguez and MacIntyre have head coaching experience and were sensible additions to the staff for a first-time head coach like Luke. But with experience, comes cost. According to Football Scoop, the buying out of contracts to Luke, Rodriguez, and MacIntyre could climb to over $12 million if Ole Miss is to make a change.

Another reason Ole Miss may hold off on making any changes with the football program are due to the school actively focusing on naming a new full-time athletics director. The common line of thinking is it makes more sense to allow your next full-time AD to make the call on the head coach of a football program, ensuring a higher likelihood of positive chemistry between coach and AD that leads to everyone being on the same page for the good of the program moving forward.

So, between the buyout cost and the ongoing search for an AD, Matt Luke appears to be in a pretty stable position at this point in time.

LSU’s Joe Brady, Ohio State’s Jeff Hafley among nominees for Boyles Award as CFB’s top assistant coach

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The college football awards process is a pretty simple four phase process as you go from watch list season to the actual season to the semifinalist lists to the actual awards being announced in early December. As we approach Week 12 of the 2019 campaign, we’re firmly into the third phase of announcing a narrowing of the field and limiting who can actually take some hardware home after the regular season is finished.

To that end, The Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation announced on Wednesday the 41-person strong list of nominees for the Broyles Award, which goes to college football’s top assistant coach. As you would expect, there are quite a few big names under consideration as the assistants in question have either helped lead remarkable turnarounds with their specific side of the ball or have helped elevate their team into conference and/or the national title conversation.

Here’s the full list of 41 names and their titles:

ALABAMA – Steve Sarkisian, Offensive Coordinator/QB

APPALACHIAN STATE – Ted Roof, Defensive Coordinator

ARKANSAS STATE – Keith Heckendorf, Offensive coordinator/QB

AUBURN – Kevin Steele, Defensive Coordinator

BALL STATE – Joey Lynch, Offensive Coordinator/QB

BAYLOR – Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

BYU – Aaron Roderick, Passing Game Coordinator/QB

CALIFORNIA – Tim DeRuyter, Defensive Coordinator

CENTRAL MICHIGAN – Charlie Frye, Offensive Coordinator/QB

CINCINNATI – Marcus Freeman, Defensive Coordinator

CLEMSON – Jeff Scott, Co-Offensive Coordinator/WR

FLORIDA – Billy Gonzalez, Wide Receivers

GEORGIA – Dan Lanning, Defensive Coordinator/Outside LBs

GEORGIA STATE – Brad Glenn, Offensive Coordinator

INDIANA – Kalen DeBoer, Offensive Coordinator/QB

IOWA – Phil Parker, Defensive Coordinator/DB

IOWA STATE – Tom Manning, Offensive Coordinator/Run Game Coordinator

LOUISVILLE – Dwayne Ledfors, Offensive Line

LOUISIANA – Ron Roberts, Defensive Coordinator

LSU – Joe Brady, Passing Game Coordinator/WR

MEMPHIS – Pete Lembo, Special Teams Coordinator

MICHIGAN – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator

MINNESOTA – Kirk Ciarrocca, Offensive Coordinator/QB

MISSOURI – Ryan Walters, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

NAVY – Brian Newberry, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

OHIO STATE – Jeff Hafley, Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary

