BYU in the BCS?

After BYU defeated Boise State last Friday night, there was some curiosity surrounding the Cougars' place in the postseason in regards to its BCS positioning in the system's final year.

It was believed by many that unless a bowl-eligible BYU team was in line for a shot at the BCS national championship, the team would be headed to the Fight Hunger Bowl, which brokered a contract with the school so it would have a postseason option if it was not eligible for college football's national championship game.

But because BYU still has high-profile games left against Wisconsin and Notre Dame, the two-loss Cougars still have a chance to impact the BCS race — and not just for the Badgers and Fighting Irish.

In light of the Cougars accepting their Fight Hunger Bowl bid, I reached out to a BYU administrator to see whether the Cougars were eligible for a potential BCS at-large berth outside of the national title game. And it was confirmed to me that BYU is eligible if the BCS wants to take the school as an at-large selection. If a BCS bowl opportunity were to happen for the Cougars, the agreement with the Fight Hunger Bowl indeed allows BYU to go to the BCS bowl.

How possible is this scenario?

Well, if Bronco Mendenhall's squad is able to beat Wisconsin and Notre Dame, it would be a very attractive candidate at 10-2 because of the school's strong fan base that travels well. If Northern Illinois and Fresno State falter, a 10-2 BYU team could find itself in the BCS at-large mix, possibly the Fiesta Bowl, which picks last in the selection process.

My latest bowl projections still have the Cougars facing Pac-12 representative Oregon State on December 27 in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco. But wins over the Badgers and Irish certainly could make things interesting for the school depending upon the fates of other high-profile teams the rest of the way.

Dave Miller, the college football editor and writer for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

Davin Joseph says he had staph infection, not MRSA

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard Davin Joseph denied a report stating he has MRSA, ackowledging that he did have a staph infection.

“I have never had MRSA, nor do I currently have MRSA,” Joseph told Pewter Report. “I just am ready to focus on football right now. I have had a staph infection in the past but it is nothing I am dealing with today.”

MRSA is a hot topic surrounding the Buccaneers considering that Lawrence Tynes, Carl Nicks and Johnthan Banks have all been stricken with MRSA this year.

Tynes filed a grievance against the Buccaneers and Nicks had surgery.

“It is something that obviously is very important to us,” Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said earlier this month. “The player and health safety of our players is again of the utmost importance. It is something we have worked very strenuously with, our training staff, our equipment staff our policies and procedures we have put in place, going all the way back to even before August, but certainly post August when we had the first case, first two cases. And we have continued to follow those policies and procedures and we are going to continue to find new policies that we are talking about even now to even further strengthen our situation.”

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

49ers cut Marlon Moore

The San Francisco 49ers have released wide receiver Marlon Moore.

It was likely that they did so to create a roster spot for wide receiver Mario Manningham, who's eligible to be activated from the physically unable to perform list.

Manningham injured his knee last season against the Seattle Seahawks.

Moore caught one pass in six games this season.

The 49ers are on a bye and don't play again until Nov. 10 against the Carolina Panthers.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

Raiders re-sign Brian Sanford

The Oakland Raiders re-signed defensive lineman Brian Sanford.

They cut offensive tackle Jack Cornell this week and re-signed him to the practice squad.

Cornell didn't play in the Raiders' victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sanford has played in four games and was cut last week when Cornell was added to the active roster.

With Sanford back and Cornell no longer on the active roster, the Raiders are probably expecting to get back Tony Pashos or Menelik Watson for the Philadelphia Eagles game.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

Source: Jay Ratliff visited the Chiefs

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Jay Ratliff visited the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday, according to a league source.

The four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman was released by the Cowboys two weeks ago with the team citing a failed physical.

Ratliff was eligible to be activated from the reserve-physically unable to perform list, but hasn't played in a game since last November.

The Cowboys and Ratliff clashed about the extent of his injuries, which included a sports hernia that required surgery.

There was also a strained hamstring for the 32-year-old.

Last season, Ratliff reportedly had a heated exchange with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Ratliff was arrested on a driving while intoxicated charge in January.

Ratliff was playing under a five-year, $40 million contract extension with his release causing $6.9 million in dead money for 2014.

Now, the Chiefs and presumably other NFL teams are evaluating Ratliff.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

What should have been

The various trade rumors before the NFL trading deadline produced minimal player movement, which is usually the case. Only one deal was made: The Philadelphia Eagles traded defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga and a 2014 sixth round pick to the New England Patriots for a 2014 fifth round pick. Here are three trades that should have been made before the deadline.

Josh Gordon to the Detroit Lions for a 2014 second round pick and a conditional 2015 fourth round pick

The Lions got a glimpse of how much Calvin Johnson means to the offense when he missed Detroit’s Week 5 contest against the Green Bay Packers with a knee injury. The wide receivers only caught nine passes for 93 yards without Johnson commanding the opposing defense’s attention.

Josh GordonGordon could have provided a big boost to an already explosive Detroit offense.

