College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014
    College football roundup: Georgia appeals Gurley suspension
    By The Sports Xchange

    The NCAA announced Wednesday that Georgia Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley must sit out two more games for accepting more than $3,000 in cash from multiple individuals for autographed memorabilia.

    • Georgia said it will appeal the decision "immediately."

      According to the NCAA, Gurley received the cash for signing memorabilia and other items over two years and must repay a portion of the money he received to a charity of his choice. He also must complete 40 hours of community service as conditions of his reinstatement.

      Gurley has already missed two games for the No. 11 Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC). Unless he wins his appeal, Gurley will miss Saturday's game against the Florida Gators in Jacksonville and next week's game at Kentucky. He would be eligible to return Nov. 15 against Auburn.

      ---Utah senior wide receiver Dres Anderson will miss the remainder of the 2014 season because of a knee injury, according to the school.

      Anderson is currently ranked as the No. 14 wide receiver prospect for the 2015 NFL Draft by NFLDraftScout.com and No. 90 prospect overall. He was considered a second day draft pick, but the severity of his injury could push him out of the top 100.

      Anderson, a team captain, apparently was injured in the fourth quarter of last week's 24-21 win over USC.

      ---When you're No. 8 in the College Football Playoff rankings and have only one game left against another ranked team, you're relying on a lot of help to eventually reach the first ever Final Four, football style.

      That's exactly where Michigan State is after the initial rankings were released Tuesday. The Spartans are the highest-ranked team in the Big Ten, but that doesn't mean much considering each of the other Power Five conferences has a team rated higher.

      The committee is supposed to give extra weight to conference champions, and Michigan State is banking on that being the case. It will need the four SEC teams ahead of it to beat each other up, maybe hope for a loss from Florida State and hope teams like Kansas State, Notre Dame or Georgia don't run the table and jump ahead. All of this, of course, is assuming the Spartans don't lose again.

  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014
    Utah WR Anderson out for season
    By The Sports Xchange

    Utah senior wide receiver Dres Anderson will miss the remainder of the 2014 season due to a knee injury, according to the school Wednesday.

    • Anderson is currently ranked as the No. 14 wide receiver prospect for the 2015 NFL Draft by NFLDraftScout.com and No. 90 prospect overall. He was considered a second day draft pick, but the severity of his injury could push him out of the top-100 picks.

      Anderson, a team captain, apparently was injured in the fourth quarter of last week's 24-21 win over USC.

      His readiness to work out for scouts prior to the 2015 NFL Draft is in question.

      Anderson, the son of 10-year NFL veteran receiver Willie "Flipper" Anderson, was leading the Utes this season with 355 receiving yards and four touchdowns, averaging 16.1 yards per catch. He will finish his college career with 2,077 career receiving yards, which ranks fifth-best in school history.

      As a NFL prospect, Anderson is highly thought of due to his speed to release off the line of scrimmage and stretch the field.

  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014
    Number say Michigan State likely needs a hand
    By The Sports Xchange

    EAST LANSING, Mich. -- When you're No. 8 in the College Football Playoff rankings and have only one game left against another ranked team, you're relying on a lot of help to eventually reach the first ever Final Four, football style.

    • That's exactly where Michigan State is after the initial rankings were released Tuesday.

      The Spartans are the highest-ranked team in the Big Ten, but that doesn't mean much considering each of the other Power Five conferences has a team rated higher.

      The committee is supposed to give extra weight to conference champions, and Michigan State is banking on that actually being the case. It will need the four SEC teams ahead of it to beat each other up, maybe hope for a loss from Florida State and hope teams like Kansas State, Notre Dame or Georgia don't run the table and jump ahead.

      All of this, of course, is assuming the Spartans don't lose again. That might not be as big of task as it is for a lot of the teams ranked ahead of them, but it's far from a guarantee.

      Michigan State is off this week but has its biggest conference game of the season on Nov. 8 against Ohio State, the No. 16 team in the rankings. And if the Spartans get past that game, they could potentially have a rematch with Nebraska (No. 15) in the conference championship game.

      With so much left to be decided, coach Mark Dantonio has decided not to start worrying about where his team is slotted at this point.

      "I think our focus will be on our next football game," Dantonio said. "We'll spend most of our time on that and that's where the challenge is. This is the starting point for everything now, from a media perspective. And I'm really not quite sure how it will all even work, so we'll just let things happen as they do. I think the focus has to be on winning football games."

      After Ohio State, Michigan State has road games against Maryland and Penn State with a home game with Rutgers in between. None of those will be especially impressive to the committee, meaning a conference championship could be the one thing that eventually makes a difference.

      "My thought is the cream is gonna rise to the top," Dantonio said. "The eventual champion out of this conference will have a great opportunity.

      "It's another poll and I'm sure they have their methods and it will be interesting to watch as it moves through. But the focus of our football team needs to be on the next challenge and we need to try and live in the present and that's two weeks from now with Ohio State."

      PLAYERS TO WATCH

      --RB Jeremy Langford: The senior ran for a career-high 177 yards last week in the victory over Michigan and added three touchdowns. He has no run for more than 100 yards in 12 straight games against Big Ten opponents and appears to just be rounding into form with four games left in the regular season. At 105.1 yards a game, Langford is fifth in the Big Ten in rushing while giving up a substantial amount of carries to backups Nick Hill and Delton Williams.

      --WR Tony Lippett: The senior continues to have an outstanding season, leading the Big Ten with 111.1 receiving yards a game. He went over the 100-yard mark again in the win over Michigan and added a 70-yard touchdown to give him nine for the season.

      --LB Ed Davis: The junior continues to be one of the biggest playmakers for the Spartans and shares the team lead in sacks (6) with defensive end Shilique Calhoun. In the victory over Michigan, Davis had two tackles for loss and now leads the team with 10 while ranking third in total tackles with 34.

      DRAFT PROSPECTS, as rated by NFLDraftScout.com:

      --DE Shilique Calhoun (No. 3 defensive end, No. 11 overall) – The junior had another sack in the victory over Michigan, giving him a sack in five straight games. He has also now caught teammate Ed Davis with six sacks for the season.

      --QB Connor Cook (No. 3 quarterback, No. 13 overall) – The junior wasn't as efficient in the win over Michigan, going 12-for-22, but he took care of the ball by not throwing an interception and was once again a spark in the running game.

      --CB Trae Waynes (No. 4 cornerback, No. 35 overall) – The junior shut down Michigan's Devin Funchess last week and his pass breakup would have been a sure interception if not for a great play by a Michigan receiver.

