College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • Kentucky adds former Florida WR Robinson
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, July 27, 2016

    Wide receiver Marvin Robinson, who sat out last season at Florida, is listed on Kentucky's online roster and is expected to join the program as a walk-on, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

    • Robinson originally committed verbally to Wisconsin in 2015, but was unable to qualify academically. The 6-foot-4, 175-pounder was a three-star prospect out of Fort Lauderdale, and will be eligible to play immediately since he already sat out the 2015 season.

      The Wildcats return five receivers who caught double-digit passes last season, so Robinson will need to work his way up the depth chart.

  • Big Ten: Ohio State coach Meyer molding young squad
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 26, 2016

    CHICAGO -- During his first four seasons at Ohio State, Urban Meyer's resume includes a national championship and 50 victories in 54 games.

    • With quarterback J.T. Barrett returning from a team that was 12-1 in 2015, including a Fiesta Bowl victory against Notre Dame, the Buckeyes again are many experts' pick to win the Big Ten Conference championship and challenge for yet another national title.

      But during Tuesday's Big Ten Media Days at the McCormick Place Hyatt Regency, Meyer said that despite the tradition in Columbus, Ohio, the 2016 Buckeyes will be a work in progress with only three returning offensive starters.

      "We have to find a way to replace arguably one of the best groups of players ever to come through college football," Meyer said Tuesday. "They won 50 games in four seasons, they won a national title, they had the highest graduation rate in Ohio State University history and a record NFL Draft.

      "So, I have been answering a lot of questions about a young team. The issue would be if it was a non-talented young team. And that is not the case at all. (August) probably will be the most critical coaching month that our staff -- I am also speaking for myself -- will have ever been through."

      Of the Buckeyes' scholarship players, 44 never have played a down of college football.

      SPARTAN POWER: Michigan State was the only team to beat Ohio State in 2015, and the Spartans went on to beat Iowa in the Big Ten title game in December in Indianapolis.

      Coach Mark Dantonio, now in his 10th season in East Lansing, is 36-5 in the past three seasons, including 24-2 in Big Ten play.

      "I think we have built a culture at Michigan State right now," Dantonio said. "We've sort of set the table in terms of what we have to do every year. So right now, our focus is trying to go back to back."

      While there are many reasons Michigan State now challenges Ohio State and Michigan for Big Ten supremacy, Dantonio believes a key factor is the school's ability to retain assistant coaches.

      Through nine years at Michigan State, Dantonio has lost only five assistants. Three have become head coaches and a fourth moved on to the NFL.

      BACK TO SCHOOL: After spending 22 seasons coaching in the NFL, former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith has returned to college football as the head coach at the University of Illinois, which has struggled recently in the Big Ten, including 5-7 in 2015 with six losses in the final seven games.

      Smith is eager to lead a college program.

      "I just think you talk about coaching, whether it's the NFL, junior high, high school or college," Smith said. "I haven't seen many differences in it. Guys want to be coached. It's just that you have a different degree of athlete at every level. I'm talking about stressing fundamentals."

      MAIN MAN UNDER CENTER: In C.J. Beathard, reigning Big Ten West champion Iowa has one of the conference's most experienced quarterbacks -- a player who led the Hawkeyes to a 12-0 regular season, passing for 2,809 yards and 17 touchdowns to go with only five interceptions.

      "When we made the decision to go with C.J. last season, he had one career start and had come in relief in one other game," coach Kirk Ferentz said. "So, last year really was his first year playing. I thought he did a tremendous job. In terms of his ceiling for this year, we will see."

      KNOWS THE BEST: New Maryland coach DJ Durkin has coached under Meyer and for Michigan's Jim Harbaugh. Now, he is in the same division with them -- the seven-team Big Ten East.

      "I've been very fortunate in my career to work under and along with some great coaches," Durkin said. "Those guys obviously are two of the many. I think you learn things and take bits and pieces. As coaches, we're always stealing stuff from other guys we've worked with or for."

      Durkin will coach against Harbaugh on Nov. 5 in Ann Arbor, Mich., and against Meyer on Nov. 12 in College Park, Md.

      MARQUEE OPENER: Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst says his Badgers love a challenge, and for a second consecutive season, they open with a monster.

      In 2015, Wisconsin opened with a loss to eventual national champion Alabama. On Sept. 3, the Badgers will open with LSU in Green Bay's Lambeau Field, home of the NFL's Packers.

      "So many of our players who grew up in-state probably dreamed of playing in Lambeau Field," Chryst said. "Our kids are excited about it."

      Wisconsin is coming off a 10-3 season, including a Holiday Bowl victory against Southern California.

  • Former starting QB transferring away from Gators
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, July 25, 2016

    Treon Harris, a former starting quarterback for the University of Florida, is transferring from the school.

    • While the university confirmed Monday that Harris is exiting, there was no indication of where the player would land.

      [TWEET]

      We are confirming reports that Treon Harris is transferring from the University of Florida.

      — Gators Football (@GatorsFB) July 25, 2016

      [TWEET]

      The Gators intended to make Harris a wide receiver in the upcoming season.

      Harris, who was to be a junior this fall, missed spring practice this year due to team-imposed suspension for a code-of-conduct violation. According to ESPN.com, he was back taking classes and training at the team's facility in June.

      As a freshman in 2012, Harris was a Southeastern Conference All-Freshman selection. He went 4-2 as a starter after taking over in the fourth game. He completed 55 of 111 passes for 1,019 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions.

      Will Grier replaced Harris to begin the 2015 season, but when Grier was hit with a one-year suspension by the NCAA for a violation of the policy banning performance-enhancing drugs, Harris was back in as the starter. He went 5-4 under center in 2015-16, completing 119 of 235 passes for 1,676 yards with nine TDs and six interceptions.

