The 2015 college football season might be 216 days away from kickoff, but it’s never too early to start placing some early bets on the Heisman winner.

Bovada released its early Heisman rankings and four — yes, four — players from Ohio State are among the top 13 players on the list.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott is the early player to beat with 6/1 odds, and quarterbacking teammates Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller come in with 14/1, 16/1 and 18/1 odds respectively.

It’s interesting that the folks in Vegas are banking on Jones as the starter and Miller to likely be the odd man out. It’s a good thing Miller's not transferring…

Elliott is just ahead of Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott and LSU running back Leonard Fournette, who are both 7/1. TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin (15/2) and USC quarterback Cody Kessler, Georgia running back Nick Chubb and UCLA running back Paul Perkins each are at 12/1 to round out the top five in terms of odds.

It’s easy to like Elliott because of how well he played in the second half of his first season as starter and because he should be totally healthy in 2015. Elliott played the entire 2014 season with a broken wrist that needed surgery this offseason.

Prescott had trouble with turnovers in 2014 and Fournette didn’t have very good quarterback play to help open up the running game. Boykin and Chubb, who are both coming off tremendous seasons, could be the other two in the top five to give Elliott a run for his money.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 30, 2015, 11:27 pm

FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2014, file photo, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke looks on before an NCAA college football game against Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J. A person with knowledge of the situation says embattled Michigan football coach Brady Hoke and interim athletic director Jim Hackett are set to meet on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school has not made any announcement about the meeting.(AP Photo/Rich Schultz, File)Those hoping to see Brady Hoke roaming a college sideline during the 2015 season might be out of luck.

Hoke was in talks with Central Michigan about its head coaching vacancy, but is no longer considered a candidate because, as Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press put it, it was not a fit between the two sides.”

Central Michigan found itself unexpectedly looking for a head coach after Dan Enos left to become the offensive coordinator at Arkansas on Jan. 22.

Hoke spent the past four seasons as the head coach at Michigan before being fired on Dec. 2.

Hoke would have been a catch for the Chippewas because of his background and success in the Mid-American Conference. Hoke was a Western Michigan and Toledo assistant in 1984-88 and Ball State's coach in 2003-08. He led Ball State to a 12-1 season in 2008.

Hoke will try his hand at broadcasting next week when he works with CBS Sports Network on National Signing Day.

For more Central Michigan news, visit ChippewaCountry.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 30, 2015, 10:53 pm

Following the 2011 college football season, Bret Bielema almost left Wisconsin to become the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

According to a story ESPN.com’s Elizabeth Merrill, Bielema was working out his plans for the Dolphins when he asserted that the team should draft Russell Wilson in the second round.

The idea of selecting a 5-10 quarterback in the second round, which is where Bielema thinks they need to, does not go over well. They think he's crazy.
"One hundred percent," Bielema says.
"They all looked at me like, 'You can't say that. That's the difference between college and pro. He's undersized. He can't throw.' I was like, 'OK, all right,' and I honestly, that day, kind of pulled myself out of it."

Bielema stayed one more season with the Badgers before leaving for Arkansas. Wilson was drafted in the third round by Seattle and has led the Seahawks to one Super Bowl title and one yet to be determined.

Just imagine if Miami had listened to Bielema, hired him and taken Wilson in the second round instead of Ryan Tannehill with the No. 8 overall pick? That move would have affected the fortunes of two NFL teams and two college teams all because Bielema believe in Wilson’s talent.

But the real question is, what do we all think about Bielema in the NFL?

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 30, 2015, 10:31 pm

Houston Texans' Arian Foster wears street cloths before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)Former Tennessee running back Arian Foster put the Vols and the NCAA back into the spotlight on Thursday when he told The Dan LeBatard Show he received between $40,000 and $50,000 throughout his career at Tennessee.

This wasn’t the first time Foster, now a running back with the Houston Texans, had claimed he was paid in college. Back in 2013, Foster told Sports Illustrated he had been “getting money on the side” while in school, but he did not specify how much.

“You have people help you out here and there,” Foster told The Dan LeBatard Show. “Boosters and alumni and ex-players, they all know how it is, man. It's hard living check to check when you don't have enough money to go out to the movies or any kind of leisure activity. And you're not allowed to get a job. Especially when I was in college, they were a lot more stringent on those rules, so at any given chance I got the opportunity, I took a free handout. Absolutely.”

Foster also claimed he met his wife, Romina, through an agent. He said the agent was trying to sign both students as Romina was singing in a girl’s group. Foster said the agent took the two out on a boat in Chattanooga to “wine and dine us. It was definitely illegal by NCAA standards.” Foster did not end up signing with that agent.

However, on Friday, one of Foster’s former teammates, linebacker Ryan Karl, linked to Foster’s interview on his Facebook page and called out his former teammate.

“So Arian Foster I gotta call you out here,” Karl wrote. “You’re my boy, but you did not get $40-50k from boosters while at UT. Shoot, you were as broke as me in college driving a crap car living in a crap apartment - like us all. Also, these claims of being wined and dined by agents is a big stretch too. You are a baller now but at the time, you were a risky pick with who ended up being a free agent. Quit trying to grab attention while throwing your school under the bus.”

Not surprisingly, Foster even started to backpedal on his comment, claiming on Twitter that he never received the amount of money he claimed.

Vol fans, it was a joke. I didn't get no where near 50k.

— Feeno (@ArianFoster) January 30, 2015

Whether Foster was joking or not, it is important to note that Foster has stuck with his story since 2013, even if he’s not being entirely truthful about the amount.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 30, 2015, 8:36 pm

Dante Fowler Jr. opted to forgo his final season of eligibility at Florida and pursue a professional career in the NFL. In order to thank the Florida fans for their support during his time with the program, Fowler took out an advertisement in the Gainesville Sun on Friday.

Very cool from @TheDanteFowler6, thanking the #GatorNation with an ad in today's @GainesvilleSun @Gator_sports pic.twitter.com/G3RwAjHPtB

— GatorZone Football (@GatorZoneFB) January 30, 2015

“Thank you Gator Nation for all the support and love the past three years,” the ad read. “We’ve got the best fans in the and. I’ll forever bleed Orange & Blue.”

Fowler, a defensive end, was one of Florida’s leaders on defense in 2014 as he registered 60 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.

Overall in his career, Fowler had 140 tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles.

The 6-foot-3, 261-pound Fowler is projected by many to be a first round pick in May’s draft.

For more Florida news, visit InsideTheGators.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 30, 2015, 7:12 pm

The Texas A&M fanbase was finally able to breathe easy late Thursday night.

The program’s stud quarterback commit, Kyler Murray, announced on Twitter that he is sticking with A&M after weeks of speculation.

Following my heart... #GigEm

— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) January 30, 2015

Just last week, Murray, the No. 71 overall recruit in the country per Rivals.com, took a visit to rival Texas and rumors swirled that he would ultimately end up with the Longhorns on National Signing Day.

However, Murray re-assured the Aggie faithful that he will play collegiately in College Station.

Murray, a native of Allen, Texas, has been verbally committed to play for Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies since May. Sumlin had an in-home visit with Murray on Thursday night, which led Murray to tie the bow on his recruitment.

“Texas A&M is where my heart is at,” Murray told ESPN.com. “Coach Strong and Texas is a great opportunity, but I felt that A&M was the place for me.”

Murray had a prolific high school career, going 42-0 and winning his third straight Texas high school state title in December. He was also named the Gatorade High School Player of the Year.

Texas A&M’s class is currently ranked No. 9 nationally according to Rivals with National Signing Day less than a week away.

For more Texas A&M news, visit AggieYell.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 30, 2015, 5:52 pm

The NCAA isn’t one of the most well liked entities in sports and apparently, that dislike made it to the podiums of Super Bowl media day.

Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman and defensive end Michael Bennett railed against the NCAA when asked about the treatment of college athletes, the demands on their time and whether or not they should be paid.

"I think the NCAA is one of the biggest scams in America," said Bennett, who went to Texas A&M. "These kids put so much on the line. They [the NCAA] say, 'We give you a free degree.' That's like me owning a restaurant and saying, 'I'll give you a free burger.' It makes me so mad and irate. Universities need to do more for the student-[athletes].”

Apparently, Bennett had not been informed that the NCAA’s five major conferences — the ACC, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12 and Big Ten — last week adopted a plan to not only pay for the tuition, room, board, books and fees of student-athletes, but also various costs of attending college, including personal expenses and transportation.

And either had Sherman, who spent a part of his media session railing against the lack of understanding regarding the time demands on student-athletes.

"I don't think college athletes are given enough time to take advantage of the free education they're given," Sherman said. "It's frustrating because a lot of people get upset with student-athletes and say you're not focused on school and not taking advantage of the opportunity you're given.

"I would love for a regular student, for just one semester, to have a student-athlete schedule during the season and show me how you balance that. Show me how you would schedule your classes when you can't schedule classes for 2 to 6 o'clock on any given day.

"Show me how you're going to get all your work done when you get out [of practice and meetings] at 7:30 or so and have a test the next day and you're dead tired from practice and you still have to study and get the same work done."

Sherman, who told the reporter he appreciated the question before going on his 640-word rant — the longest answer he gave all day — also noted that despite all the time invested in the sport, student-athletes didn’t have enough money to enjoy what little free time they did have.

"And people are upset that student-athletes need a little cash," Sherman said. "I tell you from experience that one time I had negative 40 bucks in my account. It was in the negative more times than positive. You have to make a decision whether you put gas in your car or get a meal.

"People say you get room and board and they pay for your education. But to [the school officials'] knowledge, you're there to play football. Those are the things coaches tell you every day. Luckily I was blessed to go to Stanford, a school primarily focused on academics. But as [former Stanford coach] Jim Harbaugh would attest, we were still there to play football."

This isn’t some new argument, but it is becoming a tired one. Sherman graduated Stanford with honors and took full advantage of everything his education had to offer. But he — and every other student-athlete — knew exactly what he was getting into when he signed on to be a student and be an athlete. It’s demanding, but it does come with a free education, and quite honestly, it’s not too much different from a student who gets a scholarship, but has to maintain a high GPA to keep it. Athletes are only required to keep a 2.0 GPA. So while Sherman paints this picture of keeping his nose in a book for 90 percent of his college career, there are plenty of athletes who take full advantage of their free education by doing the bare minimum while making sure to attend every party possible.

Bennett, who again, has been far too busy with preparing for the Super Bowl to keep up with college news, has a plan to compensate college players for their time.

"I think the NCAA should come up with a plan for college athletes to receive some of the money they bring into the schools,” Bennett said. “My school, Texas A&M, I think makes $50 million just on jersey sales. So I would say pay $60,000 [to student-athletes] for every year you stay in college. Keep that in a 401(k). After you graduate, hold that money until you are a certain age and then you get the money."

OK, this plan is absurd and unrealistic and $50 million on jersey sales? What? Colleges would go broke if they tried to pay EVERY student-athlete $60,000 a year in addition to the basics of tuition, room, board, books, etc. Most college students don’t make $60,000 in their first job, but the third-string linebacker, who doesn’t see the field in two seasons, should be making $60,000 a year? OK.

