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Friday, July 20, 2018

College Football

USC WR arrested for domestic violence for second time in five months

USC Trojans

Joseph Lewis was one of the highest-rated wide receiver recruits in the country when he joined USC last year, but his career is in danger of falling apart before it ever got started now that he has once again been arrested for domestic violence.

According to a report from TMZ, Lewis was taken into custody on Wednesday night following a physical altercation with a woman. The victim reportedly fled the home where the incident took place and called police, and police came to the house and arrested Lewis. The 18-year-old’s bail has been set at $100,000.

To make matters worse, Lewis was suspended from all football activities back in February following a separate domestic violence incident. He ultimately pled no contest and was given 36 months probation, so he could be in serious legal trouble if found guilty this time. Given the statement USC issued after the first arrest, it would not be a surprise if Lewis is dismissed from the team.

Lewis, the No. 31 overall recruit in his 2016 high school class, caught just four passes for 39 yards with the Trojans last season. He was expected to take on a much bigger role as a sophomore.

Missouri QB questions Tom Herman’s maturity over 2017 incident

Tom Herman

Missouri quarterback Drew Lock appeared to question the maturity of Texas coach Tom Herman over a 2017 incident involving them.

During last year’s bowl game between the teams, Herman was seen on camera mocking Lock’s touchdown celebration. Lock pretends to put on a backpack as his celebration, which is his way of “securing the bag.” Herman mocked it while his Longhorns were up late in the game.

Lock was asked about the incident during SEC media days on Wednesday. He mostly deflected, but he did ask how old Herman is, which seemed to be a way of hinting that the coach was immature.

“If a head coach- does anyone know how old he is? I don’t know — a head coach at the University of Texas, which is one of the top five programs of all time, is mocking a dance I do after I throw a touchdown, I think I’m playing some pretty good quarterback right there at that time,” Lock said, via the Dallas Morning News.

Lock also made it clear that he did not initiate any trash talk with Texas in the game.

Given some of the things we’ve heard Herman say about his players in the past, it’s not surprising to see him openly mocking a college student on the field.

Prominent college football coach makes wild claims about future of sport

North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora certainly made some bold comments on the state of the sport on Wednesday.

Speaking at the ACC’s media day, Fedora bemoaned the fact that football is “under attack,” worried that its decline would ruin the country, and cast doubt on links between the sport and CTE in a series of rather bizarre comments.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s start with the bizarre link between football and the military, which seems to come out of nowhere and does not make a lot of sense. The argument that football is so intertwined with both the military and the fate of the country seems like a desperate attempt to cling to its cultural importance to try to limit efforts to make it safer for people to play. It’s illogical, nonsensical, and done in bad faith.

Fedora’s dismissiveness of a link between football and CTE is distressingly common, despite huge amounts of evidence in favor of a strong link between the two. There is, after all, a reason that the NFL has allegedly tried to influence reporting on this link.

We get it. Fedora loves football and, deep down, fears for the future of the sport as it’s played right now as the evidence of its safety issues continues to pile up. Instead of trying to work to find solutions to make the game safer for those who play it while trying to preserve what it is that he feels makes it great, but he instead decided to make bizarre claims about its impact on the nation’s future while trying to cast doubt on the science behind player safety. It’s patently ridiculous.

Barry Sanders statue at Oklahoma State is ‘in the works’

Before he became a legend with the Detroit Lions, Barry Sanders was one of the greatest college football players the sport had ever seen. Oklahoma State takes great pride in the success he had with the school in the late-1980s, and the Cowboys are planning to showcase that in a big way.

While speaking with reporters at Big 12 Media Days on Tuesday, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy revealed that the university is planning to dedicate a statue to Sanders in the near future.

“It’s in the works right now,” Gundy said, per Nathan Ruiz of The Oklahoman. “I don’t think it’ll be much longer and we’ll have a statue of Barry up.”

Sanders rushed for 2,628 yards in 1988, and that remains the NCAA Division I FBS record for most rushing yards in a season. Sanders actually rushed for 2,850 yards that year, but his 222 yards and five touchdowns in the Holiday Bowl were not counted toward his season-long stats. The NCAA did not begin including bowl game statistics until 2002. In total, Sanders scored an incredible 42 touchdowns in 1988.

Despite the incredible amount of success he had at Oklahoma State, Gundy feels there is not enough awareness of his achievements from incoming players. He wants to see that change with a statue and some other ides, one of which is a ring of honor at Boone Pickens Stadium.

“There’s been a lot of players at Oklahoma State that have been very, very successful that we know because we’ve been around it 10, 15, 20 years,” Gundy said. “But the young men we’re recruiting don’t have a clue. They only know who’s played the last couple years. That’s why it’s important in my opinion.”

Gundy has had some issues with the higher ups at Oklahoma State in recent years, but there’s no reason to believe he’ll get any pushback on wanting to honor Sanders. If anyone deserves a statue, it’s Barry.

Mike Gundy thinks CFP is unfair to Group of 5 teams

Mike Gundy

Mike Gundy is standing up for the little guy because he does not think the College Football Playoff system is fair.

Gundy spoke at Big 12’s media day on Tuesday and said he prefers an 8-team playoff. He has a specific structure in mind that would give spots to the Power 5 conference champions, two at-large berths, and one spot to a Group of 5 team. He wants the Group of 5 to be represented to make things more “fair” to them.

From Boise State to Utah in the past and Houston and UCF recently, we’ve seen plenty of good teams from lesser conferences emerge. Would a team like UCF be able to beat an Alabama if a championship were at stake? That would be a difficult proposition, but as long as we’re doing a playoff system, it would only be fair to give teams like that a shot. We certainly know of another high-profile coach who agrees.

Dabo Swinney would love to see Kelly Bryant win starting job

Kelly Bryant

Clemson has an open competition for its starting quarterback position, which means last year’s starter Kelly Bryant has to earn the position. Apparently Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney would love to see that happen.

Swinney talked with The Post and Courier’s Grace Raynor Tuesday and said that he would love to see Bryant win the job.

Interpreting this quote as Swinney showing favoritism towards Bryant over the other quarterbacks probably is wrong. It seems more likely that Dabo is hoping to see Bryant play so well that he beats out the competition and is therefore playing at a level Clemson needs from its quarterback position in order to contend for a championship.

In order to win the starting job, Bryant will have to beat out highly-touted recruit Trevor Lawrence. Doing so would prove to be quite the accomplishment.

Last season Bryant threw for 2,802 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 665 yards and 11 TDs.

10 college football teams on the rise entering the 2018 season

Scott Frost Nebraska

College football’s landscape changes virtually every offseason between recruiting and the coaching carousel, and this one was no different. As such, there are a number of programs who haven’t been as successful as they’d have liked who are on the way up now.

Some of these squads put the building blocks in place last season and are looking to take another step forward in 2018. Others have made major coaching changes, and the new hires should propel them forward. Whatever the case, here’s a look at 10 college football teams who will begin the 2018 on the rise.

10) Florida Atlantic

The Owls began their rapid rise in 2017 when they brought Lane Kiffin in as their head coach. He promptly went 11-3 with a bowl win, setting Florida Atlantic up for another potential step forward in 2018. They have a legitimate star in running back Devin Singletary and an early test against Oklahoma. The Owls have real ambitions to at minimum challenge for the Group of 5’s New Year’s Six team.

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