This weekend is Marcus Mariota’s time to shine.

Stanford has been a thorn in Oregon’s side and Mariota has had just OK games in the past two contests between the teams, which has contributed to the Ducks' losses. This Stanford team isn’t as good as the past two, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be ready and waiting to make Mariota look average again. It seems like this game is always the one that knocks Mariota out of Heisman contention. If he can shine against the Cardinal the way he has against almost every other opponent this season, he’ll give Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott a run for his money.

Here’s Dr. Saturday’s Heisman Watch for Week 10:

Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State: Not surprisingly, Mississippi State had a little trouble with Kentucky, but the Bulldogs managed to escape. Prescott accounted for 304 total yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw his third interception in the past two games and fumbled twice (though he recovered both). Saturday’s game against Arkansas should be interesting. The Razorbacks haven’t played a lot of defense this season, so Prescott should have the ability to put points on the board, but he’ll also be under pressure to keep up with the sometimes-potent Arkansas offense.

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin: Week in and week out, Melvin Gordon doesn’t disappoint. He continues to be the majority of the Badgers' offense with 1,168 yards and 17 touchdowns, including the three he added against Maryland last weekend. There’s no reason to think Gordon is going to slow down this weekend against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are allowing 178.3 yards per game on the ground, which is 12 yards more than Gordon’s season average.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: Oregon got into a shootout with Cal last Friday, but Mariota had little trouble moving the ball against the Bears' porous defense. While he had five touchdowns, he did also throw his first interception of the season and it was in the end zone, no less. Things will definitely get more difficult this weekend against Stanford. The Cardinal has been the Ducks' Achilles' heel the past couple years and this will be the best defense the Ducks have faced all season. Stanford is second in the country, allowing just 250.6 yards and 12.5 points per game.Ameer Abdullah. (USAT)

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska: It might be time to Fear Ameer. After rushing for 225 yards and three touchdowns against Rutgers last week, it’s clear Abdullah needs consideration for the bronze statue. He leads the country in rushing with 1,249 yards, and like Melvin Gordon, he should be able to continue to pad his stats against a Big Ten that hasn’t figured out how to stop the run. Purdue, this week’s opponent, is allowing 173.8 rushing yards per game and 16 of the team’s 30 offensive touchdowns allowed have been on the ground.

Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU: While Boykin’s seven-touchdown performance against Texas Tech last week certainly piqued the interest of everyone around the country, he’s been putting up stellar numbers all season and he has the Horned Frogs on the cusp of the College Football Playoff top six. Now we’ll see how grounded Boykin and his teammates are. West Virginia shouldn’t be a challenge on defense, but the Mountaineers can score. Boykin will have to be at the top of his game again if he wants to keep up.

BY THE NUMBERS
  Comp. % Pass Yds. Pass TDs INTs Rush Yds. Rush TDs
Dak Prescott
60.3
1,694
15
5
664
10
Marcus Mariota
68.8
2,283
24
1
325
5
Trevone Boykin
58.7
2,306
21
3
374
3
 
Yds./carry
Yds./game
Rush yards
Rush TDs
Rec. Yds.
Rec TDs
Melvin Gordon
7.6
166.8
1,168
16
39
1
Ameer Abdullah
6.9
156.1
1,249
17
169
2
Author: Graham Watson
Posted: October 30, 2014, 8:08 am

Florida State plays Louisville on Thursday night in Louisville, so the Seminoles held their Wednesday walk-through at a public park.

As Adam Himmelsbach of the Louisville Courier-Journal was on a run Wednesday, he was approached by a parks employee who told him that the Seminoles were practicing not far from where he was running. So Himmelsbach went over to watch. After he was told to step back on the sidewalk by a security guard -- yes, in a public park -- he went to take a picture.

From the Courier-Journal:

Then I took out my phone to take a picture, and two FSU staff members started freaking out.

"No pictures!"

"Put that away!"

I calmly told them that this was a public park, and that anyone can take pictures at a public park. They told me they had reserved the field. I said that I wasn't trying to use the field they had reserved. I was just taking a picture of it.

Himmelsbach then said FSU staffers noticed people further away taking pictures and they chased over toward them screaming for no pictures.

2 FSU staffers yelled & sprinted at someone who snapped pics of the walkthrough in public park http://t.co/1xV5NIg70C pic.twitter.com/JghS77ay8K

— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) October 29, 2014

Yes, we repeat, in a public park. Apparently Florida State likes to control things it has no jurisdiction over on road trips. (And yes, the park was near a Joe's Crab Shack, but we'll spare you any tired jokes about Jameis Winston's citation.)

The article goes into more detail, including Himmelsbach's encounter with two members of the county sheriff's office who were near the practice and said that while Florida State had the right to ask for no photography, people taking pictures had the right not to listen.

We get why FSU would not want people taking pictures of its walkthrough. However, when you practice on public land, which apparently happens regularly, you lose all right to privacy from people who have just as many rights to be there. And anyway, what's so secretive about a walk through? It's apparently not sensitive enough to be held at an empty high school field or a gymnasium somewhere.

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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: October 29, 2014, 10:43 pm

Penn State coach James franklin provided a few details about the injury that ended the season of starting safety Ryan Keiser.

Keiser is currently being hospitalized after suffering a rib injury during last Thursday’s practice, which led a small bowel injury.

Franklin said he received permission from Keiser and his family to provide details about the injury, but he declined to say how it happened. Franklin also wanted to refute rumors that Keiser had contracted an infection as a result of the injury.

“There is no infection,” Franklin said. “I wanted to make sure that we are clear.”

A source told ESPN that Keiser was not in critical condition, but "also not great."

Keiser, a senior, was a former walk-on who progressed from special teams to starting safety. He finishes his season with 25 tackles, an interceptions and three pass breakups.

“I think so highly of him, I’ve talked about trying to get him to work for us in some type of role or capacity, whether it’s player development or things like that (after the season),” Franklin said. “I think he’s one of those kids that everybody in our program respects. He’s the type of guy that, when you spend time with him, he makes you want to be a better person. He makes you want to be a better coach. He’s a special, special young man. He’s in our prayers, and his family is in our prayers and we can’t get him back here soon enough.”

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: October 29, 2014, 8:41 pm

TCU leading receiver Josh Doctson will make the trip to West Virginia after coach Gary Patterson said he’s made “drastic improvement” since suffering an ankle sprain against Texas Tech last weekend.

Doctson left last week’s 82-27 blowout after suffering the ankle injury in the third quarter and did not return. There was initial speculation that Doctson had suffered a high ankle sprain, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram cited a team source saying that wasn’t the case.

Doctson leads the horned Frogs with 35 catches for 573 yards and seven touchdowns. Against Oklahoma State two weeks ago, Doctson had 226 yards, which was one yard shy of a TCU single-game school record.

While the Doctson news was good, the word on backup quarterback Matt Joeckel was not. Joeckel suffered a season-ending knee injury in the fourth quarter of the blowout of the Red Raiders. Joeckel, a senior, has already graduated.

“It’s a shame,” Patterson said. “We gave him an ovation in the meeting on Sunday because of everything he did for us as a team, the way he came in, the way he helped Trevone (Boykin).

“I think you’re going to see him around practice, trying to help Trevone with everything, because they have a really good relationship.”

Freshman Zach Allen will serve as Boykin’s backup against West Virginia.

For more TCU news, visit PurpleMenace.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: October 29, 2014, 5:46 pm

Julius Whittier, a former Texas player, has filed a $50 million class-action lawsuit against the NCAA on behalf of everyone who he says played NCAA football from 1960-2014, didn't play professionally and has head injuries from his playing career.

The lawsuit, filed in a U.S. District Court in Austin, Tex., says Whittier seeks damages for "a latent brain injury, early onset Alzheimer's disease, caused by repeated traumatic head impacts suffered" by the players. 

Whittier played offensive lineman and tight end at Texas from 1969-1972. According to the lawsuit, which you can view in full here thanks to KEYE-TV in Austin, Whittier experienced repeated traumatic head impacts.

"Mr. Whittier was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease on or about August 30, 2012," the lawsuit states. "Mr. Whittier believes that he suffered repeated traumatic head impacts over his college career, but because of his current condition, Mr. Whittier is unable to recall any incidences of head impacts. However, upon information belief, Mr. Whittier submits there to have been many such impacts during his career, but he cannot recall them with specificity."

Whittier is seeking at least $5 million in restitution. The lawsuit also states that the NCAA has failed to educate football players on the long-term and life-altering risks of playing football and has failed to establish known protocols to prevent, mitigate, monitor, diagnose and treat brain injuries.

In July, the NCAA reached a $75 million settlement with 12 plaintiffs in a concussion lawsuit. However, as part of the settlement, no damages were paid and money went to concussion protocols and research. Four of the athletes deposed in the lawsuit received just $5,000 each.

Earlier in July, the NCAA released new guidelines for concussions and hitting in practice. However, the guidelines are not rules. In May, the NCAA and Department of Defense announced a $30 million study looking into concussions.

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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: October 29, 2014, 5:40 pm

Boise State announced Tuesday that it would be providing full cost-of-attendance scholarships to its athletes if and when it is permitted by the NCAA.

The push for full cost-of-attendance scholarships has been part of the move for autonomy in the NCAA by the Power Five conferences. The conferences want greater flexibility to create their own rules within the NCAA when it comes to scholarships and other reforms.

While Boise State isn't a member of a Power Five conference, the school can keep up with any perceived advantages Power Five conference teams could have if they agree to offer full cost-of-attendance scholarships in the near future.

"Boise State is a proven program in the collegiate athletics landscape," Boise State athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement. "Our intent is to provide the resources available not only for football, but for each of our 20 sports, to not only win conference championships but to compete with any program on a national level."

The Pac-12 also followed in the footsteps of the Big Ten this week in announcing that it would guarantee multi-year scholarships for athletes. The Big Ten announced the move earlier in October. It's expected that the other three Power Five conferences will follow suit as well as some other non-Power Five conferences.

“This fulfills a promise we made when we announced our agenda for reform earlier this year,” Washington State president Elson Floyd said in a statement. “These reforms assure better support for all our student-athletes, reinforce that academics come first, and address the financial and health needs of our students.”

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: October 29, 2014, 5:20 pm

Utah senior wide receiver Dres Anderson will miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury, the university announced Wednesday.

Anderson, a team captain, suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of the Utes 24-21 win against USC last weekend, but he stayed in the game. He caught three passes for 30 yards.

Anderson is Utah’s leading receiver with 355 yards and four touchdowns. He was second on the team with 22 receptions.

Anderson, who is the son of former NFL wide receiver Willie "Flipper" Anderson, ends his Utah career ranked fifth on the school's all-time receiving list with 2,077 yards.

Utah plays Arizona State this weekend in a pivotal Pac-12 South game. The Sun Devils currently lead the Pac-12 South, but a Utah win would tie the two teams and give the Utes the tiebreaker with four games remaining.

For more Utah news, visit Utezone.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: October 29, 2014, 5:17 pm

Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace was frustrated with the play-calling during Saturday’s 10-7 loss against LSU and said Monday that he hopes the Rebels are more aggressive going forward especially on the early downs.

"A lot of times when we were throwing the ball it was third down," he said. "It's easy [for the defense] when you know it's coming — third-and-9, third-and-long.

"Hopefully we can be more aggressive this week, but I'm going to run the plays that are called. That's all I can do."  

Wallace’s frustration with the safe plays got the best of him last Saturday when he decided against throwing a route to the sideline or out of bounds during the waning seconds against the Tigers. Instead, he launched a ball toward the end zone that was intercepted and cost the Rebels a chance to tie the game and go into overtime.

Coach Hugh Freeze was adamant that the play Wallace ran at the end of the LSU game was not the one he called. He also noted that he deliberately tried to slow the Rebels’ offense because he had faith in his defense that’s only allowing 10.5 points per game.

However, Ole Miss’ strategy might have to change this weekend against an Auburn offense that hasn’t had a lot of trouble scoring on its opponents this season.

"I certainly think the plan that we had gave us a chance to win," Freeze said. "We had two touchdowns called back and had chances to score more points. Either we didn't make the right call or we didn't execute properly at times or LSU made good plays. Should we speed it up more? Maybe. But I still say we had a chance to win in a hostile environment."

For more Ole Miss news, visit RebelGrove.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: October 29, 2014, 4:26 pm

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen would like to offer TCU coach Gary Patterson some friendly advice.

Move quarterback Trevone Boykin back to wide receiver.

After all, Holgorsen said Tuesday, Boykin was the best wide receiver on the field in West Virginia's win over TCU last season.

"Offensively, it starts with Boykin, their quarterback," Holgorsen said. "Probably – well, not probably – he is the most improved player in college football. He is playing well. I thought he was good two years ago. As a true freshman, he came out here and beat us in overtime. Last year, i thought he was the best receiver on the field – possibly the best player on the field. I texted those guys earlier in the week and told them to move him back to receiver because he was so dang good."

Yeah, TCU isn't taking his advice, as Boykin as flourished as a full-time quarterback this season after splitting time last year between both positions.

And Holgorsen is right; Boykin is potentially the most improved player in college football and the key to how TCU has created an offense that's suddenly become one of the best in the country. And it's why Saturday's game between the Horned Frogs and Mountaineers in Morgantown has the highest over/under (73) of any college football game in Week 9.

Boykin is a contender for the Heisman Trophy now, and for his candidacy to turn from "contender" to "favorite," Patterson admits that TCU has to keep winning.

"For Trevone Boykin to be a guy who can move into the top three, we're going to have to win a lot in the next five games," Patterson said. "If we win, that means he probably has some great stats. He'll then be a guy who's had a great year and will be considered."

