COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS-NCAA RULE CHANGES-RANKING TOP COACHES RB’S

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost watches his team during warmups April 21 during the Red-White Spring Game at Memorial Stadium.
FRANCIS GARDLER, JOURNAL STAR FILE PHOTO

The NCAA shook up the sleepy college football offseason Wednesday by announcing two groundbreaking rule changes that will have major and immediate ramifications.

The NCAA announcing it will allow players to participate in up to four games in a season without burning their redshirt is a significant change that will leave many players and coaches thrilled. By ROSS DELLENGER

(Photo: John Reed, USA TODAY Sports)

The two changes enacted Wednesday by the NCAA’s Division I Council are notable in their intent to improve the college experience of the student-athlete, and despite the need for additional modifications – more on that in a moment – should be highlighted for streamlining what had long been two of college football’s most unwieldy topics.

The first deals with transfers, ending a protracted series of conversations among administrators about handling what some coaches have termed an epidemic: The growing number of players, especially at quarterback, who transfer at least once in a five-year span. By 

Mississippi State is one of the hardest places to create a sustained winner in all of college football. Joe Moorhead thinks that he can bring a “championship standard” to StarkvilleBy ANDY STAPLES

Could Wisconsin’s stranglehold on the Big Ten West be loosening? The transfer of Hunter Johnson to Northwestern underscores that the Badgers may have plenty of competition in the coming years. By CHRIS JOHNSON 

Is a two-year ban from NCAA competition too severe a punishment for one poor decision? That question is at the heart of the unusual case of LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton. By ROSS DELLENGER

Right about now, newcomers around college football are arriving for summer sessions and their first exposure to their new teams. Excluding graduate transfers, these are the summer arrivals that will be ready for major impacts if not starting roles by Week 1. By 

Athlon Sports

It’s tough to rank the ACC coaches prior to the 2018 college football season. When Boston College’s Steve Addazio, Syracuse’s Dino Babers and Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi rank at the bottom of the list, that’s a good sign of how deep the ACC is in terms of coaching talent. At the top of the conference, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is the unquestioned No. 1 coach for 2018. Miami’s Mark Richt takes the second spot, followed by Louisville’s Bobby Petrino and Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente in the top five. By Steven Lassan

Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt proved to be ahead of the curve on the recent NCAA rule changes involving transfers and redshirting players.

The NCAA Division I Council enacted two rules changes on Wednesday. One involves the redshirt rule, now allowing players to play up to four games in one season without losing a year of eligibility. The other new rule prevents schools from blocking players from selecting a school of choice when transferrin. By Mike Griffith

Pruitt was in step with the NCAA on both rules before Wednesday’s action. It’s an early indication of just how in tune the Vols’ first-year head coach is with the direction of college football.

Just over two weeks after being hospitalized following a team workout, Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair died Wednesday, the team announced.
California incoming freshman linebacker Chris Fatilua has suffered a serious spinal cord injury. Fatilua’s family issued a statement through the school on Tuesday. The family said the injury stemmed from an accident Monday afternoon in San Diego and that Fatilua’s long-term prognosis is unknown. By Associated Press

McNair was a rising redshirt freshman and was ranked in the top 300 recruits in the class of 2017, according to 247 Sports. The four-star prospect played in one game during his time with the Terrapins. By KHADRICE ROLLINS

The win totals for the 2018 college football season will be updated as we make through the annual checkpoints of the offseason, but nothing quite sets the appetite for the fall like scouting the early projections for all of the FBS teams.

The South Point Casino in Las Vegas has posted the totals for all 129 FBS teams, omitting only Liberty, which is playing as an FBS independent this year in transition before becoming a full bowl-eligible member in 2019.