Look this is a much longer argument for another forum, but shelling out more $2 million yearly for student-athletes on top of the other millions that are already shelled out for collegiate basics would put most programs in the red.

While several student-athletes, such as former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, have painted a rosy picture of college athlete life — Winston claimed that he didn’t need more than the scholarship he was given — Bennett painted a deplorable picture of athlete life during his time at A&M, which is why the steep compensation would be the only solution to making athletes feel better.

"I think there are very few schools that actually care about the players," Bennett said. "Guys break their legs and they get the worst surgery they could possibly get by the worst doctors with the worst treatment."

Yeah, that Dr. James Andrews guy, who did Braxton Miller’s shoulder and many other major collegiate surgeries, is the worst.

"They don't understand," Bennett continued. "When I was in college, I was going to class and some student came up to me and said, 'I'm paying your tuition.' I said, 'You don't pay my damn tuition. My mom paid that when she worked two jobs and I woke up every morning at 6 a.m. and worked hard.' Student-athletes don't get enough credit.”

So today, when you’re out and about on a college campus, hug a student athlete. Apparently, they need it.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 30, 2015, 4:40 pm

Jim Mora does not appear to be very Twitter-savvy.

The UCLA head coach deactivated his account following his handshake fiasco with Kansas State coach Bill Snyder at the Alamo Bowl. However, earlier this month, Mora’s Twitter account resurfaced.

It didn’t last long.

On Thursday, Mora accidentally tweeted out a photo of five-star guard Maea Teuhema, an LSU commit that Mora is trying to flip to UCLA. BruinsNation.com was able to get a screenshot of the tweet, which featured Teuhema photoshopped into a Bruins uniform.

(via BruinsNation.com)

Mora presumably attempted to send the photo to Teuhema via direct message. Instead, the photo was visible to be seen by his thousands of followers. It’s also an NCAA violation.

To explain the gaffe, Mora took a familiar route and said his account was “hacked.”

(via BruinsNation.com)

To take it even further, Mora’s account is once again deactivated.

He should probably just avoid Twitter at all costs moving forward.

For more UCLA news, visit BruinSportsReport.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 30, 2015, 4:11 pm

(via Rivals)Oh, recruiting. You are so weird.

Deondre Francois, the top dual-threat quarterback in the country according to Rivals.com, tweeted Thursday afternoon that he decommitted from Florida State. However, a few minutes later, Francois mysteriously deleted the tweet and left Seminoles fans scratching their heads.

Things got weirder when an assistant at Francois’ school, IMG Academy, told a reporter, Jacksonville.com’s Richard Johnson, that Francois did indeed decommit from FSU. The tweet with that news soon disappeared too when Johnson reached out to IMG Academy head coach Chris Weinke (yes, that Chris Weinke).

Just spoke to Francois' HS coach Chris Weinke, he has NOT spoken to Francois yet. "we're still trying to gather information"

— Richard Johnson (@RagjUF) January 29, 2015

Weinke says he does not know yes or no if Francois has decommited from FSU.

— Richard Johnson (@RagjUF) January 29, 2015

"he does not speak for the program" is what Weinke told me RT @Austin_Reier: @RagjUF what happened to the OL coach that confirmed?

— Richard Johnson (@RagjUF) January 29, 2015

And then after all of that, nearly three hours after Francois’ initial tweet, the quarterback re-affirmed his commitment to the Seminoles and said his account was hacked.

I apologize for the inconvenience. It was a mistake. My Twitter account was hacked. I am still 100% committed to FSU #Tribe15

— Dirtie (@Deondre_3) January 29, 2015

Ah, that notorious Twitter hacker strikes again.

Francois is the No. 39 rated player in the class of 2015, so it would have been a big loss for Florida State’s class.

As it currently stands, the Seminoles’ class is ranked No. 4 in the country by Rivals behind Clemson, USC and Alabama. Of course, those rankings can always change as the recruiting cycle comes to a close with National Signing Day on Wednesday.

For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 30, 2015, 3:13 pm

Apr 19, 2014; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers athletic director Mike Alden stands on the sidelines during the Black & Gold Game at Faurot Field. (Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports)Missouri athletic director Mike Alden announced Thursday he was stepping down after 17 years with the program.

Alden’s resignation is effective Aug. 31, 2015. The school will hold an official press conference on Friday.

Alden, one of the nation’s longest-tenured athletic directors, helped transition the Tigers from the Big 12 to the SEC, a conference in which it has won back-to-back SEC East title in football.

Alden wrote in a note to fans that while he’s leaving his post as athletic director, he won’t be leaving the university. Alden will help launch the Center for Global Service Learning Leadership on campus as well as teach in the College of Education.

“As one chapter ends, another one begins and I am excited that I will be part of the College of Education as an instructor where I will participate in the Positive Coaching Program and higher education leadership courses,” Alden wrote.

Alden became the athletic director at Missouri in 1998, replacing Joe Castiglione, who left for Oklahoma.

For more Missouri news, visit PowerMizzou.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 29, 2015, 10:54 pm

(Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports)In accordance with the ACC’s decision to stick with an eight-game conference schedule, the league decided that each team must play a non-conference game against a power conference opponent starting in 2017.

Now, BYU will reportedly meet that requirement for the ACC.

Last year, the ACC announced that the Cougars would not count as a Power 5 opponent, but according to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, the league has changed its stance.

BYU has played in a bowl game in 10 straight seasons under head coach Bronco Mendenhall, so, per McMurphy, “the ACC believes games against BYU would help the league’s overall strength of schedule.”

There’s more too it than that, however.

From McMurphy:

The reason for the change was because three of the four remaining Power 5 leagues (Big 12, Pac 12 and Big Ten) play nine conference games or will be going to nine conference games, meaning fewer non-conference opportunities, a source said.

Virginia is the only ACC team to currently have future matchups scheduled with BYU – at Virginia in 2019 and at BYU in 2023. The teams also played in 2013 and 2014 with each team winning once.

Like the ACC did last year, the SEC does not count BYU toward its Power 5 scheduling requirement (which begins in 2015). According to McMurphy, an SEC spokesman said “the SEC’s stance toward BYU has not changed.”

For more BYU news, visit CougarNation.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 29, 2015, 8:31 pm

Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. throws a pass against Washington Huskies. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)Oregon’s replacement for Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota may come from the FCS level.

According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, Vernon Adams Jr., a record-setting quarterback at Eastern Washington, has been offered a scholarship by Oregon and will visit the school this upcoming weekend.

Adams, who finished his redshirt junior season in 2014, has not committed to leaving Eastern Washington, but the offer from the Ducks is understandably enticing.

“I’m not saying I’m leaving Eastern, but I’m just going to check it out and see what they have to say,” Adams said.

Adams, who has thrown for 10,438 yards, 110 touchdowns and 31 interceptions in three years, said he will fly to Eugene on Friday and return to EWU on Sunday. He told the Spokesman-Review that he first spoke with Oregon coaches, including head coach Mark Helfrich, late last week.

He fits the Oregon mold of a mobile quarterback. In addition to his gaudy passing stats, he also has 1,232 rushing yards and 11 scores in his career.

If he were to transfer to Oregon, he’d have just one season of eligibility remaining and could play immediately after graduating in the spring. He’d enter a quarterback competition full of inexperience. The Ducks return last season’s backup Jeff Lockie, along with Morgan Mahalak, Ty Griffin and Taylor Alie. Additionally, Rivals.com four-star recruit Travis Waller, the 49th-best prospect in the country, is expected to sign with the Ducks on National Signing Day.

Of course, there’s no guarantee the 6-foot, 190-pound Adams would win the starting role.

“I’m not going there to be a walk-on or a second-stringer,” he said. “But if I do go down there, I’m going to work my butt off.”

Eastern Washington has gone 35-8 with Adams as a starter (including a win over Oregon State and a narrow loss to Washington), so the draw of chasing an FCS title could also draw him back to the Cheney, Wash., campus.

“Just the family I’ve made here and the people. I love it in Cheney,” Adams said.

Even if he doesn’t transfer, he’ll play in Autzen Stadium in 2015. Oregon opens its season against the Eagles in Eugene on Sept. 5.

For more Oregon news, visit DuckSportsAuthority.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 29, 2015, 4:49 pm

Back in October, Matthew McConaughey made an appearance at Texas football practice. On Wednesday, the Longhorns got to interact with another celebrity.

This time it was comedian Kevin Hart.

While McConaughey gave the rebuilding Longhorns a speech, Hart decided to hit the weight room with the team during its offseason conditioning workouts.

Fun day in weight room with @KevinHart4real visiting. Pat Moorer even put actor/comedian through a rigorous workout. pic.twitter.com/IcJlWrPlcJ

— Longhorn_FB (@Longhorn_FB) January 28, 2015

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@KevinHart4real up in the weight room getting his grind on! #HookEm pic.twitter.com/Tk1P0QRvqb

— James Hester (@JHesIronDog) January 28, 2015

Freshman linebacker Malik Jefferson even got some video of Hart getting work in at the indoor track.

Get that work in @KevinHart4real #HookEm pic.twitter.com/sSYu77dAkz

— Malik Jefferson 4⃣6⃣ (@Official_MalikJ) January 28, 2015

And after he completed his workout, Hart thanked Texas for the hospitality.

Major thank you to the "Longhorns" for allowing me to use their gym facilities today!!! It was amazing....I ... http://t.co/xj5qCjpcfp

— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) January 28, 2015

For more Texas news, visit Orangebloods.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 29, 2015, 3:45 pm

Based on this video posted by Dare Ogunbowale, it appears that Wisconsin would still be in good hands if kicker Rafael Gaglianone ever went down with an injury.

Ogunbowale, a redshirt sophomore who moved from defensive back to running back during the 2014 season, showed off his impressive kicking skills in an Instagram post earlier in the week.

Watch this:

I don’t know if I’ve ever really seen anything like that. He flips the ball up with his right foot and then generates a spin with his left foot. He then takes a few steps back and drills what looks to be a 25-yard field goal with plenty of room to spare.

The 5-foot-11, 188-pound Ogunbowale played in all 14 games for the Badgers in 2014, registering 10 total tackles while also running for 193 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him on the kicking depth chart next season.

For more Wisconsin news, visit BadgerBlitz.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 29, 2015, 3:11 pm

According to David Feaster, the high school coach of LSU QB Brandon Harris, the quarterback is committed to LSU. However, Feaster wanted him to transfer after a less-than-stellar 2014.

In an interview on the Tim Fletcher Show, he said he told Harris he needed to go the junior college route with a transfer.

(You can listen to the audio at the 17-minute mark)

"I’m eating dinner with Brandon tonight, hadn’t talked to him in a couple of weeks," Feaster said. "The last time I talked with him I was trying to talk him into transferring. Please get out of there. I wanted him to go to junior college. You go to junior college and because he’s a qualifier, you can just be there for one year. You can leave at midterm, start the recruiting process all over again at the midterm of next year and you can be gone and at a better place and all that. And I couldn’t talk him into it, he said ‘I’m all about LSU.’"

“I couldn’t talk him into it. Brandon is really enjoying LSU and he’s all in for it and he’s just going to try to compete and maybe they’ll get a different set of criteria this year on how they choose their quarterback and maybe he’ll get a shot.”