      The Gators dropped each of his final three games as a starter, including a 41-7 setback to Michigan in the Outback Bowl. Harris caught a 2-yard touchdown pass in the loss for Florida's only score.

      Harris' time with the Gators included several off-the-field difficulties.

      Harris briefly was suspended in 2014 when he faced a sexual-battery complaint, but he rejoined the team when the women withdrew the accusation. He missed a game last season due to a team suspension for a rules violation.

      With Harris leaving, the battle to start at quarterback is down to Luke Del Rio, Austin Appleby and freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask.

  • Big Ten: Remembering Foltz, Sadler
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, July 25, 2016

    CHICAGO - There was a somber mood Monday during what normally are festive Big Ten Football Media Days.

    • Late Saturday night, Nebraska senior punter Sam Foltz, who led the Big Ten in punting last season with a 44.2-yard average, and former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler were killed in an automobile accident in Wisconsin after giving instruction at a kicking camp.

      Foltz earned the Eddleman-Fields Big Ten Punter of the Year award for 2015 and was picked as the preseason Big Ten punter of the year by almost every college football publication or web site.

      Sadler was driving a vehicle on wet pavement and lost control.

      "We join the Nebraska and Michigan State communities in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families, teammates, coaches, administrators and friends who have been impacted by the tragic loss of Sam Foltz and Mike Sadler," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Monday.

      "While we are deeply saddened by their untimely loss, we also recognize the impact they had and the success they achieved as students, athletes, citizens and representatives of their respective communities and institutions."

      Nebraska coach Mike Riley and players Tommy Armstrong, Jr., Josh Banderas and Jordan Westerkamp were scheduled to participate in Monday's session with media members at the McCormick Place Hyatt Regency, but because of Foltz' death, Riley and his players remained in Lincoln, Neb., to mourn with fellow teammates.

      Michigan State is scheduled to take part in Tuesday's session, which will include Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Maryland, Indiana and Illinois.

      HARBAUGH'S WORLD: Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who went 10-3 in his first season at his alma mater including a 41-7 Citrus Bowl victory against Florida, continues to make news away from the playing field.

      Harbaugh, whose Wolverines are expected to challenge Ohio State for the top spot in the Big Ten East, had fun recently participating in a Rap video.

      "My default usually is to say yes," Harbaugh said. "The reaction has been very good. I've gotten multiple texts, phone calls and comments from people who really like it. I think the cool people like it."

      Speaking of cool people, Michael Jordan has agreed to be Michigan's honorary captain for the Wolverines' Sept. 3 opener against Hawaii in Ann Arbor.

      "I will be proud and honored to share a sideline with Michael Jordan," Harbaugh said.

      A DAY AT A TIME: With news continuing to develop about former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's alleged abuse of youth while working for Joe Paterno, current Nittany Lions coach James Franklin and his staff are working hard to overcome the recruiting obstacles.

      Some high school players want nothing to do with Penn State because of the ugly stories circulating about Sandusky's time as a Paterno staff member.

      "There are very high expectations for Penn State football," Franklin said. "But with this situation, you have to have a plan in place, because people want to understand. The Big Ten and the NCAA have been very supportive."

      Penn State has compiled a 7-6 record in each of the past two seasons but ended 2015 with a four-game losing streak, including a 24-17 loss to Georgia in the Taxslayer Bowl.

      UNIQUE PROBLEM: With the university still on an academic quarters' system, Northwestern football players do not begin fall classes until late September. That sequence is just before a brutal October schedule that will include road games at Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State, along with an Oct. 22 home game against Indiana, which begins classes on Aug. 22.

      "October certainly is going to be a challenge for us," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "We will address it in preseason camp, and then we won't talk about it again until October."

      NEW COACH, NEW QB? First-year Rutgers coach Chris Ash, a former Ohio State assistant, takes over a program that will have four quarterbacks battling for the starting job when camp begins in August.

      Ash said Monday that Zach Allen, a transfer from TCU, will be given every chance to win the job.

      "When I interviewed for this job, I wanted to know if Rutgers simply wanted to be in the Big Ten, or if Rutgers wanted to compete for championships," Ash said. "I got the answers I wanted to hear."

  • Nebraska P Foltz, ex-Michigan State P Sadler killed in accident
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, July 24, 2016

    Nebraska punter Sam Foltz, who was the Big Ten punter of the year in 2015, and former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler were killed in a car crash Saturday night in Wisconsin after attending a punter's camp.

    • LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye was a passenger in the car and was injured but survived the accident, according to The Advocate. Sadler was the driver of the car.

      Foltz, 22, won the named the conference's top punter as a junior and he was on the Ray Guy Award watch list entering this season.

      "Last night, we lost one of the best young men who I have ever had the honor to coach and who has ever worn the Nebraska uniform," Nebraska coach Mike Riley said in a statement. "Sam was universally loved and respected by everyone he touched and on whom he had a positive influence each and every day. His tragic loss is immeasurable to his family, his friends, his classmates, his teammates and his coaches and our thoughts and prayers are with all of them. The young men in our football program are hurting but I know that their strength of character and resolve will bring us together and we will honor Sam every day moving forward."

      Riley and players were scheduled to be in Chicago for Big Ten Media Days on Monday, but they will not attend, according to a school spokesman.

      Sadler was Michigan State's punter from 2011-2014 and was a two-time All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore and junior.

  • ACC Kickoff: Going Coastal
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 22, 2016

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The arrival of new coaches in the Coastal Division dominated much of the conversation during the Atlantic Coast Conference Kickoff.

    • Three of the ACC's four new coaches are in the same division with Mark Richt taking over at Miami, Bronco Mendenhall in charge at Virginia and Justin Fuente at the helm for Virginia Tech.

