NCAA Football News

Super 16 Poll Week 6: Complete Rankings Released for 2014 Season

Finding an order for the nation's 16 best college football teams is never easy. For the 2014 season, though, it appears the teams are looking to make it especially difficult.

While every team ranked inside the Top 10 a week ago was either idle or came away with a win, Week 5 action once again muddied the national championship picture. Florida State again had to overcome its own shortcomings, Texas A&M found itself scrambling to avoid an upset and UCLA arguably staked its claim in the national championship race with an emphatic win at Arizona State.   

The result? Well, mostly inertia. But with a few small changes. The Seminoles' near miss drops them out of the No. 1 spot in favor of idle Oregon, while the rising Bruins barged their way into the Top 10. Here is a look at how the rest of the Super 16 played out, along with Bleacher Report's latest Top 25:

With quarterback Jameis Winston back in the lineup after serving a one-game suspension, Florida State earned a 56-41 win over North Carolina State. Sounds simple enough. Surely the Wolfpack had a couple garbage-time touchdowns to turn a blowout into an unrepresentative final score, right?

Not exactly.

Before an upset-minded crowd in Raleigh, NC State came out and opened the game with a 24-7 first-quarter run and held the lead for the majority of the game. Shadrach Thornton's 10-yard touchdown in the third quarter gave the Wolfpack a 38-28 lead with just more than 21 minutes remaining, seemingly paving the way for the biggest upset of the season.

It wasn't to be. Winston gave Florida State its first lead of the game with two third-quarter touchdowns and Karlos Williams capped off a 28-3 run to close out the game with two scores in the fourth. The Seminoles offense turned the ball over four times, including two interceptions from Winston. The Heisman-winning quarterback already has two multi-interception games, as many as he had during his record-setting freshman campaign.

"When's the last time the offense and defense actually clicked on the same note?" Winston told reporters. "I don't know. We've got so much potential. We've got so much to look for. I'm telling you, that's the most exciting part."

After not having a team come closer than two touchdowns in 2013, Florida State has already had two teams come within one score this season. Jimbo Fisher's team has two relative byes against Wake Forest and Syracuse coming up before a marquee battle with Notre Dame.

Texas A&M has no such luck. The Aggies will have to write the postmortem on their overtime win against Arkansas and ready themselves for possibly the toughest three-week stretch on anyone's schedule starting Saturday at Mississippi State.

Kenny Hill led his team back from a 28-14 second-half deficit to score the game's final 21 points. He hit Edward Pope on an 86-yard pitch and catch to start the fourth quarter and found Josh Reynolds from 59 yards out with just over two minutes remaining to force overtime. In the extra fame, the Heisman contender needed one play to hit Malcome Kennedy from 25 yards out.

The Aggies defense, which gave up 285 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, held Alex Collins to no gain on a 4th-and-1 try at the 16-yard line to close it out.

"In order to win a game like that, it takes a complete team. Every phase had its poor moments in the first half," coach Kevin Sumlin told reporters. "Offensively, we were a beat off. Defensively, we gave up some big plays, and special teams, we gave up a fake. Our defense stopped them not just in overtime, but on the last couple series."

The biggest win of the week, though, came 48 hours before most of the nation's best were in action. Given the spotlight of a prime-time telecast on Thursday, UCLA finally seemed to click on all cylinders for the first time all season.

Brett Hundley accounted for 427 total yards (355 passing, 72 rushing) and five touchdowns and Ishmael Adams returned a kickoff and an interception for a score, as the Bruins earned a 62-27 thrashing of Arizona State. With Mike Bercovici in a rhythm early, UCLA fell behind 17-6 early in the second quarter and looked to be heading for another nail-biter.

But an 80-yard touchdown from Hundley to Eldridge Massington helped spark a 28-0 run to give UCLA the lead. The Bruins closed out the game on a 56-10 run, opening their Pac-12 schedule with an emphatic statement win.

"It's an absolute inspiration to offense, defense and special teams for him to not just play, but to be out jumping over guys and diving on the ground," UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich told reporters of Hundley, who was playing despite an arm injury. 

Thursday's win was a far cry from UCLA's struggles to start the season. Despite facing three straight ranked opponents, Jim Mora's team was yet to win a game by more than one score. It'll be interesting to see whether the early struggles or the blowout was the aberration in the mix. The Bruins have what should be an easy matchup with Utah before their home showdown with Oregon on Oct. 11.

The escapist tendencies of their fellow ranked teams did not help South Carolina, which blew a 20-7 fourth-quarter lead in a loss to Missouri. Russell Hansbrough scored all three Missouri touchdowns, including consecutive one-yard punch-ins late in the fourth quarter. 

The loss drops South Carolina to 3-2 on the season, including a 2-2 mark in the SEC. Viewed as a preseason favorite to win the SEC East, Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks are going to need a ton of help if they hope to re-enter the picture. Their schedule is relatively easy from an SEC perspective from here on out, but any plans of salvaging the 2014 campaign includes taking down Auburn on Oct. 25.

The Gamecocks and Sun Devils were the lone teams to drop outside the Top 16. They were replaced by Stanford and LSU.

 

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter

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Washington State's Mike Leach Predicts Humanity Will End Because of Texting

College football head coaches get asked all kinds of crazy questions during the course of a season, but rarely do they come up with answers as unique as this one.