Harris played sparingly early for LSU and got to start against Auburn. That start didn't go well, as he completed 3-14 passes in a 41-7 loss to the Tigers. As Anthony Jennings took over as the quarterback the rest of the way, Harris' playing time was even more limited. He didn't play in LSU's final three games of the year.

He finished 25-45 passing for 452 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. Harris, who was a freshman in 2014, should get every opportunity to start again in 2015. But given LSU's quarterback play last season, that's not much of an endorsement. If LSU is to jump back into the top two in the West next season, either Harris or Jennings or whoever ends up as the Tigers' QB will have to be markedly improved.

For more LSU news, visit Tigerbait.com.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 28, 2015, 11:49 pm

Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham discusses the first week of practice for the Cardinals. Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.  (AP Photo/Garry Jones)After reportedly being offered the defensive coordinator position with the Oakland Raiders, Louisville’s Todd Grantham has decided to stay with the program.

Grantham recently finished his first year as Louisville’s defensive coordinator under head coach Bobby Petrino and has three years remaining on his four-year deal.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to have interviewed for the defensive coordinator position with the Oakland Raiders, but I'm committed to the University of Louisville," Grantham said in a statement. "I said when I came to Louisville that I thought we could win a national championship, and we are building toward that goal with the success we had this season.

"Coach Petrino and Tom Jurich have given me a great opportunity and I'm grateful for their commitment. My family loves it in Louisville, and I think we are establishing something special here with head coach Bobby Petrino and our staff. Our main objective over the next week is to finish strong in recruiting and continue to bolster this signing class."

If he had accepted the Oakland job, it would have been a return to the NFL where he coached from 1999-2009 with the Indianapolis Colts (1999-2001), Houston Texans (2002-04), Cleveland Browns (2005-07) and Dallas Cowboys (2008-09).

Before accepting the Louisville job, Grantham was the defensive coordinator at Georgia from 2010-13. He also spent time as a defensive assistant at Michigan State and Virginia Tech in the 90’s.

Under Grantham’s watch, Louisville’s defense was 24th in the country in scoring defense and 10th in rushing defense in 2014.

"We're very pleased and happy that Todd is going to be staying at the University of Louisville," head coach Bobby Petrino said.

"He's done a fabulous job with our defense that ranked in the top 10. He's one of the finest assistant coaches in the country, and you expect excellent coaches like Todd to get opportunities in the NFL. I've always had respect for the job that Todd has done throughout his career, especially this past year at Louisville, and we're happy that he has and family will continue to be members of the Cardinals' family."

The Cardinals finished 9-4 in 2014.

For more Louisville news, visit CardinalSports.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 28, 2015, 11:34 pm

Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, right, looks for a receiver as teammate Chris Swain blocks Army linebacker James Kelly. Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)Navy is joining the American Athletic Conference this fall, but the timing of its annual rivalry game against Army could jeopardize its eligibility to participate in a New Year’s Six bowl game.

According to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, the College Football Playoff management committee is concerned that Navy could be ranked high enough to earn a bid to a CFP-affiliated bowl, and then lose to Army the weekend after the final rankings are voted on.

If that were to happen, a possible Navy loss to Army would not factor in the Midshipmen’s final ranking. To change this, certain conference commissioners say the Army-Navy game should be moved up and played before the final rankings are unveiled.

“All games should be done by Selection Sunday (Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015) for those teams to be considered for a College Football Playoff bowl,” Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson told ESPN.

Per McMurphy, Thompson and Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson believe that “any schools playing after the final rankings are released should be ineligible for a spot in the College Football Playoff or a New Year’s Six bowl.”

College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock says the date for the final rankings will not be changed.

“The rankings compiled by the committee on selection day will be the final version for purposes of identifying the teams in the playoff,” Hancock said.

In that circumstance, if Navy was the highest-ranked team from the Group of 5 when the final rankings were released, the Midshipmen would play in a New Year’s Six bowl regardless of the outcome of the Army-Navy game.

The issue will be discussed when the management committee (the 10 FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick) meet in April.

Typically, the Army-Navy game is played a week after most conference championship games on the second Saturday in December, making it the only college game played that day. Next season’s contest is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start on Saturday, Dec. 12 in Philadelphia.

The history of the game makes it a bit of a delicate issue.

"Given the rich history of the Army-Navy game, its patriotic significance and pageantry, I can appreciate the desire of the academies to play on a stand-alone date with the eyes of the nation able to watch," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told ESPN. "However at this juncture, I'm not sure how best to address the impact of the game's outcome on the CFP given Navy's move into the American Athletic Conference, and the potential for it to secure a spot in the structure as a conference champion, or highly ranked non-champion.

“I will want to discuss this possibility and viable options with my FBS commissioner colleagues before formulating a recommended course.”

For one, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk is against moving the game.

“It needs to be a stand-alone game,” Gladchuk said. “That game has become a focal point for America. It’s just a wonderful event, an opportunity to showcase what America is all about. I’m hopeful [the committee] will find a solution and I’m confident they will.”

While it’s unlikely that the Midshipmen could potentially shake up the top of the rankings, the team could certainly enter the picture as the top-ranked team from the Group of 5 conferences.

Teams like Marshall, Memphis and Northern Illinois were in the picture in 2014 before Boise State emerged at No. 20 when the season ended to clinch a Fiesta Bowl berth. If the Midshipmen were to put together a Boise-like season and then lose to Army – a program that has had two winning seasons in the past 20 – it would not be a good look for the College Football Playoff.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 28, 2015, 10:22 pm

Oregon defensive lineman Sam Kamp won’t return to the field for his fifth season in 2015.

The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Kamp recently finished his redshirt junior season with the Ducks and had one more season of eligibility remaining, but he announced Tuesday night that he’s moving on. He also confirmed the decision in a text message to The Oregonian.

“I'm incredibly blessed to have made so many amazing memories playing for this team. I'm so grateful to God, to my loving family and close friends, to my coaches, trainers and support staff who together are better than any other program in the nation, and especially to my teammates who I've spent a seriously ridiculous amount of hours grinding with,” Kamp wrote on his Instagram account.

“This season has been a once in a lifetime experience and even though we didn't finish with a win, it was an unforgettable finish to my athletic career. I'll graduate this spring as a proud University of Oregon double major and I can't wait to find out what opportunities I can take advantage of in the future!"

Kamp was a regular contributor on the second unit of the Ducks’ defense in 2014 as he registered 20 tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack while appearing in all 15 of the team’s games.

He told The Oregonian that his decision to move on stemmed from concerns about his health moving forward in his life. He finished his career at nearly 300 pounds after bulking up last offseason. He says he's already down to 270 pounds. 

"I've seen a lot of teammates and heard a lot of stories about guys who have graduated, o-linemen and d-linemen especially, who've had issues with their weight and oftentimes they don't get that off in their later years," said Kamp, adding head coach Mark Helfrich and defensive line coach Ron Aiken understood his choice and were supportive. "They have issues with the bones in their knees, hips, neck, back and I was starting to feel a lot of those problems for myself. I made the call that I've graduated and I didn't think the NFL was taking much interest into me. It was a purely business, life decision, just to move on for my own sake and my future family's sake."

In 2013, Kamp played in 10 games and had nine tackles and in 2012 Kamp played in eight games and notches five tackles.

Kamp, a native of Mesa, Ariz., was a three-star recruit in Oregon’s 2011 class.

For more Oregon news, visit DuckSportsAuthority.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 28, 2015, 6:46 pm

New Michigan assistant coach Jay Harbaugh dropped a bombshell last week when he revealed that his father, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, once ate cereal using Gatorade instead of milk.

Fortunately for Jim Harbaugh, the Michigan students and Alumni Association have his back and have assembled the “Harbaugh Breakfast Challenge.”

As you can see, the results were mixed. The Fruit Punch Gatorade and Apple Jacks combo seemed to be a hit here, but the rest – especially anything involving Frosted Flakes or Wheaties – received less than stellar reviews from the students.

Hopefully Harbaugh can provide a little clarity as to what combination of Gatorade and cereal creates the most well-rounded and delicious breakfast.

We’re waiting on you, Jim.

For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 28, 2015, 2:43 pm

Ever wondered how much distance TCU coach Gary Patterson covers during a game? We now have a good idea.

Ashley Stamp, a student manager for TCU in 2014, posted the following distances from her pedometer on Tuesday. Stamp was one of the managers assigned to Patterson on game days, so she went wherever he went. Behold the results:

How much does Coach P walk per game? I wore a pedometer this year as I assisted him :) @TCUSID @TCUFootball #gofrogs pic.twitter.com/vKKpPJ7wtT

— Ashley Stamp (@Astamp22) January 27, 2015

If you're familiar with TCU's schedule, you'll immediately notice a correlation between the closeness and/or significance of the game with the distance that was covered. The three most-traveled games were against Baylor (TCU's only loss of the season), at West Virginia (a nailbiting win) and the Peach Bowl against Ole Miss. The two most stationary games were TCU's 82-27 win over Texas Tech and the Horned Frogs' 55-3 win over Iowa State.

Now we need to start tracking the pounds rowed by the man in charge of taming Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 28, 2015, 2:15 pm

An Eastern Kentucky player was allegedly involved in a bar fight with three Kentucky players in Richmond, Ky.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, two witnesses allege that EKU lineman Colton Scurry was the aggressor in the altercation that also involved Kentucky's Dorian Baker, Drew Barker and Tymere Dubose.

Scurry's father said his son has multiple facial fractures from the incident, which is being investigated by Eastern Kentucky police as an off-campus assault.

From the Courier-Journal:

"We were in the back part of Jerzees," said Will Ruholt, a friend of Barker's from Conner High School. "A couple people started talking (abusively) and things started to get a little heated. Colton Scurry is the one who started the entire fight. He pushed me. Multiple people can verify that."

Zach Littleton, an EKU sophomore who said he accompanied the UK players, also described Scurry as the instigator.

"I was actually pretty sober and I was watching everything that was going down," Littleton said. "Basically what happened was a bunch of UK football players come in and all you hear is, 'This is my neighborhood. What are you doing here?'

"I know if there's any video, you'll see I'm trying to defuse the situation. I was getting between them and saying, 'Calm down. Calm down.' (But) As soon as (Scurry) pushed Will, it was just a big mess. From what I saw, it wasn't just Colton. I saw a bunch of people swinging for no reason."

Scurry's father said he's "healing" and they're trying to let the legal process take its course.

You may recognize the names of Baker, Barker and Dubose from an off-field incident in 2014. They were three of the four Kentucky players charged with firing pellet guns on campus in October. Following that incident, they were suspended for the Wildcats' win over South Carolina. A Kentucky spokesperson offered no comment on the fight allegations.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 28, 2015, 12:50 pm

Cory Batey testifies in his own defense during the his trial Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. Former players Batey and Brandon Vandenburg are standing trial on five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. (AP Photo/Larry McCormack, Pool)A jury has convicted two former Vanderbilt football players of raping a fellow student.

Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey were found guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery. The victim was a 21-year-old neuroscience and economics major at the time of the June 2013 attack.

Both men, who are 21— Batey turned 21 on Tuesday — face several years in prison when they are sentenced on March 6.