      --FS Kurtis Drummond (No. 3 free safety, No. 75 overall) – The fifth-year senior had one of his best games of the season, breaking up two passes and recording a tackle for loss among his six stops.

      ROSTER REPORT:

      --With a bye week, fifth-year senior linebacker Mylan Hicks (broken arm) could have a chance to return next week against Ohio State.

      --Junior defensive tackle Joel Heath left the Michigan game with a lower-body injury but returned in the second half and isn't expected to miss any time.

      --Junior defensive tackle Damon Knox got his most extensive action of the year filling in for Heath. Knox missed the first five games of the season with an undisclosed injury.

  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014
    NCAA says Gurley must sit out two more games
    By The Sports Xchange

    The NCAA announced Wednesday that Georgia Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley must sit out two more games for accepting more than $3,000 in cash from multiple individuals for autographed memorabilia.

    • Georgia said it will appeal the decision "immediately."

      The NCAA membership committee which oversees the reinstatement process will review the appeal this week.

      According to the NCAA, Gurley received the cash for signing memorabilia and other items over two years and must repay a portion of the money he received to a charity of his choice. He also must complete 40 hours of community service as conditions of his reinstatement.

      Gurley has already missed two games for the No. 11 Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC). Unless he wins his appeal, Gurley will miss Saturday's game against the Florida Gators in Jacksonville and next week's game at Kentucky. He would be eligible to return Nov. 15 against Auburn.

      Gurley, whom the NCAA said acknowledged violating NCAA rules, was indefinitely suspended Oct. 9 while the school investigated allegations he received improper benefits for signing autographs.

      The junior tailback has rushed for 773 yards with eight touchdowns and has averaged 8.2 yards per carry.

      Gurley, considered the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy before the suspension, has continued to practice with Georgia during the suspension.

      Freshman Nick Chubb stepped in for Gurley and rushed for 345 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs clicked off SEC road wins over Missouri and Arkansas in their last two games.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    CFP committee is on right track
    By The Sports Xchange

    The first-ever College Football Playoff rankings, revealed Tuesday night on ESPN, were longer on historical significance than actual significance.

    • We already knew that Mississippi State and Florida State would claim the top two spots. That it fell in that order, matching the polls, wasn't surprising.

      So what did we learn? At least three things.

      We learned that the committee is as close to being unbiased as it can be. Contrary to the paranoia of fans in the South, there is no pro-Notre Dame agenda.

      We learned that, contrary to the fans outside the South who are weary of the Southeastern Conference dominating the national championship, there was no evidence of a pro-SEC agenda. Heavy SEC influence, yes, but far from an agenda.

      We learned that the committee is sticking more to the stated criteria than the so-called "eye test." Those criteria are (presumably in no particular order):

      --Conference champions

      --Strength of schedule

      --Head-to-head

      Of course, conference championships will not be decided for another five weeks or so. But three of the top five teams -- Mississippi State, Florida State and Oregon at No. 5 -- either lead or are tied for the lead in their conference division.

      Start with Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish earned major cred points by going into Tallahassee and nearly upsetting Florida State. That's nice. But that is like building a resume on getting fired from a great job. The 12-member selection committee put a lot less stock in Notre Dame's "quality loss" than in the Fighting Irish's victories, which are very weak.

      The Irish have no wins over any teams in the CFP Top 25. They have two wins over teams with winning records -- 17-14 over Stanford and 48-17 over Rice. They will have a chance to earn their way up the rankings if they beat Arizona State, Southern Cal and Louisville.

      As for the SEC, it may seem like a stretch to say the committee has no bias when the conference placed three teams in the top four -- Mississippi State, No. 3 Auburn and No. 4 Ole Miss. Alabama is right on the brink at No. 6, and Georgia looms on the fringe at No. 11.

      As Jeff Long, the selection committee chairman, reminded everyone, "We're still early in the process." Long added that the rankings reflect what the teams have done to this point.

      So settle down, folks in Oregon. The SEC will not place three teams in the playoffs. There are still four games remaining between those top four SEC teams. The gleaning begins this weekend when Auburn visits Ole Miss. The loser will drop out of contention. Two weeks later, Mississippi State visits Alabama -- on the same day Auburn travels to Georgia. On the last weekend of the regular season, Auburn plays at Alabama while Mississippi State and Ole Miss clash in Oxford.

      And the winner of the SEC West still has to turn around and play Georgia (in all likelihood) the next week in Atlanta in the SEC Championship Game.

      If the committee really were pro-SEC, then Alabama wouldn't be ranked below Oregon. But as impressive as the Crimson Tide looked the last two weeks in beating Texas A&M and Tennessee, their resume overall is underwhelming. Their next-best win is over West Virginia.

      Also, the CFP poll ranks Georgia lower than the two traditional major polls. A loss to South Carolina proved costly, but the Bulldogs also lack a signature win other than that season-opening rout of Clemson. However, they will get their chance against Auburn and in the SEC Championship Game.

      Finally, we learned that sticking to the criteria does matter. That is an imperfect process by nature because head-to-head can become an unending debate. TCU and Oregon lost to Baylor and Arizona, respectively, but are ranked higher.

      For the most part, though, head-to-head results are reflected in the rankings. Ole Miss is ahead of Alabama. Oregon is ahead of Michigan State, which is ahead of Nebraska. Auburn is ahead of Kansas State.

      Above all, if we learned anything at all, it is that this process will play itself out. Despite worries that it will cause chaos, college football will have as close to a true national champion as it ever has.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    3 SEC West teams, FSU in CFP's top four
    By The Sports Xchange

    Three teams from the Southeastern Conference's West Division made the top four in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, which were released Tuesday.

    • No. 1 Mississippi State (7-0), No. 3 Auburn (6-1) and No. 4 Mississippi (7-1) are joined by an Atlantic Coast Conference team, No. 2 Florida State (7-0).

      The top four teams as selected by a committee on Dec. 7 will compete in college football's first-ever playoffs. The semifinals will be played Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl, with No. 1 facing No. 4, No. 2 playing No. 3. The winners will compete for the championship Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas.

      As the rankings currently stand, the semifinals would feature an all-Mississippi matchup.

      Rounding out the top 10 in the CFP rankings are No. 5 Oregon (7-1), No. 6 Alabama (7-1), No. 7 TCU (6-1), No. 8 Michigan State (7-1), No. 9 Kansas State (6-1) and No. 10 Notre Dame (6-1).

      The Crimson Tide are ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press Top 25, which has the Rebels at No. 7.

