NCAA Football News

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Kansas Jayhawks: Complete Game Preview

The Oklahoma State Cowboys came out of the gate a little sluggish last weekend against the Iowa State Cyclones, but right before halftime the kicking game gave them a much-needed boost to give them a 13-6 lead going into the half.

Ultimately, the Pokes managed to turn on the jets in the second half and ride the momentum generated by the special teams to a 37-20 victory.

Kansas hasn't been as fortunate, as the Jayhawks have lost their two Big 12 games by a combined 42 points so far. That's led to Charlie Weis losing his job and has put this team into a bit of turmoil.

On paper, this looks like an easy win for the Cowboys; however, this has the potential for a classic trap game on the road.

Can Oklahoma State take care of business and improve to 5-1 before it hits the meat of its schedule? Read on to find out.

Begin Slideshow

College Football: Top 5 Games to Watch in Week 7

It will be another exciting week of college football, especially with both Mississippi schools looking to earn another huge victory for the second week in a row. 

As if there wasn’t enough interest in the SEC West already, No. 2 Auburn travels to Starkville to face No. 3 Mississippi State, while No. 3 Ole Miss heads into hostile Kyle Field in hopes of knocking off a No. 14 Texas A&M team that knows how to score points. 

With much of the focus on games in the SEC West, the SEC East could be decided this week with No. 13 Georgia out to prove it can take down No. 23 Missouri without one of the best players in the country, Todd Gurley

No. 12 Oregon and No. 16 UCLA will surprisingly limp into the Rose Bowl, after both suffered crushing defeats at home last week. The winner in this matchup will stay in the hunt for a national title. 

Speaking off joining the national title hunt, the winner of No. 9 TCU and No. 5 Baylor in Waco, Texas, will be the front-runner to win the Big 12 and join the national title race as well. The Horned Frogs could put themselves in position to win their first conference title since 2011, which was when they were still a member of the Mountain West Conference, with back-to-back wins over Oklahoma and Baylor.

On a Saturday that could feature many high-scoring outcomes, here are the top five games to watch in Week 7.   

Begin Slideshow

Jameis Winston Faces Disciplinary Hearing over 2012 Sexual Assault Allegations

Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com reported that Florida State notified quarterback Jameis Winston on Friday that he will face a disciplinary hearing regarding sexual assault allegations from 2012.

Florida State’s interim president Garnett Stokes and vice president for student affairs Mary B. Coburn sent a letter to Winston and his attorney stating that the quarterback could be charged with as many as four violations of the school’s student conduct code.

Two of those four potential violations involve sexual conduct.

The next step for Winston is to contact the school's Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and schedule an information hearing. That hearing will address the impending student conduct hearing that could impact Winston's future with the football team and university.

What's more, Florida State is being investigated by the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights about whether the school did enough to protect the Title IX rights of the woman who accused Winston.

The letter sent Friday differs from what Winston’s attorney, David Cornwell, tweeted out earlier:

On the field, Winston was part of the Florida State team that finished the 2013 season undefeated and won the national title. The defending Heisman Trophy winner was also suspended during the Clemson game earlier this season for yelling an obscene phrase on campus. Florida State, absent its star QB, narrowly escaped that game with a victory.

This latest development comes after Kevin Vaughan of Fox Sports reported the following Friday:

“Florida State University officials and Tallahassee police took steps to both hide, and then hinder, the criminal investigation into a rape allegation against the school's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston last fall, a FOX Sports investigation has found.”

The entire Vaughan report can be found here.

It remains to be seen what the immediate and future fallout from these latest developments will be for the school and quarterback.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football Week 7: Live Scores, Highlights and Reaction

Can anything top last week?

We’re certainly hoping Week 7 comes close to the wild chaos that took place last Saturday.

There are a number of games capable of going down to the wire, so get ready for another fun weekend.

It all starts off with No. 23 Missouri hosting No. 13 Georgia on CBS at noon ET. The Bulldogs will be out for revenge after last year's loss, but things could get difficult without Todd Gurley playing. 