The jury, which took just three hours to deliberate, heard two weeks of testimony from several witness, including police, former and current Vanderbilt students and the victim, who said she couldn’t remember the attack. The only thing she could remember was drinking with Vandenburg and waking up in a strange dorm room.

However, cell phone photos taken by the perpetrators and surveillance video from the dormitory told the story. Closed-circuit video showed the players carrying an unconscious woman into an elevator and down a hallway. It also showed players taking pictures of the unconscious woman in compromising positions before dragging her into the dorm room.

Players took cell phone photos of the passed out woman and sent then to their friends. Those images were enough for the jury to convict despite defense lawyers claiming that both players were too drunk to know what they were doing and saying that a college culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex was to blame.

The victim was in the courtroom at the time the verdicts were read and cried as each was announced.

During the trial, Vandenburg's lawyer maintained his client didn’t participate in the rape, but was complicit in taking photos and sending them to friends, including a pair in California. However, witnesses testified that Vandenburg, who was the victim’s boyfriend, handed out condoms to the other assailants and encouraged them to have sex with her.

Batey’s lawyer claimed his client should be declared not guilty because the images did not explicitly show him assaulting the woman, though he was present in the images.

Following the verdict, the university released a statement standing by its decision to dismiss the players form the school.

"We will also continue our comprehensive ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the importance of every Vanderbilt student intervening when another student is at risk or in distress," the statement read.

Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie and Brandon Banks, two players who also were involved in the incident, are awaiting trial for their roles in the assault. No trial date has been set. McKenzie testified during this trial he did not touch the woman, but did take pictures.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 28, 2015, 1:08 am

The Mariota Era is officially not over at Oregon.

Matthew Mariota, brother of Heisman-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota, has elected to walk-on at Oregon, according to a report by KHON2.

Matthew Mariota is a 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive lineman, who played both end and outside linebacker in high school.

He does not have a page on any of the major recruiting sites, but was an Interscholastic League of Honolulu honorable mention selection.

Marcus Mariota elected to forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft. He is currently working out in San Diego while training for the NFL combine in late February.

For more Oregon news, visit DuckSportsAuthority.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 27, 2015, 8:46 pm

Iowa running back Akrum Wadley (25) stiff arms Northwestern linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo (44). Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, in Iowa City, Iowa . (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)Two Iowa running backs reportedly had a little too much fun on Saturday night.

According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Jonathan Parker and Akrum Wadley were cited for a “disorderly house” charge after Iowa City Police were called to a loud party.

The complainant reported “yelling and an outside party” and Parker and Wadley, both 19, were “issued citations for the scene.” The two are scheduled to appear in court for the incident on Feb. 11.

Wadley apparently wasn’t too discrete about the party, either. He sent an invite for the party “to the entire (Iowa) class of 2017” on Facebook.

Both backs were redshirt freshmen for the Hawkeyes in 2014. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Wadley, a native of Newark, N.J., rushed for 186 yards and a score on 33 carries, most of which came in a 106-yard effort in a win over Northwestern on Nov. 1.

Parker, a 5-foot-8, 180-pound back from St. Louis, Mo., had 141 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries in 2014. He also caught three passes for 42 yards and led the team with 531 kick return yards.

For more Iowa news, visit HawkeyeReport.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 27, 2015, 7:18 pm

Aug 30, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners safety Hatari Byrd (4) knocks a pass down in front of Louisiana Tech Bulldogs running back Hunter Lee (back) during the first half at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)Oklahoma safety Hatari Byrd was cited by Norman Police following an incident early Saturday morning.

According to the Tulsa World, the 20-year-old Byrd was cited “on complaints of possession of drug paraphernalia by a minor and possession of alcohol by a minor.” He was pulled over after being observed “driving left and of the center line and right of lane markers and speeding” after 2 a.m. on Jan. 24.

After being pulled over, Byrd was reportedly found to be in possession of a small bag of marijuana in the driver’s seat. There was also a bottle of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey reportedly “in the passenger floorboard.”

Byrd was cited for two misdemeanor offenses and then “released from the scene.”

When asked for comment on Byrd's citation, an OU spokesperson told SoonerScoop.com that the program "is aware of the matter and it is being handled internally."

Byrd, who is expected to compete for a starting role as a junior next season, appeared in all 13 games for the Sooners in 2014. He registered 17 tackles, three pass breakups and forced one fumble.

As a freshman in 2013, Byrd played in five games and had three tackles.

For more Oklahoma news, visit SoonerScoop.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 27, 2015, 5:14 pm

(via Rivals)Michigan has been doing all it can in order to salvage its 2015 recruiting class in the weeks since Jim Harbaugh arrived on campus. When Harbaugh was hired, the Wolverines had just six verbal commitments. Since then, Michigan has flipped three committed prospects, including former Nebraska commit Reuben Jones.

This week the Wolverines were after another Nebraska pledge, three-star defensive end DaiShon Neal.

This one didn’t work out quite as well for the Wolverines as Neal announced Tuesday morning that he is committed to Nebraska.

According to Mlive.com, Neal and his family hosted UM defensive line coach Greg Mattison at their home in Omaha on Monday night. Neal’s father, Abraham Hoskins Jr., told Omaha’s 1620 The Zone that he was close to suggesting his son flip his commitment to Michigan.

Things quickly changed, however.

"Michigan was a powerhouse, they came in and they stormed us, they made one bad statement and it was over," Hoskins told 1620 on air. "They said without football, Daishon wouldn't be able to go to Michigan. Like we couldn't afford to send him there, or that we couldn't get him in academically. Once he said that, we pretty much escorted him out of the house."

Added Neal: “(They) basically tried to call me stupid in front of my face.”

According to Rivals.com, the 6-foot-7, 245-pound Neal is the top-rated player in the state of Nebraska. He committed to the Huskers last April, but was considering other schools like Oregon and Oklahoma following Nebraska’s coaching change. After deciding those schools weren’t for him, Michigan was the latest school to enter the picture.

“I was leaning towards Michigan, with their academics, stats, everything,” Hoskins said. “What if he never played again in his life? That degree could have taken him anywhere.”

Now with Michigan out of the picture, Neal says he’ll sign with the Huskers.

I'm all N! 🌽🏈🔴⚪️⚫️#GBR!#HuskerPride!

— DJ (@DaishonNeal90) January 27, 2015

For more Nebraska news, visit HuskerOnline.com.

For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 27, 2015, 4:13 pm

Cincinnati Bengals president Mike Brown, left, watches practice with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, center, and Kasich's daughter Reese. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)It turns out that this Oregon fan with a brand new Ohio State tattoo wasn’t the only one who put a wager on the College Football Playoff National Championship. The governors of Oregon and Ohio did too.

Per the Columbus Dispatch, Oregon governor John Kitzhaber followed through on the bet this week by sending Ohio governor John Kasich “cheese, honey and jam from the Beaver State.” The package arrived Monday morning, two weeks after the Buckeyes knocked off the Ducks, 42-20.

Additionally, a six-pack of Total Domination IPA from Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene is en route to Kasich’s office. It was shipped separately.

If Oregon pulled out the victory, Kasich was prepared to ship out “a six-pack of Columbus Brewing Co. IPA, buckeye candy and a tray of lasagna from the Monte Carlo restaurant in Westerville.”

Not too shabby for a friendly wager. Not only does Kasich get the sweet taste of victory, he now has a taste of some fine Oregon delicacies.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

For more Oregon news, visit DuckSportsAuthority.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 27, 2015, 3:34 pm

With National Signing Day coming next Wednesday, five-star running back Soso Jamabo – the top-rated player in the state of Texas according to Rivals.com – has a big decision to make.

While he’s taken official visits to Texas and Texas A&M in recent weeks, he’s also considering two other off the radar schools: University of Phoenix and ITT Tech.

I just wanna thank God.. pic.twitter.com/cdnMiGzNQ4

— SOMI JaMITCHELL (@Soso_Jamabo1) January 26, 2015

Of course, University of Phoenix and ITT Tech are both online universities and neither have a football program, so Jamabo is having some fun and joking around about the hectic recruiting process.

The Longhorns are considered by some to be the favorite to land the 6-foot-2, 201-pound Jamabo, but Jamabo is also considering UCLA, Texas A&M, Baylor and Notre Dame.

Jamabo, a native of Plano, Texas, is the fourth-best running back and the No. 22 overall prospect in the class of 2015 according to Rivals.com.

He’ll reportedly announce his decision on signing day.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 27, 2015, 2:50 pm

January 10, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; College Football Playoff selection committee chairman Jeff Long speaks during fanfest at Dallas Convention Center. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long has been re-elected as the chairman of the College Football Playoff committee.

“Jeff has been a terrific chair and I am delighted that the committee elected him to serve again,” executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement. “Jeff is a thoughtful and dedicated leader who conducted the meetings skillfully. He also did a very good job answering questions about the rankings so fans could gain insight into the committee’s decisions. It’s clear that he has the full respect and confidence of the other committee members.”

Long served as the committee chairman during the inaugural season and took a lot of heat throughout the year by pundits and fans for the lack of consistency in the committee’s weekly voting. Long often was left to explain during ESPN’s weekly rankings show the reasoning behind the committee’s decisions.

He was also the target of ire from Baylor and TCU fans, who thought the two Big 12 teams were treated unfairly during the final week of the rankings.

Long is one of 13 members of the College Football Playoff selection committee, though only 12 voted this year after Archie Manning resigned from the committee because of health concerns. Each member serves a three-year term, but it is unclear whether Manning will be back or replaced.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 26, 2015, 9:38 pm

Oversharing is a rampant problem on social media and Penn State defensive back Bryant Harper learned the consequences of that Monday.

Harper tweeted out that he received a "B" on his first anatomy exam and he was proud of the grade because he didn’t actually study for the test.

Unfortunately for Harper, coach James Franklin is an avid @HarperJR21 follower and decided to chime in on his player’s boasting.

@HarperJR21 you didn't study huh, interesting, guess I need to up your study hall hours! We don't settle for B's!

— James Franklin (@coachjfranklin) January 26, 2015

Franklin was probably kidding (or was he?), but it’s a good lesson to always think about what you tweet even if it seems like a good thing.

Harper quickly blamed the lack of studying on a scheduling issue.

@coachjfranklin forget when the exam was coach minor difficulty in my scheduling!

— Bryant Harper (@HarperJR21) January 26, 2015

He should have hastagged it “#collegeadvisors #amirite.”

Sadly it’s now dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t for Harper. If he says he didn’t study, he gets extra study hall hours. If he says he did study and still got a B, he gets extra study hall hours.

Best just to delete your Twitter account now and hang your head in shame.

For more Penn State news, visit BlueandWhiteIllustrated.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 26, 2015, 9:16 pm

Michigan’s Justice Hayes will head elsewhere for his final season of college football.

Hayes, a running back, announced Monday that he will graduate from Michigan in April and pursue an opportunity as a graduate transfer. Hayes said that new Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh invited him back for his fifth year with the program, but he decided it was in his best interests to leave Ann Arbor.