      The rest of the CFP's top 20: No. 11 Georgia (6-1), No. 12 Arizona (6-1), No. 13 Baylor (6-1), No. 14 Arizona State (6-1), No. 15 Nebraska (7-1), No. 16 Ohio State (6-1), No. 17 Utah (6-1), No. 18 Oklahoma (5-2), No. 19 LSU (7-2) and No. 20 West Virginia (6-2).

      No. 21 Clemson (6-2), No. 22 UCLA (6-2), No. 23 East Carolina (6-1), No. 24 Duke (6-1) and No. 25 Louisville (6-2) complete the CFP list.

      Marshall (8-0) is unranked despite being one of just three unbeaten teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Thundering Herd are No. 23 in the AP poll.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    College football roundup: Seminoles RB's accuser wants probe called off
    By The Sports Xchange

    The woman who allegedly accused Florida State running back Karlos Williams of assault asked the Tallahassee Police Department to drop its investigation.

    • Nathan Prince, the woman's attorney, said his client never contacted police about an alleged domestic assault but that someone saw a social media post and called authorities. The woman is pregnant with the couple's second child, but they are no longer together, according to reports. She posted photos and messages Friday night, saying her arm was injured as a result of domestic violence but never mentioned Williams' name, only that it was the father of her children.

      Meanwhile, the Florida State Attorney's Office for the 2nd Judicial Circuit in Tallahassee tried to interview Williams last week about a June 23 robbery of an Florida State student. Williams' attorney, Tim Jansen, told the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday that his client was not charged and also that Williams had not turned down the police request for an interview in connection with the armed robbery in June.

      ---The Miami Hurricanes are facing the possibility of being without left tackle Ereck Flowers for at least one game and potentially for the remainder of the season after he suffered an injury during last Thursday's game at Virginia Tech.

      "It's tough. Doc seem to think it was an old injury that just -- I don't know how to say it -- flared up," Miami coach Al Golden said.

      The 6-foot-6, 322-pound Flowers is considered the Hurricanes' best offensive lineman. He had started 21 of the last 25 games for Miami at left tackle.

      ---Ohio State backup running back Rod Smith left the team for in order to deal with personal issues, the university said Tuesday.

      Various media outlets reported late Monday that Smith failed a drug test and was dismissed from the prorgram, but Ohio State did not mention a dismissal in its statement.

      Coach urban Meyer later said during a conference call that there were no plans for Smith to return to the team this season but that he will continue to be on scholarship.

      Smith, a senior, rushed for 101 yards and four touchdowns and added a touchdown catch as mostly a short-yardage back this season. He also contributed on special teams.

      ---Alabama expects left tackle Cam Robinson to be out several weeks after he suffered a high ankle sprain during the third quarter of Saturday's win over Tennessee.

      The Crimson Tide have a bye this weekend, but Robinson likely won't be back in time for a Nov. 8 matchup with LSU in the SEC West in Baton Rouge, La.

      The 6-foot-6, 323-pound freshman started all eight games after arriving at Alabama as the No. 1 ranked tackle prospect in the country. Coach Nick Saban did not specify who would replace Robinson if he's unable to play.

      ---As Georgia prepares to face SEC opponent Florida on Saturday, the ninth-ranked Bulldogs still don't know whether running back Todd Gurley will be available.

      Gurley and the Bulldogs have waited for the NCAA to rule on his status after he was indefinitely suspended by the team on Oct. 9 for allegedly receiving improper benefits for autographs. The junior was considered a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy before the suspension. He has missed two games while continuing to practice with the team.

      Georgia filed the necessary paperwork last week with the NCAA for Gurley's reinstatement. Freshman Nick Chubb stepped in for Gurley and rushed for 345 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1) clicked off SEC road wins over Missouri and Arkansas in their last two games.

      ---Two months after it appeared quarterback Kenny Hill was following in the footsteps of predecessor Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, the quarterback competition was reopened last week after a string of losses.

      Hill made a splash in the opener against South Carolina, but after the Aggies were drubbed 59-0 by Alabama two weeks ago for their third straight loss, coach Kevin Sumlin decided to give freshman Kyle Allen a chance to compete for the job during a bye week.

      Hill threw for a school-record 511 yards and three touchdowns in an opening 52-28 win over South Carolina on Aug. 28. He went on to average 349 passing yards and throw for 17 touchdowns with just two interceptions in his first five starts. But in the three losses, Hill has six touchdown passes and thrown six interceptions. Allen has played in four games and has completed 23 of 38 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Texas A&M re-auditions QBs
    By The Sports Xchange

    Two months after it appeared quarterback Kenny Hill was following in the footsteps of predecessor Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, the quarterback competition was reopened last week after a string of losses.

    • Hill made a splash in the season opener against South Carolina, but after the Aggies were drubbed 59-0 by Alabama two weeks ago for their third consecutive loss, coach Kevin Sumlin decided to give freshman Kyle Allen a chance to compete for the job during a bye week.

      Hill started the Aggies' first eight games.

      "We opened it back up," A&M offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said. "It's still wide open. ... By Thursday, we'll probably have a declared starter and they'll take all the reps for that Thursday practice."

      Sumlin would not say Tuesday which way he's leaning.

      "Both have gotten reps over the last week and both will continue to get reps," Sumlin said.

      Hill threw for a school-record 511 yards and three touchdowns in Texas A&M's opening 52-28 win over South Carolina on Aug. 28. He went on to average 349 passing yards and throw for 17 touchdowns with just two interceptions in his first five starts.

      In the three losses, Hill has six touchdown passes and thrown six interceptions.

      Allen has played in four games this year and has completed 23 of 38 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.

      "Change for change's sake is impractical," Sumlin said. "What you have to do is be able to have a reason for change. Is that reason your ability to be efficient and prove to people that you can handle what's going on or disprove that you're ready to play in those situations?

      "Credibility amongst the players and amongst the coaching staff is at a premium, particularly right now with where we are."

      Texas A&M plays Louisiana-Monroe in a nonconference game on Saturday.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Yellow Jackets finding offense
    By The Sports Xchange

    ATLANTA -- It's hard to find fault with the Georgia Tech offense.

    • That's especially true over the past two weeks, as the Yellow Jackets have gone over 600 yards in total offense. In fact, if their production continues to remain at a high level, they could wind up being the best in Paul Johnson’s tenure at the school.

      "There are still four games left," Johnson said. "The last two games we’ve been pretty efficient, but we can play better."

