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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: That's a Wrap

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Despite the end of the season, there is still an abundance of issues to cover: coaching carousel, recruiting, NFL Draft, rules change...

That about sums it up.
That about sums it up.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State's win over Oregon in JerryWorld brings us to the official end of the 2014-15 College Football season. Despite the horrible ending, it has been another fun and crazy ride. I can't wait for spring camp.

Final Poll Rankings:

1. Ohio State (59) 14-1
2. Oregon 13-2
3. TCU 12-1
4. Alabama 12-2
5. Michigan State 11-2
5. Florida State 13-1
7. Baylor 11-2
8. Georgia Tech 11-3
9. Georgia 10-3
10. UCLA 10-3
11. Mississippi State 10-3
12. Arizona State 10-3
13. Wisconsin 11-3
14. Missouri 11-3
15. Clemson 10-3
16. Boise State 12-2
17. Ole Miss 9-4
18. Kansas State 9-4
19. Arizona 10-4
20. USC 9-4
21. Utah 9-4
22. Auburn 8-5
23. Marshall 13-1
24. Louisville 9-4
25. Memphis 10-3  - HUH? I am pretty sure Arkansas or Tennessee could've gone 10-3 with this schedule.

NFL.com

2015 NFL Draft

  • January 15, 2015 is the deadline for college underclassmen to declare NFL draft. In one of the most unexpected turns of the season, Buckeyes redshirt sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones might actually declare after starting a grand total of three college games in his career. I couldn't blame him if he did. Might as well strike while the iron is hot (and before everyone figures out your flaws). Some talking heads have been comparing him to the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger. I could imagine a team with an aging QB (Saints? Cowboys? Pats?) taking a chance on him as high as round four and bring him along.
  • Braxton Miller also has a big decision to make. Does he turn pro, transfer, or return to Ohio State and risk getting beat out by Jones or J.T. Barrett?
  • Mississippi State took another hit when linebacker Benardrick McKinney announced his intention to enter the draft. Junior running back Josh Robinson has also declared. In addition to these two, the Bulldogs will be losing 12 senior starters. Dak Prescott, has yet to decide.
  • Add defensive tackle Eddie Goldman to the list of underclassmen Seminoles hightailing it out of Tallahassee. That brings their total to five.
  • Penn State is losing three juniors: Donovan Smith, Jesse James, and Deion Barnes. None of them are first or second round picks and likely third day picks if at all.
  • As you have likely heard, Alabama's Amari Cooper, T.J. Yeldon, and Landon Collins are all turning pro. The good news for Tide fans is that no other Alabama players have announced as of post time.
  • So far, 69 underclassmen have declared for the 2015 NFL draft. A record 102 players with eligibility remaining entered the draft a year ago.

HELP WANTED

Coaching Carousel

  • LSU has hired Alabama linebackers coach Kevin Steele as the new defensive coordinator.  He replaces John Chavis who left for the same job at Texas A&M. LSU contacted longtime Alabama DC Kirby Smart before hiring Steele. [UPDATE: Lance Thompson has taken a job with Auburn as linebackers coach]
  • In an odd career move, Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney up and left Hogsville for the same job at Pitt. He has no ties to the region or to new Panthers Head coach Pat Narduzzi. Chaney made $550K at Arkansas. Pitt is a private school and does not disclose salaries.
  • Former Michigan great and Buffalo Bills running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley Sr. is the new running backs coach at Michigan. Could this affect the recruitment of his son, 4-star TE/DE Tyrone Wheatley Jr.?
  • Oklahoma has hired East Carolina offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley for the same position in Norman. The Pirates led the AAC this season in total yards per game (533.0, fifth in the nation), yards per play (6.48, 22nd nationally) and third-down conversion rate (47.4%, 18th).