      Richt, a Miami grad who had been coaching at Georgia, probably sees the ACC in a different light considering he's also a former assistant coach in the conference while at Florida State.

      "I really look forward to the changes that have happened," Richt said. "More teams. I think the league is much deeper and tougher top to bottom than when I remember leaving it."

      In each of the cases, the programs they take over have been struggling to find stability in recent years, with even Virginia Tech showing signs of decline.

      Richt succeeds Al Golden with the Hurricanes.

      "The thing that people want to ask, ‘How do you think the team is going to do?' " Richt said. "I really don't know for sure. The only thing I promised is that we're going to work hard and try to do things the way everybody will be proud of us."

      There's plenty to fix at Virginia and Virginia Tech as well.

      "We're ahead of schedule in terms of the culture, with the execution to follow," Mendenhall said.

      Mendenhall, who replaced Mike London, said he has seen confidence blossom in his team since the first team meeting.

      "If you believe you're capable, you kind of are anxious to take on challenges rather than be hesitant or apprehensive about what might come," Mendenhall said. "I think that has been the biggest change, earned confidence through our preparation."

      Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente takes over after the retirement of legendary Frank Beamer, who was the winningest active Division I coach when he stepped away.

      Fuente said it's important to understand and embrace the foundation that Beamer established, but that building on that is the best way to show the proper respect for it.

      "Something he said right away that stuck with me," Hokies fullback Sam Rogers said, "is that he wasn't going to tear anything down that Coach Beamer started. He was starting with that foundation. It's awesome to play for a guy who has that mentality."

      Fuente, who began working on campus before Beamer took the Hokies to a 2015 bowl game, said he's happy with the way the change was orchestrated.

      "The transition has been extremely smooth thanks to the professionalism of people … without worrying about who gets credit," Fuente said.

      North Carolina, the reigning champion of the Coastal Division, faces seven teams with first-year coaches, beginning with non-league foe Georgia on Sept. 3.

      "Where it hurts us in these early games, that makes it much more difficult when you're trying to prepare for them without any film," North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said.

      Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson might have a different vantage point. The Yellow Jackets plays Miami annually in the Coastal Division, so facing off with a Richt-coach team will come earlier in the season than the typical late-November matchup with non-league rival Georgia.

      "Certainly he brings some credibility to their program and to the conference," Johnson said.

      NEXT UP FOR TAR HEELS DEFENSE: North Carolina's defense last year — leading the ACC in turnovers forced and ranked third in passing defense — has only raised expectations under second-year defensive coordinator Gene Chizik.

      Senior cornerback Des Lawrence said the difference is the level of confidence for the Tar Heels.

      "The belief is at an all-time high since I've been here," Lawrence said. "We've always had guys who are really confident in themselves, but as a group collectively, I think that we really believe that we're one of the top defenses in the nation, regardless of what the stats may say or what the outsiders may say."

      North Carolina gave up 45 points and 608 yards and 49 points and 756 yards (645 rushing) in the last two games of the season, against Clemson and Baylor.

      But the Clemson performance isn't a detractor for North Carolina.

      "I think all the way to the end — well, not the end, but the Clemson game we came out and made some stops real early," Lawrence said. "I mean, they were the No. 1 team in the nation, they did the same thing to Alabama (in a national championship game loss). We were able to compete with those guys, so it gave us a kind of boost in confidence."

      SIRK BOUNCES BACK: Recovering from a torn Achilles has been taxing for Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk.

      But five months after suffering the injury during an offseason workout, the senior could be ready for the team's opener against North Carolina Central.

      "These past five months haven't been fun. I have to just continue to move forward and see where I am August 8 and September 3," Sirk said. "It's all worth it if I get to go out there and play with my brothers again and play with my seniors that I came in with my last year and strive toward our goals. We have unfinished goals as a senior class."

      Duke coach David Cutcliffe isn't ready to sign off on Sirk's availability at the start of the season, but he said the progress has been encouraging and surprising.

      KEEP THEM GUESSING: Mendenhall isn't close to being ready to commit to a starting quarterback for Virginia.

      Matt Johns started all 12 games last year.

      "We currently have three quarterbacks in contention that we will carry through fall camp before we make a decision," Mendenhall said.

      Kurt Benkert joined the competition as a transfer from East Carolina. New Virginia assistant coach Ruffin McNeill had been East Carolina's coach.

      Senior Connor Brewer is the other candidate.

      HOKIES NARROW IT TO TWO: Fuente said he's likely to go with one of the veteran quarterbacks on the team with either Brenden Motley or Jerod Evans.

      "My evaluation so far is it will probably be one of those two," Fuente said. "It's up in the air."

      KAAYA WITH CONFIDENCE: Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya is no longer lacking experience compared to his ACC peers. The junior is about to become a third-year starter.

      "I'm just more mature is the biggest thing," Kaaya said.

      He led the ACC in the regular season by averaging 274.5 passing yards per game. Perhaps most encouraging was that he reduced his interceptions to five.

      Now, he's learning a new system under Richt.

      "We have a lot of different personnel packages," Kaaya said. "I think we have the personnel to do it."

      CONNER'S INSPIRATION: Running back James Conner of Pittsburgh is back in the mix after dealing with Hodgkin lymphoma.

      His return to action should give the Panthers a lift that might be immeasurable.

      "Just seeing his work ethic while he still had cancer and was beating it, as well as fighting to be the best player he can still be while he has got cancer," quarterback Nathan Peterman said. "It has been awesome to witness that. I know it will be a special moment once he gets that first touch."

      Conner was the 2014 ACC Player of the Year. He suffered a knee injury in the first game of 2015 and later battled the cancer.