Immediately following on the same network at 3:30 p.m. ET is the top game of the weekend, with No. 2 Auburn traveling to No. 3 Mississippi State.

Will Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs continue to climb, or can Nick Marshall prove Auburn is still the team to beat in the SEC? 

Out West, No. 18 UCLA hosts No. 12 Oregon at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox, and No. 10 Arizona hosts the USC Trojans at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Who will reign supreme in the Pac-12 after this weekend? 

The premier night game on Saturday pits No. 3 Ole Miss against No. 14 Texas A&M. The Aggies fell flat a week ago, but look for them to come out strong against the talented Rebels.

Who will be on top in the SEC when Week 7 is all said and done? 

Keep it locked right here with Bleacher Report for the latest scores, updates and highlights from Saturday’s action.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

FSU, Tallahassee Police Reportedly Hindered Jameis Winston Investigation

Fox Sports' Kevin Vaughan unearthed documents that reportedly detail the ways in which Florida State University and Tallahassee police impeded and obstructed the investigation into the sexual assault charges levied against quarterback Jameis Winston:

University administrators and Winston’s attorney, Tim Jansen, had a head start on the state attorney in Tallahassee responsible for investigating and prosecuting serious crimes. Florida State administrators, for instance, had all the police reports at least four days before State Attorney Willie Meggs was handed the case.

FSU's police chief reportedly obtained a copy of police reports from the night in question and forwarded them to a member of the school's athletic department. Eventually, the reports wound up in Jansen's hands.

Meggs doesn't take offense to the fact that FSU police had the reports, but "he remains mystified" that campus police would then give the report to university administrators.

According to Vaughan, Jansen had the reports before Meggs interviewed two key witnesses. The witnesses were FSU football players who signed affidavits after speaking with Jansen.

"I became pretty much of the belief that somebody had gotten his reports to his defense attorney, because he had already talked to our witnesses," Meggs said. "If he didn’t know about it, how does he know to interview them and get affidavits?"

Vaughan reported that on Jan. 11, 2013, Scott Angulo, a Tallahassee police detective, made his boss aware of the allegations of the incident from Dec. 7, 2012. Angulo's memo highlighted all of the pertinent info about Winston and also included that "Winston is a FSU football player."

Winston spoke with local authorities on Jan. 22, who were then contacted by somebody claiming to be "the athletic directors assistant." Winston had an interview with the police scheduled for the next day, but Jansen arrived in his place for what was labeled "a fact-finding mission" by a detective on the case.

"There was a whole long litany of things that we would have done," Meggs said to Fox Sports. "You don’t call the defendant to make an appointment to talk about putting him in jail."

Walt Bogdanich of The New York Times wrote in April that local police mishandled the investigation in a few very important ways:

After the accuser identified Mr. Winston as her assailant, the police did not even attempt to interview him for nearly two weeks and never obtained his DNA.

The detective handling the case waited two months to write his first report and then prematurely suspended his inquiry without informing the accuser. By the time the prosecutor got the case, important evidence had disappeared, including the video of the sexual act.

According to Bogdanich's timeline of the investigation, Angulo closed the case on Feb. 11, 2013, without interviewing key witnesses. In November 2013, nearly a year after the incident allegedly occurred, investigators began interviewing key witnesses and obtained Winston's DNA.

The investigators only pursued a case against Winston after being pressed by local reporters, per Grantland's Bryan Curtis.

"It deserves an explanation from the cops," Curtis wrote. "Their explanation, in turn, deserves our scrutiny. There are unimportant mysteries and important ones. This is one of the latter."

Vaughan's report also alleges that FSU campus police told local reporters that an investigation of Winston wasn't underway, which it in fact was.

He explained that "those police officials were involved in updating Florida State administrators on the case and helping formulate the school's public relations response in the first days after the explosive story became public."