      Tech has topped 600 yards in total offense the last two weeks. That's impressive considering the program had produced only seven 600-yard performances in its history going into this season.

      The Yellow Jackets had a season-high 465 yards rushing last week against the highly regarded Pitt defense.

      "If we can continue to play at that high level, it will ranked up there pretty good," Johnson said.

      The gold standard is Johnson's second Tech team in 2009. That year the Yellow Jackets averaged 422.1 yards in total offense and scored 62 touchdowns on the way to an 11-3 record and the ACC Championship.

      This year's team is averaging 326.1 yards rushing and 155.8 yards passing. The Yellow Jackets rank third in the nation in rushing yards and are one of only five teams that average more than 300 yards rushing per game.

      Last year's team averaged 429.7 yards and scored 61 points but was plagued by inconsistency. And the 2013 team was so poor at running the option that Johnson essentially abandoned that facet of the game for most of the year. "We've just played well," Johnson said. "As I've said before, our quarterback gives us a chance to do what we want to do. We got back this year to doing what I want to do and it's my own fault for getting away from it. It's what I known and it's what we need to be doing. I think we're back to doing a few things well instead of doing a lot of things average. And last year what we did was a bunch of things average."

      Quarterback Justin Thomas has been a definite game-changer for Georgia Tech this season. The redshirt sophomore from Alabama has rushed for a team-leading 717 yards and four touchdowns and thrown for 1,106 yards and 11 touchdowns. Thomas is on pace to become the second Georgia Tech to rush for 1,000 yards in a season; Joshua Nesbitt rushed for 1,037 yards in 2009.

      Tech has also done it without a breakout back, such as Jonathan Dwyer or Anthony Allen.

      B-back Zach Laskey, who is likely to miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury, has 595 yards. A-back Charles Perkins, who is likely to miss his second game with a knee injury, has rushed for 261 yards.

      Their injuries have helped open the door for others to break through. Synjyn Days got his first start at B-back last week and gained a career-high 110 yards on a career-high 22 carries.

      "Synjyn played really hard," Johnson said. "There are a few things he has to clean up, but he went out and competed. Other than the fumble I think he acquitted himself well."

      The same is true for A-back Broderick Snoddy, who ran six times for 82 yards and three touchdowns.

      "He's running hard and I hope it continues," Johnson said. "He looked like a pinball machine bouncing around out there."

      SERIES HISTORY: Georgia Tech leads the series with Virginia 18-17-1 and has won four of the past five meetings, including 35-25 in Charlottesville last season. Coach Paul Johnson is 4-2 against the Cavs.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Seminoles RB's accuser wants probe halted
    By The Sports Xchange

    The woman who allegedly accused Florida State running back Karlos Williams of assault asked the Tallahassee Police Department to drop its investigation.

    • Nathan Prince, the woman's attorney, said his client never contacted police about an alleged domestic assault but that someone saw a social media post and called authorities.

      The woman is pregnant with the couple's second child, but they are no longer together, according to reports. She posted photos and messages Friday night, saying her arm was injured as a result of domestic violence but never mentioned Williams' name, only that it was the father of her children.

      Tallahassee police could decide to continue to investigate the case even if the accuser refuses to cooperate.

      "Apparently, FSU passed the information along to the Tallahassee Police Department," Prince said. "There wasn't a formal request by (the woman) to police. I don't know if the administration contacted police and told them they needed to take a look at it."

      Williams, the team's leading rusher with 378 yards and seven touchdowns, practiced Monday as the second-ranked Seminoles prepared to face Louisville on Thursday night.

      Meanwhile, the Florida State Attorney's Office for the 2nd Judicial Circuit in Tallahassee tried to interview Williams last week about a June 23 robbery of an Florida State student.

      Williams' attorney, Tim Jansen, told the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday that his client was not charged and also that Williams had not turned down the police request for an interview in connection with the armed robbery in June.

      “It's irresponsible to lead the public to believe the Mr. Williams was somehow involved in the incident," Jansen said. "Mr. Williams is not under investigation for any event that occurred last June.”

      On Friday, Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher had a strong reaction when asked about a report that Williams was facing a suspension, saying it was "as far from the truth as it can get.

      "There's another false report, and that's amazing how things happen. "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."

      Williams is considered one of Florida State's top prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft. He is currently graded as the No. 3 senior running back by NFLDraftScout.com and a borderline top-100 pick. However, if the current allegations are true, they will change how NFL teams view Williams and could keep him from being drafted or even getting a chance to play at the NFL level.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Ohio State RB Smith off the team
    By The Sports Xchange

    Ohio State backup running back Rod Smith left the team for in order to deal with personal issues, the university said Tuesday.

    • Various media outlets reported late Monday that Smith failed a drug test and was dismissed from the prorgram, but Ohio State did not mention a dismissal in its statement.

      "Rod Smith has left the Ohio State football team in order to deal with some personal issues. We will continue to support Rod and we wish him the best," coach Urban Meyer said in a statement.

      Meyer later said during a conference call that there were no plans for Smith to return to the team this season but that he will continue to be on scholarship.

      Smith, a senior, rushed for 101 yards and four touchdowns and added a touchdown catch as mostly a short-yardage back this season. He also contributed on special teams.

      Smith, who was a highly sought recruit out of Fort Wayne, Ind., has largely fallen short of expectations during his college career. Earlier this year, coach Urban Meyer said he didn't expect to have Smith on the team this season because of previous issues that included academics.

      "My turnaround, basically I made up my mind that enough was enough," Smith told ESPN.com recently. “This is my last year to go out and help this team and try to get film and try to get myself ready for the next level.

      "We all just sat down, and after the incidents happened, I just made sure I was going to work my butt off to contribute to this team and not let the running backs down. They never turned their back on me. When I was doing all that stuff, they never shied away from me."

      Sophomore Ezekiel Elliott and freshman Curtis Samuel are the Buckeyes' top two running backs on the depth chart.

      Ohio State (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) plays Illinois (4-4, 1-3) at 8 p.m. ET Saturday in Ohio Stadium.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Injury sidelines Miami LT Flowers
    By The Sports Xchange

    MIAMI -- The Miami Hurricanes are facing the possibility of being without left tackle Ereck Flowers for at least one game and potentially for the remainder of the season after he suffered an injury during last Thursday's game at Virginia Tech.

    • The Hurricanes (5-3, 2-2 ACC) face North Carolina on Saturday in Sun Life Stadium.

      "It's tough. Doc seem to think it was an old injury that just -- I don't know how to say it -- flared up," Miami coach Al Golden said.