When asked about the future of dating with technology, Washington State head coach Mike Leach responded with a very interesting answer, ending it with, "So we're all going to look in this box and eventually be extinct. That's how it ends."

At 53 years old, Leach doesn't sound like he's a big fan of texting.

[Twitter]

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Brady Hoke's Collapse Continues with Poor Job Handling Shane Morris Injury

Under fire for a disappointing 2-3 record Brady Hoke added to his problems with a convoluted explanation of how the team handled multiple injuries to quarterback Shane Morris during Michigan’s 30-14 loss to Minnesota.

Just as Michigan appears to be a program living on past glory, its coach appeared to be a relic from the days when players got their bell rung and just went back for more.

Hoke fielded a number of questions about Morris' injury but dodged giving direct answers when pressed for specifics. He sounded like a curmudgeon, angry that people would question his judgement.

Hoke would never let an athlete play after a possible concussion—but didn’t see the actual play. He assumes that someone checked on Shane Morris before he returned—but couldn’t say for sure.

Hoke defended the team’s actions during Monday’s press conference even as criticism continues to mount as a video clip of a dazed Morris circulates on the web.

It shows Morris on the receiving end of a vicious hit to the helmet which left him leaning on offensive lineman Ben Braden before staggering back to the team’s huddle. It's hard to watch the clip and not understand why somebody didn't step in.

A national television audience saw it. People in the crowd at Michigan Stadium saw it. Journalists in the press box saw it.

But Brady Hoke missed it, and nobody on the sideline intervened to pull Morris off the field.

Even after seeing the video he refused to admit that Morris should have been pulled from the game. When given an opportunity to re-evaluate his decision, he sounded more like a lawyer than a football coach concerned about his players.

"Again, you're being hypothetical, and we’re not going to work in [hypotheticals],” said Hoke on whether seeing the play on Saturday would have changed his decision.

After viewing the tape he did send it to Big Ten for possible sanctions against the defender who Hoke believes illegally targeted Morris.

But he placed the responsibility on players to decide if they should take themselves out, even though a head injury would impair their judgement to make such a decision.

"[Players] love to compete and they love to play. So if you’re asking about that mentality I think that’s what they all have," said Hoke "That’s what they’ve done since whenever they started playing the game. I think they also know if the injury is one where you don’t think you can continue to go to go down."

This statement reflects an attitude that is out of step with what medical professionals know about the danger of concussions. Practically no player at any level of football would pull themselves out of a game and certainly not a player the caliber of Shane Morris. You don't get a scholarship at Michigan without being hyper-competitive.

Dealing with concussions is a huge problem for football at all levels. Hoke could have addressed Michigan’s protocol for dealing with injuries while admitting that teams—all teams—need better ways of evaluating head injuries.

When a Michigan wrestler died while cutting weight in 1998 athletic director Tom Goss instituted a number of safety protocols to make the sport safer spurring the NCAA to do the same. That tragedy caused Michigan to take the lead for the safety of it student-athletes but today that leadership was nowhere to be found.

Athletic director David Brandon, himself a former backup quarterback, could have showed up and discussed the pressure for players to perform but he was no where to be seen.

Instead Hoke was trotted out to give no clear answer on what he had learned from Saturday’s potential injury to Morris.

And his performance reminded everyone why his time at Michigan is nearly over.

Phil Callihan is a featured writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted all quotations obtained firsthand.

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8 College Football Recruits Who Had an Explosive Week

The final weekend of football action in September cast the spotlight on several marquee members of collegiate recruiting classes across the country, along with uncommitted prospects still in search for the right program fit.

Stunning statistical outputs and sensational highlights defined the latest slate of competition, providing plenty to discuss in our weekly assessment of explosive performances. Here's a rundown of those who rose to the occasion when their team needed them most.

 

5-star running back Damien Harris, Madison Southern High School (Berea, Kentucky)

The nation's top-ranked rusher celebrated homecoming in style Friday night. Harris had his way with the South Laurel High School defense through the final horn.

He carried the ball 21 times for 353 yards, per Steve Jones of The Courier-JournalHis seventh and final touchdown occurred with no time remaining on the clock, giving Madison Southern a thrilling 54-51 win.

Harris even starred during halftime festivities, accepting honors as homecoming king:

It's become commonplace for college coaches to show up at his games, and that was again the case. Alabama assistant Kevin Steele spent the evening in attendance, according to Charles Power of 247Sports.

Harris played the role of hero shortly after exiting the contest in pain:

Another dominant effort adds to his gaudy season statistics. Harris has rushed for 1,300 yards and 21 touchdowns through just five games, averaging 18 yards per attempt.

His latest showcase established a career-high for single-game yardage.

"To me, it's typical Damien," Madison Southern coach Jon Clark told Jones. "He played outstanding tonight. He played well in everything he did. He's a good football player, man. We're used to seeing it every night now."

Harris has a top five of Texas A&M, Florida, Kentucky, Alabama and Ohio State.

 

3-star quarterback De'Andre Johnson, First Coast High School (Jacksonville, Florida)

The longtime Florida State commit connected on seven touchdown passes—including six in the first half—to move past Sunshine State legend Tim Tebow on the all-time leaderboard. Johnson, a four-year starter, surpassed the former Florida Gator's mark (95 scoring throws) during a 54-17 dismantling of Atlantic Coast High School:

He has a chance to claim the top spot in state history this season. Wake Forest freshman John Wolford threw 126 touchdowns at Bishop Kenny High School.