Florida State has already released a statement about what it felt was "misinformation in the media," per The Associated Press, via ESPN.com:

Florida State said the only people aware of the incident before January 2013 were Tallahassee police, campus police and the victims advocate program. The decision not to seek charges was made after Winston's lawyer said the Tallahassee Police Department was 'no longer pursuing the case,' and Winston and his roommates said the sex was consensual.

In December 2013, Meggs gave a press conference announcing that the state attorney wouldn't pursue sexual assault charges against Winston. With no legal action taken against Winston, the FSU star finished the 2013 season, winning the Heisman Trophy and leading the Seminoles to the national championship.

Winston has since been caught on video stealing crab legs from a local Publix grocery store and was suspended by the school for his team's game against Clemson after yelling an obscene phrase on the Florida State campus.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

5 Mississippi State Players Auburn Missed on in Recruiting

Mississippi State aims to keep momentum moving forward against another heralded SEC opponent Saturday when reigning conference champion Auburn comes to town.The Bulldogs are enjoying a historically successful season, feature a Heisman Trophy-contending quarterback and can take things to another level by sending the Tigers home with a loss.

Head coach Dan Mullen has a reputation for finding under-the-radar recruits who surprise people with their collegiate success. Several of those athletes are from Alabama and had opportunities to attend Auburn while others simply never received offers from the Tigers.

Here's a look at five such Bulldogs who should have some extra incentive in this highly anticipated matchup.

Begin Slideshow

Georgia Fans Build Shrine for Todd Gurley Outside of Sanford Stadium

Georgia Bulldogs fans are doing whatever it takes to lift Todd Gurley's suspension.

They've already tried signing a White House petition, but now they're hoping this shrine outside of Sanford Stadium will do the trick.

Although it's probably all for naught, the one-time Heisman favorite will probably appreciate the gesture.

Keep praying, Georgia fans.

[Twitter, h/t USA Today's For The Win]


Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Bowl Predictions 2014: Updated Playoff Picks Heading into Week 7

When 11 of the Top 25 teams in the Associated Press Poll lose in a single week, it is bound to turn the College Football Playoff race upside down. 

That is exactly what happened in the aftermath of Week 6, when the Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 teams all lost. Predicting the four playoff spots is anyone’s guess now, as mainstays like Florida State remain among the leaders alongside Cinderella stories from Mississippi State and Ole Miss. 

We recently projected Georgia as the fourth playoff team after the Week 6 upsets, but that now changes after the latest news regarding star running back Todd Gurley, via national college sports writer Bryan Fischer:

Now that Georgia is out of the field, read on for a refresher on the other three squads and to find out which team takes the Bulldogs' spot.

 

Playoff Projections

Sugar Bowl: Florida State vs. Oklahoma

Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs. Alabama 

Championship Bowl (in Arlington, Texas): TBD (Semifinal winners)

 

Teams

Florida State

As long as Florida State continues to win, regardless of how impressive the final deficit is, it is going to crack the field of four.

It’s not only because the Seminoles are the defending champions, either. An undefeated regular season would include wins over Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Clemson, as well as victories in a number of trap games against the likes of Florida, Miami, Virginia and Louisville. What’s more, it is hard to argue with Florida State’s overall talent level if we are discussing best teams.

The Notre Dame game stands out as the one remaining significant challenge. It will help Florida State that it is at home, but it is more important that it is Notre Dame’s first true road game. That’s right, the Fighting Irish only play four true road games this season, and the first one just so happens to come against the defending champs.

The thinking here is that Notre Dame is unprepared to challenge Florida State into the fourth quarter.

 

Oklahoma

The key here for Oklahoma—or anyone with plans on winning the Big 12—is the Pac-12 beating itself up.

We are working under the assumption that the SEC champ and Florida State are already taking two spots, so the Pac-12 champion having multiple losses would be critical for the eventual Big 12 and Big Ten champions.