After throwing for seven touchdowns against Texas Tech on Saturday, Boykin has 21 touchdowns and three interceptions. If TCU can beat West Virginia on Saturday and Kansas State at home the following week, the chances of at least a share of the Big 12 title look good with games against Kansas, Texas and Iowa State to finish out the season.

But beating West Virginia on the road is a tall task, especially after the Mountaineers took down Baylor two weeks ago.

"You have to make them kick field goals," Patterson said. "This game won't be any different. You're going to have to keep them out of the end zone. They've got some big-time weapons on offense and have really come on defensively. They blitzed Baylor hard and did a great job doing so. We're going to have to get ready. We expect West Virginia to play its best game to date."

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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: October 29, 2014, 3:35 pm

Texas A&M is wearing uniforms commemorating its 1939 team against Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday.

Honoring champions with an innovation in fast. Texas A&M's new 1939 Throwback TECHFIT uniforms. #12thMan #teamadidas pic.twitter.com/CDNebXjtKk

— adidas Football US (@adidasFballUS) October 29, 2014

Yes, that's faux stitching on the helmets to make them look like leather helmets. Pretty cool, isn't it? The Adidas gear is a good look. The uniforms are simple and would look good as a primary uniform. But the helmet is just awesome. It's the best throwback helmet we've seen this year in college football.

Championship style meets innovative speed. Introducing our 1939 Throwback TECHFIT uniforms. #12thMan #teamadidas pic.twitter.com/LcrDfMxJyM

— Texas A&M Football (@AggieFootball) October 29, 2014

The 1939 Texas A&M team went 11-0 and ascended to No. 1 after beating Texas 20-0. The Aggies then beat Tulane in the Sugar Bowl 14-13 to cap the undefeated season and national championship.

This year's A&M team is far from undefeated. After three-straight losses, the Aggies have opened up the quarterback competition.

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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: October 29, 2014, 2:20 pm

Georgia RB Todd Gurley is coming back, but he won't be available for Georgia's game Saturday against Florida.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that Gurley will be eligible to play starting with Georgia's game on Nov. 15 against Auburn. Gurley's suspension will be a total of four games because the NCAA said Gurley accepted more than $3,000 in cash over a two-year span.

He was first suspended before the Bulldogs' win against Missouri on Oct. 11. He must do community service and repay a portion of the money to charity.

Here's the NCAA's statement in full:

Todd Gurley, University of Georgia football student-athlete, must sit a total of four games, or 30 percent of the season, for accepting more than $3,000 in cash from multiple individuals for autographed memorabilia and other items over two years. Gurley, who acknowledged violating NCAA rules, must repay a portion of the money received to a charity of his choice and complete 40 hours of community service as additional conditions for his reinstatement. Gurley will be eligible to play on Nov. 15.

In determining the appropriate reinstatement conditions, a 30 percent withholding condition is consistent with precedent in similar cases. Additional withholding was strongly considered because the violations occurred over multiple years with multiple individuals and the student received extensive rules education about the prohibition of receiving payment for autographs. However, the university’s due diligence in its investigation and the student’s full disclosure of his involvement in the violations were factors in not imposing a more severe withholding condition.

The University submitted its original reinstatement request on Wednesday, Oct. 22. The NCAA requested additional information on Friday, Oct. 24, which it received from the university on Saturday, Oct. 25, and Sunday, Oct. 26. The NCAA issued its decision to the university on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 28.

The university indicated it will appeal the decision. A membership committee which oversees the reinstatement process will review the appeal this week. The committee can reduce or remove the conditions the staff has imposed, but cannot increase them.

Georgia had wanted Gurley back for the Florida game and the school said in a short note on its website that it's planning to immediately appeal the NCAA"s decision. The school said last week that it had applied for Gurley's reinstatement. That statement included an apology from Gurley.

If Georgia's appeal is denied, Gurley will miss games against Missouri, Arkansas, Florida and Kentucky.

The star running back was suspended when an autograph dealer reportedly confirmed to the school and multiple media outlets that he paid Gurley $400 to sign 80 items. In an email to Deadspin, the man, Bryan Allen, said that Gurley "kind of screwed me" by doing signings with other dealers as well.

While many Gurley items are listed on an authentication website, many Jameis Winston autographed items are as well. However, despite the presence of the numerous Winston items, Florida State has said it hasn't found any evidence that Winston was compensated for his autograph.

Before the suspension, Gurley had 94 carries for 773 yards and eight touchdowns.

For more Georgia news, visit UGASports.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: October 29, 2014, 1:23 pm

Suddenly, Alabama's running back depth isn't so great. Will it stay that way for the LSU game on November 8?

Alabama coach Nick Saban said Tuesday that RB Tyren Jones is suspended "for now" and did not give a reason for the suspension.

"If Tyren Jones does what he's supposed to, maybe he'll be back sometime soon,' Saban said (via Al.com) at his press conference.

Jones has been playing late in games that have already been decided this season. He has 22 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown this season. However, given the circumstances surrounding Alabama's running backs, he was in line for potentially some more work.

Kenyan Drake is out for the season with an ankle injury and T.J. Yeldon had a boot on his right foot Tuesday. Saban said that Yeldon isn't expected to practice much this week and could be back on Monday.

The suspension and injuries leave Derrick Henry and Altee Tenpenny as Alabama's running backs and if Jones and Yeldon don't return for next week, they'll likely receive a lion's share of the carries. But given that the Crimson Tide is off this week, the picture at running back could be much different in 10 days.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, no, Saban said he doesn't care about the initial College Football Playoff Rankings. Alabama is No. 6. the fourth one-loss team in the rankings behind Auburn, Ole Miss and Oregon.

"I don't even care to be honest with you. Don't know and don't care," Saban said.

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: October 29, 2014, 12:47 pm

History was made Tuesday when the first-ever College Football Playoff rankings were announced to an eager public that wanted to know their team’s chances at a national title.

If you’re a fan of the SEC West, Tuesday was a good day.

If you’re a fan of Notre Dame, or Marshall — an undefeated program that didn’t even crack the top 25 — you’re in complete shock.

However, the most important thing to keep in mind while digesting a top 25 built by 12 people sitting in a closed room for the past 24 hours is that the rankings we’re all discussing today won’t be the same rankings we’ll see in the final poll on Dec. 7.Week 10 College Football Playoff rankings. (Photo credit: CollegeFootballPlayoff.com)

That’s because there are four SEC West teams ranked in the top six and all of them have to play at least one other member of that group before the season ends. In fact, No. 2 Ole Miss and No. 3 Auburn will play this weekend, which will have a significant effect on the top four just a week after the hullabaloo surrounding these first rankings.

Even though these rankings are fluid, Notre Dame still has to feel a little sick.

Many people thought the Irish would be up in the top six with just one loss against then-No. 1 Florida State, and what many considered one of the toughest schedules in the country at the beginning of the year. However, the Irish are sitting at No. 10 with what is now a middle-of-the-road schedule ahead and several teams around them that could keep pushing the Irish lower.

On the flipside, the Big 12 has to be licking their chops at the thought of SEC West cannibalization and two teams — No. 7 TCU and No. 9 Kansas State — on the cusp of getting in. However, those two teams do play each other on Nov. 8. If TCU wins that game, it can strut to the College Football Playoff. If it's Kansas State, well, the Wildcats still have to face Baylor at the end of the regular season. There’s also no doubt that the Big 12 will gain a major advantage by not having one of its better teams picked off in a conference championship game.

While the Big 12 is aligned nicely for a spot in the playoff, so is Michigan State as the highest-ranked representative from the Big Ten at No. 8. The Spartans might have a tough game against Ohio State in a couple weeks, but other than that it’s smooth sailing to the Big Ten title game. However, the pitfall with that is having to play a Nebraska team that’s further down the rankings, but not completely out of the conversation.

The College Football Playoff rankings are a fluid thing so getting upset about them this week is almost a pointless exercise. However, it’s difficult to argue with this first set of rankings. All of the teams in the Top 6 are deserving even if there are a handful of other teams that could be deserving as well. Based on the way these first rankings went, it’s clear the committee is going to let the teams decide their fate, which is a lot better than having some computers do it.

The next five weeks are all about surviving and advancing. It’s an easier task for some than others, but this is what we all wanted.

So far, so good.

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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: October 29, 2014, 12:25 am

If the 2014 college football season ended Tuesday, Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Ole Miss would participate in the inaugural four-team College Football Playoff.Week 10 College Football Playoff rankings. (Photo credit: CollegeFootballPlayoff.com)

The College Football Playoff selection committee unveiled its first-ever top 25 rankings Tuesday night, and there were a few surprises as to how it all played out. Mississippi State and Florida State, both undefeated, claimed the No. 1 and No. 2 spots respectively, while 6-1 Auburn and 7-1 Ole Miss landed at No. 3 and No. 4.

Oregon (7-1) and Alabama (7-1) are on the outside looking in for now, coming in at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively.

While a number of teams with similar resumes were lumped together with one loss outside of the top two, Auburn and Ole Miss were rewarded for head-to-head victories and managed to earn a coveted top-four spot. Though it lost to Mississippi State, the Tigers beat Kansas State (No. 9) and LSU (No. 19), while Ole Miss beat Alabama (No. 6).

TCU, Michigan State, Kansas State, and Notre Dame round out the top 10.

The teams comprising the committee’s initial top 25 consists of six SEC teams, five Pac 12 teams, five Big 12 teams, four ACC teams and three Big Ten teams from Power Five conferences, plus East Carolina of the American Athletic Conference, and Notre Dame, an indepedendent. Undefeated Marshall (8-0), of Conference USA, did not crack the top 25. 

If your team didn’t crack the prestigious top four, don’t worry. The committee will release updated top-25 rankings every Tuesday until Dec. 7 – when the final rankings are unveiled and the semifinalists of the College Football Playoff are decided.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 28, 2014, 11:52 pm

Despite the geographical proximity of the two universities, Maryland and Penn State have not played since 1993. The Terps will travel to State College for a noon contest Saturday and with the teams now Big Ten east division foes, UM head coach Randy Edsall knows the chance for a rivalry can sprout at Beaver Stadium this weekend.

“I think it's great to be able to be in the same conference with them, in a bordering state,” Edsall said Tuesday. “It's something that as we continue to play Penn State, we can turn it into a rivalry and again we are looking forward to going up there to play in front of that hostile environment of 100,000 people."

Edsall was particular with his words. The series history between the two teams has 37 entries, with Penn State winning 35 times. Maryland isn’t looking to rekindle a rivalry. It’s looking to establish one – and to do that, the Terps need to start beating Penn State.

"I think I've been on record, you have to win games and that's one thing that we haven't done here at the University of Maryland,” Edsall said. “Most of our guys weren't even born yet the last time (Penn State and Maryland played). Again, it's just one of those things that we will get the chance to play them now on a yearly basis, and what we have to do, is continue to get better. If you are ever going to make a series a rival, there has to be wins on our side to be able to make that happen."

If Edsall’s program can start pulling out victories against the Nittany Lions, the potential for a rivalry will extend beyond the playing field to the recruiting trail. The teams already recruit many of the same regions, with Penn State dipping into the fertile recruiting grounds of the Washington D.C.-Maryland-Northern Virginia area pretty frequently and with good success.

Edsall hopes some of those kids from Maryland will take a longer look at the Terps.

"Penn State has always recruited down here and Penn State has pretty much always gotten who they wanted to get down here,” Edsall said. “It goes back to beating them on the field to change those things, those are the things that you have to do. We're in an area where it's a bordering state and you have the population that we have here there is going to be a lot of people that are going to come in here and recruit. It's just one of those things and what you have to do is go out and play to the best of your ability and win. That way you can probably keep more of those guys here at home."

Penn State head coach James Franklin, in his first year with the program, is extremely familiar with Maryland in his own right. Franklin spent two different stints with the Terps as an assistant – from 2000-2004 as the wide receivers coach and 2008-2010 as the offensive coordinator. He was even Maryland’s head coach-in-waiting before Vanderbilt hired him away from College Park to be its head coach.

Though he recruited a handful of players on the Maryland roster, including quarterback C.J. Brown, Franklin said his familiarity with those players doesn’t give Penn State an advantage.

“I don't see it being an advantage on the field because I know their personalities but I haven't coached them or been around them in four years,” Franklin said. “So a lot of things change, guys get bigger, stronger, they develop, they're in schemes that are different and things like that. I don't think we gain a whole lot of an advantage.”

Both teams are coming off tough losses over the weekend. The Terps (5-3) were blown out 52-7 on the road by Wisconsin while Penn State (4-3) dropped a double-overtime decision to Ohio State.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 28, 2014, 9:43 pm

Nine weeks ago, Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill was a Heisman contender. Come this weekend, he might be watching from the bench.

Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said Tuesday that Hill and freshman Kyle Allen both have been taking snaps with the first team and that a starter for Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe would be decided later in the week.

“We opened it back up and we've had some good experiences throughout last week in live scrimmage situations," Spavital said. "We've put them in different scenarios ... and are still challenging them in different ways. It's still wide open."

This is a lot like fall camp when the two players competed to be the opening day starter. Hill won that competition and proceeded to cement his starting spot with a spectacular first start against South Carolina.

But as the Aggies have faced tougher competition, Hill has struggled mightily.

In the past three games, all Aggie losses, Hill has thrown six touchdowns and six interceptions. Prior to that streak, Hill had only thrown two interceptions. The latest blemish was a 59-0 loss to Alabama, the Aggies' first shutout since 2003, where Hill threw for 138 yards and a pick.

That prompted coach Kevin Sumlin to announce that every position would be re-evaluated, including quarterback.