The four years I have spent at this institution have brought some great memories that I will cherish… http://t.co/HJHPr6R15A

— Justice Hayes (@810hay) January 26, 2015

I will always be a Michigan man fans. I love u all. I have had a great 4 years at this school and wouldn't change it for the world! #goblue

— Justice Hayes (@810hay) January 26, 2015

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“The four years I have spent at this institution have brought some great memories that I will cherish forever,” Hayes wrote on Instagram. “The fact that I will be graduating from the University of Michigan in April will be meritorious. I have earned team captain on numerous occasions, won respect from coaches and players, and most importantly played my heart out every Saturday. I truly appreciate the offer from Coach Harbaugh to allow me to return for my 5th year, but I have decided that I will choose another college to play football as a graduate student.

“I'm not an emotional person, but a few days back I cried because I knew it was time for me to move on. There will be people out there that disagree with this tough decision I made, but they won't be the ones that cut me checks in the future. I just want to continue to get closer to God, take care of my family, and be happy.”

The 5-foot-10, 194-pound Hayes ran for 213 yards on 48 carries in 2014 – both career highs – as a backup for the 5-7 Wolverines. He also caught 11 passes for 65 yards on the season.

Previously, Hayes gained 89 yards and scored one touchdown on 20 carries combined in 2012 and 2013 following a redshirt season in 2011. He also caught six passes for 40 yards in 2013.

Despite Hayes’ departure, Michigan still has some solid depth at running back in 2015. De’Veon Smith (519 yards) and Derrick Smith (471 yards), both juniors, will return. Additionally, USC transfer Ty Isaac, a redshirt sophomore, will be eligible to play while redshirt junior Drake Johnson (361 yards) rehabs from a torn ACL suffered in the season finale against Ohio State.

For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 26, 2015, 8:09 pm

UCF announced Monday that it is expanding Bright House Networks Stadium with a new feature that will create one of the more unique environments in all of college football.

That new feature is the East Side Club (ESC), a “10,000 square-foot, Florida-themed social area and lounge located between the 30-yard lines.” According to a release, it will feature “chair-back stadium seating, as well as an open-air sun deck to enjoy the game.” Additionally, “refreshments, televisions, private restrooms and other amenities” will be available.

It is expected to be ready for the Knights’ first game on Sept. 5. Here’s what it will look like:

(via UCF athletics)
(via UCF athletics)

“The ESC gives us an opportunity to expand our premium experience offerings,” UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury said. “The Florida-themed ESC gives us an opportunity to reinforce our location, which I believe is a major asset. The ESC will provide a window into the UCF and Central Florida culture and personality to potential students, recruits, fans, friends and supporters.”

(via UCF athletics)

The ESC, which has a capacity of 950, will also feature “pre and post-game hours.” According to the Orlando Sentinel, club members who “pay premium access to the new beach bar” will be allowed to bring their alcoholic beverages to their seats, an amenity not available at the stadium since it opened in 2007.

Per the Sentinel, school officials say the project will cost $2.6 million.

For more UCF news, visit UCFSports.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 26, 2015, 6:22 pm

College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock poses with the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy in Irving, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)Year one of the College Football Playoff was a huge success with the two semifinal games falling on New Year’s Day. Next year, however, the two semifinal games are scheduled for New Year’s Eve.

ESPN apparently isn’t too happy about it.

According to the Sports Business Journal, ESPN executives “are lobbying CFP officials” to move next season’s semifinal games – the Capital One Orange Bowl and the Goodyear Cotton Bowl – from New Year’s Eve to Saturday Jan. 2, 2016.

On New Year’s Eve, ESPN’s broadcasts would compete with a bevy of countdown broadcasts that bring in the New Year. With ratings in mind, ESPN is hoping for a change.

From the SBJ:

Sources say that senior network executives as high up as ESPN President John Skipper are pushing for the change as a way to get better television ratings, but the CFP is unwilling to make such a move because it is committed to the original plan to hold tripleheader bowl games, including the semifinals, on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Despite ESPN’s wishes, the CFP isn’t budging.

“We’ve started a new tradition and we don’t want to back away from it now,” said Bill Hancock, the CFP’s executive director.

The championship game drew record ratings (33.4 million viewers), while the semifinals each drew “more than 28 million viewers.” According to the SBJ, “ESPN insiders say they are prepared for double-digit drops in viewership” if the games stay on New Year’s Eve.

On top of the wishes of ESPN, the NFL is mulling the possibility of expanding its playoffs. One of its new playoff games could potentially be moved to Monday, which would “compete directly with the CFP championship.”

Because of this, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly met with CFP commissioners to discuss a potential conflict.

From the SBJ:

Sources say NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell initiated a series of high-level meetings with some of the CFP’s most influential commissioners, including the SEC’s Mike Slive and the Big Ten’s Jim Delany. Goodell approached the commissioners to discuss the potential impact an NFL playoff expansion would have on the CFP championship game.

Additionally, Goodell reportedly “told the college commissioners that any playoff expansion likely would put a wild-card game on Monday night.”

The CFP’s 12-year contract with ESPN has the title game being played on a Monday night and Hancock said the CFP office is opposed to an NFL playoff game being played on the same night.

“We picked Monday night because it was open and it was the best night for our game. We announced that in June 2012,” Hancock said. “We established that our game was going to be on Monday night for 12 years.”

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 26, 2015, 5:40 pm

(Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports)North Carolina and Wake Forest, two ACC rivals, took an interesting approach to filling a slot in their non-conference schedules for 2019 and 2021.

Instead of looking outside the ACC, the two programs will square off in non-conference games – one at Wake Forest on September 14, 2019, and one at UNC on September 25, 2021. Because of the ACC’s scheduling arrangements, the two teams were not scheduled to play one another in those seasons. Now they will, but the game “will not factor into the ACC standings.”

“This is a unique opportunity to play a regional rival in years that fall outside the normal conference rotation,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said. “We have a long history with Wake Forest that has historical value and will generate interest within our fans.”

According to a release from UNC, this home-and-home arrangement is “the first time two members of a Power Five conference have agreed to play each other in a football series originally scheduled as non-conference games.”

North Carolina and Wake Forest have a rivalry that spans more than 100 years. In 105 meetings, the Tar Heels lead the series 68-35-2. The two teams played one another every year from 1944-2004 but now play on an infrequent basis due to the rotating schedule (which is set through 2024) stemming from the conference’s expansion to 14 teams (UNC and Wake are in different divisions).

This agreement also satisfies the ACC’s requirement of each program scheduling at least one power five team in its non-conference slate.

The two programs will meet in conference matchups in 2015 and 2022.

For more North Carolina news, visit TarHeelIllustrated.com.

For more Wake Forest news, visit DeaconsIllustrated.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 26, 2015, 4:50 pm

After two seasons of starting on the offensive line for Wake Forest, Cory Helms is headed to the SEC.

Helms, a freshman All-America selection in 2013 who decided to transfer earlier this month, announced Sunday that he will round out his career at South Carolina.

Helms visited South Carolina over the weekend and committed to the program on Sunday afternoon.

Officially decided to join #GameCockNation and finish my football career with @GamecockFB 🐓🐔blessed to be in the #SEC pic.twitter.com/UT5atHKkVI

— Cory Helms (@CoryHelms7251) January 25, 2015

Helms started 11 games at center for the Demon Deacons in 2013 before sliding over to left guard for the 2014 season. He will likely have to sit out the 2015 season with the Gamecocks due to NCAA transfer rules, but he told GoGamecocks.com that he and the school will make an appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility.

“I’m moving back closer to home because I live with a sick grandmother,” Helms, a native of Alpharetta, Ga., said. “That’s a big reason I’m coming here to be able to come back and help my grandmother.”

Helms took visits to Mississippi State and Texas A&M and had another scheduled for Penn State next weekend. Ultimately, he opted to end the process by choosing South Carolina.

The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Helms told GamecockCentral.com that the team’s depth at center also played a role in his choice.

“They definitely have a big need at center and I feel like I can come in and help them out big time there,” Helms said.

Helms said he bonded well with his future teammates during his visit.

“Everything was great,” Helms said. “The best part was being around the other offensive linemen. It was probably the first time I hung out with other recruits and the group of linemen I will be playing with. I felt like we had a good bond.”

Helms will enroll in May.

South Carolina went 7-6 in 2014.

For more South Carolina news, visit GamecockCentral.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 26, 2015, 3:18 pm

San Diego State hired a familiar name as its special teams coordinator.

The school announced Friday that former UNLV coach Bobby Hauck would join the coaching staff. The Rebels are in the Mountain West Conference along with the Aztecs.

“I’m excited about being here and working for Coach [Rocky] Long first of all,” Hauck told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “They are really good guys on this staff, and this is a tremendous place to live, so I’m enthused about that.”

Hauck, 50, coached at UNLV for five seasons and had an overall record of 15-49 before he resigned at the end of the 2014 season. His Rebels went to a bowl game after the 2013 season, losing to North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. In that season, UNLV was 7-6, meaning Hauck was 8-43 in his other four seasons.

“You kind of know what we’re going to get and know the league,” he also told the Review-Journal. “Certainly, that makes the transition easier.”

The most recent memory of San Diego State's special teams isn't a good one. The Aztecs lost to Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl after a missed field goal late in the fourth quarter.

Before coaching at UNLV, Hauck coached at Montana. UNLV hired Tony Sanchez as his replacement. Sanchez previously coached at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 25, 2015, 6:00 pm

In a documentary movie about reporting sexual assaults on college campuses, the woman who accused Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston of sexual assault reportedly explains her side of the events that transpired on the night of Dec. 6, 2012.

Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner and likely first-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft, was never charged. In December 2013, a Florida state prosecutor said there was a lack of evidence in the case to charge the quarterback.

He was also not charged with a violation of Florida State's code of conduct. The university hearing was in December, and according to retired Florida Supreme Court justice Major Harding, the man assigned to oversee the case, the evidence provided was insufficient to satisfy the burden of proof.

Per The Daily Beast, in "The Hunting Ground," the accuser says she became woozy after being bought a shot and after returning to Winston's apartment, she told him to stop having sex with her.

From The Daily Beast: (The woman's last name is removed in the quoted paragraphs)

On the night of December 6, 2012, just one week before finals, she was letting off some steam at Potbelly’s, a popular drinking establishment in Tallahassee. She claims in the film that, after having some drinks, a man was creepily following her around the bar—but she was saved when another man put his arm around her and told the guy she was his girlfriend, and to piss off. She says the man then bought her a shot, and after she took it, she started to become very woozy. She faintly remembers being taken in a cab to an apartment, and the next thing she knew, the man was on top of her, engaging in vaginal intercourse with her. She says she begged and pleaded for him to stop, and then saw the man’s roommate enter the bedroom and tell his friend, “Stop… What are you doing?” 

She says that the man ignored the roommate’s pleas, and took her to the bathroom, which could be locked from the inside. There, he pinned her head against the tiled floor with his hand, and continued to rape her. When he finished, the man allegedly said, “You can leave now.”

According to The Daily Beast, the woman said she had Winston drop her off at an intersection on his scooter and then she reported the incident. Winston said he dropped her off in front of a hall on the FSU campus and she walked through the hall's walkway on the way to her dorm.