Johnson currently sits at 100 touchdown tosses with six regular-season games remaining. First Coast is in position to reach the postseason, providing him a legitimate opportunity to break the record.

Despite achieving another individual accolade, he was quick to call out his supporting cast.

"My offensive line did a great job," Johnson told Clayton Freeman of Jacksonville.com after a 367-yard performance. "The coaches did a great job of scheming this defense, and I brought my A-game tonight."

He is one of three 2015 quarterbacks currently committed to the Seminoles. Other offers include Clemson, North Carolina, South Florida and Maryland.

 

3-star linebacker DeAndre McNeal, Poteet High School (Mesquite, Texas)

McNeal may not receive as much attention as teammate and top-rated outside linebacker Malik Jefferson, but the 6'2", 228-pound defender deserves plenty of collegiate consideration. He enjoyed a breakout game Friday night during a 25-14 win over Rockwall-Heath High School.

His strongest performance came at the perfect time for Poteet, as Jefferson was sidelined with an injury. McNeal made an impact on both sides of the ball while playing in front of Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, lining up at linebacker and receiver.

He caught four passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns, per Corbett Smith of The Dallas Morning News. McNeal also flexed his muscles as a pass-rusher, registering three sacks.

Poteet coach Kody Groves lauded the effort and measured him up to Jefferson in favorable fashion.

“DeAndre doesn’t always get categorized as the best one of those two,” Groves told Smith. “It wouldn’t shock me, in a couple of years, if that guy is not the name that everybody knows. They may know Malik, too. But I’m telling you, DeAndre, he’s a different type of player.”

McNeal landed an offer from the Aggies on Friday and attended the team's game against Arkansas, where he encountered family of Texas A&M royalty:

His offer list also features UCLA, Miami, Alabama, Arizona State and Oklahoma.

 

4-star receiver K.J. Hill, North Little Rock High School (Little Rock, Arkansas)

The 6'0", 190-pound playmaker continues to prove he's one of the most promising receivers in SEC territory. Hill hauled in eight passes for 162 yards and three scores in a 41-14 victory over Cabot High School, per Andrew Hutchinson of ARPreps.com

Rated 22nd among players at the position, he has quickly built off a breakout junior season during the first month of his senior campaign. Hill caught 16 touchdowns in 2013 and owns several multi-touchdown games since the start of last year.

Though he remains committed to the Razorbacks, several team are still in pursuit. Florida, Notre Dame and Alabama are expected to host him for official visits before national signing day.

 

3-star running back Reggie Gallaspy, Southern Guilford High School (Greensboro, North Carolina)

It was quite an eventful weekend for Gallaspy, who pushed his team to 6-0 with another sensational showing. The 5'11", 205-pound rusher gained 198 yards on 40 carries in a 27-9 victory over North Forsyth High School, per MaxPreps.

He narrowly missed reaching the 200-yard mark for the sixth straight game and scored three total touchdowns, including a 13-yard reception. Gallaspy has gained 1,602 yards on the ground this fall, placing him among national leaders. 

His touchdown total also pushes him toward the top of statistical lists:

Gallaspy followed up the effort with a visit to North Carolina State. He committed to the Wolfpack on Saturday and should be firmly in the mix to receive touches as a true freshman.

 

4-star quarterback Brady White, Hart High School (Santa Clarita, California)

The Arizona State pledge picked apart opposing defensive schemes and got the better of Alabama quarterback commit Blake Barnett for a second straight year. White led Hart to a 57-35 win, outdueling his fellow Elite 11 finalist.

He finished the highly anticipated matchup with seven touchdown passes and took over in the second half. During one stretch after intermission, White completed six of seven attempts for five scores, per Cary Osborne of the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

In two head-to-head high school battles with Barnett, White threw for nearly 1,000 yards and accounted for 12 total touchdowns. White helped push his team's record to 3-2, providing a pivotal boost for playoff hopes.

He chose the Sun Devils over Oregon, Cal and Penn State.

 

4-star receiver George Campbell, East Lake High School (Tarpon Springs, Florida)

Campbell is undoubtedly one of the top natural athletes in this recruiting class and showcased that rare skill set throughout a Friday evening win over Tarpon Springs High School. The 6'3", 184-pound prospect flashed his sub-4.40 speed and aerial acrobatics en route to three touchdown receptions, per Josh Newberg of 247Sports.

Campbell caught nine passes for 121 yards. No grab was better the one-handed snag he made on this scoring play:

He finished with 760 receiving yards during each of the past two seasons and is on pace to surpass that total this fall. Campbell, who initially committed to Michigan last summer, is now a Florida State pledge.

He also considered offers from Florida, Clemson, Maryland and LSU.

 

3-star quarterback Sam Darnold, San Clemente High School (San Clemente, California)

He may have entered this season as a mystery man, but Darnold has answered all questions through five games. The 6'4", 208-pound passer is making up for lost time after missing the majority of his junior season with an injury. 

Darnold provided another example of his prowess with 298 yards through the air and four total touchdowns in a 47-24 win over Newport Harbor, per MaxPreps. He added 62 rushing yards on nine carries.

Darnold, a USC commit, owned just seven varsity touchdown passes at the start of his senior campaign. He already has 17 scoring strikes this year, throwing just one interception along the way.