"That is tough, especially when you've started for eight games and then you're thrown in that situation where your job is on the line," Spavital said. "I think [Hill has] handled it pretty well. He's out there competing. He's motivating those younger guys when he's going with the No. 2 offense and I see that as leadership."

Allen played in spot time this year against A&M’s weak nonconference opponents and late against Alabama. He’s thrown for 264 yards and three touchdowns and also has two interceptions.

Spavital said Allen was thrilled to hear the quarterback competition was back open and that he’s seen determination in Allen to gain the starting role.

"I'm pleased with how he's handled the whole situation from fall camp through those eight games leading up to this point," Spavital said of Allen. "He shows up every day, he gets extra work in and you can tell he's really trying to exert himself to try to go out there and try to win this job."

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

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: October 28, 2014, 8:05 pm

A day after the Tallahassee Police Department confirmed that Florida State running back Karlos Williams was the subject of a domestic battery investigation, Williams’ accuser asked police to “drop its investigation.”

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Nathan Prince, the attorney representing the alleged victim, “informally told” the TPD to stop the investigation and will formally put in a request to end it Tuesday. Prince said his client “will not talk to investigators, has not filed a complaint and did not notify TPD or FSU about any alleged domestic battery incident.”

The woman and Williams have a child together and another on the way, Prince said. The two no longer live together and are no longer a couple.

Additionally, Prince told the Democrat that he does not think probable cause for an arrest of Williams exists due to the lack of witnesses. Prince said that he thinks Florida State and police were alerted “after Internet rumors started” saying Williams’ girlfriend had been the victim of domestic violence.

“She doesn’t want to make any comments on the facts of the case,” Prince said. “There aren’t any witnesses that have provided testimony.”

Tim Jansen, Williams’ attorney, was unaware of the woman’s attorney’s intention to get the case dropped when reached by the Democrat.

Elsewhere, a report emerged Monday night that Williams’ name surfaced as part of an investigation into an armed robbery that occurred on June 23. When reached last week, Williams declined to speak with investigators about the case.

Williams, who leads FSU with 378 yards rushing and seven touchdowns, has not been charged in either incident.

The second-ranked Seminoles play Louisville on the road Thursday night.

For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 28, 2014, 7:07 pm

A former kicker for West Texas A&M University alleges that his parents took a Spanish test for one of the team’s best players.

Jose Azarte Jr., a backup kicker who played for the Buffs until Oct. 13, told the Amarillo Globe-News that he informed both school and NCAA officials that he “completed homework and assignments” for Anthony Johnson, a starting wide receiver. Azarte Jr. also said that his Spanish-speaking parents used Johnson’s login name to complete a Spanish exam.

From the Globe-News:

Azarte Jr. gave Amarillo Globe-News screenshots of his Spanish-speaking parents, Diana and Jose Azarte Sr., logged in on the VISTAS Supersite on June 15 under Johnson’s login. Azarte Jr. said Johnson was in the same room at his parents’ home in Canyon on the day of the test but never took the exam. Azarte Jr. said Johnson spent the entire time on his phone.

Additionally, Azarte Jr. produced text messages (all of which can be seen when scrolling through the photos attached to the Globe-News article) showing an assistant coach urging Azarte Jr. to help Johnson with his work in exchange for increased playing time.

A May 30 text message from “Coach Hinton,” believed to be wide receivers/special teams coordinator Joel Hinton, reads: “I told AJ to call you. The more touchdowns that guy scores the more you get to kick!”

On top of that, Azarte Jr. said that Hinton reiterated the sentiment from his text message on another occasion.

Azarte Jr. said Hinton called one day during the spring asking to have his lawn mowed. Azarte Jr. and his dad run a landscaping business. “But I think all Coach Hinton wanted to do was talk to me in person,” Azarte Jr. said. “Because there was no grass to be mowed. It was all leaves in the backyard, so my dad and I picked those up. As we’re leaving, Coach Hinton reminded me if AJ scores I kick points.”

Azarte Jr. never saw the playing field for the Buffs before he left the program. He asked head coach Mike Nesbitt for his release on Oct. 12. When Nesbitt wouldn’t give him his release, Azarte Jr. decided to report the alleged academic fraud to the NCAA.

When reached by the Globe-News Monday, Nesbitt confirmed there is an ongoing investigation.

“I can confirm an investigation into an alleged academic issue potentially involving two football student-athletes. The process is ongoing, and I will have no other comment at this time," he said.

Nesbitt would not confirm the reason Johnson, who leads the team with 45 catches and 673 yards, was held out of Saturday’s game against Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Meanwhile, Azarte Jr. said he is unsure whether or not he will try to join a football team at another college.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 28, 2014, 4:35 pm

A spectator suffered a gash to his head after a mirror fell from a level above at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium on Saturday during the Huskers' 42-24 win over Rutgers.

The 4-by-6-inch mirror hit Carlton Clark as he turned around to talk to friends behind him and opened up a 1.5-inch wound on his head.

“It sounded like a gunshot when it hit,” Clark told the Lincoln Journal-Star.

Where did the mirror come from? No one knows for sure. The paper said the "best guess" is that it came from ESPN's broadcast booth. However, Clark's seats aren't directly underneath the booth.

“I have no idea how it could have happened,” Clark told the Journal-Star. “But the odds were 1 in 92,000, and I was the one.”

The mirror fell during halftime, and after he was tended to by medics, Clark was able to stand up and walk to the stadium's first-aid station. But much to his chagrin, the cut kept bleeding through the fourth quarter and his son drove him to an emergency room and Clark missed the entire second half.

He has eight staples in his head, but he said the injury won't prevent him from seeing Saturday's game at home against Purdue. He says he's fine and will be back in his same seat.

For more Nebraska news visit HuskerOnline.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: October 28, 2014, 4:01 pm

Ohio State RB Rod Smith is no longer a member of the team.

ElevenWarriors.com reported Monday night that Smith would be dismissed and Tuesday morning, the Columbus Dispatch reported the same thing, citing a source that said Smith failed a drug test.

Smith, a senior, had 24 carries for 102 yards this season. He missed much of the spring because of academic issues but was used as a substitute for Ohio State starting RB Ezekiel Elliott this season.

He didn't play in Saturday's double-overtime win over Penn State, but had scored at least one touchdown in the four games before the Penn State game and had two scores against Kent State. His most productive game was against Cincinnati when he had 11 carries for 61 yards.

Smith was the No. 6 running back in the country and a four-star recruit in the class of 2010 according to Rivals. His most productive season in terms of yards came in 2012 when he ran for 215 yards on 32 carries.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: October 28, 2014, 3:01 pm

After it was revealed by Tallahassee police that Florida State RB Karlos Williams was the subject of a domestic battery investigation, Williams' name has also surfaced as part of another incident in Tallahassee.

Florida state attorney Willie Meggs wanted to talk to Williams about a robbery that happened on June 23, according to ESPN. Meggs told ESPN that his department attempted to talk to Williams last week and that he declined to speak with an assistant state attorney and an investigator.

Meggs is the state attorney who reviewed the accusations of sexual assault against FSU quarterback Jameis WInston. Meggs didn't charge Winston because of a lack of evidence and has been critical of the way the Tallahassee Police Department handled Winston's investigation.

The robbery happened as part of a marijuana deal gone bad. Daravius Lawrence is charged with robbery with a firearm and Williams is listed as an associate of his on the police report. According to a spokesperson for the TPD, Williams declined to speak with the department last summer.

"At that time, Mr. Williams agreed to come in for an interview on Monday of the next week [June 30]," Northway said. "He did not show up for the interview. The investigator did try to reach him, and [Williams' girlfriend] told the investigator that they had hired an attorney and would not be giving a statement."

The TPD announced Williams was the subject of the domestic violence investigation via its Facebook page on Monday. After a report emerged that Williams was to be suspended, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said it was a false report.

Williams has not been charged regarding either incident.

Williams has 82 carries for 378 yards and seven touchdowns in 2014. Florida State plays Louisville on Thursday.

For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: October 28, 2014, 1:15 pm

The Sum Belt issued a reprimand to officials involved in Tuesday's game between Arkansas State and Louisiana-Lafayette and also to members of each team.

The game featured eight unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and two ejections.

"Numerous incidents occurred during last week's game that required me to conduct an extensive and detailed review," Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson said in a statement.  "Everyone associated with the Sun Belt Conference, including student-athletes, coaches, officials and administrators, is expected to act with a level of conduct and decorum that includes integrity, fair play and respect for others.  In my review, I found that multiple individuals associated with this game did not meet these expectations of fair play and sportsmanship."

The officials in the game are at the risk of not being selected for postgame assignments and are suspended for an upcoming game. It's the same crew that received a reprimand for a game involving Georgia State and ULL earlier in the year. In that game October 4, officials skipped a down on a Georgia State drive.

Arkansas State DB Andrew Tryon and LB Xavier Woodson were the two players ejected. Tryon committed two personal foul penalties (an automatic ejection) and Woodson was penalized for spitting on an opponent. The two were reprimanded along with RB Frankie Jackson and WR Tres Houston.

The Sun Belt said Jackson committed a flagrant act on an extra point attempt that "could have led to a serious injury to a UL Lafayette player" which went unnoticed by officials. Houston's reprimand was for multiple acts of unsportsmanlike conduct that were also unnoticed.

ULL CB Corey Trim was also reprimanded for multiple acts of unsportsmanlike conduct. ULL assistant Mitch Rodrigue and strength coach Rusty Whitt were also reprimanded for conduct and "inappopriate bench decorum." The reprimands to the people on each team don't involve an official punishment.

"Our expectations for sportsmanship and integrity in the Sun Belt Conference are set very high," said Benson.  "When individuals fail to meet our standards they must be held accountable."

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: October 28, 2014, 12:35 pm

Was Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher's handling of quarterback Jameis Winston a big reason for the Seminoles getting a top commitment on Monday?

RB Jacques Patrick, the No. 2 running back in the country, verbally committed to Florida State and said that both he and his mother were impressed with the way that Fisher has handled the circumstances surrounding his quarterback over the past two seasons.

"My mom was the one that really reacted to it … she knows I’m going to be in good hands when I get up there and that’s the most important thing," Patrick said in an interview with Warchant.com after his commitment ceremony.

Fisher has taken a lot of flack for his passionate defense of Winston, who was suspended for a game earlier this season for shouting an obscene phrase in the Florida State student union. The suspension, originally a half game, was extended to a game after Winston reportedly tried to downplay his role in the incident to Florida State officials. 

Before the shouting, Winston was suspended from the baseball team after he was cited for stealing crab legs from a grocery store. He's also set to face a university disciplinary hearing about the accusation of sexual assault levied against him in December 2012. Through it all, Fisher has complimented and defended his quarterback, and, at least in this situation, it helped in recruiting.

Patrick, a native of Orlando, is a five-star recruit and also the No. 17 player in the country according to Rivals. He had scholarship offers from over 30 schools.

For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: October 28, 2014, 11:54 am

Penn State announced Monday that the collegiate careers of two seniors, running back Zach Zwinak and safety Ryan Keiser, are over due to unspecified injuries.

Keiser, a co-captain on defense, started the first six games of the season at free safety before getting injured in the days leading up to the Nittany Lions’ matchup with Ohio State. PSU head coach James Franklin said after the game that “something kind of freaky happened in practice on Thursday” that kept Keiser out of the game.

In six games this season, Keiser, who started his career as a walk-on, registered 25 tackles and had the game-sealing interception for the Nittany Lions in the team’s Week 3 win over Rutgers.

Overall, the 6-foot-1, 208-pound Keiser appeared in 42 games and made 74 tackles in his Penn State career. After redshirting as a freshman in 2010, Keiser played in every game in 2011 and 2012 mainly on special teams. After earning a scholarship, Keiser then entered the mix in the secondary in 2013, starting five games, making 38 tackles and leading the team with three interceptions. Two of his three interceptions in 2013 clinched Penn State wins in games against Illinois and Wisconsin.

Zwinak, a 6-foot-1, 233-pound power back, went down on the opening kickoff Saturday night with a lower left leg injury. He finishes his career 15th on the school’s career rushing list with 2,108 yards and is also tied for 10th in school history with 11 career 100-yard rushing games.

Zwinak tore his ACL in his first year with the program, then saw limited action as a redshirt freshman in 2011. After barely playing in Penn State’s first three games in 2012, Zwinak burst onto the scene and racked up six 100-yard rushing performances en route to exactly 1,000 yards and six touchdowns for the season.

Zwinak added five more 100-yard rushing performances in 2013, finishing with 989 yards and 12 touchdowns. This season, playing behind a young offensive line, Zwinak ran for just 112 yards on 40 carries, but he did score three times.

With Keiser out, true freshman Marcus Allen made his first career start and played well, making 11 tackles. In Zwinak’s absence, Penn State will lean more on sophomore Akeel Lynch along with senior Bill Belton, the usual starter.

As noted in a release from Penn State, the Nittany Lions will suit up “a total of 46 recruited scholarship players” against Maryland Saturday afternoon. With Keiser and Zwinak done for the year, Penn State is down to six healthy scholarship seniors.

For more Penn State news, visit BlueWhiteIllustrated.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 27, 2014, 10:11 pm

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett sprained the MCL in his left knee during Saturday night’s win over Penn State. Though he’ll be limited in practice this week, Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer expects Barrett to play when Illinois comes to Ohio Stadium Saturday night.

“We are going to see how it goes,” Meyer said, per BuckeyeGrove.com. “He’s probably going to be a guy that we wont tell him he’s limited, but we’ll make sure he’s limited. It’s not throwing that’s a concern, it’s running.”