      The 6-foot-6, 322-pound Flowers is considered the Hurricanes' best offensive lineman. He had started 21 of the last 25 games for Miami at left tackle.

      Earlier in the season, Miami lost starting right tackle Taylor Gadbois to a left knee injury that required surgery and true freshman K.C. McDermott with a season-ending left knee injury.

      Senior Jonathan Feliciano worked in Flowers' spot at left tackle in practice on Tuesday and freshman Trevor Darling slid into Feliciano's vacated position at right tackle.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Penn State going young involuntarily
    By The Sports Xchange

    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Small senior class shrinking for Penn State

    • Penn State came into the season with 11 fourth- or fifth-year seniors on the roster.

      It will take on Maryland this weekend with no more than nine of them.

      The Nittany Lions lost senior running back Zach Zwinak to a season-ending ankle injury on the first play of last week's game at Ohio State, two days after senior safety Ryan Keiser had suffered a broken rib injury -- which led to bowel surgery and several days spent in the hospital -- during practice.

      Penn State (4-3, 1-3 Big Ten) is on its way back from NCAA sanctions, but those sanctions and natural attrition have the team playing at a serious experience deficit right now.

      Just one senior, running back Bill Belton, is in the starting offense. The team could get fifth-year senior offensive lineman Miles Dieffenbach, who hasn't played since tearing an ACL in spring practice, back at some point this season, possibly even this week.

      Without Keiser, the defense has linebacker Mike Hull, safety Adrian Amos and defensive end C.J. Olaniyan as the lone seniors on the lineup.

      "There's no doubt when you have so few seniors in the first place that when you lose a guy it affects you differently than at other places," head coach James Franklin said.

      Penn State has played seven true freshmen and seven scholarship redshirt freshmen this season. Rookie Marcus Allen has entered the starting lineup in place of Keiser while true freshman receivers Chris Godwin and Saeed Blacknall are among the team's top four receivers; redshirt freshman DaeSean Hamilton is the Big Ten's leader in receptions per game.

      Franklin likes what he's seen from his youngsters but knows they need to improve their consistency as the Nittany Lions continue through the second half of the season.

      "The guys that are playing, they can't be freshmen any longer," Franklin said. "The guys on the scout team can't be in that redshirt mentality, because they won't be ready to compete for jobs come spring or if anything changes (this year)."

      Franklin will have some familiarity with the seniors on the other sideline this Saturday. He was the offensive coordinator at Maryland from 2008-10 and recruited several of the Terrapins' current upperclassmen. He doesn't see that being a significant advantage in the first meeting between the schools in 21 years, though.

      "I know their personalities but I haven't coached them or been around them in four years," Franklin said. "Guys change, get bigger and stronger, they're in different schemes. … Four years is a long time."

      NOTES: LG Miles Dieffenbach remains day-to-day in his return from a torn ACL. The fifth-year senior has been practicing for several weeks but has yet to dress for a game this season. If he plays against Maryland this weekend, it is unlikely to be for more than a few plays. ... S Ryan Keiser is hospitalized after a surgery for a bowel injury after he fractured a rib in practice last week. Coach James Franklin said Tuesday the senior is improving. Keiser was ruled out for the rest of the season earlier in the week. ... S Marcus Allen made his first career start against Ohio State in place of an injured Ryan Keiser and recorded a career-high 11 tackles and two pass breakups. ... P Daniel Pasquariello replaced Chris Gulla midway through the Ohio State game but neither player was effective for the Nittany Lions. Gulla, a redshirt freshman, averaged 37.5 yards on four punts and Pasquariello, a true freshman from Australia, averaged 31.5 on his four punts.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Huskers fresher entering November
    By The Sports Xchange

    LINCOLN, Neb. -- Physically speaking, Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong said he doesn't even feel like played in a game last week.

    • Defensive tackle Kevin Williams, who's been through two major knee injuries in his career and an ankle injury earlier this season, said he's feeling better than ever as Nebraska enters the final third of its season.

      "I haven't felt like this since high school," Williams said.

      Other players agreed they're feeling much fresher than past seasons at this point, meaning coach Bo Pelini's off-season tinkering to his practice routine seems to be paying dividends now that the calendar is turning to November.

      Nebraska (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten) enters its final stretch eyeing a Big Ten West Division championship and chance to win its first conference championship since 1999. Pelini feels his team is ready for the November grind because of efforts he made, beginning in August and continuing through the season, of changing and shortening practices.

      "I don't know how much the team reps and things have changed. It's not that much different," Pelini said. " But we've cut through some of the walk-thrus and things like that, which probably cuts off somewhere in the neighborhood of a half hour a day. Our practices are usually right around 90 minutes."

      The idea is to lighten the load, both physically and mentally, on players who also have class and other off-field obligations that can stretch them thin at a time they can't really afford to be taxed.

      "The fresher you can keep them, the better off you are. Sometimes it's as much a mental thing as it is a physical thing," Pelini said.

      "It's how you prepare and if you're going to be able to stay focused in for the long haul, whether you get tired, physically mentally or whatever it may be. You have to put your foot on the gas pedal at this time of year. That's the only way it works. Those are the teams that are going to be standing at the end. You're not going to be given anything. You have to go take it.

      "That isn't just on Saturday. That means you've got to prepare the right way during the week. You've got to be focused enough and disciplined enough to bring it to the practice field every day. Because that's where games are won or lost. How you prepare."

         SERIES HISTORY: The all-time series is tied, 1-1. Nebraska won last season, 44-7, in West Lafayette, and Saturday's game will be the first between the schools in Lincoln.

         NOTES: OT Given Price has returned to practice after being held out of Saturday's game against Rutgers with an undisclosed injury. ... K Mauro Bondi is expected to kick again this season after breaking his collarbone in a motorcycle accident in mid-September, Bo Pelini said. If Bondi doesn't kick this weekend, he's expected to play Nov. 15 at Wisconsin, after Nebraska's second bye week.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Mora proud of UCLA accomplishments
    By The Sports Xchange

    UCLA is 6-2 overall, and coach Jim Mora is feeling a bit defensive.

    • The Bruins entered the season with high expectations -- starting the season in the AP Top 10, with some high-profile pundits picking the Bruins to advance to the national title game.

      So, in that sense, UCLA has been disappointing. Starting with the opener at Virginia, the Bruins usually haven't looked good in victory, and they lost back-to-back conference games at Utah and Oregon.

      After UCLA eked out a double-overtime win at Colorado last week, Mora was asked about what needed to change.