      Coach Pat Narduzzi the Panthers are counting on Conner to be at full strength.

      "I expect nothing but his best performance," Narduzzi said. When you look at what James has done, what he has been through, the size of that heart inside his chest cavity, I think you're going to get his best effort."

      EXPERIENCE TALKS: Pittsburgh has nearly double the number of seniors on the team for Narduzzi.

      That's something that the Panthers must take advantage of.

      "This year, we have 20," Narduzzi said. "When you talk about a great football team, I think you have to have a great senior class."

      A dozen of those seniors are in their fifth college seasons, adding another layer of experience for Pittsburgh.

      OVERSEAS TRIP: Georgia Tech starts its season Sept. 3 in Ireland against Boston College, so the trip itself is a major event for the Yellow Jackets.

      "Definitely it will be a different experience," quarterback Justin Thomas said. "I've never been anywhere out of the country, so it will be different, just seeing how people live, how they do things over there."

      Johnson said about 110 players will travel to Europe for the game.

      "The bottom line, it's a conference game, conference opener," Johnson said. "We're going over there with the mindset to try to win the football game."

      KEEP KICKING: North Carolina senior receiver Ryan Switzer, who has been on a record-setting pace as a punt returner, said he would be disappointed in seeing a reduction in emphasis on special teams returns.

      With rules under consideration that might alter kickoff procedures in the future, Switzer said he would like to keep the returns an integral part of the game.

      "To see kickoffs taken out of the game, I don't feel would be positive for the game of football," Switzer said.

  • Michigan, LSU betting favorites for national title
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 21, 2016

    Michigan is the betting favorite to win the 2016 college football national championship at Westgate SuperBook as of the end of business Wednesday.

    • The Wolverines went 10-3 last season and is being bet to win a title in Jim Harbaugh's second season as head coach in Ann Arbor.

      LSU, Clemson, Ohio State – which hosts Michigan on Nov. 26 – and Florida State come in behind Michigan.

      Alabama is the oddsmakers pick to win the national championship but like Michigan, the Crimson Tide go into fall camp in August not knowing who will start at quarterback.

      Michigan, a 7-1 pick for the national championship, plays at Columbus and travels to Iowa and Michigan State. Ohio State is 8-1, as is LSU.

  • ACC Network to launch in 2019
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 21, 2016

    Commissioner John Swofford said the Atlantic Coast Conference Network will launch by August 2019, with the ACC and ESPN finalizing a 20-year deal and rights extension through the 2035-36 academic year.

    • In August, ESPN will launch a digital platform, ACC Network Extra, television more than 600 live events to users with access to Watch ESPN.

      By 2019, more than 1,300 live events will be broadcast by the network.

      "This partnership continues to be a win-win for ESPN and the ACC," Swofford said. "ESPN is the premier provider in sports content and this agreement will deliver unprecedented coverage to our fans, while highlighting our quality student-athletes, coaches and institutions."

  • Former Baylor DE Oakman indicted in sexual assault case
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    Former Baylor All-America defensive end Shawn Oakman was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on charges of second-degree felony sexual assault in Waco, Texas.

    • The school's all-time sack leader, Oakman was arrested in April after a Baylor graduate student accused him of sexually assaulting her at his apartment on April 3.

      A second-degree felony sexual assault typically carries a sentence of two-to-20 years in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

      "Shawn Oakman maintains his innocence in regard to the recent accusations made against him, and he insists that the sexual relationship in this case was consensual," Oakman's attorney, Michelle Tuegel, told the Waco Tribune. "It is unfortunate that this situation has been lumped in with other events that are unrelated. It is important that we not rush to judgment. Every citizen accused of a crime in this country is presumed innocent unless the state proves the accused offense beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

      "We look forward to vigorously defending Mr. Oakman and presenting the facts involved in this situation."

      Oakman was not selected in the 2016 draft despite being once considered a potential second- or third-round pick prior to his arrest.

      The 24-year-old recorded 128 tackles and 17 1/2 sacks in three seasons with the Bears. He was dismissed from Penn State in 2012 for shoplifting and violating team rules.

  • Girlfriend of ex-Buckeyes RB: 'My boyfriend hit me really bad'
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    Ohio State dismissed running back Bri'onte Dunn on Monday for "violating team rules," but coach Urban Meyer did not provide any details. In a 911 call on Sunday obtained by the Columbus Dispatch, Dunn's girlfriend told the dispatcher: "My boyfriend hit me really bad."

    • The woman said that she briefly left her apartment after being struck in the mouth. When she returned, she said he "went crazy" when he saw the woman had her phone, choked her and then left. The woman said she had a bloody lip and a black eye following the incident.

      She filed for a civil protection order against Dunn on Monday, although no criminal charge had been filed as of Tuesday night.

      Dunn, 23, earned a degree in sport industry from Ohio State in May and was expected to compete with redshirt freshman Mike Weber for the starting running back job following the departure of Ezekiel Elliott to the NFL.

      The 6-foot, 215-pound Dunn rushed for 91 yards on 14 carries with one touchdown in a reserve role last season.

  • Big 12 votes to begin looking into expansion
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    In a unanimous vote Tuesday in Irving, Texas, presidents of the Big 12 schools authorized the conference to explore expansion.

    • Big 12 board of directors chairman David Boren, the University of Oklahoma president, said, "It's a statement from the board we want to move forward. I would say, yes, it's a forward step, it's a positive step. ... It's not a definite decision, but there is momentum for the board to very seriously consider this possibility."

      The Big 12 currently includes 10 universities. SI.com quoted an anonymous conference source who said adding at least two schools is "nearly definite" and adding four schools is "highly possible."