Meyer said the injury will not require any surgery, though he did describe the injury – which Barrett played with for most of the Penn State game – as “serious.” Barrett, a redshirt freshman, fought through the knee pain and scored twice on the ground in overtime to help the Buckeyes win 31-24. The second score, which ended up deciding the game, came on a second effort after initially being stuffed by the Nittany Lions’ front.

"He is one of the toughest cats I have ever been around, to think what he did in that game, I am so impressed by that," Meyer said of Barrett. "How many guys could have done that? He had a very serious injury, a MCL injury is a serious injury, and he got hit on the 3-yard line and bulls it in against Penn State's defense to win the game."

The win improved Ohio State’s record to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in Big Ten play. Despite the win, the Buckeyes remained at No. 13 in the AP poll.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 27, 2014, 9:08 pm

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, the largest donor to Michigan athletics, told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that he will not stand in the way of the university firing Dave Brandon if it chooses to go in that direction.

“I don’t think alumni should control universities,” Ross told the paper. “We have a great president and he is running the university and not me.”

Brandon has been under fire since he admitted the school did not handle an injury situation with quarterback Shane Morris well. Morris suffered a head injury against Minnesota and was not only allowed to stay in the game for one more play before being removed, he was then reinserted into the game after backup Devin Gardner lost his helmet and needed to come out for a play.

Ross has been one of Brandon’s biggest supporters, but he’s seemingly in a minority when it comes to that.

Ross told the Wall Street Journal that Schlissel has “been talking to a lot of people” about Brandon and “has not come to a hasty conclusion.” Ross said he didn’t think Schlissel had come to a decision about Brandon’s fate and that if he had, “he has not told anyone.”

Ross did note that he didn’t think Brandon’s job status should be based on the struggles of the football team, which is now 3-5.

“There’s a lot more to the job than winning football games,” Ross said. “That’s the coach’s responsibility.”

For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.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: October 27, 2014, 8:02 pm

With nine weeks of the 2014 college football season in the books, the College Football Playoff selection committee will release the first of its weekly rankings Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The rankings are the first of six weekly Top 25 rankings the committee will release every Tuesday for the next six weeks before the four participants for the inaugural College Football Playoff are decided.

So how does it all work? We’re here to break it down.

SELECTION COMMITTEE

With Archie Manning taking a leave of absence due to health issues, the selection committee has 12 members: Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long (committee chair), Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, Mike Gould, former Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, USC athletic director Pat Haden, former NCAA Executive Vice President Tom Jernstedt, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich, former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese, former USA Today reporter Steve Wieberg and former Stanford, Notre Dame and Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham.

The members of the selection committee meet weekly in person on Mondays and Tuesdays to create the rankings and have been meeting since November 2013. The committee members consult video and statistics while emphasizing win-loss record, strength of schedule, conference championships and head-to-head results, among other things.

Specific members have been established as the “point persons” to study particular teams in particular conferences, plus the independent teams. The idea is that the point persons can offer detailed information about each team to the rest of the committee.

  • American – Mike Gould and Pat Haden
  • Atlantic Coast – Tom Jernstedt and Steve Wieberg
  • Big Ten – Pat Haden and Condoleezza Rice
  • Big 12 – Barry Alvarez and Mike Tranghese
  • Conference-USA – Tom Osborne and Condoleezza Rice
  • Mid-American – Barry Alvarez and Tyrone Willingham
  • Mountain West – Oliver Luck and Mike Tranghese
  • Pac-12 – Mike Gould and Tom Osborne
  • Southeastern – Oliver Luck and Steve Wieberg
  • Sun Belt – Dan Radakovich and Tyrone Willingham
  • Independents – Dan Radakovich and Steve Wieberg

 

FORMULATING THE RANKINGS

Here’s where the fun begins. Per the CFP official voting process, each individual committee member will assemble a list of the country’s best 25 teams in no particular order. If three or more members of the committee list a team, that particular team remains under consideration.

Next, each committee member will list his or her top six teams, again in no particular order. The six teams that receive the most votes then “will comprise the pool for the first ranking step.”

In the first ranking step, each member ranks those six teams one through six, with one being the best and six being the worst. A first place vote is worth one point, a second place vote is worth two points, and a third place vote is worth three points, and so on. The three teams that receive the fewest points will become the top three seeds, one through three. The three remaining teams that were not seeded will be held over for the next step of the ranking process.

With the top three seeded teams out of the picture for now, each committee member will then be asked to list the next six best remaining teams in no order. At that point, the three teams with the most votes from that group will be added (creating seeds four through six) to the three teams that were already seeded.

That team that emerged from this process at No. 4 will be the final team included in the College Football Playoff.

That process will then be repeated “until 25 teams have been seeded.” Sounds complicated, right?

RECUSAL POLICY

The recusal policy for committee members who are associated with particular schools (read: paid by) is also worth considering. A member with that affiliation cannot participate in a vote that involves that school – regarding both selection and seeding.

The following members are recused from votes involving these schools:

  • Barry Alvarez – Wisconsin
  • Mike Gould – Air Force
  • Pat Haden – USC
  • Jeff Long – Arkansas
  • Oliver Luck – West Virginia
  • Tom Osborne – Nebraska
  • Dan Radakovich – Clemson
  • Condoleezza Rice – Stanford

 

OTHER POLLS

The coaches and AP polls will continue to be released, but they are not supposed to have any influence on the committee members. In fact, the selection committee protocol says members are “required to discredit polls wherein initial rankings are established before competition has occurred.”

Let the controversy begin.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 27, 2014, 7:12 pm

Florida State running back Karlos Williams is the subject of a domestic battery case currently being investigated by the Tallahassee Police Department, according to the department’s Facebook page and media reports.

The Tallahassee Police Department is currently working an alleged domestic battery involving Karlos Williams. TPD received the case on Saturday night, October 25th, 2014 and it was immediately assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division. The alleged crime is an active on-going investigation and Florida Law does not allow TPD to discuss the details of any case while it is on-going.
Once the case is complete, it will be released under the guidelines of Florida Public Records Law.

Jacksonville, Fla., radio host Rick Ballou tweeted Friday that sources had told him Williams was going to get suspended. He then apologized for the tweet after Florida State called him and told him his information was false.

Even coach Jimbo Fisher, who was holding his press conference on Friday instead of Monday because the Seminoles play on Thursday this week, asserted the report was erroneous.

“There’s another false report, and that’s amazing how things happen,” Fisher said Friday. “Whoever has sources, whoever has rumors, needs to check who they are talking to – because that is about as far from truth as there is.”

Florida State issued a statement that it was waiting for more details regarding the investigation.

"Until we receive more information regarding the alleged incident [Karlos Williams'] status with the team will be under review."

It seems like Florida State continues to be in the news for off-field issues and that Fisher is continually spending more time either diffusing rumors or defending players than actually addressing what’s going on on the field.

Florida State is still dealing with the alleged sexual assault case regarding quarterback Jameis Winston. A former Supreme Court justice was chosen to preside over Winston’s student code of conduct hearing regarding the matter. There is no date yet scheduled for the hearing.

For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.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: October 27, 2014, 6:19 pm

Ole Miss redshirt junior linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken ankle in the Rebels 10-7 loss to LSU last weekend.

Nkemdiche underwent surgery Sunday.

Nkemdiche’s injury occurred during the first quarter against LSU. He did not return to the playing field, but was seen on the sideline in a walking boot in the second half.

Nkemdiche finished the season with 28 tackles and a sack. He has 145 total tackles and four sacks during his career.

Senior Serderius Bryant will replace Nkemdiche at outside linebacker. Bryant, who has four starts this season, led the Rebels with 78 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles in 2013.

Ole Miss, which is coming off its first loss of the year, will host No. 4 Auburn on Saturday.

For more Ole Miss news, visit RebelGrove.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: October 27, 2014, 5:52 pm

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said he did not want quarterback Bo Wallace to throw to the end zone during the final drive of Saturday’s 10-7 loss to LSU.

With 9 seconds remaining and the Rebels on the 30-yard-line, Wallace chose to throw toward the end zone instead of taking a safer route along the sideline or even throwing the ball out of bounds.

LSU safety Ronald Martin intercepted the pass at the 1-yard line with 2 seconds left to hand the Rebels their first loss of the season.

After Bo Wallace's pick

"I think Bo would tell you, I thought we were pretty clear we were either going to take the flat throw or throw it out of bounds and try the field goal," Freeze said after the game. "He must have felt like he had a shot at the touchdown play there, the clear-out guy. But no, I wish I could do that over for sure."

Wallace didn’t offer much of an explanation for the decision following the game.

"I'm not going to talk about it," Wallace said. "One-on-one, threw it up -- done."

It was an unfortunate ending to an otherwise hard-fought game.

Freeze actually sent kicker Gary Wunderlich out to attempt a 42-yard field goal with 9 seconds to play, but the Rebels were flagged for a delay of game penalty, which backed them up five yards. Still, the kick was within the range of Wunderlich, who had kicked a 46-yarder against Alabama earlier in the year.

Freeze said it wasn’t the distance that bothered him so much, but rather the right hash, which Freeze said was not Wunderlich’s favorite side. So, after LSU called a timeout to ice the Ole Miss kicker, Freeze thought he’d take one more shot to see if he could get the ball closer to the end zone and on the side that Wunderlich preferred.

Even though Freeze said he expressed this to Wallace, his quarterback had designs on winning the game outright.

"I told him to sprint out and either take the flat throw right now or throw it out of bounds," Freeze said. "Still, worst case, you’re still at the same point. We were trying to get it to the left hash for him or left-middle. We just didn’t get it done there."

For more Ole Miss news, visit RebelGrove.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: October 27, 2014, 5:31 pm

NCAA President Mark Emmert thinks it's time member institutions revisit the rules related to college athletes and autographs in light of the allegations leveled against Georgia running back Todd Gurley and Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.

"I hope the members do look at it," Emmert told USA Today in a phone interview Monday. "Whether they change it or not is less important than whether or not they look at it and say, 'We still think this is a good rule for good reasons' or not, but we need to have it affirmed or changed — one of the two — and this is a good time to do it."

Emmert’s comments come at a time when the NCAA is under legal fire regarding compensation for college athletes. Many want to be able to make money off their own likeness since several universities are already doing so.

Players seeking money in exchange for their autographs is not a new problem.

Former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, last year, was under NCAA investigation for allegedly signing memorabilia for money and Ohio State was placed on NCAA restrictions a few years ago after a pattern of trading autographs and memorabilia for tattoos and money was exposed.

"There shouldn't be any doubt in the minds of student-athletes that under the current rules the membership has in place, you can't sign autographs for pay, and everybody's supposed to know that and be educated on that by their athletic department," Emmert told USA Today. "Whether or not that's a rule you like is a different story. Here in Indianapolis, the beltway speed limit is 55 and as Mark Emmert, I think that's too low. But if I'm driving 65 and get pulled over, I can't say I don't like the rule. So we need to deal with the second question and is it time to re-look at this rule?"

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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: October 27, 2014, 4:58 pm

The house in which Alabama coach Nick Saban and wife, Terry, live in Tuscaloosa, Ala., is actually owned by the Crimson Tide Foundation.

According to al.com, the charitable foundation purchased the home for nearly $3.1 million 10 weeks after Alabama won the BCS national Championship against Notre Dame in 2013.

The Sabans, who first purchased the 8,759-square-foot home in 2007 for $2.875 million, still live there and the foundation, which is part of the university, pays the property taxes about $10,000 a year.

 

"It's not all that unusual in the world for universities to provide the housing," Scott Phelps, assistant secretary of the foundation, told al.com. "We want to keep him happy. We think he is the best coach in America."

Phelps is right. This isn’t unusual, however, most coaches usually have a housing stipend written into their contracts. It is a little unusual for a university — or a facet of a university — to buy the house in which a coach had already already been living for the prior six years.

Still, none of this is against NCAA rules. It’s merely one of the many perks that most coaches receive.

The timing of the purchase was not coincidental.

After Saban won his third national title with the Crimson Tide, there were rumors he was ready to seek out his next challenge elsewhere. He was courted by places such as Texas, but has remained faithful to Alabama.

The Crimson Tide Foundation is a nonprofit group founded in 2003 that provides money for scholarships, has given money for athletic facility renovation and has helped provide money for coaching positions.

The Saban home is the only piece of residential property the foundation owns.

For more Alabama news, visit TideSports.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: October 27, 2014, 4:30 pm

TCU lit up Texas Tech Saturday for a whopping 82 points in a home win.

Whenever the Horned Frogs score a touchdown, fireworks are shot off at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Clearly no one anticipated that TCU would be able to reach the end zone 10 times, because the school actually ran out of a season’s worth of fireworks before the game even ended.

For real. Drew Martin, the school's assistant athletics director for marketing and licensing confirmed it on Twitter.

How prolific is @TCUFootball's offense this year? In yesterday's 82-27 romp over Tech, we shot all the pyro we ordered...for the season.

— Drew Martin (@TCU_Drew) October 26, 2014

@AlexAppleDFW My guy radioed me after we hit 68 and said "I only have enough for one more touchdown this season." Then we scored two.

— Drew Martin (@TCU_Drew) October 26, 2014

In the 82-27 win, quarterback Trevone Boykin threw for a school record seven touchdowns before leaving the game in the third quarter. The 82 points scored also set a TCU record and it’s the most points Texas Tech has ever allowed in the history of its program.

In all, the Horned Frogs racked up 785 yards of offense and improved to 6-1 with the win. The Horned Frogs are ranked No. 10 in the most recent Associated Press poll. Texas Tech dropped to 3-5.

For more TCU news, visit PurpleMenace.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 27, 2014, 4:29 pm

After two crucial officiating mistakes were made in Saturday night’s game between Ohio State and Penn State, the Big Ten offered an explanation Sunday.