His completion percentage (62) and yards per rushing attempt (seven) are a testament to his progression as a dual-threat weapon. Highlights from his early-season performances can be seen below.

 

Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.

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Kynon's Korner: Recruiting on the Hot Seat, No. 1 Recruit Moving Visits?

Last Friday, University of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley updated the media on head coach Will Muschamp's job status. Unfortunately, it wasn't a ringing endorsement, as Foley told 740 The Game in Orlando, via ESPN.com, that Muschamp will be evaluated after season.

This is the last thing Coach Muschamp and his staff needed, as Luke Stampini of Gator Bait reports (subscription required) the Florida coaches are hitting the road to recruit during the bye week. I caught up with a Sunshine State prospect to get his thoughts on the situation. 

Ryan Davis, a 4-star wide receiver, has been to The Swamp four times since Aug. 2, and the Gators have been firmly in the mix since the start of his recruitment. Davis said he hears things about Coach Muschamp, but he isn't letting it affect how he views the three-time national champions. 

"It doesn't really matter to me," said Davis. "I really just love Florida. Ever since they offered, they've been on me heavy. When Coach [Chris] Leak got the [wide receivers coach] job, it was great because he knows and understands the game. He said I remind him of Peter Warrick and Percy Harvin. 

"At the end of the day, you don't go to a school for the coach," remarked Davis. "You go because you love the school and you can see yourself there with or without football. I've learned you never go to a school for a coach." 

The St. Petersburg, Florida, flanker told me he is going to the same school with close friend and 5-star defensive end Byron Cowart. Davis and Cowart took official visits together to Maryland on Sept. 12.

"Me and Byron are pretty much going to play at the same college," Davis said. "We pretty much have that set." 

Cowart will visit Florida on Nov. 15 for the South Carolina game. Davis said he will likely visit Gainesville again after the season. In addition to possibly playing with Cowart, look for Davis to try to convince 4-star linebacker Jeffery Holland to join the pair in college. Holland has Auburn and Florida at the top of his list. 

"Me and Jeff Holland talk a lot, we are real cool," said Davis. "I haven't talked to him about playing together yet, but I'm going to sit down with him and talk about it also."

If the Gators can flip their 2013 record of 4-8 to a respectable 8-4, the recruiting class could see a major boast in the rankings come national signing day should the trio mentioned decide to take their talents to Gainesville along with Florida target CeCe Jefferson. If Muschamp lands this quartet and others, he may be asking his boss for a raise next fall.

 

The Latest News On Nation's No. 1 Recruit

On Saturday, several media outlets, including Gerry Hamilton of ESPN.com, reported that the nation's No. 1-rated player, Josh Sweat, would likely keep two of his official visit plans intact despite injury. However, Sweat's mother, Carlette, said all of his trips could be on hold after announcing he would miss the remainder of his senior season with a lower extremity injury.

"We as a family decided that he wasn't going play anymore this season to make sure when he goes to college, he can start as a true freshman and be able to play at 110 percent," Carlette told Bleacher Report via text message. 

Carlette said she didn't know if his official visits were going to change.

"Nothing's going to interfere with his recruitment," she confirmed. "All of the colleges are aware the manner of his surgery."

Sweat was scheduled to have a busy October with visits to Georgia on Oct. 3, Florida State on Oct. 17 and Oregon the last weekend of the month. 

When asked which visits could get delayed, she replied, "Everything may be pushed to a later date. All of them."

It looks like a holding pattern for the schools looking to get Sweat on campus. Right now, all the focus from his family is getting him healthy, and rightfully so. We will see if the Chesapeake, Virginia, product will be comfortable traveling long distances to check out schools anytime soon.

This development could be beneficial for Virginia Tech. Sweat and his family could take advantage of the close proximity of Blacksburg when setting up the next travel plans since he missed his official visit to Lane Stadium last weekend after suffering his injury.

 

2016 4-Star QB Set To Announce

Four weeks ago, Saint Paul (Minn.) East Ridge Seth Green told me that Oregon was his leader. Now, Green is set to make his verbal decision exclusively with Bleacher Report on Oct. 17. However, Green wants to change his announcement to his birthday, Oct. 15. 

He visited Oregon on Sept. 6 and saw the Ducks topple Michigan State, 46-27, in a matchup of previously ranked top-10 teams. Green will stay closer to home to check out his other two finalists. 

"I'm going to Minnesota on Oct. 11 and looking at Michigan State on Oct. 4," said Green. "I just want to see what it feels like. I'm not looking at anything specific. I'll just compare all three."

The 247Sports Crystal Ball has Oregon trending at 71 percent for Green's commitment, with Minnesota trailing in a distant second place. When asked if his family wants him to stay close to home, he answered, "They want what's best for me."

Stay tuned to see if Green will end up in the local confines of the Big Ten or head west to Eugene to fly with the Ducks.

 

Speedy WR Ryan Newsome Set To Visit Ole Miss

Aledo (Texas) receiver and return man Ryan Newsome will be in Oxford this weekend for the Ole Miss-Alabama SEC showdown. Newsome will be joined by several high-profile recruits along with ESPN's College GameDay crew. 

The 4-star playmaker will shadow former No. 1-rated wideout Laquon Treadwell and Texas native Quincy Adeboyejo. Also scheduled to be in Oxford will be Houston standout Damarkus Lodge, who recently decommitted from Texas A&M.