The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will air on CNN in 2015. Below is a trailer from the film.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 25, 2015, 4:26 pm

Marcus Mariota is still deciding if he'll throw at the NFL combine.

The decision is clouded because Mariota said Saturday that he has a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder.

He landed on his shoulder hard when he was tackled by Ohio State's Joey Bosa after throwing a pass in the second half of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. He sat out a play after the hit – Mariota was slow to get up – but came back in and finished the game.

From the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:

"Right now we're still making that decision, whether to throw at the Combine. I had to kinda rest about a week-and-a-half," Mariota said, speaking at a press conference Saturday in Laie, where he was being honored as the first Polynesian College Football Player of the Year. "I sprained the AC joint (in his right, throwing, shoulder). But now, I'm able to throw. Feels good."

It's not ucommon for top quarterbacks to pass on throwing at the combine in favor of more controlled individual workouts. No matter if Mariota's workout is at the combine or not, it'll be a test to show he can make all the throws required of an NFL quarterback. Mariota is expected to be one of the first quarterbacks off the board in the 2015 NFL draft along with Florida State's Jameis Winston.

Mariota had been invited to the Senior Bowl, played Saturday in Mobile, Ala., but he declined the invitation. The shoulder injury likely helps explain that decision. The combine begins on Feb. 17.

"I had an opportunity to go to the Senior Bowl," Mariota said. "But as a family we decided it was best to come here and be a part of this.

"Being able to meet all these men is pretty remarkable. They paved the way for me and Polynesian athletes everywhere. For us, it's really just saying, 'Thank you.'"

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 25, 2015, 3:41 pm

The trend of making college football field turf a color other than green has just taken a bluish-green turn.

Coastal Carolina announced via Twitter this week that it was in the process of finalizing plays to lay teal turf in its stadium for 2015.

You read that right, teal.

Coastal Carolina's Teal Turf rendering @CCUJoeMoglia pic.twitter.com/I3DFu6dDVC

— CCU Chanticleers (@GoCCUsports) January 23, 2015

It’s that color that’s not quite green and not quite blue and definitely not turquoise. It’s the color of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins, but neither of those teams thought the color would look good on the turf.

This is what happens when you go 12-2 and finish as Big South co-champions for the third consecutive season. You start getting wild ideas about what football turf should really look like.

Go ahead, called me a traditionalist stick in the mud for thinking that grass should be green. Honestly, we can all blame Boise State for this.

After all, the Broncos were the first to go away from the traditional green field and use a bright blue (royal blue?) in its place. Then teams like Eastern Washington, Central Arkansas and Eastern Michigan all decided to get in on the field game turning their turf red and a couple shades of gray respectively.

Fear the day when the color green is the “strange” field color because this is a slippery slope, people.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 24, 2015, 11:23 pm

Baylor will have a bronze helmet in 2015 to go with its rotation of other helmets.

The team's director of equipment services posted a picture of the helmet to Twitter on Friday evening.

New addition to the family! pic.twitter.com/t7llgdOEwT

— Jeff Barlow (@JeffEquipBU) January 24, 2015

Will this go with a new set of uniforms too or, at the very least, uniform numbers? We're going to refrain from complete judgment until we see them paired with uniforms. However, we will say that they don't top Baylor's chrome domes.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 24, 2015, 10:40 pm

Jan 24, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) at the national championship celebration at Ohio Stadium. (Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports)One of the most intriguing stories this offseason will be how Ohio State sorts out its quarterbacking situation and whether Braxton Miller sticks around to see how it plays out.

Miller hasn’t definitively declared his intentions on whether he'll stay with the Buckeyes for the 2015 season or whether he'll try to start elsewhere, but during the Buckeyes national championship celebration at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, Miller gave the crowd of about 45,000 fans a small glimmer of hope.

"Privilege and honor to be part of this team," Miller said. "Guess what, we've got another year to do it. So go Bucks."

Wait, that was a glimmer of hope, right? Because he did used the word “we.” But wait, that first part sounded a little bit like a goodbye.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN???

Coach Urban Meyer has said for the past month or so that he thought Miller was going to stay with the program, but there's no denying the quarterbacking situation has become far more complex than it was when Miller injured last fall camp. Since then, J.T. Barrett, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury, lost just one game in Miller's stead, broke all sorts of records and finished fifth in Heisman voting. Third-stringer Cardale Jones went on to lead the Buckeyes to a Big Ten title, a win against Alabama in the College Football Playoff Semifinal and ultimately a national championship victory against Oregon.

So becoming the starter is going to be increasingly difficult for Miller, who was a two-time Big Ten MVP and a Heisman hopeful before his injury.

Miller is enrolled in spring classes, but that doesn’t mean much. Russell Wilson, another once-coveted transfer, didn’t make his decision to attend Wisconsin until June.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 24, 2015, 10:08 pm

Lane Kiffin is not going to the NFL for the 2015 season.

Alabama announced Saturday that Kiffin would return for a second season as the Crimson Tide's offensive coordinator. Kiffin had been mentioned as a candidate for the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator opening.

"I made a comment at the Sugar Bowl that I would be back this fall at Alabama and that is definitely the plan," Kiffin said in an Alabama statement. "This time of year, there are lots of things out there regarding other coaching opportunities, but I want to reaffirm my commitment to the University of Alabama, Coach Saban, and our team. I'm excited about what our offensive staff was able to accomplish last year, but I also think there are a lot of things we can do a better job of in terms of putting our players in the best situation to have success."

When asked at the Senior Bowl about Kiffin's status for 2015, Nick Saban said he hoped Kiffin would return and said the former USC coach was committed to Alabama "right now." Kiffin was hired as Alabama's offensive coordinator following Doug Nussmeier's departure to Michigan after the 2013 season. He was fired as USC's coach midway through the 2013 season.

"We've very pleased and happy that Lane is going to be staying here at the University of Alabama with us," Saban said. "He's done a fabulous job and is one of the finest offensive coaches in the country. He is going to have plenty of opportunities in the future and we want to continue to help him develop as a coach so when he leaves here, he'll be in a very good situation. Our offense was extremely productive last season and we look forward to building on some of the good things we did on that side of the ball with this year's team."

Quarterback Blake Sims threw for over 3,400 yards in 2014 while running backs T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry each ran for over 900. Wide receiver Amari Cooper, considered a likely top-10 pick in the 2015 NFL draft, was a Heisman finalist and had 1,727 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns.

For more Alabama news, visit TideSports.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 24, 2015, 8:16 pm

Iowa State wide receiver P.J. Harris runs from defensive back Darian Cotton, right, after making a reception during an annual NCAA college spring football game on Saturday, April 12, 2014, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)Former Iowa State receiver P.J. Harris was arrested and charged with strangling his girlfriend, and is currently being held in jail without bond.

Harris was booked on charges of aggravated domestic assault/strangulation after his girlfriend alleged he pushed her against a wall, threw her on a bed and began to strangle her Thursday morning. Police arrested Harris that evening and officers noticed scratches on the victim.

Ten days earlier, Harris had been dismissed from the Iowa State football team for a violation of unspecified team rules.

Harris was considered one of the team’s potential standout receivers before suffering a season-ending broken leg in September. At the time of his injury, Harris had nine catches for 55 yards, which tied for second on the team.

The school had not publicly announced Harris’ dismissal and it only came out after his arrest.

For more Iowa State news, visit CycloneReport.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 23, 2015, 8:42 pm

No, Kyler Murray hasn't flipped his commitment from Texas A&M to Texas.

Murray posted a masterful piece of trolling to his Twitter account earlier in the week. The troll? Simply a picture of a Texas jersey with no caption.

pic.twitter.com/UhDj9MTnsp

— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) January 21, 2015

The picture was taken during an unofficial visit to Texas. Thursday, he wore an orange tie with his suit. But the picture looks like it was more a poke at Texas than a poke at the Aggies. From the Dallas Morning News:

Murray has committed to Texas A&M but caused a stir in recruiting circles Wednesday by taking an unofficial visit to Texas and tweeting a photo of a UT jersey that had the number he wore at Allen. On Thursday, he was wearing an orange tie, but he said it’s not a sign of anything.

“It goes with brown,” he said.

Murray said that at this point, he’s “still committed to A&M.”

Murray is a four-star quarterback according to Rivals and went undefeated as a starting quarterback in high school. Allen High School won a Texas state title in December to cap Murray's 42-0 record as a starter. He was also named the Gatorade High School Player of the Year.

While the quarterback situation at Texas is more favorable for Murray, there's less of a logjam ahead of him at Texas A&M now too with the departure of Kenny Hill. If he doesn't challenge Kyle Allen for the starting job (provided he still signs with A&M), he'll likely be the No. 2 quarterback.

For more Texas A&M news, visit AggieYell.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 23, 2015, 4:59 pm

Could a rape trial involving former Vanderbilt football players uncover NCAA violations?

According to testimony in the case involving former Vanderbilt football players, alcohol consumed on the night of the alleged incident was purchased by a possible booster. The purchase would be an impermissible benefit under NCAA guidelines if Angela Gentry meets the NCAA's definition of a booster.

From the Tennesseean:

The alleged victim in the case testified under oath that a booster purchased drinks for Commodores football players on June 23, 2013, a violation of the NCAA’s “extra benefits” rule.

Bylaw 16.02.3 rule states that athletes may not be provided with money, gifts, loans, flowers or other items from anyone representing an institution, including fans.

Angela Gentry, who is from West Palm Beach, Fla., was identified in earlier court filings as being a person who picked up the alcohol tab for Vanderbilt players. She could meet the NCAA’s definition for a booster.

In an interview with The Tennessean in June 2014, Gentry admitted to having met one of the accused former players, Brandon Vandenburg, once. Gentry denied regularly buying drinks for athletes, but said it may have happened on occasion.

It's unclear if the NCAA would investigate the incident and possibly hand down any minor penalties.

The testimony is part of the trial involving Vandenburg and former player Cory Batey. They, along with Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie (whose trials are at a later date), are charged with rape involving an unconscious student. The woman testified for 90 minutes on Thursday about the alleged incident, and identified the woman in video from the incident as herself.

In her testimony, she said she's never been as drunk as she was that night.

McKenzie testified earlier in the week that Vandenburg was "amped" before the alleged incident. The four players accused were dismissed from the team following the allegations.

For more Vanderbilt news, visit VandySports.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 23, 2015, 3:50 pm

Boston College is in need of an offensive coordinator.

The Philadelphia Eagles announced Thursday that Ryan Day would be the team's new quarterbacks coach. Day served as Boston College's offensive coordinator for the past two seasons.

#Eagles welcome new Quarterbacks Coach Ryan Day to the staff, replacing Bill Musgrave who became Oakland's offensive coordinator.

— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) January 23, 2015

He came to Boston College in 2013 after Steve Addazio was hired as the team's head coach. Day was Temple's offensive coordinator in 2012 and coached at Boston College for a total of nine seasons. From 2007-2011 he was the team's wide receivers coach and was a graduate assistant in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

The Eagles went to the Pinstripe Bowl this year as Day's run-heavy offense continued to flourish with Florida transfer Tyler Murphy. In 2013, running back Andre Williams (now with the New York Giants) was a Heisman finalist with 2,177 yards rushing.