      The conference dropped from 12 schools to 10 earlier this decade when Texas A&M, Missouri, Colorado and Nebraska left and West Virginia and TCU entered.

      Possibilities for Big 12 expansion potentially could include Houston, Cincinnati, BYU, Memphis, Central Florida, South Florida, Connecticut, Boise State, Colorado State and Tulane. According to SI.com, the leading candidates are BYU, Cincinnati and Connecticut.

      "We've been contacted by a number of institutions and I would imagine after this news breaks we'll be contacted again," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "We're looking for members that will grow over time as we grow, bring stability and have a high top end."

      The decision came one day after the Atlantic Coast Conference announced it is starting its own television network, following the lead of the Southeastern Conference, the Big Ten and the Pac-12.

      Asked if the ACC's TV deal impacted the Big 12's plans, Boren said, "Of course. ... It indicates we live in a fast-changing world."

  • College football notebook: Ohio State dismisses RB Dunn
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer announced that running back Bri'onte Dunn has been dismissed for a violation of team rules.

    • The fifth-year senior's release stemmed from "an altercation with a female," Jordan Strack of the Toledo-based WTOL reported.

      In three seasons with the Buckeyes, Dunn had 291 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 49 carries. He was in position to battle redshirt freshman Mike Weber for the starting job, Cleveland.com reports.

      Dunn's best season came in 2012, when he rushed for a career-high 133 yards and a pair of scores on 25 carries over 26 games.

      --Six years of negotiations are about to make Atlantic Coast Conference schools and fans happy as the ACC soon will become the fourth of the five power conferences to have its own network.

      ESPN is reporting that the ACC and ESPN have agreed to a 20-year deal that includes the long-anticipated ACC cable channel and rights extension through the 2035-36 academic year.

      Details of the new ACC network are expected to be revealed Thursday during the conference's football kickoff event in Charlotte.

      The ACC will join the Big Ten, SEC and Pacific 12 when its network launches, which is expected in 2019.

      --Kickoffs, viewed as more of a health risk than other plays, might be an endangered species in college football.

      According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, the American Football Coaches Association's board of trustees and the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee both have held at least informal discussions regarding the abolishment of kickoffs.

      No rule changes are forthcoming this year, and the discussion has not reached the level of the NCAA rules committee.

  • ACC cable channel to launch in 2019
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Six years of negotiations are about to make Atlantic Coast Conference schools and fans happy as the ACC soon will become the fourth of the five power conferences to have its own network.

    • ESPN is reporting that the ACC and ESPN have agreed to a 20-year deal that includes the long-anticipated ACC cable channel and rights extension through the 2035-36 academic year.

      Details of the new ACC network are expected to be revealed Thursday during the conference's football kickoff event in Charlotte.

      The ACC will join the Big Ten, SEC and Pacific 12 when its network launches, which is expected in 2019.

      Extending the grant of rights locks schools in ACC membership and pretty much assures the conference any other conference realignment will not affect the ACC.

      ACC commissioner John Swofford is being credited with being the driving force behind the creation of the network.

      With the recent additions of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, the ACC is made of 15 schools and geographically covers nearly half the U.S. population.

      The ACC is expected to split profits 50-50 with ESPN.

  • Kickoffs could be on chopping block
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Kickoffs, viewed as more of a health risk than other plays, might be an endangered species in college football.

    • According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, the American Football Coaches Association's board of trustees and the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee both have held at least informal discussions regarding the abolishment of kickoffs.

      "I don't think there is any doubt it is the most dangerous play in the game," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, chairman of the Division I oversight committee, told CBS Sports. "How much that's the case and how we can fix it is unknown."

      No rule changes are forthcoming this year, and the discussion has not reached the level of the NCAA rules committee, Dodd reported.

      AFCA executive director Todd Berry, the former head coach of Illinois State, Army and Louisiana-Monroe, told CBS Sports, "I'm excited we're starting to have this discussion. It looks like the data is skewed where we have more injuries on that play. If that's the case, we have to look at eliminating the play, modifying the play, change blocking schemes."

      Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, who is an AFCA trustee, told Dodd, "It's a very, very, very in-depth conversation of how it (kickoffs) affects the game."

  • Ohio State RB Dunn dismissed for rules violation
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer announced Monday night that running back Bri'onte Dunn has been dismissed for a violation of team rules.

    • The fifth-year senior's release stemmed from "an altercation with a female," Jordan Strack of the Toledo-based WTOL reported.

      In three seasons with the Buckeyes, Dunn had 291 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 49 carries. He was in position to battle redshirt freshman Mike Weber for the starting job, Cleveland.com reports.

      Dunn's best season came in 2012, when he rushed for a career-high 133 yards and a pair of scores on 25 carries over 26 games.

      Dunn has one season of eligibility remaining. He graduated from Ohio State in May with a degree in sports industry.

  • AD Yurachek: Houston isn't eying Pac-12 move
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    A recent meeting between the University of Houston's athletic director and the commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference is unlikely to lead to any changes in the college athletics landscape.

    • The Houston Chronicle reported Monday that Houston athletic director Hunter Yurachek spoke with the Pac-12's Larry Scott in San Francisco last month, and that conference expansion was among the topics on the table.

      However, Yurachek told CBS Sports' Dennis Dowd later Monday that he did not make a bid to have his school join the West Coast power conference.

      "There was no pitch or anything," Yurachek told CBS Sports. "There's no substance to that (Chronicle report) at all."

      Yurachek said he stopped in San Francisco to see Scott en route to the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.

      "I emailed his office," Yurachek told CBS Sports. "He agreed to meet me and spent 30 or 45 minutes with me. I had never met Larry Scott in my life. ... Larry told me they're not interested in expanding. He said, 'I had to pull teeth just to get them to add Colorado and Utah.'"