"I watched the Ole Miss-Memphis game. They played well, but their offense was a little out of synch," said Newsome. "I think that was due to the fact that everyone is excited about the Alabama game. I talked to a few players on the team this week, and they were saying they can't wait for Alabama." 

Newsome said he has a good relationship with his primary recruiter, Grant Heard, and secondary recruiter Tom Allen. He cites that relationship as a big reason why he wants to see what Ole Miss has to offer. 

"They are recruiting me super hard," Newsome said. "They've been keeping tabs on me since my sophomore year, and they offered my junior year. They've been on me ever since. I talk to Coach Heard and Coach Allen almost every day. I even talk to Coach (Hugh) Freeze a lot, too." 

So what does Newsome expect to see when he visits the Rebels?

"I want to see how the rest of the staff is, the environment, and if I'm comfortable there," added Newsome. "I'm pretty excited. I've never been to a place that has College GameDay, so I'm looking forward to that. Hopefully, I can meet Lee Corso or Kirk Herbstreit. I want to see how I fit there and get inside the coaches' heads to see what the game plan is for me there and have a good time."

When asked who will come out on top in the SEC clash?

"I think Ole Miss wins by a touchdown. 21-14."

Next up for Newsome on his official visit plans will be a trip to Tennessee on Oct. 25. He has set visits to UCLA on Nov. 1 and Oklahoma on Nov. 8. He plans to announce his decision in January at either the Under Armour All-American Game or U.S. Army All-American Bowl. 

 

Auburn Looking To Make A Run At 5-Star California QB

Malik Henry, a 5-star pocket passer, took an unofficial visit to South Bend, Indiana, on Sept. 6 for the Notre Dame-Michigan tilt. Notre Dame crushed Michigan, and senior quarterback Everett Golson threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns in the 31-0 romp. Henry came away impressed with his trip. 

"My best part was the player walk! Coach [Brian] Kelly and I have a great relationship," explained Henry.

When asked on a scale of 1-10 how would he rank it?

"My visit was a 10 overall."

Henry said he isn't sure if he will take any more trips this fall.

"I might visit Florida State one more time, but I'm not sure yet," added Henry. 

He told me his final four of Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and UCLA remain the same, with Auburn looking to crack the list. The Tigers offered days after his Notre Dame visit, and he is definitely interested in the defending SEC champs.

"Rhett Lashlee is the one recruiting me," said Henry. "They have a great coaching staff, and I love their offense. Auburn, like the other schools, are recruiting me equally."

As a sophomore, Henry threw for 2,362 yards and 21 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He is rated as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback for the class of 2016.

 

SEC, ACC Looking To Snag APB Bryce Love

Tar Heel State star Bryce Love recently took his first official visit to Virginia Tech on Sept. 19. Love enjoyed the experience despite seeing the Hokies fall to Georgia Tech on a last-second field goal. The 4-star all-purpose back was accompanied by his parents on the trip. 

"Coach Beamer definitely feels like I could be a back that runs between the tackles or take sweeps and catch the ball out of the backfield," Love told Bleacher Report. "Coach Beamer really stressed while we were down there that they are a young team.

"My host was Travon McMillian. He had nothing but good things to say about the school and that he loves it out there. It hurt to see them lose, but it didn't take away from anything."

Love is heading to Knoxville on Oct. 24 to see the Vols welcome Alabama to Rocky Top. It will be his second visit to campus after spending time at the Vols Junior Day last March. 

"I enjoyed it the one time I went out there. Coach [Butch] Jones and Coach [Robert] Gillespie call me every week, and we have good conversations," stated Love. "I liked my experience there and the staff."

Another SEC school targeting Love is Florida. He picked up an offer last February, and he has kept in touch with running back coach Brian White. Love said he really likes Coach White; however, the current climate in Gainesville, as previously mentioned, could be a roadblock in his recruitment.

"I like the school overall. Coach White went to Harvard, so he understands the education aspect for sure," said Love. "That's one of the reasons I'm looking into them. However, with what's going on there, it does play some form of a factor for me."

Love's father, Chris, played defensive back at South Carolina, and his uncle, Reggie Love, went to North Carolina. He is leaning on them to help him with the process. East Carolina and North Carolina State are also in the mix for the 5'10", 180-pounder with 4.47 40-yard dash speed (electronically timed at Nike Football's The Opening presented by Student Sports). He is planning to make a decision during the season.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand. Recruiting information and ratings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted. 

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Utah vs. UCLA Complete Game Preview

When: Saturday, Oct. 4, 10:30 p.m. ET

Where: Rose Bowl Stadium; Pasadena, California

TV: ESPN

Utah vs. UCLA features two Pac-12 South teams on opposite trajectories after their Week 5 performances.

UCLA returned to the Top 10 of the Associated Press poll, jumping from No. 11 to No. 8 on the heels of routing Arizona State, 62-27. The Bruins played their most complete game and answered some of the concerns surrounding their team after a somewhat slow start to 2014.

Meanwhile, Utah stumbled in its Pac-12 opener, letting Washington State rally from 21 points down to hand the Utes their first loss of the season.

The home defeat squashed the momentum Utah had built in an impressive 3-0 start, which included a convincing win over Michigan in the Big House in Week 4.

Utah has an opportunity to reverse its course under the lights of the Rose Bowl Saturday. The Utes come in desperate to avoid starting the conference season 0-2, which makes them dangerous.

