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Top seven remains the same in latest CFP rankings

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The third edition of the 2019 College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday, and the top seven teams remained the same from last week’s rankings. This means, as expected, Alabama remained No. 5 following the devastating loss of Tua Tagovailoa.

Minnesota remained in striking distance following their loss to Iowa (now at No. 17) at No. 10, with No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 2 Ohio State (potentially) still on their schedule. Oklahoma and Penn State moved one spot apiece, keeping the Top 10 stagnant.

Auburn fell three spots to No. 15, one spot behind No. 14 Baylor, who will spend the week wondering how high they would’ve climbed if the rankings were taken at halftime on Saturday night.

Memphis swapped spots with Cincinnati as the highest-rated Group of 5 team at No. 18; the Tigers and Bearcats SMU rejoined the rankings after falling out last week. They were joined by Iowa State at No. 22, who replaced then-No. 19 Texas, and USC at No. 23.

The full rankings:

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

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.

Clay Helton heaps praise on new USC AD Mike Bohn

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Given the temperature of his coaching seat, would you expect any different?

Following a week’s worth of speculation, USC confirmed in a press conference early Thursday afternoon that Cincinnati’s Mike Bohn would be replacing Lynn Swann as the university’s athletic director.  With deciding the fate of current head football coach looming as Job 1 for Bohn, the new AD demurred when asked about Clay Helton‘s future with the program, stating, “It’d be premature to be talking about coaches or any situation when I just arrived.”

Interestingly, Helton didn’t meet with Bohn prior to the new AD’s hiring, although he did get a face-to-face with him after the press conference — along with the 20 head coaches of the university’s other varsity sports, it should be noted.  Following that initial meeting, Helton was effusive in his praise of his new boss.

From the Los Angeles Times:

What an exciting time for our university today,” Helton said, opting for an optimistic message during his Thursday evening news conference. “I think [USC President] Dr. [Carol L.] Folt has done a wonderful job across our university in hiring quality people in her transition. Today was no different.”

Helton used the words “awesome,” “positive,” and “exciting” to describe [his and Bohn’s] initial interactions, ignoring the wide speculation that the hiring of Bohn is a possible precursor to his firing at the end of the season.

“To see [Bohn’s] energy and his positivity hitting the ground running today was awesome,” Helton said. “I just really appreciated him. To take the time on this day to sit down with all 21 coaches, to sit down with me personally, to take the time to visit with our team, that’s big-time. That’s hitting the ground running and touching the people that matter.

Coming off back-to-back 10-win seasons his first two full years with the Trojans, a 5-7 record in 2018 put Helton squarely on the hot seat entering 2019.  After a 3-1 start to this current campaign, USC, which has dealt with myriad injuries to key players throughout the year, proceeded to lose three of its next five, although all three of those setbacks came against ranked opponents.  Two of those defeats came on the road, but the home loss was a 32-point drubbing at the hands of Oregon last Saturday that had the calls for Helton’s scalp growing in intensity.

USC will face Arizona State, Cal and crosstown rival UCLA to close out the 2019 regular season.

USC confirms Cincinnati’s Mike Bohn as new AD

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So much for those second thoughts.  And let the Urban speculation, as farfetched as it may be, commence in earnest.

Late last week, reports surfaced connecting Cincinnati’s Mike Bohn to USC’s vacant athletic director post.  Early Thursday afternoon, the university turned the rumors into reality by confirming Bohn will head its athletic department moving forward.

Bohn, the first USC AD with no ties to the university in more than a quarter-century, replaces Lynn Swann, who “resigned” his post in early September after three years on the job.

Bohn, who played college football and baseball at Kansas, has spent the past six years at Cincinnati, taking over Bearcats athletics in February of 2014. Prior to that, he served as the athletic director at Colorado (2005-13), San Diego State (2003-05) and Idaho (1998-2003).

The 58-year-old Illinois native (he’ll turn 59 later this month) was the Buffaloes AD as CU made the transition from the Big 12 to the Pac-12 in 2011.  He involuntarily stepped down from that post in May of 2013, months after the second of his signature hires at the school, Jon Embree, was fired after just two seasons and four wins (versus 21 losses) as head football coach.  The first, Dan Hawkins, posted a 19-39 record in less than five full seasons in Boulder before his firing opened the door for Bohn’s hiring of Embree.

First and foremost on Bohn’s to-do list at his newest job in the conference?  Determine the fate of head football coach Clay Helton.

Coming off back-to-back 10-win seasons his first two full years with the Trojans, a 5-7 record in 2018 put Helton squarely on the hot seat entering 2019.  After a 3-1 start to this current campaign, USC, which has dealt with myriad injuries to key players throughout the year, proceeded to lose three of its next five, although all three of those setbacks came against ranked opponents.  Two of those defeats came on the road, but the home loss was a 32-point drubbing at the hands of Oregon last Saturday that had the calls for Helton’s scalp growing in intensity.

If Bohn and other university officials determine it’s time to move on from Helton at season’s end, the question quickly becomes, can they pull Urban Meyer out of retirement?  Or, do they even want to pursue Meyer in the event of a coaching change?

The ties between Meyer and Bohn are scant.  Bohn comes from Cincinnati while Meyer played his college football for the Bearcats (one year as a defensive back in 1984) and graduated from the university in 1986.  Meyer’s youngest child, Nate, is also a scholarship baseball player for the Bearcats.

Bohn also hired Luke Fickell off Meyer’s Ohio State coaching staff in December of 2016.  Following a 4-8 first year at the school, Fickell went 11-2, tying a school record for wins, and was named as the AAC’s Coach of the Year for the 2018 season.  He has the Bearcats sitting at 7-1 this season and armed with a No. 20 ranking in the initial College Football Playoff Top 25 heading into the homestretch of the regular season.

Florida falls to No. 11 in latest Coaches Poll, Georgia top one-loss team in rankings

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We’re only a few short days away from the College Football Playoff Selection Committee rankings being released but until that time rolls around, we’ll still have to rely on the old faithful combination of the AP and Coaches Polls being released every Sunday.

After a quiet Week 10, there was little movement in the latter, with the most notable move likely belonging to that of Florida, which fell five spots to No. 11 after their loss to new No. 6 Georgia on Saturday at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Both of the SEC East teams can lay claim to being the top one- and two-loss programs in the poll respectively.

The top otherwise remained unchanged with all but No. 3 Clemson off last week. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 LSU combined for 48 first place votes ahead of their meeting in Tuscaloosa next Saturday.

Also notable is the fall of SMU, which dropped like a rock to No. 23 (nine spots) after losing a close one at new No. 19 Memphis in primetime. The Tigers are actually not the top Group of Five team in the poll as fellow AAC rival Cincinnati moved up to No. 17.

No. 24 San Diego State and No. 25 Navy also joined the rankings replacing Appalachian State and Texas after the latter two lost their most recent games.

The full Coaches Poll heading into an action-packed Week 11:

  1. Alabama (37 first place votes)
  2. LSU (11)
  3. Clemson (9)
  4. Ohio State (8)
  5. Penn State
  6. Georgia
  7. Oregon
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Utah
  10. Baylor
  11. Florida
  12. Auburn
  13. Minnesota
  14. Michigan
  15. Notre Dame
  16. Wisconsin
  17. Cincinnati
  18. Iowa
  19. Memphis
  20. Wake Forest
  21. Boise State
  22. Kansas State
  23. SMU
  24. San Diego State
  25. Navy