On Penn State’s first drive of the game, quarterback Christian Hackenberg appeared to be intercepted by Ohio State’s Vonn Bell. However, replays from multiple angles showed the ball hit the ground, meaning it should have been an incomplete pass.

The play was reviewed, but was curiously upheld despite clear evidence that the ball hit the ground. The Buckeyes then took over at the PSU 39-yard line and scored seven plays later.

The conference said Sunday that “technical difficulties” in the replay booth “did not provide sufficient information to reverse the call.”

Here’s the Big Ten’s full explanation for the gaffe, via ESPN's Big Ten blog:

The video feed to the replay booth was tested and confirmed on Friday and prior to the game on Saturday, but at the start of the game, the booth was no longer receiving all available feeds. The technician in the booth followed procedure by contacting the production truck, which immediately began working on the issue. Due to these technical difficulties, only one isolated shot from the overhead camera was available and the view did not provide sufficient information to reverse the call. As a result, the play stood as called. The production truck rectified the technical issues shortly thereafter, and the replay booth had access to multiple feeds for the remainder of the game.

Later on in the first half, Ohio State kicked a 49-yard field goal to increase its lead to 10-0. However, the play should have been blown dead before the snap because of a delay of game.

The play clock expired for close to three seconds before the ball was snapped, but a five-yard delay of game penalty was not assessed. The Big Ten attributed this to a “breakdown in officiating mechanics.”

"In this case, a breakdown in officiating mechanics occurred and the crew failed to properly monitor the play clock. There is flexibility for a slight delay between the play clock and the snap of the ball, but in this case, the timing far exceeded the tolerance for normal play clock procedures. The proper ruling should have been a five-yard penalty for delay of game. This is not a reviewable play."

Those 10 points for Ohio State ended up being costly when Penn State came from behind in the second half to tie the score at 17, forcing overtime. The Buckeyes eventually prevailed 31-24 in double overtime and after the game, Penn State head coach James Franklin did not seem pleased.

“All that equals 10 points, right?” Franklin said. “I would love to come in here and tell you what I really think, but that would not be appropriate with some things that went on.”

For more Penn State news, visit BlueWhiteIllustrated.com.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 27, 2014, 3:53 pm

USC will be without a starting offensive lineman for the rest of the season.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian announced Sunday that redshirt sophomore Chad Wheeler, the Trojans’ left tackle, tore the ACL in his right knee in Saturday night’s loss to Utah.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Sarkisian said Wheeler’s injury occurred on the third play of the game, but he did not come out “until after seven or eight more plays.”

“He fought through it until he just couldn’t anymore,” Sarkisian said during his Sunday teleconference. “That’s the biggest thing we lose without him being out there.”

The 6-foot-7, 280-pound Wheeler started every game for the Trojans over the last two seasons. Sarkisian said senior Aundrey Walker will take over for Wheeler at left tackle Saturday at Washington State.

The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Walker has started 18 games for the Trojans in his career. Sarkisian praised Walker’s effort in relief of Wheeler against the Utes.

“I thought Aundrey did an admirable job stepping in against a really good defensive line, against a very good pass rusher in (Utah’s) Nate Orchard,” Sarkisian said. “So I think he’ll continue to improve.”

After starting 10 of the team’s first 12 games at right guard last season, Walker went down with a broken left ankle against UCLA on November 30. That injury kept Walker out of spring practice and slowed his return to the field.

Now with Wheeler going down, Walker will return to left tackle, where he made seven starts in 2012.

USC is now 5-3 after Saturday night’s loss.

For more USC news, visit TrojanSports.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 27, 2014, 2:42 pm

Update: 10/28 - 10:20 a.m. ET

U.S. Military Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr. issued a lengthy statement Sunday and accepted responsibility for the football program’s recruiting violations that took place early this year.

As Superintendent, I take full responsibility for all actions that occur here at West Point to include the incident on January 25, 2014. I am fully committed to the values of West Point in all of our cadets and in all of our programs, and will ensure they are upheld to the highest of standards. We have programs that assess the climate and culture of our teams and clubs, and have taken action when assessments indicate the need to do so. We have also commissioned outside consultants to review our workplace culture and policies for blind-spots and weaknesses. When violations occur, I am committed to investigate them in accordance with all due process and adjudicate accordingly. I believe those involved in this incident have learned from their mistakes, corrected their behavior accordingly, and will have the character to be the leaders our Nation expects of its West Point graduates.

In the statement, Caslen also disputed a few portions of the original story from the Gazette of Colorado Springs.

First, Caslen asserts that no “booster” money was involved in the trip to the bowling alley. However, the way the “Cadet host funds,” which were distributed legally, were handled by the cadet hosts resulted in violations.

Next, Caslen characterizes the “police escort” for the bus as being compliant with New York state law “that requires a bus to have a police escort while traveling on the Palisades Parkway.” Caslen also wrote that the “54-passenger charter bus” was escorted by just one state police officer. However, the investigation into the matter found that the escort is a violation of NCAA rules and the school has since “discontinued the practice.”

Caslen also disputed that the football staff arranged for female cadets to attend the trip. Instead, he says that cadet hosts invited female cadets who were a part of a recruiting dinner to accompany them on the trip to the mall.

Finally, Caslen says there was no “cover up” to keep quiet about the incident.

West Point is prohibited from disclosing or discussing personnel matters and ongoing investigations by the federal Privacy Act. We did a deliberate investigation, held individuals accountable, and reported rules violations to the NCAA.

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Army disciplined 20 cadets on the football team after learning of an “alcohol-fueled party” that occurred earlier this year and involved recruits. 

According to a report from The Gazette of Colorado Springs, the football team hosted several recruits for a party that featured “a dinner date with female cadets, cash from boosters and VIP treatment on a party bus complete with cheerleaders and a police escort.”

Army, which “acknowledged the misconduct,” self-reported a recruiting violation to the NCAA as a result of the incidents after it disciplined the 20 players involved. Additionally, two officers and two coaches were reprimanded, but according to The Gazette, “those involved avoided more serious punishments, including dismissal from the academy for cadets and courts-martial for officers.”

All of the players involved, including starting quarterback Angel Santiago, are “expected to be on the field” when the Black Knights host Air Force on Saturday.

Army said in a statement that it takes this matter “very seriously.”

"Although seen as a minor infraction by the NCAA, the U.S. Military Academy takes this very seriously and adjudicated this at the highest level of the disciplinary code. We adjudicated this under Article 10 of the Cadet Disciplinary Code and all cadets appeared before the Commandant's Disciplinary Board."

According to The Gazette, Army began to investigate the recruiting misconduct in March and found that “football coaches, including first-year coach Jeff Monken, knew of the incidents within days but didn’t tell West Point leaders or the NCAA.”

Monken dished out unspecified punishments and also held the players involved from the spring game.

The first instance of recruiting violations occurred on January 24 and involved 14 recruits. The recruits were taken on a trip to a mall 27 miles from campus “on a chartered bus with a full police escort.” The recruits were then taken to a bowling alley that is “known for turning a blind eye to underage drinking.” At the alley, cadets used “booster money allocated for the evening” to buy beer for themselves and the recruits.

According to a report written by Lt. Col. Shannon Miller, the person assigned to investigate the incidents by the school, the ride home “reflected a club-like atmosphere.”

"The trip consisted of the (charter) bus driver allowing the music to play very loudly, dancing in the aisles, strobe lights flashing iPhones to reflect the club-like atmosphere," Miller wrote. The investigator also found that two female cheerleaders began making out amid the bus party, adding a sexual charge to the scene. The cheerleaders also kissed a football player and a recruit.

The second incident occurred in February and involved Lt. Col. Chad Davis, Army’s director of football operations.

From The Gazette:

Miller found that Army football recruiters use female cadets to help sell West Point. In February, West Point's director of football operations, Lt. Col. Chad Davis, recruited cheerleaders and members of the academy's women's basketball and volleyball teams to act as dinner dates for recruits, Miller's report said. Miller wrote that Davis, who still works for the team, told the women, "We want recruits to see that there are pretty girls that go here," and "There are not just masculine women that attend West Point."

The NCAA issued a warning to Army earlier this month, but did not issue sanctions. However, the NCAA said Monken could be suspended if similar incidents occur in the future.

Miller’s report said that the bus trop to the mall “started more than a decade ago.”

“The Palisades mall trip has been in place for many years. Additionally no officer in-charge attends the trip to the Palisades, cadets do not sign out and there is no clearly understood cadet in charge,” Miller wrote.

Army instituted new guidelines for recruiting visits in September requiring officers be in attendance at all times. An officer did not attend the previously described bus incident.

For more Army news, visit GoBlackKnights.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 27, 2014, 2:17 pm

Michigan coach Brady Hoke has issued a public apology after a Michigan player drove a tent stake into the field at Spartan Stadium before the Wolverines lost 35-11 to Michigan State on Saturday.

LB Joe Bolden drove the stake into the ground and Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said after the game that the act was why the Spartans scored their last touchdown. With little time left in the fourth quarter and a 28-11 lead, Michigan State had the opportunity to take a knee against the Wolverines. Instead, The Spartans decided to keep running plays and RB Jeremy Langford scored a touchdown.

"I want to publicly apologize to Coach Dantonio as well as the players and supporters of Michigan State for our act of poor sportsmanship displayed pre-game yesterday," Hoke said in the statement. "I spoke with Mark earlier today and expressed to him that we meant no disrespect to his team. During our regular Friday night team meeting, one of the topics presented to motivate our team was a history lesson addressing commitment and teamwork in a tough environment. A tent stake was presented to the team as a symbol of this concept. The stake was brought into our locker room as a visual reminder, and one of our team leaders chose to take it out on the field."

"As the leader of our football program, I take full responsibility for the actions of our team. We believe in displaying a high level of respect at the University of Michigan and unfortunately that was not reflected by this action prior to kickoff."

Because Dantonio brought the incident up after the game and it caused a touchdown, don't be surprised if this is viewed by some as an apology for the payback more so than the act itself. Either way, it's another paragraph in what's become the depressing chapter that is Michigan football in 2014.

It's the second time that Hoke has issued a high-profile statement on the Sunday after a game. Following the Minnesota game, Hoke issued a statement saying that he was confident that proper medical decisions were made regarding the handling of QB Shane Morris. Morris suffered a concussion on a hit and re-entered the game for a play after he didn't immediately exit after the hit.

In the days after Hoke's statement, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon apologized for the way the school handled Morris' injury.

For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.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! Follow @NickBromberg

Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: October 26, 2014, 6:33 pm

Iowa LB Reggie Spearman was suspended after he was arrested for OWI early Saturday morning.

Spearman's suspension was announced Saturday. According to the school, he's suspended for at least a game. Iowa was off on Saturday. He was pulled over while operating a moped at 12:01 a.m.

From the Cedar Rapids Gazette:

At 12:01 Saturday morning, Iowa City Police pulled Spearman over on his moped for an expired registration and no safety flag, according to the complaint. Officers noted “watery, bloodshot eyes, smelled of ingested alcohol, and was wearing two bar wristbands.”

Spearman admitted to consuming alcohol and offered “to just walk home.” The complaint states that Spearman exhibited “measurable impairment” on field sobriety tests and failed a preliminary breath test with a BrAC of .087 percent. Spearman refused an evidentiary breath test.

"I was disappointed to hear of the charges against Reggie,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement. “Reggie will face a minimum one game suspension, as well as other consequences within the program. We will work with authorities in gathering all the facts. Reggie will go through the UI Student Athlete Code of Conduct process and we will move forward from there.”

Spearman has started all seven of Iowa's games this season and has 34 tackles.

For more Iowa news, visit HawkeyeReport.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: October 26, 2014, 5:27 pm

South Carolina's last play in its 42-35 loss to Auburn Saturday night was a Hail Mary pass that was intercepted. But according to the SEC, the Gamecocks should have gotten a second chance.

A spokesperson for the SEC said Sunday that there were two No. 1s on the field for Auburn on the final play. Montravius Adams, a defensive tackle, was on the line while wide receiver D'haquille Williams was inserted in as a defensive back to help defend on the final play. Since the players usually play on different sides of the ball, the matching numbers are no big deal. They just can't be on the field together.

You can see Williams on the field here during the final play.

The play with the missed penalty came from the Auburn 41-yard-line. If it was called, South Carolina would have had an untimed down from the 36.

According to the conference, the penalty was discovered after the game was over. Of course, there's no guarantee that South Carolina would have converted a 36-yard Hail Mary. But the Gamecocks should have at least had the opportunity to try again.

An Auburn penalty put South Carolina in position to attempt the first Hail Mary. On 3rd-and-10 from its own 30, QB Dylan Thompson hit Shaq Roland on a pass to the South Carolina 43. An Auburn personal foul penalty on the play moved the ball to its own 41.

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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: October 26, 2014, 5:10 pm

Utah experienced several firsts on Saturday.

Its first win against USC as a member of the Pac-12.

Its first bowl eligibility since 2011.

And its first taste of sitting atop the Pac-12 South standings.

Well, that last one lasted only about an hour or so as Arizona State's victory moved it to the top of the division, but it was good for a little bit.

Utah’s 24-21 come-from-behind victory against USC was perhaps the Utes' signature win during their Pac-12 tenure. Quarterback Travis Wilson sealed the victory with a 1-yard pass to Kaelin Clay with 8 seconds remaining.

The Utes got the ball back with 2 minutes to go when USC, up 21-17, decided to go for it on fourth down instead of kicking the field goal to extend the lead to seven. Coach Steve Sarkisian said he was leery of the wind on what would have been a 44-yard try. Receiver Nelson Agholor caught the swing pass and appeared to get the first down, but stepped out of bounds before reaching the line to gain.