The potential for a trap also lingers for UCLA. The Bruins host No. 2 Oregon on Oct. 11, and both teams entering that contest undefeated should command national attention.

First, both teams must hold up their end in Week 6.

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Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Ole Miss Rebels Complete Game Preview

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It’s time to see what this Alabama football team is made of.

The Crimson Tide will hit the road for Oxford, Mississippi, this weekend to take on the Ole Miss Rebels in an early-season clash between SEC unbeatens.

Ole Miss boasts maybe the conference’s best defense, while Alabama is hitting its stride on offense. The Rebels haven’t beaten Alabama since 2003 and will surely be eager for a signature win.

The Crimson Tide, meanwhile, want to assert their dominance in an SEC West that is looking historically good.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Date: Saturday, October 4

Time: 2:30 p.m. CT

Place: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium

TV: CBS

Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network, Ole Miss IMG Network

Spread: Alabama by 6, according to OddsShark.com.

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Is Hutson Mason the Answer at Quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs?

Hutson Mason has had his struggles early on in this season. Georgia is still in the hunt to make some waves, but would it go further with a different quarterback under center?

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer discuss Georgia's options at the QB position.

Does Georgia need a change at QB? Watch the video and let us know!

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Stanford Cardinal Complete Game Preview

As the calendar turns to October, Notre Dame faces the most important stretch of its 2014 season. After playing its most uneven game of the season in an ugly 31-15 victory over Syracuse, the Irish now face their stiffest challenge of the young season as No. 14 Stanford comes to South Bend. 

The Cardinal have gotten the better of Brian Kelly's teams, winning three of the last four. But returning to Notre Dame for the first time since their overtime defeat in 2012, David Shaw's squad needs a victory after already dropping a tight game to USC. 

The Cardinal boast the nation's best defense, leading the country in both scoring and yardage allowed. They'll present Everett Golson with his toughest challenge of the season, as the Irish offense will need to clean up after an error-filled performance that erased an otherwise productive Saturday. 

In a rivalry that grows with intensity each year, let's get you ready for Notre Dame and Stanford. 

 

Date: Saturday, October 4

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

Place: Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana

TV: NBC

Radio: IMG College Sports, SiriusXM Channel 129

Spread: Even, according to Odds Shark.

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10 Biggest Takeaways from the First Month of the College Football Season

The first five weeks of college football season have taught us many things. The SEC is really, really good. The Big Ten…not so much.

This sport is still the best in the world.

But some takeaways are bigger than others. To wit, there are things we didn't know before the season that are driving the national narrative through September. They're the most important things that we—the unbiased college football fan—have learned.

To make this list accessible to the greatest number of people, an effort has been made to skew broad. "Penn State's offensive line is even worse than we thought," for example, is an important takeaway for fans of the Nittany Lions, but it doesn't carry much weight beyond them. Takeaways in that vein have not been included.

Instead, this list focused on takeaways of national import: lessons that would register for a football fan with no team allegiance. Whether it's a national-title contender looking sluggish, a Power-Five conference looking strong or a powerhouse program looking for answers, these are lessons from the first five weeks that affect all of us.

Sound off below to let me know what you would add.

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Miami vs. Georgia Tech: Complete Game Preview

An early-season advantage in the ACC Coastal Division is at stake when the Miami Hurricanes battle the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday, Oct. 4.

Riding high after a defensive masterpiece against Duke, Miami is looking to extend its series winning streak to six games over Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets enter the matchup confident and fresh, having improved to 4-0 after toppling Virginia Tech on the road and resting on a bye last weekend.

According to OddsShark, the 'Canes are favored by two points. The game can been on ESPN2, kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.

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Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Maryland Terrapins Complete Game Preview

After stunting Cincinnati with a 50-28 victory in Columbus and inserting itself back into the hunt for a playoff spot, the Ohio State football team will head to College Park for its Big Ten opener with Maryland.

Having gotten off to a 4-1 start in their inaugural season in the conference, the Terrapins have looked strong through their first five wins of the season and are coming off consecutive wins over Syracuse and Indiana.

The Buckeyes, meanwhile, are hoping to maintain the recent wave of momentum that they've enjoyed since their Sept. 6 loss to Virginia Tech. After being handed its first defeat of the season at the hands of the Hokies, Ohio State appears to have regained its footing with a 66-0 thrashing of Kent State and last weekend's beatdown of the Bearcats.

Will the Buckeyes continue their streak of success, or will Maryland earn its first signature win of its Big Ten era? We'll find out this weekend. But until then, here's everything you need to know about Ohio State's conference opener with the Terrapins:

Date: Saturday, Oct. 4

Time: 12 p.m. ET

Place: Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland

TV: ABC

Radio: Ohio State Football Radio NetworkMaryland Sports Radio Network

Spread: Ohio State (-10), via Vegas Insider

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College Football Picks: Pittsburgh Panthers at Virginia Cavaliers Odds

The Pittsburgh Panthers and the Virginia Cavaliers clash this Saturday night at Scott Stadium in a key conference matchup in the ACC’s Coastal Division. The game is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. (ET), and it will be available nationally on ESPN3.

Pitt is coming off a disappointing 21-10 loss to Akron this past Saturday as a 21-point favorite at home. The Panthers are now 3-2 straight up on the year with a 2-3 record against the spread. The total has stayed “under” in their last two games.