Extra Points

  • According to the Detroit Free Press, former head coach Brady Hoke is owed $3 million total in monthly payments through the end of his contract (December 2016) until he finds another job. Backside, meet sofa.
  • The Oregon-Ohio State game pulled in an 18.5 overnight TV rating, the highest in ESPN history. But before them Yankees up north beat their chests too much, know that many of the eyeballs came from south of the Mason Dixon Line. "The top 10 metered markets (in addition to those of the competing teams) are the following: Columbus, Dayton (43.8), Cleveland (41.3), Portland, Birmingham (36.1), Cincinnati (26.5), Jacksonville (25.7), Knoxville (25.5), Greenville (24.1) and Atlanta (23.0)." Birmingham actually did better than Cincinnati! OHIO! We love us some college football down here in the South.
  • According to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy 24 schools (6 in the SEC) have expressed interested in Notre Dame QB Everett Golson, if he decides to transfer. I can't imagine who the six would be. LSU, Vandy, um... maybe Georgia, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Auburn?
  • It is amazing how so many in society forget events so quickly. First the NCAA gives Penn State back their bowl eligibility and now Dan Patrick suggests on his radio show that the NCAA should give Joe Paterno’s victories back. No, no, and no. If you need a reminder, Paterno allowed a sexual predator to prey on boys right under his nose for years and did nothing about it. NO! If this happens, then Alabama should get their wins back for that silly ruling on free textbooks and a certain agent's cocktail napkin contract back in the 90s.
  • When Nick Saban talks, people listen. An early signing period for college football is a few more steps closer to a reality than it has ever been before. Mid-December might be the target date.
  • Off subject 1: For you fans of Birmingham soul band St. Paul and The Broken Bones, they recently tore it up on Letterman.
  • Off subject 2: Tuscaloosa native and Crimson Tide fan Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) will face WBC heavyweight champ Bermane Stiverne on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight will be televised on Showtime at 9pm CT.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, your 2014 Fulmer Cup Champs are... the Cal Poly Mustangs? The FCS dominated the competition this year.
Rank Pts University Conf.
1 77 Cal Poly Mustangs Big Sky
2 57 William & Mary Tribe CAA
3 46 Texas A&M Aggies SEC
4 32 Maine Bears CAA
5 30 Old Dominion Monarchs C-USA
6 29 Oklahoma State Cowboys Big XII
7 20 Georgia Bulldogs SEC
8-t. 19 Washington State Cougars Pac 12
8-t. 19 Ole Miss Rebels SEC
10 17 Texas Longhorns Big XII

ndsu-bison-logo

The North Dakota State Bison (15-1) held off the Illinois State Redbirds (13-2) for their fourth straight FCS Championship 29-27. The Bison had a 20-7 lead in the third quarter before the Redbirds stormed back to make it a game. At the 1:38 mark of the fourth quarter, Illinois State took a 27-23 lead. On the ensuing drive, NDSU drove 78 yards on 6 plays with the winning score coming with 37 ticks left on the clock.

Consider for a moment what this senior Bison class has achieved under two different head coaches:

  • 4 Consecutive National Championships (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) FCS/I-AA Record.
  • A four year record of 58-3. More championships (4) than losses (3).
  • From 2012-2014, they had a 33 consecutive wins  (third longest in past 50 years of NCAA Division I football.)
  • 22 Consecutive Road Wins (2012-2014)
  • 64 Consecutive Games without being shut out (2010-Present)
  • 5 straight wins against FBS competition: Kansas in 2010, Minnesota in 2011, Colorado State in 2012, Kansas State in 2013, Iowa State in 2014.

Black and White TV

Get your last college football fix for awhile with a pair of all-star games. The Senior Bowl is clearly the better of the two.

Sat. Jan. 17, 3pm CT / 4pm ET
East-West Shrine Game from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL.
TV: NFL Network
Alabama players participating: None but tight end Wes Saxton of South Alabama will be there. Also look out for safety Damian Parms of FAU! (I just wanted an excuse to type FAU!)

Sat. Jan. 24, 3pm CT / 4pm ET
Senior Bowl from historic Ladd–Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.
TV: NFL Network
Alabama players participating: Austin Shepherd, Blake Sims, Jalston Fowler.

* Three weeks until National Signing Day #NSD2015

ROLL TIDE!