The Sooners will bounce back from their loss to TCU quickly because contests against Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma State are all at home. Oklahoma will take care of business in Norman while squads such as Oregon, UCLA, Arizona State, Utah, Stanford and Arizona are all handing each other multiple losses.

Head coach Bob Stoops also had an answer to anyone who thinks the Sooners have a relatively easy schedule, via Jason Kersey of The Oklahoman:

To me, strength of schedule is the biggest issue. Some conferences play nine conference games; some play eight. That’s a big deal, who you’re playing in those other four or other three games. 

We’re playing nine [conference games] and Tennessee. We just had Notre Dame and Florida State, outside of our nine conference games. Hopefully that should make a difference, if you’re all winning.

 

Michigan State

The Pac-12 decimating itself will have the same impact for Michigan State’s playoff chances as Oklahoma’s.

The Spartans will move up the polls as the SEC and Pac-12 teams accumulate losses, and that loss to Oregon will fade into the memory of early September. Michigan State should handle Purdue, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, Rutgers and Penn State as well, which means the team will have to beat Ohio State to reach the playoffs.

The Buckeyes and quarterback J.T. Barrett look much better now than they did at the start of the year, but that game is in East Lansing under the lights. The prediction here is that Michigan State prevails with a strong defense against the young Ohio State offense, which will give it an excellent opportunity to reach the playoffs.

Assuming the Spartans will easily win out is perhaps showing a lack of respect for the Big Ten as a whole, but we are clearly not the only ones who think Michigan State will crack the playoff field, as Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press pointed out:

 

Alabama

Georgia was projected here largely because we were working under the assumption that the SEC West teams would beat each other up.

However, now Todd Gurley is suspended, the thought is that Alabama will emerge from the SEC West and beat the SEC East champion. The SEC has built up so much capital the past few years—with seven straight national titles before Florida State won last season—that the champion will reach the playoffs, even if that team has two losses.

Alabama gets Auburn, Mississippi State and Texas A&M at home, while Auburn has to go to Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama. That is an absolutely brutal road schedule for the Tigers.

What’s more, Ole Miss still has to go to Texas A&M and play Auburn and Mississippi State, while Mississippi State has to go to Alabama and Ole Miss on top of a home game with Auburn.

None of these schedules are easy by any stretch (such is life in the SEC West), but Alabama faces all its challenges at home. Not to mention the fact that we are talking about the program that has dominated college football recently and will likely be playing with a chip on its shoulder for the rest of season after a heartbreaking loss to Ole Miss. 

The result will be a playoff spot for Nick Saban’s bunch.

 

Follow me on Twitter:

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Treon Harris Reinstated After Accuser Withdraws Sexual Battery Allegations

Freshman quarterback Treon Harris was reinstated to the Florida Gators football team Friday after the sexual battery allegation against him was withdrawn by the accuser.

Barrett Sallee of Bleacher Report passed along the entire statement from head coach Will Muschamp as his team prepares to take on the LSU Tigers Saturday night:

Harris was originally suspended by both Florida and the University Athletic Association on Monday in light of the university police launching an investigation into an accusation that Harris sexually assaulted a female student early Sunday.

Jeff Barlis of ESPN.com reports the incident apparently took place at an on-campus residence hall.

School spokeswoman Janine Sikes also released a statement Friday, via Barlis: “This means she is not pursuing criminal charges against him at this time but maintains the right to do so in the future.”

As Muschamp mentioned, Harris will not play in Saturday’s home game against the Tigers.

Harris has completed four of six passing attempts this season, with two of the completions going for touchdowns. He helped the Gators overcome a nine-point deficit on the road against archrival Tennessee on Oct. 4 by making plays with his legs and avoiding turnovers.

Jeff Driskel will likely be the starting quarterback for Florida on Saturday, despite the fact that he threw three interceptions against the Volunteers and nearly cost his team the opportunity to win.

Harris certainly had some momentum on the field after digging Florida out of that early hole in his most recent performance, but there are far more important things at matter here than the game of football.

It remains to be seen when Harris will return to the field.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Pages