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Biletnikoff Award whittles hunt for nation’s top receiver down to 12

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The Biletnikoff Award on Monday announced its list of 12 semifinalists for the 2019 award. The award specifies that any player who catches a pass is eligible to win — not just wideouts — but only wideouts have won the award through its 25-year history.

And for what has to be the first time in Biletnikoff history, both LSU and Alabama have two semifinalists, including 2018 winner Jerry Jeudy.

The semifinalists are:

Rashod Bateman, Minnesota: 44 catches for 945 yards (21.5 yards per) and seven touchdowns
Omar Bayless, Arkansas State: 73 catches for 1,262 yards (17.3 yards per) and 14 touchdowns
Ja'Marr Chase, LSU: 57 catches for 1,116 yards (19.6 yards per) and 13 touchdowns
Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty: 64 catches for 1,244 yards (19.4 yards per) and eight touchdowns
Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State: 73 catches for 1,021 yards (14 yards per) and 13 touchdowns
Justin Jefferson, LSU: 71 catches for 1,010 yards (14.2 yards per) and 11 touchdowns
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama: 64 catches for 867 yards (13.6 yards per) and nine touchdowns
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma: 44 catches for 983 yards (22.3 yards per) and 12 touchdowns
Michael Pittman, Jr., USC: 82 catches for 1,118 yards (13.6 yards per) and nine touchdowns
James Proche, SMU: 88 catches for 1,008 yards (11.5 yards per) and 12 touchdowns
Devonta Smith, Alabama: 56 catches for 1,026 yards (18.3 yards per) and 11 touchdowns
Sage Surratt, Wake Forest: 66 catches for 1,001 yards (15.2 yards per) and 11 touchdowns

The notable snub here is Devin Duvernay of Texas, who is one off the lead for catches (87) but could not crack the voters’ top 12. (Full disclosure: I am a Biletnikoff voter and had Duvernay on my semifinalist list.)

The 12 semifinalists will be chopped down to three next Monday, with the winner announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 12.

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.

USC transfer QB Jack Sears visiting Oregon State

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Jack Sears may have left USC, but, depending on how things play out moving forward, he may not end up leaving the Pac-12.

After finding himself fourth on the quarterbacking depth chart, Sears announced on his personal Twitter account in late August that he had decided to enter the NCAA transfer database.  A little over two months later, Sears is kicking his transfer tour into high gear as multiple media outlets are reporting that the quarterback is visiting Oregon State this weekend.

Sears was a four-star member of the Trojans’ 2017 recruiting class, rated as the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the country.  After redshirting as a true freshman, Sears completed 20-of-28 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown this past season.

Regardless of at which FBS school he ultimately lands, Sears should have two years of eligibility that he can begin using at his new college football home next season.

Oregon State adding transfer defensive lineman Charles Moore from Auburn

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Auburn’s loss will be Oregon State’s gain. Charles Moore, who signed with Auburn in the Class of 2019, is now enrolled at Oregon State. Moore announced his transfer decision on Twitter on Thursday.

While Moore committed to Auburn in the last recruiting cycle but he also signed with a junior college to work on addressing a grade requirement issue at Auburn. Moore reportedly left Auburn in mid-September while remaining in junior college. At the same time, Moore continued to weigh his next options for playing at a power conference program. Enter Oregon State.

With the 2019 season nearly complete, Moore will not be able to join the Beavers football program this fall, however, according to a report from Oregon Live, he will be eligible to play in 2020. Typically, a transfer player has to sit out a season before being ruled eligible to play again, but this is not exactly the typical transfer situation for Moore. That means Moore will be able to burn his redshirt season of eligibility in 2019 and will have four remaining seasons of eligibility beginning in 2020.

This is a nice addition to the Oregon State defensive line. Moore was a four-star recruit coming out of high school and would have been one of the top newcomers to the roster at Auburn had he been able to join the team this season.

Days after canning its DC, Arizona gives up season-high 56 points in double-digit loss to Oregon State

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Well, so much for that.

Sunday night, Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin fired defensive coordinator Marcel Yates and linebackers coach John Rushing.  Six days later, in its first game since the twin axings, Arizona gave up a season-high 56 points in an 18-point loss to Oregon State.

The Wildcats (4-5 overall, 2-4 in the Pac-12) actually trailed just 7-6 at the end of the first quarter before a 28-point second quarter staked the Wildcats to a 35-19 halftime lead and, ultimately, a 56-38 win.

Arizona came into the game giving up an average of 35 points per game, 118th in the country and dead-last in the Pac-12.  They have now allowed 41 or more points in four straight games and six times in nine outings overall this season.

Arguably the biggest storyline coming out of the game, though, is OSU’s Pac-12 mini-rise in its second season under Jonathan Smith.

The previous three seasons, the Beavers won a combined four games in conference play, including one the past two years.  This season, OSU (4-4 overall) sits at 3-2 in the league and all alone in second place in the North Division, with only in-state rival Oregon (5-0) ahead of them.

Greatly aiding the Beavers cause once again was quarterback Jake Luton, who passed for 328 yards and three touchdowns on 20-of-26 passing (221 passer rating).  This was Luton’s fifth career 30–yard game and second this season.