      "You mean winning? Well, we're 6-2. So I hope nothing changes," Mora said. "I hope we keep winning."

      He continued the theme a day later.

      "We're only two-and-a-half years into our tenure here, and we've won 75 percent of our regular season games with a completely overhauled roster," Mora said. "I don't know if you guys know that, but we're 24-8 in regular-season games here since we've been here, with a completely overhauled roster."

      UCLA is on the fringe of a tight Pac-12 South race at 3-2 in league play. But the Bruins are far from out of it, as they have a win over 4-1 Arizona State, still have to play 4-2 USC and get 3-1 Arizona in the Rose Bowl this Saturday. Utah is 3-1 in the league, but is facing an incredibly difficult stretch.

      Yes, UCLA needs some help to win the division, but -- back to Mora's point -- the situation isn't as dire as some make it seem. Mora, who took over for fired Rick Neuheisel after the 2011 season, inherited some major pieces -- linebacker Anthony Barr, quarterback Brett Hundley -- and then added toughness and discipline to the mix (as well as his own excellent recruiting).

      "As much gloom and doom as there is out there, I would challenge anyone to go find a UCLA team in the history of UCLA that has done what this group has done in two-and-a-half years, with the youth that we have and the turnover we've had," Mora said.

      SERIES HISTORY: UCLA leads the series with Arizona 21-15-2. The Bruins won 31-26 in Tucson last season, when they gave linebacker Myles Jack his first time at running back, and he carried six times for 120 yards. UCLA routed Arizona 66-10 in 2012 in Pasadena.

      NOTES: LT Simon Goines, the projected starter, has missed the first eight games after undergoing surgery to remove bone spurs in his ankle. It appears he will return soon.

      --OG Alex Redmond has missed the past four games because of an ankle injury. He is doubtful for this week.

      --Starting S Randall Goforth will miss the rest of the season because of the need for surgeries on both shoulders. Goforth, who made 78 tackles last season, will be able to retain a year of eligibility and return as a redshirt junior next season.

      --RB Steven Manfro, who was in a three-man rotation at tailback, suffered a torn ACL in practice Sept. 2 and will miss the rest of the season. The junior has been a valuable player as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, with 37 receptions for 400 yards in the past two seasons.

      --LB Kenny Orjioke (knee) is out for the season because of an injury suffered against Arizona State on Sept. 25.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Oregon again finds Stanford standing in its way
    By The Sports Xchange

    EUGENE, Ore. -- Fifth-ranked Oregon can practically wrap up the Pac-12 North Division with a win over Stanford on Saturday at Autzen Stadium, but history shows that will be a tough task for the Ducks.

    • Oregon has watched its national-title and conference championship hopes end with a loss to the Cardinal in each of the past two years. Oregon went 12-1 with a lone loss to Stanford in 2012 and last year the Ducks started 8-0 before a loss to the Cardinal.

      The Ducks (7-1) are 4-1 in the Pac-12, one game ahead of Stanford (5-3, 3-2). If Oregon defeats Stanford on Saturday, the Ducks will have a two-game lead with three remaining as they seek their first division title in three years.

      However, if the Cardinal defeat the Ducks, the two teams would be tied for first place once again. Oregon and Stanford have tied for first in the North in each of the past three seasons, with the Cardinal winning the tiebreaker the past two years.

      While the Ducks and Cardinal once again meet in the most important game in the North, Oregon is trying not to get too hyped for the matchup.

      "I think one mistake we might have made last year was putting a little too much focus on this game," Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost said. "We had the game, in my mind, it was circled at the beginning of the year. I think a lot of players had it circled in their minds at the beginning of the year and we didn't play our best."

      Oregon and Stanford were both ranked in the top 15 for their matchup the past two years. While the Ducks are there once again, the Cardinal is unranked. However, back-to-back losses to Stanford have given Oregon the reputation for having "a Stanford problem."

      "It's like I said in the offseason, we lose to Stanford and we have to blow up our program," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said of the critics. "But our guys have to be wholly focused on having great preparation for who's next. I'm certain the competitors among them, which are all of them, are excited to talk about those thing or excited to have been in those situations. Stanford is a great program, we respect them a ton and we're going to prepare like heck."

      Stanford's key to success against Oregon has been defense. The high-powered Ducks' offense has been held to 34 points in the last two games against the Cardinal. Stanford is again stout on defense, allowing 12.5 points per game this season.

      "They're really really good on defense," Helfrich said. "A ton of depth, a ton of guys playing at a high level. Schematically, they're similar to how they have been. Excellent tacklers, very very sound make you earn every inch schematically."

      It will be strength against strength when Oregon has the ball. The Ducks are hitting their stride on offense, averaging 48.7 points in their last three games since a home loss to Arizona.

      Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is one of the favorites for the Heisman Trophy after completing 150 of 218 passes for 2,283 yards and 24 touchdowns with one interception. He has also run for 325 yards and five touchdowns.

      Mariota was also the Heisman front-runner heading into last year's game against Stanford before a loss to the Cardinal seemed to knock him out of contention.

      He is just one of many Ducks looking to reverse their recent struggles against the Cardinal.

      "We've put ourselves in a position where every game is vital and they're next and every game is the biggest game," Helfrich said.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Michigan unable to shake stake controversy
    By The Sports Xchange

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Two days after StakeGate, the dust still hadn't settled for the Michigan football team.

    • Instead of fielding questions about preparation for Indiana or explaining the Wolverines' lackluster performance in a 35-11 loss at No. 8 Michigan State, fourth-year coach Brady Hoke continued to answer the queries about Joe Bolden's pregame actions.

      Surrounded by his teammates before the game, the linebacker threw a tent stake into the sideline at Spartan Stadium, a gesture that incensed Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio and forced Hoke to issue a written apology a day later.

      Hoke said Monday that he spoke to Dantonio yet declined to divulge details of the conversation and said he was not told to issue an apology

      "Mark and I have done this in the past," Hoke said. "We've called when we've had incidents in this game, but we have respect for each other."

      Hoke also said the linebacker would not face any discipline for his actions. Michigan hosts Indiana at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Michigan Stadium.

      It's the second instance involving the Wolverines (3-5, 1-3 Big Ten) that has been magnified in the first two months of the season.

      But it also has brought more scrutiny upon a program that could finish no better than 7-5.

      "It's like what Kirk Herbstreit said," Michigan center Jack Miller said, referencing ESPN’s college football analyst. "If we were 5-0, nobody would care."