      Houston, a member of the American Athletic Conference, is viewed as a candidate to join the Big 12, which could expand from its current 10-team alignment.

      Other possibilities for Big 12 expansion, according to the Chronicle, include Cincinnati, BYU, Memphis, Central Florida, South Florida, Connecticut, Boise State and Colorado State.

  • Saban suspends OL Taylor after DUI arrest
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, July 18, 2016

    A day after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence, Alabama offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor was suspended indefinitely by Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban.

    • "We are very disappointed any time a player makes a choice that leads to this kind of behavior," Saban said in a statement announcing the suspension. "We are still in the process of gathering all of the details on the situation, but from a football standpoint, Alphonse Taylor has been indefinitely suspended from the team."

      Taylor, a preseason second-team All-SEC selection, also left the scene of the accident, according to the Tuscaloosa Police Department. He was cited for leaving the scene of an accident.

      Saban's patience might be wearing thin with Taylor, who started all 15 games last season at right guard. But the 6-foot-6, 345-pounder's lack of conditioning and offseason weigh gain already had him in Saban's doghouse.

      Taylor led the team with 57 knockdown blocks last season. In the national title game against the Tigers, he had four knockdown blocks while paving the way for big performances for Alabama quarterback Jake Coker (335 yards passing) and Heisman Trophy-winning back Derrick Henry (158 rushing yards).

      After last season, Taylor was asked by Saban to lose weight. He was demoted to second-team right guard during the spring after failing to lose enough weight, with Brandon Kennedy taking first-team reps.

      Taylor's teammate, tackle Cam Robinson, also was arrested May 17 on misdemeanor charges of possessing a controlled substance, felony possession of a stolen gun and illegally carrying a weapon in the presence of narcotics. The charges were later dropped and Saban said Robinson wouldn't be suspended.

  • Two Gators freshmen accused of shooting BB gun at dorm
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, July 18, 2016

    Florida Gators first-year freshmen receivers Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells have been arrested after being accused of firing BB guns into a residential hall on campus.

    • Cleveland and Wells, who are both 18, were arrested Sunday and remained in the Alachua County Jail on Monday morning.

      According to the Orlando Sentinel, the two players were charged with criminal mischief for damaging property of more than $1,000 -- a third-degree felony -- and shooting a missile inside an occupied dwelling -- a second-degree felony. The incident occurred at Keys Residential housing on the Gainesville, Fla., campus.

      A university officer went to the residential housing late Friday night and saw three windows had been shattered, according to the police report. A review of surveillance video showed two men shooting BB guns earlier that evening and the officer later identified Cleveland and Wells by their ID cards.

      Police said Wells admitted to the shooting and turned over his gun. The two players then were arrested and booked around 3:30 a.m. Monday.

      Cleveland was Florida's top-rated receiver recruit in the 2016 class. The players are enrolled in summer school. The Gators will begin football practice on Aug. 4.

  • Alabama offensive lineman Taylor arrested for DWI
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, July 17, 2016

    Alabama offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor was arrested for driving while intoxicated Sunday, according to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office.

    • Taylor's bond was set at $1,000, according to multiple outlets.

      The 6-foot-5, 345-pound senior from Mobile, Ala., started each of the Crimson Tide's 15 games last season en route to the program's 16th national championship. Alabama posted a thrilling 45-40 victory over Clemson in the College Football Playoff Championship on Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz.

      Taylor led the team with 57 knockdown blocks last season. In the national title game against the Tigers, he had four knockdown blocks while paving the way for big performances for Alabama quarterback Jake Coker (335 yards passing) and Heisman Trophy-winning back Derrick Henry (158 rushing yards).

      After last season, Taylor was asked by Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban to lose weight. He was demoted to second-team right guard during the spring after failing to lose enough weight, with Brandon Kennedy taking first-team reps according to 247Sports.com.

      Taylor's teammate, tackle Cam Robinson, was also arrested May 17 on misdemeanor charges of possessing a controlled substance, felony possession of a stolen gun and illegally carrying a weapon in the presence of narcotics. The charges were later dropped and Saban said Robinson wouldn't be suspended.

      Taylor earned a spot on the 2016 Preseason Media Days All-SEC Team, being named to the Second Team with 137 votes as the conference's eighth-best offensive lineman.

  • Former Miss. State WR shot, killed
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, July 16, 2016

    Former Mississippi State wide receiver Chris Smith was shot and killed Friday night in Meridian, Miss.

    • Smith was 26.

      "We are shocked and saddened by the tragic passing of Chris," said coach Dan Mullen in a statement. "Our entire Mississippi State family mourns his loss. Chris was an important part of our first recruiting class and helped set the foundation for our success. He was a terrific teammate and his work ethic was impeccable.

      "He earned his way onto the field as a true freshman in 2009 and later received his degree from Mississippi State. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of his family and friends."

      Smith appeared in 48 games for the Bulldogs between 2009 and 2012. He compiled 109 receptions for 1,180 yards and five touchdowns.

      Meridian police did not have a suspect as of Saturday and were still investigating the incident.

  • Pac-12 Media Days: Big things expected from Washington
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 15, 2016

    The Washington Huskies are preseason darlings, but coach Chris Petersen says he doesn't quite get all the love.

    • "We have as much hype as the new Pokemon game," Petersen said Friday on the second and final day of Pac-12 Media Days in Hollywood, Calif.

      "It's silly. Every week we don't play, we get ranked better. We want to earn it."

      The Huskies, coming off a 7-6 season, are a unanimous Top 25 team among the major national preseason magazines and were picked to finish second in the Pac-12 North behind Stanford in a league media poll.