The play gave Utah the ball on its own 27-yard line and the Utes went to work. After what appeared to be a drive that was probably going nowhere, the Utes received a pass interference call that kept the drive alive and gave the offense life.

With time running short, Wilson took off scrambling and got to the 1-yard line. Two plays later, he threw the game-winning pass.

The win pushed the Utes to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play and had them tied atop the Pac-12 South standings with Arizona until Arizona State defeated Washington 24-10 to own the top spot.

Unfortunately, Utah’s good feelings might be short-lived. The schedule gets only tougher from here on out with games against Arizona State and Oregon in the next couple weeks before hitting Stanford, Arizona and Colorado to round out the schedule.

For more Utah news, visit Utezone.com.

For more USC news, visit TrojanSports.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: October 26, 2014, 6:12 am

A fan died in the south end zone stands during Saturday’s LSU-Ole Miss game Baton Rouge.

According to authorities, a man suffered a heart attack and passed away during the fourth quarter. Emergency medical personnel tried to resuscitate the man, but their efforts were unsuccessful.

LSU issued a statement about the death and offered its condolences to the family.

No further details are known about the man at this time.

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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

And don’t forget to keep up with all of Graham’s thoughts, witty comments and college football discussions on Facebook

Author: Graham Watson
Posted: October 26, 2014, 5:52 am

A game that had all the makings of a blowout turned into one of the more exciting finishes of Week 9.

After No. 13 Ohio State jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead on the road at Beaver Stadium, a gritty Penn State team fought all the way back to force overtime. In the end, the Buckeyes held on 31-24 in double overtime via two J.T. Barrett touchdown runs and a huge sack by Joey Bosa that sealed the victory.

Barrett (74 passing yards, 75 rushing yards, three total TDs) shook off two interceptions and gutted out a win after playing much of the game with a banged up left knee. Penn State largely kept him in check, but the redshirt freshman did his best Braxton Miller impression in overtime and utilized a tricky fake on the read option, enabling him to find the end zone twice for the Buckeyes in overtime.

Overtime was the furthest thing from the minds of the faithful in Beaver Stadium after the Buckeyes dominated the first half. Ohio State scored its first touchdown of the game on an Ezekiel Elliott 10-yard score. Elliott’s touchdown followed an OSU interception that looked like it should have been ruled an incomplete pass. On top of that, Ohio State’s next drive ended in a 49-yard Sean Nuernberger field goal, but that attempt should have been whistled dead due to a delay of game. The refs missed it, and Ohio State took a 10-0 lead.

While the Penn State offense sputtered, no controversies surrounded the Buckeyes’ next score – a Barrett 1-yard pass to tight end Jeff Heuerman with 2:20 left in the half.

The Buckeyes looked to pile on in half two, but Barrett was intercepted by defensive tackle Anthony Zettel. The 6-foot-4, 274-pound Zettel dropped into coverage on a zone blitz and stepped in front of a crossing route and took it 40 yards for a score.

All of a sudden, a lifeless Beaver Stadium was rocking again with the Lions down just 17-7. The rest of the third quarter, however, was a defensive struggle. Penn State forced two punts and a missed field goal, while Ohio State forced a punt and intercepted Christian Hackenberg (31-of-49, 224 yards) to end a promising PSU drive.

Once the fourth quarter rolled around, Penn State’s defense made another big play. Senior linebacker Mike Hull, who racked up 18 tackles for the game, intercepted Barrett to give the Lions great field position. Eight plays later, Hackenberg found true freshman wideout Saeed Blacknall in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown to cut OSU’s lead to 17-14.

Penn State’s offense eventually regained possession at its own 9-yard line with 2:58 to go. It wasn’t pretty, but Hackenberg engineered a methodical 19-play, 77-yard drive that allowed senior kicker Sam Ficken to tie the game with a 31-yard field goal, forcing overtime.

The teams traded touchdown runs in the first overtime and Barrett scored again quickly to take a 31-24 lead in the second overtime.

When it was Penn State’s turn, the Nittany Lions took a shot toward DaeSean Hamilton (14 catches, 126 yards) in the end zone on third down, but the pass fell incomplete. With the game on the line, Bosa, the Buckeyes’ standout defensive end, burst through the line and overwhelmed PSU running back Akeel Lynch. Bosa blew through Lynch, who fell back into the leg of Hackenberg, who crumbled for a sack, ending the game.

The win kept Ohio State unbeaten in Big Ten play and improved the Buckeyes to 6-1 overall. Along with 7-1 Michigan State (4-0 in conference), the Buckeyes still are the class of the Big Ten’s east division. If the Buckeyes can take care of business at home next weekend against Illinois, it’ll set up a much-anticipated rematch of last year’s Big Ten title game on Nov. 8 at Spartan Stadium.

The loss dropped was the third straight for Penn State, who dropped to 4-3 (1-3 Big Ten). The team did show improvement compared to losses to Northwestern and Michigan. The Nittany Lions will have a chance to get back into the win column next Saturday at home vs. Maryland.

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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: October 26, 2014, 5:13 am

The College Football Playoff can make you do desperate things.

That’s the only explanation for the eventual final play Ole Miss decided to run as it attempted to stave off a loss to LSU.

Instead of kicking a game-tying 47-yard field goal, which was within kicker Gary Wunderlich’s range, quarterback Bo Wallace rolled to his left and heaved a severely underthrown ball toward the end zone that fell into the waiting arms of safety Ronald Martin.

The look on coach Hugh Freeze’s face as he watched the play unfold and then looked back at his quarterback said it all. It was “Bad Bo’s” first appearance in several weeks and it couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time.

Ole Miss lost 10-7, its first loss of the season, and just a few days before the first rankings from the College Football Playoff committee are released.

But it didn’t have to go down that way.

Ole Miss had lined up for a game-tying field goal from 42 yards out but was called for a delay of game. The penalty moved the kick back five yards. So when presented with the penalty with 9 seconds remaining, Ole Miss put its offense back on the field.

Wallace had a couple different options as he found himself with time when he rolled left. Instead of making the safe pass or tossing it out of bounds, he decided to take the riskiest route.

The move was the antitheses of what we’ve seen from Wallace during SEC play. In fact, he had all but shed the “Bad Bo” moniker after brilliant play against his SEC brethren. But this throw was a mixture of a bad decisions and pure panic. He didn’t have to win the game, he just had to make sure he didn’t lose it.

And losing games in the most dramatic and infuriating fashion is exactly what Bad Bo does best.

Of the four SEC teams ranked in the Top 5 of the Associated Press poll, Ole Miss is the only team to fall. Yes, it’s a one loss team and yes it beat Alabama, a team that was among those four teams, but that doesn’t mean it won’t take a tumble.

With the College Football Playoff rankings due out on Tuesday, the AP and Coaches polls are really just rough guides to determine the best teams in college football. The true guide will be that Tuesday ranking and each one of those committee members watch Bad Bo rear his ugly head.

This much we know: Mississippi State is in and Florida State is in as the two best undefeated representatives from the power five conferences. Then it gets tricky. There are a lot of one-loss teams — a lot of good one-loss teams — and the ones who didn’t lose this weekend might get preferential treatment simply because the loss isn’t so fresh. Does that mean Auburn? Alabama? Oregon? Ole Miss? There are a slew of choices, all with their own merits, and many who have played each other and will play each other.

Ole Miss’ loss to LSU, a ranked team, isn’t a bad loss, it’s just a poorly-timed loss. But it also not the last time SEC teams will take out their own while jockeying for position. Ole Miss hosts Auburn next week and then the all important Egg Bowl against Mississippi State on Nov. 29.

WINNERS

TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin (2) celebrates a score against Texas Tech in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. Boykin threw a school-record seven touchdown passes and No.10 TCU showcased a new fast-paced offense by scoring the most points in its history in an 82-27 rout of Texas Tech on Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Trevone Boykin: Texas Tech has never been accused of playing tough defense, but still, you have to marvel at what Boykin did against the Red Raiders in a 82-27 whipping in Ft. Worth. The junior quarterback, enjoying his finest campaign to date, completed 22-of-39 passes for 433 yards and seven touchdowns (a school record to go with the school record for points scored in a game and the Texas Tech school record for points allowed in a game – ouch). The performance boosted his season totals to 2,306 yards and 21 touchdowns to just three interceptions. The next two weeks against West Virginia and Kansas State will be pivotal for the Horned Frogs, but Boykin’s current form should give them all the confidence in the world. 

Elijah McGuire: The Louisiana-Lafayette running back merely ran 19 times for 265 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-40 shootout win over Arkansas State. Before you do the math in your head, that’s a staggering 13.9 yards-per-carry mark, and a performance that blew away McGuire’s output this season. His previous high was 129 yards in the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 45-6 opener against Southern, and the 265-yard clip was just his second triple-digit tally of the year. Good time to bust it out, though. 

Mike Boone: A quick history review on the Cincinnati freshman running back reveals he was the fourth option for the Bearcats at the position to start the season, and that makes his 212 yards and one score on 19 carries all the more remarkable. Quarterback Munchie Legaux’s late revival (14-of-15 for 121 yards after Gunner Kiel exited with a rib injury) made it an underdog night to remember as Cincinnati handled South Florida 34-17. Boone’s performance was the first 200-yard game by a Bearcats running back in four years. Not bad for a guy that was a receiver for most of his senior year of high school, and was slated to be redshirted this year due to his inexperience. 

Illinois: The Illini got their second Big Ten win in 19 tries under head coach Tim Beckman, cooling his red hot coaching seat for a moment and knocking upstart Minnesota from its perch atop the Big Ten West (the Gophers now get to share that spot with Nebraska). Beckman’s team is sitting at 4-4, just two wins away from bowl eligibility, which would be a boon to whatever staying power he can muster. Yes, this is making a large deal out of very little, but that’s what it has come to in Champaign.

Georgia Southern: In a clash between new FBS schools, the Eagles did something crazy, running for more yards (613) against Georgia State than eight teams had all year entering Saturday. Those teams: UCF, Penn State, UConn, Kent State, Louisiana-Monroe, SMU, Washington State and Wake Forest. In case you haven’t been paying attention (and it's OK that you haven’t), Georgia Southern is now 5-0 in the Sun Belt and 6-2 overall. Not too shabby for a team just getting used to FBS play.

LOSERS

BYU: You can tell just how important quarterback Taysom Hill was to the Cougars by how epic their collapse has been since he was lost for the season thanks to a horrific broken leg. Before Hill went down, BYU was 4-0 and had started up chatter about its chances to crash the College Football Playoff. Since the moment he went down, the Cougars have lost 35-20 to Utah State, 31-24 to UCF, 42-35 to Nevada, and on Friday, 55-30 to Boise State. Oof.

With Hill under center, the Cougars averaged 230 rushing yards per game, but have dropped to 149 yards per game since. And the defense is feeling it, ending up on the field more often, surrendering an average of 473 total yards in their last four games, compared to 364 total yards the first four. It could also just be that the competition has stiffened, but you have to believe it wouldn’t have gone off the rails had Hill stayed healthy.

Maryland: To be fair, the Terps’ opening campaign in the Big Ten hadn’t been going that badly. They were 5-2 overall and 2-1 before walking into Camp Randall Stadium. Then Wisconsin happened, all over the place, in a crushing 52-7 rout. It would have been 52-0 if not for a last-gasp, semi-face saving Stefon Diggs touchdown reception with 57 seconds left in the game.

The Badgers trampled the Terrapins’ defense, running for 311 yards and five touchdowns, and Joel Stave appears to have rid himself of the yips, completing nine of 15 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Maryland put up a paltry 175 yards of offense.

It’ll get worse before it gets better for the Terps, who travel to Happy Valley next week before hosting Michigan State. Michigan and Rutgers wait at the end of the road, though, so it's not all bad news. 

Texas: The Longhorns were supposed to be back on track after a close loss to Oklahoma and a shootout win over Iowa State, but Kansas State put Texas firmly back into the cellar with a 23-0 win in Manhattan, the Longhorns' first shutout since 2004.

The same offense that scored 48 against the Cyclones and 26 against Oklahoma had nothing working from the start. The Longhorns had just 196 total yards against a Kansas State defense that has quietly put together a strong campaign, entering the game 17th in the nation (and sure to rise higher now thanks to the shutout) in average points against with 19.3.

Still left for Texas? Texas Tech, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and TCU. You see any obvious wins there? Neither do we. Lose them all and Texas will finish 3-9. The last time Texas finished with three or fewer wins? That would be 1956’s mark of 1-9 under Ed Price, who was replaced in 1957 by Darrell Royal. 

I don't think Texas will finish 3-9. But there's not a game left I'd feel comfortable betting on them to win.

— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) October 25, 2014

Virginia: This was the situation: North Carolina led 28-27 in Charlottesville with 1:17 left to play, facing fourth-and-2 at the Virginia 21-yard line. They sent out the field goal unit. Whether the Tar Heels made or missed it, the Cavaliers would get a shot at winning it with over a minute to play. But then, after a timeout, Virginia was hit with a defensive substitution penalty. We repeat: After a timeout. That gave North Carolina a first down, and the game. Just like that. Virginia head coach Mike London’s reaction said it all.  

Sean Mannion: The Oregon State quarterback's senior season is not going as planned. After throwing for 4.662 yards and 37 touchdowns last season, Mannion's stats through seven games this year aren't even close. He's got 1,576 yards and seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Yes, Oregon State is without WR Brandin Cooks, who went to the NFL, but that can't be the only reason. And Mannion's Saturday against Stanford continued the mediocre trend. He was 14-of-30 for 122 yards and no touchdowns in the Beavers' 38-14 loss on the road. At 4-3 overall and 1-3 in the Pac-12, Mannion needs to rebound over the next five games for Oregon State to go to more than just a bottom-tier bowl.