In 2014, Boston College was 15th in the country in rushing yards. QB Murphy ran for 1,184 yards while RB Jon Hilliman had 860.

For more Boston College news, visit EagleAction.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 23, 2015, 2:58 pm

Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell became a Twitter sensation last week when he called out roommate Cardale Jones for his rent money prior to Jones announcing his intention to return to the Buckeyes.

On Thursday, Powell had Twitter abuzz again when he started taking subtle shots at Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Alabama receiver Amari Cooper.

What do these 3 players have in common.....??? 🙊 pic.twitter.com/lbOqfTWS92

— Tyvis Powell (@1Tyvis) January 22, 2015

Of course, linebacker Darron Lee, who also became a Twitter star with his comparisons of Jones to LeBron James, had to chime in with an answer.

@1Tyvis oo oo pick me!!! I know the answer 😊

— Darron Lee (@DLeeMG8) January 22, 2015

@1Tyvis these are the alleged 3 BEST players in college fooseball who all were SHUT DOWN and eventually LOST to us...Go Bucks ☺️

— Darron Lee (@DLeeMG8) January 22, 2015

@1Tyvis A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP 😄 pic.twitter.com/Z1DcqNKjAk

— Darron Lee (@DLeeMG8) January 22, 2015

@DLeeMG8: @1Tyvis A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP 😄 pic.twitter.com/xvP7QkpgG3”> AND...... *Drum roll.... A TRIP TO THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!

— Tyvis Powell (@1Tyvis) January 22, 2015

While this is some high-level trolling by Powell and Lee, it’s important to note that all three players — Mariota, Gordon and Cooper — are currently training for their NFL careers and all are expected to be high draft picks.

So yes, while they might be a little sad about losing the Big Ten title and ultimately the national title to the Buckeyes, I’m sure those three players will have no problem consoling themselves with their piles of NFL money.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 22, 2015, 10:50 pm

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)Two former University of North Carolina student-athletes have filed a lawsuit against the university and the NCAA claiming that neither entity is doing enough to ensure that student-athletes are receiving a proper education.

The suit is seeking damages for all student-athletes affected by UNC academic scandal.

According to CNN’s Sarah Ganim, the suit was filed by Michael Hausfeld, one of the lawyer’s in the O’Bannon suit against the NCAA.

Rashanda McCants, a former women’s basketball player, and Devon Ramsay, a former football player, are named as plaintiffs, though the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday afternoon in Durham County court, is seeking class-action status. McCants is also the sister of Rashad McCants, a starter on the 2005 UNC men’s basketball team that won the national championship.

Ramsey was kicked off the football team in 2010 after receiving improper help from a tutor. Ramsey's attorney, Robert Orr, convinced the NCAA that his client had been wrongly accused and Ramsey was allowed to return to the team. However, he then suffered a career-ending knee injury.

This is the second lawsuit to emerge from North Carolina’s academic fraud scandal.

Former football player Michael McAdoo filed his lawsuit against the schoolin U.S. District Court in Charlotte in November. McAdoo was a former football player who had been kicked off the team in 2010 after the NCAA determined he had received improper help from a tutor.

Last October, UNC acknowledged that 3,100 students – approximately 1,500 of them student-athletes – were steered into bogus classes that were geared toward gaining easy grades and keeping student-athletes eligible. The school also said that many academic and athletic officials knew about the scheme, which went on for 18 years (1993-2011).

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 22, 2015, 10:11 pm

Kansas State could play its spring football game off-campus this year at Kansas City’s Sporting Park, home of the city’s MLS team Sporting KC.

Kansas State’s home venue, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, is undergoing construction this spring and there’s concern about the safety of fans coming to watch the game, athletic director John Currie told the Kansas City Star.

“We have been exploring possible options and locations away from Bill Snyder Family Stadium for this year’s spring football game,” Currie told The Star in a statement. “We can confirm that we have reached out to Sporting KC and have had preliminary discussions about bringing the spring game to Kansas City tentatively on the afternoon of April 25. We will make an announcement with full details once the process has been completed.”

The north end of Bill Snyder Family Stadium, which houses the team’s locker room, weight room and coaching offices, was demolished following the 2014 season. The current construction infringes on some of the artificial playing surface in the north end and won’t be completed until closer to the start of the 2015 season.

Sporting Park, which is located on the Kansas side of Kansas City and about 117 miles from Manhattan, Kan., hosted last year’s NCAA Division II football championship, but has never hosted a football practice or contest while Sporting KC was in season.

Teams need to obtain a conference waiver to hold an off-campus spring game, however, NCAA rules severely limit contact between coaches and prospective student-athletes during off-campus spring games. According to NCAA rules, football staff members as well as current Kansas State football players, would not be able to interact with prospective student-athletes and their families at the game.

Also, Kansas State could not provide complimentary admission to high school, college-preparatory school or two-year college prospects or their coaches because, according to NCAA rules, the event is not a regular-season event and it would be more than 30 miles from campus.

For more Kansas State news, visit GoPowerCat.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: January 22, 2015, 9:50 pm

In this Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014 photo, Josh Heupel, Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, answers a question during media day in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)A few weeks after getting fired as co-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, Josh Heupel reportedly has a new job.

According to multiple reports, Heupel is headed to Utah State to be its offensive coordinator under head coach Matt Wells.

Heupel, a former Sooners quarterback who was the program’s offensive coordinator for the past four seasons, was let go on Jan. 6 after the Sooners trudged to an 8-5 finish. Before being promoted to offensive coordinator, Heupel served as Oklahoma’s quarterbacks coach from 2006-2010. He also was a graduate assistant with Oklahoma in 2004 after a brief NFL career.

He’ll replace Kevin McGiven, who left Utah State to be the quarterbacks coach at Oregon State under former Utah State head coach Gary Andersen.

Before his time as quarterback at Oklahoma, Heupel had playing stints at two colleges in Utah – Weber State and Snow Junior College – so he’s familiar with the state.

The Aggies went 10-4 in 2014, culminating with a 21-6 win over UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 22, 2015, 8:46 pm

Rivalry is good for college football, but the top two FBS programs in the state of Pennsylvania – Penn State and Pittsburgh – have not played since 2000.

That will change in 2016, and assistants from both sides are doing their best to up the stakes.

After picking up a commitment from Coatesville, Pa., three-star safety Jay Stocker on Wednesday night, John Peterson, Pitt’s new offensive line coach, fired off a tweet that surely caught the attention of the folks in Happy Valley.

#H2P pic.twitter.com/OHRuE3oJdY

— john peterson (@coachjpete) January 22, 2015

It didn’t take for Penn State offensive line Herb Hand to respond by listing Penn State’s accomplishments in year one under James Franklin.

Win bowl game✔️Better record vs common opponents✔️More seats full on game days✔️Higher academic ranking (US News&W/R)✔️(#PssstOurState)

— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) January 22, 2015

Hand is one of the more Twitter-savvy coaches in the country, so he finished it off with a "drop the mic" GIF from Saturday Night Live.

#WeAre pic.twitter.com/E3sc0p8w9l

— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) January 22, 2015

Well played.

Hand didn’t stop there, however. Thursday morning, he tweeted out a photo with Penn State’s two trophies from the season – a Croke Park Classic victory over UCF and a Pinstripe Bowl win over Boston College.

We have got a lot of work to do to get where we want to/will be but it sure was nice WINNING two trophies this year. pic.twitter.com/VWxbSDWgDQ

— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) January 22, 2015

The Nittany Lions were 7-6 in 2014, while Pitt finished 6-7. The programs aren’t too far apart, but Penn State currently has the edge in in-state recruiting. Of Rivals’ top 20 recruits in Pennsylvania for the class of 2015, Penn State has commitments from seven recruits. Pitt has four.

We’ll be eagerly awaiting a response from the Pitt side. If not, we can wait until the rivalry resumes on the field in Pittsburgh on Sept. 10, 2016.

For more Pittsburgh news, visit Panther-lair.com.

For more Penn State news, visit BlueandWhiteIllustrated.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 22, 2015, 7:24 pm

Ole Miss safety Trae Elston and wide receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow were arrested for disorderly conduct early Thursday morning.

From the Clarion-Ledger:

Safety Trae Elston and wide receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow were both arrested shortly after midnight today and charged with disorderly conduct, according to the Lafayette County Detention Center's booking log.

Elston was also charged with resisting arrest. Oxford Police Department officers were the ones on the scenes.

Details are not yet known, and an Ole Miss spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Elston is a key part of Ole Miss' defense. He was sixth on the team with 59 tackles and had an interception. Stringfellow is a transfer from Washington who made headlines in 2014 for his off-the-field exploits rather than anything on the field.

He was suspended indefinitely by Washington in February after a post-Super Bowl incident with quarterback Cyler Miles. A woman alleged Stringfellow (who was accompanied by Miles) grabbed her and broke the lens of her camera. Miles was not charged in the incident, while Stringfellow was charged with misdemeanor assault.

Stringfellow was sentenced to five days on a work crew after a plea bargain.

He was apparently set to transfer to Nebraska, but later tweeted he was heading to Ole Miss. After news of his Ole Miss commitment spread, then-Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said to "read between the lines" regarding the situation.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 22, 2015, 6:04 pm

Oct 19, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian congratulates Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley (14) after the game against the South Carolina Camecocks at Neyland Stadium. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian is reportedly leaving the program.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports was the first to report Bajakian’s departure and Feldman reported that Bajakian is leaving to “pursue other coaching opportunities.”

According to VolQuest.com and Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans, Bajakian’s opportunity is with the Tampa Bay Bucs as quarterbacks coach under head coach Lovie Smith. Evans is reporting that Bajakian will join the Bucs’ staff, while VolQuest.com is reporting that Bajakian is leaving Tennessee and is “likely” headed to Tampa.

Elsewhere, ESPN is reporting that Bajakian "has not accepted" an offer to join the Bucs' staff. 

Bajakian previously spent time on Smith’s staff with the Chicago Bears from 2004-06 as a wide receivers coach.

Bajakian was with Tennessee as offensive coordinator during Butch Jones’ first two seasons leading the program. Previously, Bajakian was Jones’ offensive coordinator at Cincinnati from 2010-12 and at Central Michigan from 2007-09.

The news of Bajakian’s departure comes a few hours after Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos left the program to become the offensive coordinator at Arkansas. FootballScoop.com is reporting that the opening at CMU “might change things” for Bajakian, despite his offer to join Tampa Bay’s staff.

From Football Scoop:

Fox Sports is reporting that offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian is leaving to “pursue other coaching opportunities”. We can confirm this and add, per sources, Bajakian has been offered a very appealing NFL job (quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Bucs…who have the first pick in this year’s draft); with this morning’s news regarding Central Michigan, a job Bajakian was in the running for when Dan Enos was hired, this might change things. Based on what we have heard, we would expect this to play out in the next 24-48 hours.

In addition to his time as CMU’s offensive coordinator, Bajakian was also CMU’s quarterbacks coach in 2002-03 and was in the running for the head-coaching job when Enos was originally hired in 2010 after Jones left for Cincinnati.