      "Last year the preseason hype was we wouldn't win four games, and they were dead wrong," Petersen said to the media. "So I'm really scared that you guys are dead wrong again, because you usually are."

      There are ample reasons to expect a Washington breakthrough.

      The Huskies have one of the nation's best young backfield combinations in quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin, both true sophomores. Speedy receiver John Ross is back after missing last season with a knee injury.

      The secondary, led by safety Budda Baker and cornerback Sidney Jones -- both first-team all-conference players -- could be one of the best in the nation. The defense returns eight starters from a unit that led the Pac-12 in fewest points allowed (18.8 points per game).

      "The best thing you say about them is they just played as a group," Petersen said. "They really understand how to play together, and they just built confidence every game. It was fun to watch those guys."

      And then there's Petersen himself, who arrived at Washington in 2014 after going 92-12 at Boise State.

      "We're at the point where guys get what we're trying to get done," Petersen said of the Huskies.

      On the other hand, Washington does have to overcome recent history.

      The Huskies haven't won the conference since 2000, have lost 12 in a row to North rival Oregon and have dropped seven of eight games to Stanford. Washington hasn't finished ahead of either of those schools in the five-year history of the division.

      For the first time in the 56-year history of the conference poll, Stanford is favored to win the Pac-12. Much of that stems from having running back Christian McCaffrey, who finished second in the 2015 Heisman voting and set the NCAA season record for all-purpose yards.

      "He's the best player in the country and we'll continue to challenge him," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "We know he can handle it."

      Stanford still has to pick a quarterback between Keller Chryst and Ryan Burns -- Shaw says he's not against playing both early in the season -- but the offense has its usual collection of talent up front and multiple playmakers beyond McCaffrey. Shaw said to keep an eye on sophomore receiver Trent Irwin.

      "Trent Irwin is going to be one of the biggest sparks in college football," McCaffrey said. "To watch him one-on-one on routes is like artwork."

      Shaw said McCaffrey, backup running back Bryce Love and receiver Michael Rector run in the 4.3-second range for 40 yards, and Irwin and receiver Francis Owusu run in the 4.4s. All that athleticism combined with Stanford's smash-mouth style will be tough to stop.

      "This group has a chance to be really fun to coach," Shaw said. "We want to be that combination of efficiency and explosiveness. We believe we can do that."

      NOTES

      --Colorado senior quarterback Sefo Liufau missed the final two games of last season because of a Lisfranc injury in his left foot. "He's been cleared health-wise, but we'll be very cautious with him during camp," said Buffaloes coach Mike MacIntyre.

      Liufau, who will be a fourth-year starter, has thrown for 7,397 yards, the most in the nation among quarterbacks in a Power 5 conference.

      --Arizona State has good offensive skill in running backs Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage, and big-play receiver Tim White, but it doesn't have a quarterback who has thrown a college pass. Redshirt sophomore Manny Wilkins and redshirt freshmen Bryce Perkins and Brady White will compete in camp.

      Coach Todd Graham is looking for dependability to complement the skill on offense.

      "The guy that's going to win the job is the guy who manages the offense, doesn't turn the ball over," he said.

      --Former all-conference cornerback Ishmael Adams will play receiver for UCLA this season.

      "He's a dynamic runner," said coach Jim Mora. "We've seen it in his returns; we've seen it after interceptions. Now we are going to be able to design plays where we ensure the ball gets in his hands in space where he can make things happen."

      --Oregon State will rely on Utah State transfer Darrell Garretson to pick up an offense that averaged just 19.0 points and 336.4 yards per game. "He brings so much competitiveness," coach Gary Andersen said. "He's gone to BYU and won. That's hard."

  • Ex-Michigan RB Green transfers to TCU
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 15, 2016

    Former Michigan running back Derrick Green is transferring to TCU, according reports Friday.

    • Green was granted his release from Michigan in January. As a graduate transfer, Green will be eligible to play immediately for the Horned Frogs.

      In three seasons with the Wolverines, Green played in 23 games with seven starts, rushing for 898 yards and seven touchdowns on 212 carries. A promising 2014 season ended prematurely with a broken collarbone.

      The 5-foot-11, 234-pound Green struggled in 2015, with 47 carries for 157 yards. He sat out the season's final four games.

      Green did not travel with his teammates to Orlando, Fla., for the Jan. 1 Citrus Bowl because of what head coach Jim Harbaugh described as "an internal matter."

  • Pac-12 Media Days: USC underdog in Pac-12
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 14, 2016

    Expectations are always high at Southern Cal, but the Trojans will start the season as underdogs.

    • UCLA was picked to win the South, with Stanford of the North division pegged as the overall league champ in a media poll revealed Thursday on the first day of Pac-12 Media Days in Hollywood, Calif.

      "Top to bottom, there is no better conference," said Oregon coach Mark Helfrich.

      But there isn't an obviously elite team in the league, unlike in the other Power 5 conferences. The opening week will provide one barometer when USC takes on defending national championship Alabama in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 3.

      "If you don't like the bar set that high, then don't take the job," said USC's Clay Helton, entering his first full season as head coach.

      Stanford was selected to win the league for the first time in the 56-year history of the conference poll. Washington was picked second in the North, followed by Oregon, Washington State, Cal and Oregon State. In the South, it went UCLA, USC, Utah, Arizona, Arizona State and Colorado.

      USC figures to be strong on the offense line and at running back with Justin Davis and Ronald Jones II, and junior JuJu Smith-Schuster is one of the best receivers in the country. The Trojans' burning questions in camp will be developing their defensive line and identifying a starting quarterback between junior Max Browne and freshman San Darnold. Helton said he will pick a winner two weeks before the opener.

      "They both have the intangibles," Helton said.