      Hoke -- one of a handful of college football coaches on the proverbial hot seat this season -- also answered questions about his short-term future at Michigan.

      "I think those things will be talked about at the end of the season," Hoke said. "Have I talked to anybody about those things? No. I don't worry myself about those things. I'm confident in what we're doing. And I know what we're doing for those 115 kids. Every day I know that. That's as important as anything to me.

      "I feel bad and I do get angry. We had this discussion the other night. Because they work so hard. We've got to get over the hump, execute and have consistency as a team."

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Georgia awaits word on Gurley's status
    By The Sports Xchange

    As Georgia prepares to face SEC opponent Florida on Saturday, the ninth-ranked Bulldogs still don't know whether running back Todd Gurley will be available.

    • Gurley and the Bulldogs have waited for the NCAA to rule on his status after he was indefinitely suspended by the team on Oct. 9 for allegedly receiving improper benefits for autographs.

      The junior was considered the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy before the suspension. He has missed two games while continuing to practice with the team.

      "We'd like to know if in fact Todd is going to be able to play against Florida, we'd like to know early enough to prepare for that," Georgia coach Mark Richt said.

      Georgia filed the necessary paperwork last week with the NCAA for Gurley's reinstatement. Whether word will come down before Saturday's game in Jacksonville, Fla., against the Gators is anyone's guess.

      "From the facts that we know today, publicly, Georgia's behavior has been commendable," NCAA president Mark Emmert said this week. "They, apparently, saw something that concerned them, and they dealt with it directly and their athletic department seems to have handled that very, very appropriately based on what we know today.

      "When a school has information about inappropriate behavior that might render a student-athlete ineligible, then they're under an obligation to respond. If it turns out later that they did know and did have facts that demonstrated that someone was ineligible and they played them anyway, then sure those wins can be vacated and that's happened many times."

      Freshman Nick Chubb stepped in for Gurley and rushed for 345 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1) clicked off SEC road wins over Missouri and Arkansas in their last two games.

      Before the suspension, Gurley ran for 773 yards and eight touchdowns.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Alabama LT Robinson to miss time with injury
    By The Sports Xchange

    Alabama expects left tackle Cam Robinson to be out several weeks after he suffered a high ankle sprain during the third quarter of Saturday's win over Tennessee.

    • The Crimson Tide have a bye this weekend, but Robinson likely won't be back in time for a Nov. 8 matchup with LSU in the SEC West in Baton Rouge, La.

      The 6-foot-6, 323-pound freshman started all eight games after arriving at Alabama as the No. 1 ranked tackle prospect in the country.

      Coach Nick Saban did not specify who would replace Robinson if he's unable to play. Right guard Leon Brown moved into Robinson's spot during the game against Tennessee and redshirt freshman Bradley Bozeman took over for Brown at right guard.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    No. 1 Bulldogs have bite in red zone
    By The Sports Xchange

    STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State might be the top-ranked team in the country but its defense ranks last in the Southeastern Conference and is 122nd out of 125 teams nationally against the pass.

    • Despite the statistical shortcomings, the Bulldogs' defense has fared well in the red zone.

      MSU has the No. 1 red zone defense in the nation allowing only 14 scores in 23 trips. Opponents have scored eight touchdowns (four rushing, four passing) and kicked six field goals inside the 20-yard line.

      "We go in understanding that the other team is going to make plays," said MSU coach Dan Mullen. "The key when that happens is to put the ball down and play the next play. You're not always going to feel good and things aren't always going to go your way during the course of the game. There's absolutely nothing you can do about the play that just happened. You just worry about the next play."

      The Bulldogs have believed in wholesale substitutions on defense this season alternating all 11 positions on a series-by-series basis. Defensive coordinator Geoff Collins refers to the groups as "1A" and "1B" implying there is not much drop-off within the second unit.

      But after last Saturday's game at Kentucky, Mullen voiced his displeasure in the "1B" group's performance.

      "Statistically, we had 22 plays with 1Bs and 50 something plays with 1As on the field and then some mixing and matching on other plays," Mullen said. “But in those 22 plays the 1Bs gave up more yards and double the points than the 1A's did in twice as many plays."

      Deficiencies or not, Mullen still plans to use both units moving forward as State prepares for Arkansas this weekend.

      "Reps are contingent on how well they perform in games,” Mullen said. “They're going to continue to get reps because we're not going to change who we are. We're going to play a lot of guys and rotate in."

      NOTES: TE Brandon Hill was injured making an 8-yard touchdown catch against Kentucky. He is expected to play against Arkansas but could be limited in practice this week. ... WR Jameon Lewis returned against the Wildcats after missing two games with a right leg injury. Lewis started but did not record any statistics and was not targeted in the game. ... P Devon Bell also returned against UK from a two game absence due to a groin injury. Bell punted four times for a 49 yard average.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Buckeyes insist: No peeking ahead to Spartans
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBUS -- Relieved to leave Happy Valley with a double-overtime victory, No. 13 Ohio State returns home to play Illinois on Saturday night while trying not to let minds wander ahead to its trip to Michigan State the following week.

    • Before the 13th-ranked Buckeyes (6-1, 3-0) turn their attention to the Big Ten showdown of the year against the Spartans (7-1, 4-0), the first order of business is the visit to Ohio Stadium from the Fighting Illini (4-4, 1-3), who pulled off a surprising 28-24 upset win over Minnesota last week in Champaign, Ill.

      The victory was just the second in Big Ten play for Illinois coach Tim Beckman, a former Ohio State assistant on Jim Tressel's staff, since the start of the 2012 season.

      Illinois' surprising win got Ohio State's attention, but of greater concern for the Buckeyes is the health of quarterback J.T. Barrett. He suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in the 31-24 win at Penn State but played the second half and overtime with the injury.

      Barrett toughed it out and scored two touchdowns in overtime to help Ohio State salvage a win after letting a 17-0 lead in the third quarter slip away. Barrett rushed for 32 yards on four carries in overtime but passed for just 74 yards in the game.

      Showing that kind of grittiness in a tough environment and coming away with a win should help the Buckeyes when they travel to eighth-ranked Michigan State for the Nov. 8 clash.

      "You started getting your tail kicked and you came back and won. That builds toughness," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said.

      In Meyer's eyes, no one is tougher on his team that Barrett, who will be limited in practice leading up to Saturday night’s game in the Horseshoe (8 p.m., ABC) but is expected to play. The Buckeyes will attempt to tie a Big Ten record set by Ohio State in 2005-2007 with their 20th straight regular-season win

      "He's got a sprained knee, MCL, but obviously there's no surgery or anything," Meyer said. "I think he will be limited. We're going to see how it goes. He's probably going to be a guy that we won't tell him he's limited, but we'll make sure he's limited. It's not throwing that's a concern, it's running."