The Cavaliers have won three of their first five games SU as well, and they come into this contest with a perfect 5-0 mark ATS. This past Saturday they beat Kent State 45-13 as 26-point home favorites, and the total has now gone “over” in three of their last five games.

 

Pittsburgh at Virginia Betting Storylines

Pittsburgh appeared to be gaining some traction through the early part of the season, but last week’s unexpected loss to the Zips was a major step backwards for this program. This followed a 24-20 loss to Iowa as a 6.5-point home favorite in Week 4. The offense is averaging 32.8 points per game, but it has tallied a combined total of only 30 points in its last two outings. Quarterback Chad Voytik threw for 220 yards and a score against Akron, but he completed less than 60 percent of his 34 attempts and was intercepted once.

The Panthers defense is ranked 23rd in the nation in points allowed in giving up an average of just 18 PPG, but these stats have been padded a bit against some less-than-competitive games earlier in the season. This unit has yet to really be tested against a quality offense, and if last week’s loss is any indication, it could have its issues stopping Virginia this week.

The Cavaliers were well down in the rankings when it came to the futures odds to win the ACC this season, but they have as good a chance as anyone to still earn a spot in the conference title game by winning their division. They already upset newcomer Louisville 23-21 as four-point home underdogs to post a key victory in their ACC opener. Virginia also gave UCLA and BYU all they could handle by covering as a double-digit underdog earlier this year.

This team has shown some solid balance on both sides of the ball with an offense that is generating 33.2 PPG and a defense that is holding teams to 23.2 PPG. Kevin Parks has anchored the ground game with 258 yards rushing on 75 attempts, and Canaan Severin has been a huge target in the passing game with 20 receptions for 225 yards and two scores.

 

Pittsburgh at Virginia Betting Odds and Trends by Doc’s Sports

Point Spread: Virginia -4.5

Total Line: OFF

The betting trends on Covers have the Panthers listed at 4-1 ATS in their last five games on the road, and the total has stayed under in 12 of their last 18 road games.

The Cavaliers have gone a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five games at home, and they have covered in their last seven games overall. The total has gone “over” in 10 of their last 13 games.

Head-to-head in this ACC matchup, the favorite has gone a perfect 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings, and the total has been evenly split 2-2.

 

College Football Picks: Pittsburgh at Virginia Betting Predictions

These two ACC foes appear to be heading in opposite directions as they both enter the meat of the conference schedule. The Cavaliers know that this is a must-win game to keep their Coastal Division title hopes alive, and they are catching the Panthers at a great time to nail down the SU win at home by well more than the current 4.5-point spread.

Take: # 332 Virginia (-4.5) over Pittsburgh- 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4

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Is Alabama vs. Ole Miss Winner Guaranteed a CFP Spot?

Coming off their bye week, the Alabama Crimson Tide travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to tangle with the Ole Miss Rebels in one of the most anticipated matchups of the season. The winner will begin to make its case as the top team in the country's premier conference.   

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down a game that will be sure to shake up the SEC West.

Will the winner of this game become the team to beat in the SEC West?

Watch the video and let us know!  

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

USC vs. Arizona State Complete Game Preview

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m. ET

WHERE: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

TV: Fox

Saturday’s Pac-12 South matchup pitting No. 16-ranked USC vs. Arizona State features teams with matching 3-1 overall records. However, the conference implications on the line could not be much more different for each side.

USC is in pursuit of a 3-0 start to Pac-12 play, coming off a 35-10 rout of Oregon State in Week 5. Conversely, Arizona State is trying to avoid an 0-2 hole in the league.

The Sun Devils opened their Pac-12 slate with a thud last week, dropping a 62-27 decision at home to UCLA. A second consecutive loss within the division would put the reigning South champions squarely behind the eight ball.

Arizona State could be without starting quarterback Taylor Kelly, who missed the Sun Devils’ Week 5 loss with a foot injury. Sun Devils head coach Todd Graham said Kelly is "pretty questionable," via Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic

Backup Mike Bercovici passed for 488 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start last week. Bercovici’s ability—or inability—to end USC’s streak of four games without surrendering a passing touchdown may tell the story of this week’s contest.

The USC defense will have plenty of motivation to shut down the Sun Devils offense, however. The 62 points Arizona State scored in last year’s meeting with USC tied the most ever given up by the Trojans.

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Wake Forest vs. Florida State Complete Game Preview

Florida State should finally enjoy a more comfortable victory on Saturday.

After three close calls against Oklahoma State, Clemson and North Carolina State, the Seminoles (4-0) now play host to one of the Atlantic Coast Conference's worst teams, Wake Forest (2-3). 

FSU likely won't need overtime, as it did to slip past Clemson. Or a late touchdown, as it did to hold off Oklahoma State. Or a second-half rally, as it did at NC State.

The Seminoles have shown their fight, but they've also shown their weaknesses. When FSU takes the field against the Demon Deacons, the Seminoles need to show that they have improved their tackling and run blocking. And they need to cut down on the turnovers after giving up two interceptions and a fumble against the Wolfpack.

All of the questions have caused poll voters to question FSU. The Seminoles retained the No. 1 spot in the AP poll, but they dropped to No. 2 behind Alabama in the USA Today football coaches poll.

Here's a look at the FSU-Wake Forest game, which begins at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be televised regionally by ABC (and on ESPN3.com outside of the region).