      As Helton prepares for Alabama, he wants to continue to develop the no-nonsense physical approach that he instituted last season, when he went 5-3 after Steve Sarkisian was fired.

      "We took away the music, we took away the hype, we just made it all about ball," Helton said of spring practice. "Hopefully that transfers over to this season."

      USC won the Pac-12 South last season, although it finished only 8-6 after losing to Stanford in the league title game and falling to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl. Helton will use the 2016 underdog role as motivation.

      "We have kind of a chip on our shoulder. That has kick-started us this summer. With the way the kids are working this summer, it just feels different."

      NOTES

      --USC junior Adoree' Jackson, who has been a two-way threat as a cornerback and receiver, said he will focus mostly on defense this season. He caught 27 passes for 414 yards last season. Said coach Clay Helton: "He's Superman."

      --Cal loses quarterback Jared Goff, the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, but did gain Texas Tech graduate transfer Davis Webb, who threw for 5,557 yards with the Red Raiders.

      "The best thing about Davis is he has experience; he's played in big games and been successful," coach Sonny Dykes said."The thing that stands out probably more than anything about him is his work ethic. He's been very mature, very systematic in his approach. Reminds me of Jared that way."

      --Oregon receiver Devon Allen will represent the United States in the 110-meter hurdles in the Olympics. Said Ducks coach Mark Helfrich: "It's the biggest excuse to miss fall camp I've ever seen."

      --Helfrich on being picked third in the North: "No offense, but we don't really care about the media poll, nor have we ever."

      --Arizona has a two-year starting quarterback in junior Anu Solomon, but sophomore Brandon Dawkins opened coaches' eyes as an injury-replacement against Arizona State last season. Coach Rich Rodriguez said first-team reps could be 50-50 in fall camp.

      "We see it as we have two guys good enough to win with," Rodriguez said.

      "The competition is not because Anu Solomon has gotten worse. He's gotten better, but so has Brandon Dawkins. We may play both of them. I don't know. ... We have two guys we think can do everything we want in our offense."

      --Washington State receiver Gabe Marks, who teams with quarterback Luke Falk as one of the top pass-catch combinations in the country, was asked on the Pac-12 Networks about why he came back for his senior year.

      "I wasn't done with what I thought I needed to do," he said.

      "The NFL is going to be there. There is no need to rush into the hard life of the business when you can play college football with your friends. I think it's a very underrated thing, playing college football and how much you're going to miss it."

      --The career of Utah senior center Hiva Lutui, a returning starter, is over. He suffered a torn ACL at the end of spring camp and won't be able to play this season.

      --Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said the league regularly reaches out to DirectTV, but there is no news about a potential agreement. DirectTV has never carried the Pac-12 Networks, which is entering its fifth season. "We'll keep knocking on that door," Scott said.

      --Pac-12 Media Days conclude Friday with appearances from Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.

  • Pair of Razorbacks to transfer
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 14, 2016

    Safety Willie Sykes and wide receiver Eric Hawkins will transfer from Arkansas, coach coach Bret Bielema announced during SEC Media Days.

    • Sykes played in 12 games as a true freshman last season, seeing most of his playing time on special teams. He made nine tackles, and Bielema said he expects the Houston native to transfer closer to home.

      "I think there's some things he wants to be closer to home on. It was a mutually agreed upon issue. Issues," Bielema said. "Nothing bad. No failed things or anything that's forcing the situation other than looking for the best fit."

      While Sykes will have to sit out a year if he transfers to another FBS program, Hawkins is a graduate transfer who will be eligible to play immediately for any school. A track athlete with excellent speed, Hawkins has only three career receptions for 32 yards, all in 2013. He also has 18 kick returns for 386 yards.

      "Eric Hawkins has done everything right in our program," Bielema said, via WholeHogSports.com. "I just said, 'Hey, you can go somewhere and be the guy.' The schools he's talking to, he could really go there and do something special. ... And plus, run track. I think that's factoring into it a little bit."

  • Michigan State's Edmondson granted release, will transfer
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 14, 2016

    Jermaine Edmondson, the Michigan State cornerback who was allegedly punched in the face by Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green on Sunday, has been granted his release from the Spartans' program.

    • "In discussions with (Jermaine) following spring practice and in the weeks thereafter, it became clear that Jermaine wanted to play a larger role on the team," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio told ESPN.com.

      "After consulting with him in the summer, he felt it was in his best interest to finish his playing career elsewhere."

      In three seasons with the Spartans, the 22-year-old Edmondson had 38 tackles (22 solo, 16 assisted), three pass defenses and two fumble recoveries over 20 games.

      Green, a Michigan State alum, was arrested Sunday and charged with "simple assault" after the incident at Conrad's Grill in East Lansing, Mich. Green was released on $200 bond and his arraignment is scheduled for July 20.

      He faces up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine if convicted.

      Edmondson told police he encountered Green at another location two days earlier, and that the NBA star's associates choked him and his girlfriend.

      "I was talking to one of my teammates when Draymond bumped into me, and I said, 'Hey bro, can you at least say excuse me?'" Edmondson told the East Lansing Police Department.

      "I asked who he was to think that it's OK to bump into somebody without saying excuse me. He then said, 'I pay for (expletive) like you scholarships.' Then I started to say you have me messed up before I was choked out by two guys who were with him."

      Denver Broncos wide receiver Bennie Fowler, also a Michigan State alum, claims that Green did not punch Edmondson. Fowler and Green were eating together at the East Lansing establishment.

      Sources told ESPN website The Undefeated that Green did slap Edmondson, but he never punched him or caused other harm.

      Green, 26, is an All-Star forward who has played four NBA seasons -- all with Golden State. He has averaged 8.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in 321 games. Last season, he averaged career highs in points (14) and rebounds (9.5).