OKLAHOMA – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator/ Safeties

OLE MISS – Mike MacIntyre, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

OREGON – Andy Avalos, Defensive Coordinator

OREGON STATE – Brian Lindgren, Offensive Coordinator/QB

PENN STATE – Brent Pry, Defensive Coordinator/LB

PITTSBURGH – Randy Bates, Defensive Coordinator

SAN JOSÉ STATE – Ryan Gunderson, Quarterbacks/Passing Game Coordinator

SMU – Rhett Lashlee, Offensive Coordinator/QB

TROY – Ryan Pugh, Offensive Coordinator/OL

TULANE – Will Hall, Offensive Coordinator/

UAB – David Reeves, Defensive Coordinator

UCF – Randy Shannon, Defensive Coordinator

UTAH – Morgan Scalley, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

WESTERN KENTUCKY – Clayton White, Defensive Coordinator/CB

WISCONSIN – Jim Leonhard, Defensive Coordinator

Obviously there’s a ton of well deserving candidates but it might be hard to top LSU’s Brady for the award given how big of a jump the Tigers’ offense has made with his arrival in Baton Rouge. Ohio State’s Hafley and Oklahoma’s Grinch also have made huge strides with their respective teams but even at the Group of Five level there’s a ton of guys who have been terrific this season.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 10th and the award is usually a good sign for whoever takes home the trophy becoming a head coach in the near future. Former Alabama OC Mike Locksley won the Broyles Award last year while past winners have included Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and current Texas coach Tom Herman when he was at Ohio State.

Virginia Tech confirms three future home-and-homes with SEC schools, including Alabama

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An impromptu Scheduling Day at CFT continues, with one ACC program confirming a handful of future matchups with the SEC.

At the end of its release announcing a future home-and-home with Florida State, Alabama included the mention of a previously-unannounced series with Virginia Tech in 2034 and 2035.  Shortly thereafter, Tech confirmed not only that series but two other future home-and-homes with schools from the same conference — Ole Miss in 2032 (Blacksburg) and 2037 (Oxford) as well as one in 2024 and 2025 against an SEC team to be named later.

The 2024-25 home-and-home against an unspecified SEC opponent will replace one that had previously been scheduled with Wisconsin, with that Big Ten school getting out of the agreement in order to schedule a series for the same years with Alabama.

From Tech’s release:

Wisconsin approached us within the last year about moving our game dates again or potentially even cancelling our two future games. Knowing Wisconsin and Alabama could certainly pay the collective $1 million cancellation fee if they wanted to ultimately play on our dates in 2024 and 2025, we didn’t want to be left without a second Power Five non-conference opponent in those years.

“Fortunately, everyone worked together to get to our final outcome. We worked with Dave Brown of Gridiron to help identify an opportunity for us to play an SEC opponent in 2024 and 2025, then the Wisconsin contract got amended, thereby freeing up the shift, and additionally, Alabama worked with us to schedule a future home-and-home series in the out years.

Alabama and Virginia Tech have met 13 times previously — the Crimson Tide is 12-1 in those games — with the last three meetings (2013, 2009, 1998) taking place on neutral fields.  Nine of the first 10 games in the miniseries took place in Alabama, with the lone trip the Tide has ever made to Blacksburg, 1969, was also former head coach Frank Beamer’s senior season as a defensive back at Tech.

Tech has played Ole Miss just twice — a 1968 Rebels win in the Liberty Bowl and a 1913 Hokies win in Blacksburg.

One of Ole Miss’ two four-star 2019 QB signees enters transfer portal

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Everybody involved probably knew this type of personnel move was coming at some point, it was just a matter of when.

Ole Miss’ top three quarterbacks this year are either true freshmen (John Rhys Plumlee, Grant Tisdale) or a redshirt freshman (Matt Corral). Additionally, four-star 2020 quarterback Robby Ashford has verbally committed to playing his college football for the Rebels.

With that as a backdrop, it was reported by multiple media outlets Tuesday that when is now as one of the first-year signal-callers, Tisdale, has decided to place his name into the NCAA transfer database. The Allen, Tex., product had been running behind Plumlee and Corral on Ole Miss’ depth chart.

As was the case with Plumlee, Tisdale was a four-star member of the Rebels’ 2019 recruiting class. He appeared in one game as a true freshman, completing both of his pass attempts for 56 yards and a touchdown in a late-September loss to Alabama.

Because he played in four or fewer games, Tisdale can take a redshirt for the season.

Plumlee has been the Rebels’ primary starter the past four games, although he and Corral split time the past two weeks. Plumlee also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in the week leading up to Ole Miss’ bye this past weekend, although he is back at practice and is expected to be available for the Auburn game this Saturday.

With Tisdale unavailable, another true freshman, three-star 2019 signee Kinkead Dent, will likely slide into the role of No. 3 quarterback.