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UCLA vs USC: Which LA Powerhouse Has Best Shot for CFB Playoff?

USC has one loss on the season, and UCLA is undefeated. These teams are fighting for position in the Pac-12 South, but they have their eyes set on the College Football Playoff.

Bleacher Reports College Football Analysts Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer debate which of these teams has the best shot to play for the national championship.

Which one of these Pac-12 powers has the best chance of winning it all?

Watch the video and let us know!

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College Football Odds: Week 6 Betting Lines Open with FSU as Huge Favorite

The Florida State Seminoles will look to put a stop to an 0-5 skid against the spread when they play host to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Saturday as 38-point favorites on the college football betting lines.

The 4-0 Seminoles maintain a tenuous grip on the top spot in the AP Top 25, but they have fallen behind undefeated Alabama in the Amway Coaches Poll.

Florida State had four turnovers, including three by quarterback Jameis Winston, and needed to overcome a 17-point deficit to top North Carolina State 56-41 over the weekend.

This week, the Seminoles face a lesser opponent in the form of division rival Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have lost eight of their last 10 straight up, including a 59-3 beating by Florida State last November.

However, the Demon Deacons are 4-2 against the spread in their last six games, including covering in their last three as double-digit underdogs.

The 4-0 Crimson Tide will have their hands full in maintaining their perch atop the Coaches Poll when they take on Mississippi as 4.5-point road favorites, per sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark this week.

The Tide put an end to a five-game losing streak ATS with a 42-21 win as 14-point favorites over Florida in Week 4. Alabama is 5-0 SU in its last five against the Rebels, including a 25-0 victory last season. However, the Crimson Tide have been a betting disappointment when facing Ole Miss, covering in just three of their last nine meetings.

The 4-0 Oregon Ducks will be gunning for a seventh consecutive victory SU when they welcome the Arizona Wildcats to town as 23-point favorites, per sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.

Despite putting numbers in the win column and a steady raise in the national rankings, the Ducks have been a disappointment to college football bettors, covering just twice in their last nine overall while going 0-5 ATS in their last five when favored by 20-plus points.

The Wildcats, meanwhile, are off to a 4-0 start but have been losers in their last three ATS.

In other Week 6 college football betting matchups, Texas A&M travels to Mississippi State as a slim one-point road favorite in a battle of undefeated teams, while the 4-0 Auburn Tigers play host to the 4-1 LSU Tigers as nine-point home favorites.

The 4-0 UCLA Bruins return home to take on Utah as 12.5-point favorites, while the surprising East Carolina Pirates are favored by 38 points over SMU.

 

Opening NCAA lines aggregated by Odds Shark

Central Florida at Houston -2.5   Florida Atlantic at Florida International 9   Arizona at Oregon -23   Louisville at Syracuse 3.5   San Diego State at Fresno State 2   Utah State at BYU     Iowa State at Oklahoma State -17   Texas A&M at Mississippi State 1   Marshall at Old Dominion 17.5   Ohio State at Maryland     Southern Methodist at East Carolina -36   Southern Miss at Middle Tennessee -17   Purdue at Illinois     Florida at Tennessee 1.5   Ball State at Army -3   Virginia Tech at North Carolina 1.5   Eastern Michigan at Akron -21   Massachusetts at Miami (Ohio) -4.5   North Texas at Indiana -14   Tulsa at Colorado State -15   Navy at Air Force 4   Ohio at Central Michigan     Wisconsin at Northwestern 9.5   North Carolina State at Clemson -14   Buffalo at Bowling Green -5   Baylor at Texas 13   Alabama at Mississippi 4.5   Stanford at Notre Dame 0   Wake Forest at Florida State -38   New Mexico at UTSA -19   Oklahoma at TCU 5   Arizona State at Southern Cal -11   Kansas at West Virginia -24   Oregon State at Colorado 7.5   Vanderbilt at Georgia -33   Kent State at Northern Illinois -22   South Alabama at Appalachian State 5.5   Georgia State at Louisiana-Lafayette -17   LSU at Auburn -9   Utah at UCLA -13   Idaho at Texas State -15   Hawaii at Rice -6   Texas Tech at Kansas State     Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State -10   Michigan at Rutgers -3.5   UAB at Western Kentucky -14   Texas El Paso at Louisiana Tech -13   Toledo at Western Michigan 10   Memphis at Cincinnati -6.5   Miami at Georgia Tech -1   Pittsburgh at Virginia -4   South Carolina at Kentucky 7.5   Nebraska at Michigan State -8   UNLV at San Jose State     Ga Southern at New Mexico State 16.5   Boise State at Nevada 1.5   California at Washington State -4  

 

Stats and odds courtesy of Odds Shark.

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Will Michigan's Brady Hoke and Florida's Will Muschamp Survive the Season?

With the losses mounting, some of the most prestigious coaching jobs in the country are in jeopardy. The seats are heating up. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Adam Kramer and Michael Felder tell you who could be out of a job this season.

Do you think these coaches will make it through the year?

Watch the video and let us know! 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

What Is the Most Important SEC Game in Week 6's Monster Lineup?

Week 6 has arguably the best regular-season matchups of the year. The SEC has a slate of fantastic games that is sure to shake up the conference and College Football Playoff picture. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder and Barrett Sallee debate which game has the biggest implications.

Which SEC team has the most at stake in Week 6?

Watch the video and let us know.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

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