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Lovie Smith isn’t the only former Bucs coach to watch this week

Game-day guide: Plus a look at Penn State-Michigan and a game plan that’s crazy enough to (almost) work for the Vols this weekend.
Illinois head coach Lovie Smith watches as his team plays against Minnesota on Oct. 5 in Minneapolis. [BRUCE KLUCKHOHN  |  AP]
Illinois head coach Lovie Smith watches as his team plays against Minnesota on Oct. 5 in Minneapolis. [BRUCE KLUCKHOHN | AP]
Published Oct. 18

Three former Bucs coaches to watch

Lovie Smith, Illinois: He has to be very disappointed in a four-game losing streak that should extend to five, with No. 6 Wisconsin coming. A coaching change seems more likely than a bowl game.

P.J. Fleck, Minnesota: With lowly Rutgers next, the former Bucs receivers coach has the No. 20 Golden Gophers ready to jump to 7-0 for the first time since 1960.

Marcus Arroyo, Oregon: The former Bucs play-caller and current Ducks offensive coordinator is a potential head coaching candidate this cycle with a tough matchup at Washington this week.

RELATED: College football midseason review: The good, the bad and the ugly

GameDay breakdown

Expect an ol’ fashioned Big Ten slugfest when No. 7 Penn State hosts No. 16 Michigan. Both defenses rank in the top 15 nationally in scoring and yards per play allowed. Penn State is in the top three in sacks and tackles for a loss, while Michigan has 25 tackles for a loss in the last two games. The difference, then, could be one or two explosive plays, where the edge goes to Penn State.


“You know, there’s a high school team over in Arkansas. They always onside kick. They never punt. … So we’ve really kind of considered that as our game plan — just don’t give them the ball.” — Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt on his plan to beat No. 1 Alabama. He was joking (I think?), but he should try it. What does he have to lose?

RELATED: Comparing Tennessee football to the Titanic isn’t fair. To the ship.

By the numbers: Week 8

Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun (56) returns an interception for a touchdown against Michigan State on Oct. 12. [ANDY MANIS | AP]

29 Points Wisconsin’s defense has allowed

30 Points Wisconsin’s defense is responsible for (four touchdowns and a safety)

352 Passing yards last week in the first Division I-A start by Nevada quarterback Malik Henry, an FSU transfer. He’s expected to start again this week at Utah State

3,243 Total yards by Wake Forest through six games (No. 5 nationally)

2,595 Total yards by Wake Forest in all of 2014, Dave Clawson’s first year as coach

38-11 UCF’s conference record at Spectrum Stadium. Expect it to improve to 39-11 when the Knights host East Carolina, which is worse than its 3-3 record suggests

125 Consecutive games with at least 10 points for Arizona State. That’s the longest active I-A streak and tied with Louisiana Tech (2008-18) for the longest streak in the modern era

1 Big 12 program West Virginia hasn’t beaten since joining the league: Oklahoma, this week’s foe

RELATED: Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs still on SEC East collision course, even after first losses


  1. Running back DeeJay Dallas (13) and Miami will spend bowl season in Shreveport, La., for the Independence Bowl. [MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP]
    Starting Dec. 20, there is almost a full month of couch potato fun ahead if you love college football.
  2. Florida coach Dan Mullen has led the Gators to consecutive New Year's Six bowl appearances. [JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP]
    This will be UF’s first Orange appearance since Steve Spurrier’s final game
  3. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron celebrates after the Southeastern Conference championship against Georgia on in Atlanta. LSU won 37-10. [JOHN AMIS  |  AP]
    LSU slides up to No. 1 in the final rankings of the season.
  4. Florida guard Ques Glover tries to drive on Butler forward Bryce Golden during the first half in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. [MICHAEL CONROY  |  AP]
    UF sees its four-game winning streak come to an end on the road.
  5. Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin celebrates his team's final touchdown in its victory over UAB in the Conference USA championship game on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Boca Raton. [MIKE STOCKER  |  AP]
    After leading the Owls to victory in the Conference USA title game on Saturday, the coach announces he’s leaving for the Rebels.
  6. Florida Gators defensive back CJ Henderson wags his finger after breaking up a pass during a game against Miami in August at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Henderson is forgoing his senior season, entering the NFL draft and skipping the team’s bowl game. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Henderson’s elite speed could help his draft stock. His interview skills could be another story.
  7. In this 2007 file photo, coach Billy Donovan cuts down the net after Florida defeated South Carolina to win at least a share of the SEC regular-season championship. [BRIAN CASSELLA  |  St. Petersburg Times]
    The formal introduction will take place on Feb. 15.
  8. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and the Tigers face Georgia in the SEC Championship game at 4 p.m. Saturday in Atlanta. [MATTHEW HINTON  |  AP]
    Here are our picks for this week’s conference championships.
  9. Florida's Kerry Blackshear drives on Xavier's Jason Carter during the second half of the Charleston Classic title game on Nov. 24, 2019, in Charleston, S.C. [MIC SMITH  |  AP]
    UF goes on the road Saturday in hopes of extending its four-game winning streak, but it faces a tough test in Indianapolis.
  10. Memphis head coach Mike Norvell runs onto the field during the first half of an NCAA college football game against USF on Nov. 23. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    Mike Norvell and Jim McElwain are coaches to watch this weekend. And who should the Florida Gators want to win?