Nick Bromberg and Max Thompson contributed to this post.

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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: October 26, 2014, 4:04 am

 Michigan State was comfortably ahead of in-state rival Michigan in the fourth quarter when it drove deep into Wolverines territory. Instead of taking a knee, RB Jeremy Langford took another handoff and scored from five yards out with 28 seconds to go, ballooning the Spartans lead to 35-11.

After the game, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said the decision to go for the end zone again was in response to something that happened pregame. A Michigan player apparently “threw a stake or dagger” of some sort into the turf at Spartan Stadium, causing the Spartans to pile on.

The stake MT @zimme1me: @joerexrode pic.twitter.com/d8jOtK7wMp

— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) October 26, 2014

Per SpartanMag.com:

The Wolverine player, with more than two or three teammates around him offering encouragement, threw the dagger into the grass on the Michigan sideline near the 20-yard line and looked across the field to the Spartan sideline, pointed and yelled. He was joined by teammate Frank Clark in shouting across the field while the Spartans were lined up for the playing of the National Anthem. 

When asked about it, Dantonio did not hold back.

“As far as the score at the end, it just felt like we needed to put a stake in ‘em at that point,” Dantonio said. "To throw the stake down in our backyard out here and coming out there like they're all that, it got shoved in the last minute and a half and we were not going to pull off of that. Wasn't going to line up and kick a field goal, but if our guys could get it in (the end zone), we were going to get it in."

The win improved Michigan State’s record to 7-1 on the season, while Michigan dropped to 3-5. With the Wolverines struggling as much as they have this season, plus the recent lopsidedness of the series (MSU has won six of the last eight meetings), it’s perplexing to hear the Wolverine players acted like that before the game.

Dantonio alluded to the Spartan program being thought of as the “little brother” in the state. After a win like this, that perception is looking more and more like a thing of the past.

For more Michigan State news, visit SpartanMag.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 26, 2014, 2:24 am

A head-scratching call put an end to Penn State’s first drive against Ohio State Saturday night.

After the Nittany Lions picked up two first downs and advanced to their own 36-yard line, sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg felt pressure and appeared to be intercepted by Vonn Bell on a first down throw.

Bell jumped up immediately as if he caught the pass. However, replays from multiple angles appeared to show the football hitting the ground, meaning it should have been ruled incomplete.

The play was subject to further replay review, but the call on the field was curiously upheld.

ABC announcers said that the proper replay feed was not transmitted to the booth, which could have been the reason for the interception being upheld.

Following the turnover, the Buckeyes’ offense marched down the field and scored on a 10-yard Ezekiel Elliott touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead.

Things did not get much better for the officials later on in the half. Early in the second quarter, Ohio State kicker Sean Nuernberger was lined up for a 49-yard attempt when the play clock hit zero.

Instead of a delay of game penalty being called, the Buckeyes got the snap off nearly three seconds later and Nuernberger hit the field goal to give OSU a 10-0 lead.

Those 10 points ended up being costly, as Ohio State ended up winning 31-24 in double overtime.

That's not a good look for this officiating crew.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

For more Penn State news, visit BlueWhiteIllustrated.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 26, 2014, 12:56 am

Texas Tech could not stop TCU. And no, it is not much of an overstatement.

The Horned Frogs scored a school-record 82 points against Texas Tech Saturday in a 82-27 win as QB Trevone Boykin threw seven touchdowns before exiting the game for mercy reasons in the third quarter.

Boykin's seven touchdown passes are also a school record. And the 82 points is a record for Tech, as it's the most points the Red Raiders have ever given up in a game. The previous high for points against Texas Tech was 66.

However, the points-a-palooza is not close to an NCAA record. The most points scored against a major-college opponent is 100, when Houston scored 100 on Tulsa in 1968. Saturday's 109 combined points are also 27 points short of the record for combined points in a game between two major-college teams in regulation. Navy and North Texas scored 136 points in a 74-62 Navy win in 2007.

TCU scored 10 touchdowns and four field goals Saturday. They did punt twice, which is why it's not possible to say the offense was entirely unstoppable. But it was about as close as you could get. It's a stunning turnaround for an offense that scored less than 30 points eight times in 2013. TCU has scored 30 or more in every game in 2014.

The Horned Frogs rolled up 785 yards of offense on 86 plays, a nifty average of 9.12 yards per play. The only time a TCU drive went over 10 plays was its final possession of the game when the Horned Frogs were trying to run out the clock. And yes, they scored on that drive too.

Texas Tech was briefly in the game after the first quarter when the score was 24-17. But the Red Raiders were outscored 44-10 in the second and third quarters and lost QB Davis Webb, who had to be helped off the field with a leg injury.

In addition to the seven touchdowns, Boykin finished with 433 yards passing. Both Aaron Green and Trevorris Johnson each had 105 yards rushing and Deanté Gray had 165 yards and two touchdowns on four catches.

While the school records are nice, the win also vaults TCU into the College Football Playoff discussion even further. The Horned Frogs may be the outright favorites for the Big 12 now and Boykin will also now be considered one of the favorites for the Heisman Trophy along with Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Mississippi State's Dak Prescott.

For Texas Tech, well, it's going to be tough to salvage the season. The Red Raiders are 1-4 in the Big 12 and have games against Oklahoma and Baylor remaining. The defense, which already had a change in coordinators earlier this season, is clearly not improving and the offense is a serious question mark with or without Webb available at quarterback. The Red Raiders' matchup against Iowa State on November 22 could be a battle for ninth in the conference.

For more Texas Tech news, visit RedRaiderSports.com

For more TCU news, visit PurpleMenace.com

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: October 26, 2014, 12:14 am

While Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott rightfully gets a lot of attention for his running ability, RB Josh Robinson is pretty damn good too.

Robinson ran over, around and through the Kentucky defense on Saturday as No. 1 Mississippi State held off the Wildcats 45-31.

He finished with 198 yards on 23 carries, including a 73-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that essentially iced the game. After Kentucky had pulled within 31-24, Robinson burst through the line on Mississippi State's third play of the drive and had an incredible cutback to get to the end zone.

However, another run might have been more impressive. In the third quarter, Robinson had an insane 22-yard run that saw him break seven tackles and completely reverse field before being taken down.

After Robinson's 73-yard score, Kentucky had a great chance to pull within a touchdown for the third time in the second half. But on 4th-and-4 from the MSU 19, a pass from Patrick Towles went in and out of the hands of Ryan Timmons in the end zone.

When Kentucky finally made it 38-31, there was just 2:49 remaining in the fourth quarter. That necessitated an onside kick, but, much as it had all day long, Mississippi State immediately ran the lead back to two possessions.

How? Well, the onside kick went straight to Christian Holmes, who ran it back 61 yards for the final score.

While Robinson was an absolute stud, Prescott's Heisman Trophy campaign continued. He finished 18-33 passing for 216 yards a touchdown and an interception but also ran 18 times for 88 yards and two scores. While it his performance wasn't nearly as flashy as Marcus Mariota's five TD performance against Cal on Friday night, it was another strong performance for the man many consider to be the frontrunner for the trophy.

In the loss, Kentucky QB Patrick Towles had the game of his career. Towles was 24-43 for 390 yards passing and two touchdowns while he ran for 76 yards and two other scores.

The win also sets Mississippi State up to be 9-0 against Alabama on November 15. The Bulldogs' next two games before traveling to face the Crimson Tide are against Arkansas and Tennessee-Martin at home. Let the countdown begin.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: October 25, 2014, 11:39 pm

Georgia Southern defeated rival Georgia State 69-31 on Saturday and the Eagles decided to emphasize their dominance by taking this photo postgame (thanks Reddit).

Georgia Southern declares the Georgia Dome it's stadium following lopsided win over Georgia State. (@redditcfb) (/u/EagleBoro)

Paulson Stadium is where Georgia Southern plays and this game, obviously, was at the Georgia Dome where Georgia State hosts its games.

What’s funny is both of these teams are relatively new to the FBS and new to the Sun Belt, so it’s exciting that they’ve brought their FCS hatred to the next level. This is definitely some championship level trolling by Georgia Southern, so they can be proud of that.

I mean, it's the enrtire team, the coaching staff, the trainers, even the mascot is in the back. This is a complete effort right here.

With the win, Georgia Southern strengthens its hold on the Sun Belt Conference lead while Georgia State is toiling in the basement as the only team without a conference win.

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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: October 25, 2014, 11:19 pm

Tennessee is going with its classic all-orange look for Saturday night’s home contest against Alabama. The Vols haven’t worn this particular combination against Alabama since 1988.

#FashionUpdate: #Vols will wear all orange today. First time vs Alabama since 1988. #GoVols #BeatBama pic.twitter.com/qzS1vDMYI7

— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) October 25, 2014

The last time Tennessee wore all orange was just over a year ago – Oct. 19 of last year – at home against South Carolina. The Gamecocks were ranked No. 11 in the country at the time, and the Vols managed to upset them, 23-21.

The last time Tennessee wore all orange at home against a ranked team in October this happened.... pic.twitter.com/Oofeu17jv5

— Tennessee Athletics (@vol_athletics) October 25, 2014

The 3-4 Vols are hoping the all-orange look will yield similar results this year against the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide.

The game is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET.

For more Tennessee news, visit VolQuest.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 25, 2014, 10:12 pm

UNLV freshman wide receiver Kendal Keys used tremendous concentration to help the Rebels close the gap against Utah State in the first half of a Mountain West contest.

Trailing 10-0 early in the second quarter, UNLV faced a first-and-10 from the USU 31-yard line. Junior quarterback Blake Decker looked down the right sideline for Keys, who was streaking toward the end zone. Keys had a step on Aggies corner Rashard Stewart, but the pass was slightly underthrown.

Stewart dove and got a hand on the ball, deflecting it into the air. With USU safety Brian Suite closing, Keys was able to reach out with his left hand and corral the pass for a highlight reel touchdown – the second of Keys’ career.

Keys’ awesome catch cut the deficit to 10-7 with 12:17 left in the half.

UNLV hung tough on the road, but Utah State ended up winning 34-20. The Rebels dropped to 2-6 with the loss while USU improved to 5-3.

Keys finished with two catches for 30 yards.

For more UNLV news, visit Rebel-Net.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 25, 2014, 9:49 pm

Things have not gone well early for Pittsburgh during Saturday’s game against ACC Coastal rival Georgia Tech.

Less than 6 minutes into the contest, Pitt found itself trailing 28-0.

Yes, you read that right.

How did that happen? Well, Pitt fumbled the ball on each of its first five possessions and the Yellow Jackets turned the first four of those fumbles into eventual touchdowns.

In fact, Pitt only ran six plays during its first four possessions.

The first fumble was by QB Chad Voytik on a run.

The second was a 74-yard run by RB James Conner that looked to be a touchdown. But Conner fumbled before the end zone.

The third was an Isaac Bennett fumble after a handoff.

The fourth was a bad snap.

That’s wasn't exactly the start the Panthers were hoping for as they’re trying to chase Duke down in the Coastal Division.

Meanwhile, Georgia Tech is on a two-game losing streak after winning its first five. It couldn’t have asked for a better start.

For more Georgia Tech news, visit JacketsOnline.com.

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

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: October 25, 2014, 8:47 pm

After overcoming an early deficit, it looked like Minnesota was going to survive on the road at Illinois to remain unbeaten in the Big Ten, but the Fighting Illini did not go down quietly.

Up 24-21 midway through the fourth quarter, Minnesota standout running back David Cobb (22 rushes, 118 yards, 2 TDs) took a handoff off right tackle and looked up field, only to be stripped by Illinois linebacker T.J. Neal. Illini cornerback V’Angelo Bentley was there to scoop up the fumble and return it for a touchdown. Bentley’s scoop and score gave Illinois a 28-24 lead – a lead it would not relinquish.

The big play from Neal and Bentley capped off an impressive effort for the Illini defense that held the vaunted Gophers rushing attack to just 171 yards on 4.2 yards per carry. After Bentley’s touchdown, Minnesota reached the Illini 26-yard line, but Illinois’ defense stiffened and stopped the Gophers from scoring.

With backup Reilly O’Toole (118 yards passing, 59 yards rushing,  2 total TDs) making his second consecutive start at quarterback, the Illini got off to a great start, reaching the end zone on two of its first three drives en route to a 14-3 halftime lead.

Minnesota's offense came out with a renewed sense of urgency in the second half. The Gophers scored on three consecutive drives in the third quarter, including two Cobb touchdown runs, to take a lead heading into the fourth.

The Gophers even had a chance to widen the gap to 27-21, but Ryan Santoso missed a 40-yard field goal early in the final frame. That miss proved crucial once Illinois retook the lead on Bentley’s fumble recovery. Instead of trailing by a single point, the Gophers’ deficit was four points. Instead of potentially retaking the lead down the stretch with a field goal attempt, the Gophers were forced to go for six and came up short.

The loss was ill-timed for Minnesota. The Gophers sat alone atop the Big Ten West standings with the brunt of their schedule (Iowa, Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin) on the way. This loss, coupled with Nebraska’s win over Rutgers, creates a tie for first between the Gophers and Huskers in the division.

On the other side, this is a big win for Illini head coach Tim Beckman. It’s just the second conference victory during his tenure and it improves the team’s record to 4-4 on the season. Not only does it do wonders for Beckman's job security, it means Illinois is just two wins away from bowl eligibility. Next on the schedule for Beckman’s team is a trip to Ohio State.