Bajakian certainly has ties to the Central Michigan program, so this situation will be one to keep an eye on in the coming days.

For more Tennessee news, visit VolQuest.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 22, 2015, 5:50 pm

Central Michigan is now looking for a new coach.

Dan Enos, the Chippewas' head coach for the past five seasons, was announced as Arkansas' new offensive coordinator on Thursday.

“We are thrilled to have Coach Enos joining us in Fayetteville,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said in a statement. “Dan is a great fit for our program. He runs a pro-style offense and brings expertise at the quarterback position as both a player and coach. We played against each other in college and he was a very intelligent and talented quarterback who showed great toughness and leadership. He has an outstanding reputation and will be a tremendous asset for Razorback football.”

Enos compiled a 26-36 record in his five seasons at CMU. His team finished 7-6 in 2014 after a crazy near-comeback against Western Kentucky in the Bahamas Bowl. His team stormed back from a 49-14 deficit, only to lose after a failed two-point conversion following a miraculous multi-lateral touchdown pass.

According to USA Today's coaching salary database, Enos made $360,000 at Central Michigan. His salary at Arkansas is likely considerably higher than that.

Note on Dan Enos: He made $360k as CMU's coach and his future there was unstable. Arkansas' OC made $552k. Real life.

— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) January 22, 2015

“I want to thank Bret for this wonderful opportunity to be part of something special at the University of Arkansas,” Enos said. “The challenge of winning a championship in the SEC and developing young men at the highest level of college football is very attractive. Bret and I share many of the same philosophies and I’m excited to open the next chapter of my coaching career down in Fayetteville.”

Arkansas was looking for an offensive coordinator after coordinator Jim Chaney left to become Pitt's offensive coordinator. In a release confirming Enos' departure, CMU didn't name an interim coach.

“I thank Dan Enos for his hard work and effort the past five years in building a strong football program here at Central Michigan University,” CMU athletic director Dave Heeke said. “We will move quickly and decisively in naming a new coach. This is an extraordinary opportunity for a leader who seeks a team that’s strong on the field and in the classroom. CMU also is an ideal setting for someone who celebrates an engaged and loyal alumni fan base.
 
“This is a storied program that is committed to success and competing for championships. We’ve built a true championship culture with our football team and throughout CMU Athletics, and we look forward to welcoming our next great coach.”

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 22, 2015, 4:12 pm

Oregon State coach Gary Andersen said Wisconsin's academic standards were a reason why he left the Badgers.

In an interview with CBS Sports, Andersen said he was frustrated that he couldn't get some recruits into the university.

"It's been well [documented] there were some kids I couldn't get in school," the Badgers' former coach said. "That was highly frustrating to me. I lost some guys, and I told them I wasn't going to lose them.

"I think they did what they were supposed to do [academically] and they still couldn't get in. That was really hard to deal with."

Anderson also said this:

"That's not Wisconsin's fault," Andersen added. "That's Wisconsin's deal ... I want to surround myself with those kids I can get in school."

His departure from the Badgers after Oregon State coach Mike Riley replaced Nebraska coach Bo Pelini was the most surprising coaching move of the offseason. While Wisconsin is considered a good job in the Big Ten – it's right with or above Nebraska for best in the West status – Oregon State isn't in the upper echelons of the Pac-12.

After Andersen left, Wisconsin hired former offensive coordinator and Pitt head coach Paul Chryst to replace him.

Wisconsin reportedly requires more high school academic units (17) than Nebraska, Michigan State and Ohio State. And, of course, Oregon State. Andersen said he didn't expect people to understand his decision and that he took the Oregon State job without visiting Corvallis. He also said that the idea of junior-college transfers "basically became a non-[factor]."

He also refuted any notions that there was a rift between himself and athletic director and coach Barry Alvarez, who coached the Badgers in their Outback Bowl win over Auburn. Alvarez, Anderson said, was not a reason for his departure.

"He never one time stepped on anybody's toes in the football office," the coach said. "Please don't make Wisconsin sound bad in any way, shape or form. I love those kids. I truly love them."

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 22, 2015, 3:50 pm

Never say you’ll get a tattoo based on the outcome of a sporting event, or you could end up like this poor Oregon fan.

LADIES AND GENTLEMAN. HERE IS THE TATTOO. A man of his word @Debellonia88 pic.twitter.com/HWUah8BL5D

— H (@Hlee3D) January 21, 2015

He was obviously so confident that the Ducks would knock off Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Championship that he said he’d get an OSU tattoo if the Buckeyes won the game. It did not work out like he hoped, and now he’ll be reminded of Ohio State’s dominant win every day.

Understandably, he’s not too pleased with his predicament.

😒

— Sun Duck (@Debellonia88) January 21, 2015

At least he followed through with the bet.

(H/T Deadspin)

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

For more Oregon news, visit DuckSportsAuthority.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 21, 2015, 11:12 pm

Though he’s only a week into his new job as defensive line coach at LSU, Ed Orgeron is hitting the recruiting trail hard. His new voicemail message, which was played Tuesday on ESPN Baton Rouge, proves that.

“Hi this is coach Ed Orgeron with LSU football,” the message says. “Sorry I cant yake your call right now, but I’m out recruiting the best football players in the country for LSU.”

His outstanding reputation as a recruiter is one of the reasons Les Miles added Orgeron, the former defensive coordinator and interim head coach at USC, to his staff.

With National Signing Day just two weeks away, we’ll see what kind of impact he has on the Tigers’ 2015 class, which is currently ranked No. 13 in the country by Rivals.com.

(H/T Football Scoop)

For more LSU news, visit TigerBait.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 21, 2015, 9:07 pm

Baylor finished at No. 5 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, narrowly missing out on a playoff berth that went to Ohio State, the eventual national champions.

Just how close was Baylor from making it into the Playoff? Head coach Art Briles said Wednesday that it came down to an 8-4 vote from the 12-person selection committee with eight votes going to the Buckeyes and the other four going to the Bears.

Art Briles said Baylor was an 8-4 vote from earning the No. 4 spot in the recent CFP voting.

— Tim Griffin (@TimGriffinBig12) January 21, 2015

During availability, Art Briles said Baylor was short of fourth playoff spot on 8-4 selection committee vote. Declines to reveal source.

— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) January 21, 2015

We all know the scenario by now. Entering championship weekend, TCU was ranked third in the CFP rankings while Baylor was sixth and Ohio State was fifth. Ohio State dominated Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship and moved up to No. 4 behind Florida State, which jumped from No. 4 to No. 3.

TCU (which dropped all the way to No. 6) and Baylor both won its games to clinch a share of the Big 12 title, but both were ultimately shut out of the four-team playoff.

Briles, whose team lost to Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl, is still clearly steaming a bit from how it all turned out. He seems to be among the crowd in favor of an eight-team playoff as well.

Briles not surprised with TOSU's success in four-team playoff, saying that of top 8 teams, "7 of them had a chance to win the championship."

— Tim Griffin (@TimGriffinBig12) January 21, 2015

Of course, if Baylor hadn’t lost to West Virginia it wouldn’t have been in that situation anyway. Regardless, Baylor has plenty of motivation headed into next season.

For more Baylor news, visit SicEmSports.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 21, 2015, 6:38 pm

Nick Saban said Tuesday at the Senior Bowl that Lane Kiffin was committed to Alabama at the moment and that he was hopeful the relationship would continue.

However, according to Al.com, he couldn't say with certaintity that his offensive coordinator would return for 2015.

Kiffin has been mentioned as a candidate in NFL offensive coordinator circles, most notably for the San Francisco 49ers' opening. Many jobs have been filled over the past few days, but the 49ers are still looking for an offensive coordinator. 

Saban said Kiffin was currently recruiting for Alabama.

"I can't say that right now because I know Lane is committed to us right now and he's doing the best he can to help recruit and do the things we need to do to have a better team next year," Saban said via Al.com. "We're hopeful that will continue."

Before the Sugar Bowl, Kiffin said he was staying at Alabama in 2015.

Kiffin joined Alabama before the 2014 season after he infamously parted ways with USC during the 2013 season. His hire at Alabama was met with jokes, though Blake Sims threw for almost 3,500 yards and 28 touchdowns. (Yes, Kiffin's playcalling at times could be criticized, but can't you say the same exact thing for every offensive coordinator?)

While we see how the NFL would be tempting for Kiffin, moving to the NFL wouldn't exactly help his vagabond image. He coached the Oakland Raiders for 20 games and then was at Tennessee for a season before he went to USC, where he coached for three-plus seasons.

And while the 49ers are committed to a very secretive organizational process, Kiffin only meets with media members a handful of times a year at Alabama. And with Jacob Coker set to play QB for the Tide in 2015, another good year for Alabama's offense (sans Amari Cooper) would do wonders for Kiffin's stock in 2016.

For more Alabama news, visit TideSports.com.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: January 21, 2015, 6:11 pm

(Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)While North Carolina has been the most notable university to be investigated for academic fraud in recent years, the NCAA maintains that UNC is not being singled out.

In fact, representatives from the NCAA’s enforcement department told The Chronicle that is currently investigating academic misconduct in athletic programs at 20 schools – 18 from Division I, one from Division II and one from Division III.

From The Chronicle:

The cases are at various stages, from preliminary inquiry to awaiting a hearing with the Division I Committee on Infractions, and they involve a variety of missteps, including allegations that players received impermissible assistance from professors, academic advisers, or people outside of an athletic department.

Last year, the NCAA named Katherine Sulentic, a former academic adviser at Colorado, the chair of a new academic integrity group in its enforcement department. Now, the NCAA’s vice president for enforcement, Jonathan Duncan, says that unit will be beefed up while the NCAA’s investigators receive additional training on “what constitutes academic fraud and how to handle potential academic violations.”

“The timing is right to dedicate more resources to this,” Sulentic said. “Everyone’s antenna is up about academic fraud on a college campus in general.”

Academic misconduct is on the rise in college sports and the NCAA says many of the recent cases follow a similar pattern.

Mr. Duncan and Ms. Sulentic attributed the increase in alleged academic violations to a variety of factors, including stricter NCAA academic standards and a rise in cheating among college students in general. They said that many of their current cases involved people who had relationships with an athletic department or a particular sports program, but who were not necessarily employed by the department. Those include professors, academic advisers who work outside of athletics, and people in the registrar’s office.

Coaches get involved sometimes, too.

In some cases, head coaches have urged members of their staff—secretaries, athletic trainers, people in the weight room—to "get this young man or woman eligible," Ms. Sulentic said.

"It’s not necessarily a directive about what to do—‘I need you to write this kid’s paper,’" she said. But she said coaches were making "proclamations" to a broad network of people, encouraging them to cheat on behalf of current players or recruits.

Unsurprisingly, Sulentic says others like agents and financial planners can also attempt to get involved with an athlete.

“They might say, ‘I exchange for you working with me in the future, I’m going to get you eligible to play Division I ball,’” Sulentic said. “What consistently surprises me is the definition of the word ‘help.’”

While none of these things seem like very new issues, at least the NCAA is bolstering its resources and focus on academic fraud. And if we know anything about the NCAA, the results of these investigations won’t come to light for quite a while.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: January 21, 2015, 5:44 pm

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