Thanks to LB Azeez Al-Shaair (Hillsborough High) and DE Haiden Nagel (Sickles High), Florida Atlantic's defense should be the best unit on the field against Florida International on Saturday. The Panthers will need something beyond RB Alex Gardner (two 100-yard games) to win for the fifth time in 15 meetings against FAU. The game will also have a Plant City reunion between DE John Broome (FIU) and LB Cory Cotnoir (FAU). ...
While both No. 3 Louisville and No. 5 Clemson have deep rosters and strong defenses, the pivotal ACC Atlantic showdown should be a duel between two of the nation's top quarterbacks:
Louisville sophomore Lamar Jackson
6-3, 205 pounds
Passing: 74-126; 1,330 yards; 13 TDs; 3 INTs; 176.7 rating
Rushing: 61 attempts; 526 yards; 12 TDs
Clemson junior Deshaun Watson...
LSU (Ed Orgeron) and Florida International (former USF assistant Ron Cooper) will lead their teams as interim coaches after the schools fired Les Miles and Ron Turner, respectively. Interim coaches' records last year suggest expectations shouldn't be too high, beginning Saturday against Missouri and Florida Atlantic:
Miami: 4-3 before firing Al Golden, 4-2 after
Maryland: 2-4 before firing Randy Edsall, 1-5 after...
Coach Jim McElwain said No. 23 Florida better get used to playing noon games after the loss at Tennessee. Early kickoffs have not been kind recently to Gators, heading into Saturday's game at Vanderbilt:
2014 at Tennessee: Needed late field goal for 10-9 comeback win
2014 vs. South Carolina: 23-20 overtime loss got Will Muschamp fired
2014 vs. East Carolina: Late interception in the end zone sealed 28-20 win in Birmingham Bowl...
Lamest time window: 12-3:30. Good but not great games, so you might want to enjoy some time outside instead.
Noon: No. 22 Texas-Oklahoma State will have a ton of points, but we'll see if No. 14 Miami is legit when it plays at Georgia Tech.
3:30: Take your pick between No. 8 Wisconsin at No. 4 Michigan or No. 11 Tennessee at No. 25 Georgia. We'll find out if the Badgers and Vols fall back to earth....
5. Washington QB Jake Browning: Enters tonight's huge game against Stanford ranked in the top five nationally in passer rating and touchdowns.
4. Michigan LB/DB Jabrill Peppers: Last week's five tackles aren't gaudy, but a 53-yard punt return showed off his versatility.
3. Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett: Should slice through Rutgers this week to pad a 184.38 passer rating that ranks fifth nationally....
Each week Times staff writers Matt Baker and Joey Knight will handicap what the field might look like for the national championship game on Jan. 9. Don't like their picks? Give us yours.
1. Alabama. Got a feeling the Crimson Tide will be in my final four next week, too, with lowly Kentucky up this week.
2. Louisville. If the Cardinals top Clemson this week, they'll leapfrog the Tide for No. 1....
The worst kept secret in college football is officially official.
The ACC title game is moving from Charlotte to Orlando, the league announced Wednesday morning.
The game will be on Saturday, Dec. 3 at either 7:45 or 8 p.m., on ESPN or ABC at Camping World Stadium - the same stadium where Florida State opened its season. FSU remains in the mix to challenge for another trip to Orlando, while Miami looks like the frontrunner in the Coastal Division....
We have the greatest college football video previews. Everyone agrees that our videos are the greatest -- just the greatest. Even with the input of Joey Knight, who continues to struggle with his predictions. Sad!
You can see where this is going...so check out our weekly Spanning the State video. Joey and I preview two key ACC showdowns (Florida State-UNC, Miami-Georgia Tech), talk about USF's conference opener and whether Florida can bounce back against Vanderbilt, despite an early kickoff. ...
GAINESVILLE — The sting of Florida's collapse last week at Tennessee was obvious immediately. Coach Jim McElwain said the pain he saw in his team afterward was stronger than what he observed during last season's four losses.
The disappointment of ending an 11-game winning streak against the Volunteers carried into this week.
"I think the big thing moving forward is, what can we learn from it? And how long are we going to let it affect us?" McElwain said....
"I love this university. I plan on being here for a long time. I love Florida State. That's all I'm saying."
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher on speculation that he could replace the recently fired Les Miles at LSU, where Fisher was an assistant
"This week we play I would say the most talented overall team in our conference with athletes. It's typical from a Florida school."...
Two quick Florida Gators updates from coach Jim McElwain's portion of the SEC teleconference:
1. UF held quarterback Luke Del Rio out of practice again yesterday as he recovers from a left knee injury. McElwain said Monday that Del Rio would likely return to practice Tuesday, but obviously that didn't happen. Del Rio should be a limited participant today, McElwain said, throwing some routes on air and participating in one or two periods of team drills. Austin Appleby is still expected to start Saturday against Vanderbilt....
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher didn't say much about LSU rumors during Monday's news conference. He came out much stronger Wednesday when he was asked about speculation that he could replace the recently fired Les Miles.
"I love this university," Fisher said on the ACC coaches' teleconference. "I plan on being here for a long time. I love Florida State. That's all I'm saying."
Fisher's self-imposed policy is to decline to talk about other jobs. A few other coaches have been asked about the LSU opening this week and made similar strong denials, including Louisville's Bobby Petrino and Stanford's David Shaw. ...
I'm not expecting any news on the LSU coaching search anytime soon...which only means there will be more speculation about who will replace Les Miles.
Like this bit of information from Bovada.
The online sports betting site posted odds for the next LSU coach, and you'll see some familiar names. I'm posting this for entertainment purposes only - if you want to actually bet on college football coaching searches, you might have a problem....
GAINESVILLE — As Florida searched for its next athletic director, other candidates may have been turned off by the giant shadow cast by the soon-to-be-retired Jeremy Foley.
Not Scott Stricklin.
"Going through this process, the thing that kind of just kept pushing me forward was, this is the University of Florida," Stricklin said Tuesday after being introduced as the Gators' new AD. "There's not very many opportunities in my profession to have the platform we have here, to have the voice on a national level we have here in the SEC and just be a part of a great challenge: How do you take something that's really good and try to keep it moving forward?"...