For more Illinois news, visit OrangeandBlueNews.com.

For more Minnesota news, GopherIllustrated.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 25, 2014, 8:21 pm

There aren’t many people in the state of Michigan who want Brady Hoke to keep his job as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, but it appears that Michigan State fans certainly do.

Before Saturday’s kickoff in East Lansing between the in-state rivals, a plane was spotted flying around with a banner that reads: “U OF M – KEEP BRADY HOKE – PLZZZ.”

Plane flying over Spartan stadium #spartangameday pic.twitter.com/U4YM1il0x9

— Mellissa Lheureux (@zeika) October 25, 2014

So, this is flying over Spartan stadium. pic.twitter.com/KZlouM7McI

— Eric Upchurch (@EUpchurchPhoto) October 25, 2014

I’d assume that some Michigan State fans were behind this funny stunt. Coming off last season’s Big Ten title, the Spartans, currently ranked No. 8, are riding high, especially after Saturday's 35-11 victory. Meanwhile, Michigan has stumbled to 3-4 and fans having been clamoring for Hoke to lose his job.

Maybe this is a bit of revenge for Michigan paying for planes to skywrite “Go Blue” in East Lansing last September.

Yep. Go Blue. Above Spartan Stadium. @ pic.twitter.com/j0osLyrXss

— Trevor Parks (@YSUSID) September 14, 2013

Well played.

For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.com.

For more Michigan State news, visit SpartanMag.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: October 25, 2014, 6:07 pm

An offensive lineman getting a touchdown in a goal-to-go situation is always fun. But when an offensive lineman throws a touchdown? That's just bonkers.

Against UAB on Saturday, Arkansas offensive guard Sebastian Tretola motioned into the backfield and threw an impressive touchdown pass off his back foot to Alan D'Appollonio for a 28-0 lead in the second quarter.

We can't decide what was better: The spiral with great touch as he was moving backwards, or Tretola's composure in the face of pressure. Sure, an offensive lineman is going to be hard to tackle, but it's not like a guard gets much game experience throwing a football with defenders rushing towards him.

And did you notice where D'Appollonio started the play? He snapped the ball.

Bielema on trick play: "We try to design something that makes as little sense as possible." Mission accomplished, I'd say.

— Robbie Neiswanger (@NWARobbie) October 25, 2014

It's a great play, and it's one a team can have some fun with while leading by three scores. You just know that Arkansas coach Bret Bielema had been anxiously waiting for the opportunity to get one of his offensive linemen some glory.

Bielema in halftime interview: "Coming to Arkansas, if you're an o-lineman, we'll make you famous."

— Adam Alter (@Adam_Alter) October 25, 2014

Tetola was also congratulated by former Kentucky QB Jared Lorenzen. While at Kentucky, the "Hefty Lefty" was listed at 260 pounds but likely played near 300. If Lorenzen was previously the heaviest player to throw a TD in the SEC, he probably isn't any longer.

Congrats to the Arkansas OL that threw the TD. That's one record I'm happy to give up. #fatmanthrowingtd #BBN

— jared lorenzen (@JaredLorenzen22) October 25, 2014

Arkansas won 45-17.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: October 25, 2014, 5:18 pm

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota threw for 326 yards and five touchdowns as Oregon beat Cal 59-41 at Levi's Stadium on Friday night.

Cal's defense entered the game 120th in scoring defense and simply couldn't stop Oregon, even as it forced Mariota into his first interception of the year.

The interception happened with Oregon driving for a touchdown with less than two minutes to go in the second quarter and a 31-28 lead. The ball was deflected before it got to Mariota's intended receiver and Stefan McClure came down with it in the end zone.

On its previous possession, Cal had pulled to within a field goal of the Ducks. Best case, Cal could take the lead before halftime after the interception. Or it could tie with a field goal. The Bears did neither.

Cal went three-and-out and gave the ball back to Mariota and the Oregon offense. Oregon scored three plays later as Mariota threw a 24-yard touchdown to Dwayne Stanford with 48 seconds left in the half. Any thoughts of an upset were quickly extinguished.

Thanks to Oregon's inability to completely hold down Cal's potent offense, there was another small glimmer of hope for Cal in the fourth quarter as the Bears forced Oregon to punt with nine minutes to go while trailing 52-35. However, Bryce Treggs fumbled the punt and Oregon recovered.

A play later, Mariota had his fifth touchdown of the night, hitting TE Pharoah Brown for a 21-yard TD over the top of the Cal defense.

Mariota now has 24 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns this season through Oregon's first eight games. It's his second five-touchdown game of the season. And you know who else has two five-TD games? Mariota's main competitor for the Heisman Trophy, Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott.

Prescott has 22 total touchdowns through six games and his team plays at Kentucky on Saturday. If both his and Mariota's team keep winning, one of the deciding factors in the fight for the Heisman could be the number of trips to the end zone. 

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: October 25, 2014, 6:19 am

Maryland's Board of Regents voted Friday to tie performance bonuses of coaches at the school to its teams Academic Progress Rate, or APR.

APR is the annual NCAA measurement of academics. While the NCAA uses both single-year and multi-year APR scores -- and can penalize teams for failing to meet certain thresholds -- only the one-year scores are expected to count towards bonuses, per the Baltimore Sun.

Under the new policy, if Maryland teams don't have sufficient APR scores, the coaches can be denied their bonuses.

"I think this is another step for Maryland to be in the vanguard on issues of intercollegiate athletics," Board of Regents member and former U.S. Rep. Tom McMillen told the Sun. "They were a leader on guaranteed scholarships and now they are a leader in academic accountability."

While the policy is set to take effect immediately, it won't apply to coaches like football coach Randy Edsall or men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon. It's only for new coaches. The policy is for all of the state schools in the Maryland system, though Maryland women's basketball coach Brenda Frese said before the vote that she thought the policy was asking a lot.

In August, Maryland announced it would provide lifetime scholarships for athletes. The Big Ten followed suit earlier in October and said the conference had approved multi-year scholarships for all of its member schools.

Will this Maryland move mean other conference teams will follow suit?

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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: October 25, 2014, 4:40 am

Oklahoma State has dismissed freshman CB Juwan Offray after he an a teammate were found asleep in a Whataburger drive-thru Sunday morning.

The news of Offray's dismissal was first reported by OColly.com. The site cited a source that said the Whataburger incident was not the first time Offray had been in trouble with the team. OStateIllustrated.com confirmed the report of Offray's dismissal.

Offray and WR Jhajuan Seales were arrested after they were approached by police at about 4 a.m. Both players, according to a police report, “seemed very lethargic and confused” and “their eyes were red and watery with a glassy appearance." Police said they smelled an odor of alcohol when the doors to the vehicle were opened.

Both players received complaints for public intoxication and Offray received a complaint for hampering as police said he initially lied about his identity.

Offray was a three-star cornerback in the class of 2014 according to Rivals. He was the No. 31 recruit in the state of Louisiana. He had three tackles in seven games this season for the Cowboys, who play West Virginia on Saturday.

For more Oklahoma State news visit OStateIllustrated.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: October 25, 2014, 1:12 am

Former Michigan wide receiver Csont’e York was sent to jail Friday to serve a seven-day term after being convicted on two misdemeanor assault convictions.

In an incident that took place July 18 outside an Ann Arbor bar, York knocked a man unconscious with a punch and broke his jaw. York pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and assault and battery on Sept. 22. 

According to the Detroit Free-Press, the victim did not request jail time for York, but Judge Elizabeth Pollard Hines sentenced York to a week of incarceration.

"I feel very strongly that some jail term is appropriate to hold you accountable so you can reflect on your actions and see that your behavior will not be tolerated," Hines said.

York’s seven-day sentence will be split into two stints. His first four days will occur immediately, then he will return on Oct. 31 for the final three days. In addition to his sentence, York will have to complete 24 months of probation, $540 in fines, and $2,134.70 for the victim’s medical expenses.

York was suspended by the Michigan program in early August before ultimately being dismissed August 18. In his one season with the program, York played in one game.

York is currently enrolled at the University of Toledo.

For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.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: October 24, 2014, 9:33 pm

Minnesota's specialists have a great sense of humor. And yes, a Twitter account too.

Its long snappers, kickers and punters created the @MinnSpecialists account earlier in October. Thursday, they showed a picture of the day's practice "schedule."

Today's specialist practice schedule: pic.twitter.com/nD6RwEA13Q

— Gopher Specialists (@MinnSpecialists) October 23, 2014

It's great. We also appreciate the devotion to curls. Curls in the weight room serve many purposes. Not only are curls for the girls, but big biceps can help dispel any weak kicker stereotypes. You don't mess with a kicker with guns.

The account is two weeks old and it's already fantastic. Last week, K Ryan Santoso kicked a 52-yard field goal that ended up being the winning points in a 39-38 win over Purdue. It probably helped with his recognition for fan autographs.

When you're trying to hug bae, but she's not feeling it... pic.twitter.com/t2kK25Qcgh

— Gopher Specialists (@MinnSpecialists) October 19, 2014

A couple of Gopher Specialists holding an autograph session at Mall of America. Line hasn't picked up yet... pic.twitter.com/QGvi4edRIU

— Gopher Specialists (@MinnSpecialists) October 17, 2014

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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: October 24, 2014, 8:33 pm

Well, no getting above .500 last week. But we got to it. A 5-5 week runs our record to 31-48-1. The goal now is to make a comeback and get to .500 for the rest of the year. Let's do this.

Oregon (-17) at Cal, 10 p.m. ET (FRIDAY): While this game is listed at Cal, it's actually being played at Levi's Stadium, the home of the San Francisco 49ers. Cal is 120th in the country in scoring defense. While the Cal offense puts up points (10th in the country), it's not going to be enough to keep up with Oregon. The Ducks will cruise. (It's also worth noting this game has the highest over/under of the weekend at 79)

Minnesota (-5.5) at Illinois, Noon ET: If the Gophers are legitimate contenders for the Big Ten West, this is a game that they can't lose. Minnesota's offense is incredibly one-dimensional. However, Illinois can't defend that dimension. The Illini give up 5.26 yards per carry while Minnesota is 27th in the country with over 222 rushing yards a game. The Gophers control the ball and the game.

UCLA at Colorado (+14), 2 p.m. ET: Colorado is due to play someone tough at home and UCLA has performed horribly against the spread this season. The Bruins are 1-6 against the number, the only win coming in a 62-27 demolition of Arizona State, a win that looks really weird right now. And last week, the Bruins almost lost to Cal, a team that beat Colorado in three overtimes. Colorado's losing streak goes to four on Saturday, but not before giving UCLA a bit of a scare.

West Virginia (PK) at Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m. ET: I'm flip-flopping from the Dr. Saturday podcast. The more I look at this game, the more West Virginia looks enticing. Oklahoma State's offense is in a funk and West Virginia's isn't. The Mountaineers are sixth in the country in yards per game while Oklahoma State is 77th. And the Cowboys aren't going to be able to cover West Virginia WR Kevin White, either. Consider this game Dana Holgorsen's revenge and White tops 100 yards receiving once again.

Michigan at Michigan State (-17), 3:30 p.m. ET: If this game was in Ann Arbor, Mich., then the rivalry game unknowns apply and Michigan has a chance. With it in East Lansing, Mich., Devin Gardner and company has no shot. Michigan's offense won't be able to get anything going against State's defense, and Connor Cook throws for three touchdowns in an easy win. Michigan's misery continues.

Florida Atlantic at Marshall (-28), 3:30 p.m. ET: With the news that Marshall has hired a PR firm to help it campaign for the College Football Playoff, the Thundering Herd can do a lot of campaigning on the football field. And that's by winning big whenever possible. Marshall not only needs to go undefeated to even have the slightest hope of a playoff berth, but it needs to demolish opponents. Marshall is 10th in the country in rushing yards and FAU can't stop the run. Bad recipe.

Vanderbilt at Missouri (OVER 42.5), 4 p.m. ET: Missouri's offense has been absolutely brutal the last two weeks. Much of the blame has been pinned on the play of QB Maty Mauk. And while it's easy to say Mauk has regressed from his substitute stints in 2013, it's worth heavily noting that Missouri's top three WRs didn't return in 2014. Vanderbilt is a good opportunity for Mauk to gain some confidence and Missouri to re-establish the quick tempo it's been unable to sustain against Georgia and Florida. The Tigers could go over the number themselves.

Ole Miss (-3.5) at LSU, 7:15 p.m. ET: While "bad Bo Wallace" hasn't showed up in conference play for Ole Miss, even if he does in Death Valley, the Rebels' defense should be able to counter. While LSU is third in the country in yards per completion, neither Brandon Harris or Anthony Jennings have really seized the starting job. Jennings is scheduled to make his third straight start on Saturday, but he's not going to find much success against Ole Miss' defense. Will we see Harris at all?

USC at Utah (PK), 10 p.m. ET: A game with national importance at home for Utah? it's going to be rocking. The Utes can take control of the Pac-12 South with a win Saturday night and will do just that. Devontae Booker won't repeat his 226-yard performance from against Oregon State, but Utah's rushing offense will be the difference.

Arizona State (-3) at Washington, 10:45 p.m. ET: This is our Pac-12 after dark pick too. This game could continue the trend of nutty late games on the west coast. It's also a game of iffy quarterbacks, and we like Arizona State more because of it. ASU QB Taylor Kelly could play for the first time since suffering a foot injury at Colorado. If he doesn't, his replacement, Mike Bercovici, has played very well. Washington QB Cyler Miles may not be cleared to play after suffering a concussion. If he doesn't play, it's a very uphill task for the Huskies.

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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!

Follow @NickBromberg

Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: October 24, 2014, 6:43 pm

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