      The Buckeyes will be facing a team with its own injury issues. Illini quarterback We Lunt suffered a broken leg earlier this month and is not expected to return until mid-November. The good new for Illinois is that backup Riley O’Toole has playing experience and was solid against Minnesota.

      "Illinois is much better," Meyer said. "I know they lost their quarterback, but they're playing much better. …

      "And to overlook Illinois, Illinois just won a big game. … So no, there will be no overlooking anyone.”

      Illinois hasn't won two consecutive Big Ten games since 2011.

      "It's going to be difficult. They're a really great team," Illinois quarterback Riley O'Toole said. "We're just going to have to play smart, play hard, take care of the ball. We're going to have our hands full. But if we take care of the ball, play together, play smart, we'll have a good chance."

      As an Ohio native, cornerback V'Angelo Bentley understands as well as anyone the atmosphere that awaits the Illini in Ohio Stadium. A large contingent of family and friends will be in the crowd of more than 100,000 fans to watch.

      "It's going to be a good challenge (against Ohio State) and I'm looking forward to it," Bentley said.

      Last week in the win over Minnesota, Bentley became to first Illini player in history to score a touchdown on a fumble return, kick return, punt return and interception return during his career.

      Beckman also is from Ohio and knows what to expect against the Buckeyes. The former Tressel assistant was also on the staff at Bowling Green when Urban Meyer was head coach.

      "They're very, very athletic on defense, more than I've seen them," Beckman said. "No question it'll be a challenge, but we're used to challenges."

  • Monday, October 27, 2014
    College football roundup: Seminoles' back investigated for domestic battery
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Tallahassee Police Department announced it is investigating an alleged domestic battery incident involving Florida State senior running back Karlos Williams.

    • According to a post on the City of Tallahassee Police Department's Facebook page, the TPD received the case on Saturday night and it was assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division. The case was described as an "active on-going investigation" and the TPD would not discuss any further details.

      One Friday, Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher had a strong reaction when asked about a report that Williams was facing a suspension, saying it was "as far from the truth as it can get.

      "There's another false report, and that's amazing how things happen. 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."

      Through seven games, Williams leads the Seminoles with 378 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

      --Ole Miss linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche will miss the rest of the season with a broken ankle suffered in Saturday's 10-7 loss to LSU.

      Nkemdiche underwent ankle surgery Sunday. Nkemdiche had 28 tackles and a sack for the Rebels this season.

      Nkemdiche's brother Robert Nkemdiche, a top defensive lineman, and All-American safety Cody Prewitt also suffered undisclosed injuries in the game. Starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil left the game with a biceps injury, but he returned to the field later. Freeze described all three players as "day to day."

      No. 7 Ole Miss (7-1, 4-1 SEC) hosts No. 4 Auburn (6-1, 3-1) on Saturday night.

      --Alabama boosters paid off the remaining $3.1 million Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban owed on his home in 2013, Al.com reported Monday.

      According to the report, the payment was made about 10 weeks after Alabama beat Notre Dame in the January 2013 national championship game.

      The home was bought by Saban and his wife, Terry, in 2007 when he became the Tide's head coach. According to the Al.com report, it was purchased by the Crimson Tide Foundation in March 2013. The foundation also paid the property taxes on the home since the purchase.

  • Monday, October 27, 2014
    Report: Tide boosters paid off $3.1 million owed on Saban home
    By The Sports Xchange

    Alabama boosters paid off the remaining $3.1 million Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban owed on his home in 2013, Al.com reported Monday.

    • According to the report, the payment was made about 10 weeks after Alabama beat Notre Dame in the January 2013 national championship game.

      This is a nice perk for Saban, who is the highest paid college head coach at about $7 million per year.

      The home was bought by Saban and his wife, Terry, in 2007. According to the Al.com report, it was purchased by the Crimson Tide Foundation in March 2013. The foundation also paid the property taxes on the home since the purchase.

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

      The university reportedly also owned both homes that were previously occupied by Paul "Bear" Bryant when he was Alabama's head coach.

  • Monday, October 27, 2014
    Ole Miss LB Nkemdiche out for season
    By The Sports Xchange

    Ole Miss linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche will miss the rest of the season with a broken ankle suffered in Saturday's 10-7 loss to LSU.

    • Coach Hugh Freeze confirmed the injury Monday. Nkemdiche underwent ankle surgery Sunday.

      The injury occurred in the first quarter, forcing him to miss the rest of the game. Nkemdiche was seen with a walking boot on his foot during the second half.

      Nkemdiche had 28 tackles and a sack for the Rebels this season.

      Nkemdiche's brother Robert Nkemdiche, a top defensive lineman, and All-American safety Cody Prewitt also suffered undisclosed injuries in the game. Starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil left the game with a biceps injury, but he returned to the field later.

      Freeze described all three players as "day to day."

      No. 7 Ole Miss (7-1, 4-1 SEC) hosts No. 4 Auburn (6-1, 3-1) on Saturday night.

  • Monday, October 27, 2014
    Seminoles RB Karlos Williams being investigated for domestic battery
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Tallahassee Police Department announced it is investigating an alleged domestic battery incident involving Florida State senior running back Karlos Williams.

    • According to a post on the City of Tallahassee Police Department's Facebook page, the TPD received the case on Saturday night and it was assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division. The case was described as an "active on-going investigation" and the TPD would not discuss any further details.

      "Once the case is complete, it will be released under the guidelines of Florida Public Law," said Officer David Northway, spokesman for the TPD.

      One Friday, Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher had a strong reaction when asked about a report that Williams was facing a suspension, saying it was "as far from the truth as it can get.

      "There's another false report, and that's amazing how things happen. "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."

      Williams is considered one of Florida State's top prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft. He is currently graded as the No. 3 senior running back by NFLDraftScout.com and a borderline top-100 pick. However, if the current allegations are true, they will change how NFL teams view Williams and could keep him from being drafted or even getting a chance to play at the NFL level.

      But right now, there are only allegations and NFL teams will wait until the police complete their investigation to make any final conclusions on Williams' future.

      Through seven games, Williams leads the Seminoles with 378 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

      (Dane Brugler is an analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, a property of The Sports Xchange distributed in partnership with CBSSports.com.)