For those uninitiated on “prices,” minus-odds of -120 mean you’d have to wager $120 to win $100, while plus-odds (+120) means wagering $100 would win you $120. An “EVEN” price would result in a $100 payout for a $100 wager. By 

Athlon Sports

With Bryce Love returning to Stanford, along with the continued emergence of Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins and Boston College’s AJ Dillon, the running back position is stocked with talent for the 2018 college football season. Love ranks as Athlon’s No. 1 running back for the upcoming year and should be among the leading candidates to win the Heisman Trophy this fall. Alabama’s Damien Harris, Florida State’s Cam Akers and Washington’s Myles Gaskin are just a few of the other names inside of the top 10. By  Steven Lassan

It’s college football’s version of free agency, especially at the most important position. If you play almost any other position, there’s going to be a spot for you on the field. If you’re a quarterback, though, only one guy gets to take the snaps. Once your eligibility is almost up, and you’re not going to play, you’ve got to go. How good are these transfers, and what’s the best guess on where the unsigned ones are going? Here you go with a ranking and analysis of the 20 graduate transfer quarterbacks. By 

This is where this series will start to ruffle some feathers. Because it’s a lot easier and more common for teams to drop out of rankings than make a major climb upward, the programs you’ll see mentioned as the most overrated are almost uniformly considered national powerhouses.

After all, to free fall out of the rankings, a team must first be listed very high in the polls. There’s almost always one name program a year that has huge expectations, and then has an early setback and never recovers. Last year that was Florida State, which faced Alabama in what was widely hailed as the greatest season opener in college football history. By Christopher Walsh

Pat Narduzzi and Pitt face the nation’s toughest nonconference schedule in 2018. Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire

It’s worth noting that two of the four teams that made the College Football Playoff last season, Clemson and Georgia, each played two nonconference games against Power 5 opponents.

In fact, Clemson played Auburn and South Carolina, both of which were ranked in the CFP selection committee’s rankings going into the final week of the regular season, and Georgia played both of its games on the road — at Notre Dame and at Georgia Tech. And CFP participant Oklahoma played at Ohio State and won handily. By Chris Low

Three new bowl games could debut after the 2020 season after the NCAA’s football oversight committee this week determined the number of bowl tie-ins for each FBS conference. Using bowl eligibility data from the past four seasons, the oversight committee approved “the appropriate number” of bowl contracts for every league, as well as for independents FBS.

The SEC and Pac-12 are among the leagues adding to their tie-in agreements for the next cycle, which will begin after the 2020 regular season and goes through the 2025-26 bowl season. The SEC and ACC will have the most agreements with 11 each, followed by the Big Ten (9), Pac-12 (8), Big 12 (7), American Athletic Conference (7) and Conference USA (7). The Mountain West and Mid-American Conference each will have six contracted bowl agreements, while the Sun Belt will have five. By Adam Rittenberg

Savion Jackson, the No. 31-ranked prospect in the class of 2019, is staying in his home state for college. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end committed to NC State over South Carolina on Wednesday, becoming the highest-ranked prospect to pick the Wolfpack in the 14 years ESPN has ranked football prospects. By Gerry Hamilton

“The years where we’ve really been able to roll, we stayed really healthy,” Gundy said, before using the Horned Frogs as an example. “OSU and TCU are the same. We recruit the same kids, and in my opinion both teams are very well-coached. Last year (2016) we played them, they were a little beat up, and we were rolling pretty good, so we blew their doors off down there. By  

A few years ago, I stumbled onto the Georgia Highlands Chargers…they are a JuCo in (you guessed it) Georgia that competes in the NJCAA. GHC used to be known as Floyd College back in the day, but has grown into a public institution with five different locations in GA—Rome, Cartersville, Marietta, Dallas and Douglasville. GHC has no football program, but does support men’s and women’s basketball as well as baseball and softball. Overall, pretty unremarkable except for the fact that they apparently installed MS Paint on a Dell and told a 10 year old to draw the Boise State logo from memory and “spill a little Denver in it.” By 

Former Illinois quarterback, grad-transfer Jeff George Jr. announced in January he would be leaving the Fighting Illini to find a school that will best utilize the abilities he has to offer.

During two years of action at Illinois, George Jr. threw for 1,743 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. George’s first game action came against Michigan in 2016, where he threw for 95 yards on 4-15 passing with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

Late Tuesday night George Jr. sent out a tweet that would lead to the assumption he will be wearing a Michigan uniform in 2018. By Trevor Woods

 

 

 

 

 

 

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