Gordon would have been a great complement to Johnson. He has 32 receptions for 582 yards and three touchdowns in six games since serving a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The Lions got a first hand look at Gordon when he had seven catches for 126 yards against them in Week 6. A Gordon-Johnson combination would have instantly entered discussions of the NFL’s best wide receiver tandem. Although Gordon is a character risk who will serve a one-year suspension for his next drug policy violation, running back Willis McGahee thinks Gordon would benefit greatly from a veteran receiver as a mentor. Johnson and Nate Burleson could have served in that capacity.

Gordon is in the second year of a four-year deal that pays him $558,335 this year, $875,604 in 2014 and $1,118,406 in 2015. The 2012 second round pick could have easily fit under the salary cap since the Lions have $1.7 million of cap room.

With 11 picks in the 2014 draft after the trade, including two first round picks and two second round picks, the Cleveland Browns would have had plenty of ammunition to land a franchise quarterback, a wide receiver to offset the loss of Gordon and a couple of other impact players. They would only get the 2015 fourth round pick provided that Gordon wasn’t suspended again before the end of the 2014 season. (i.e.; was continuously on the roster, injured reserve, physically unable to perform list, etc. through the 2014 season).

Jairus Byrd to the Washington Redskins for a 2014 third round pick

A second day draft pick may have been more beneficial to the Buffalo Bills despite their preference of a young player for Byrd. Although draft choices are at a premium for the Redskins because the St. Louis Rams own their 2014 first round pick, Byrd would have addressed one of Washington’s biggest weaknesses. The play of the safeties has been a long standing issue for the Redskins.

Jairus ByrdByrd has appeared in just three games for the Bills this season, notching zero interceptions.

Byrd’s relationship with the Bills became acrimonious because of his $6.916 million franchise tag and the team’s refusal to sign him to a multi-year contract in line with the top of the safety market. Dashon Goldson’s five-year, $41.25 million contract ($22 million guaranteed and $26 million over the first three years) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the most recent salary benchmark. There has been some speculation that Byrd may have played through the Plantar fasciitis in his feet that caused him to miss Buffalo’s first five games if he had been given a long term deal.

The salary cap would have been an obstacle to overcome in order to make the trade possible. It would have been necessary for the Redskins to restructure contracts to accommodate Byrd’s $3,661,141 salary for the remainder of the season since they are $1.7 million under the cap. The Redskins couldn’t have lowered his cap number through a long term deal. Byrd can’t sign a multi-year deal until the regular season ends (December 29) because franchise player rules prohibit such signings after July 15. Signing Byrd to the type of contract he has been seeking would not have been an issue for the Redskins in 2014. They should have over $15 million in cap room next year.

Fred Davis to the Green Bay Packers for a 2014 seventh round pick

Davis has dropped behind rookie Jordan Reed and Logan Paulsen on the Washington Redskins depth chart. He has been inactive for the last two games. There’s a good chance Davis will remain inactive for the foreseeable future since he doesn’t play special teams.

Davis was regarded as one of the NFL’s better pass catching tight ends when he tore his left Achilles tendon in the seventh game of the 2012 season. His 59 catches and 796 receiving yards in 12 games during a 2011 season cut short by a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy prompted the Redskins to use their 2012 franchise tag on him. Davis signed a one-year deal worth $3 million (including a $1.5 million signing bonus) to return to the Redskins this year.

Even though it is uncharacteristic for Packers general manager Ted Thompson to give up draft choices for veteran players, Davis could have helped fill the void Green Bay has at tight end with Jermichael Finley out indefinitely due to a bruised spinal cord. Davis might have been willing to waive his $500,000 bonus for 12 games on the 46-man active roster in order to facilitate the change in scenery.

Follow me on Twitter: @corryjoel

Joel Corry is a former sports agent who helped found Premier Sports & Entertainment, a sports management firm that represents professional athletes and coaches. Prior to his tenure at Premier, Joel worked for Management Plus Enterprises, which represented Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon and Ronnie Lott. You can email Joel at

Fred Davis admits falling asleep in meetings

Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis admitted to reporters today that he routinely falls asleep during team meetings.

“I've never slept through a whole meeting, but I've nodded off,'' Davis said. “I mean everyone nods off. It's dark in there. You nod off. You wake up, go get something to drink and go back. I've done that.''

And Davis, whose role has diminished to being deactivated for the past two games, had hoped to be traded.

“Definitely,” Davis said. “If I was on another team, you'd see what I can do.”

Davis has just three receptions for 25 yards this season with rookie Jordan Reed replacing him in the starting lineup.

“It's frustrating not to be out there because I know there are plays I could make,'' Davis said. “I just want to play. I like it here. I was drafted here. But at the same time, I want to play. If I can't play here, then, I'd rather play somewhere else.''

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan met with Davis today.

“I just shared some of my thoughts with Fred and let him know that I expected him to practice at a certain level and have his mind ready to play,'' Shanahan said. “We had a good conversation and he practiced well today.''

Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider

Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

An early glance at Week 10

Nine weeks of the 2013 college football season are in the books, and the path to the BCS national title game continues to get more narrow as unbeatens continue to falter.

Let's take a quick look at what could be in store for the best contests of Week 10.

Thursday, October 31

Rice at North Texas: The Owls are coming off of a 45-7 win over UTEP and remain tied with Tulane for first place in the Conference USA West at 4-0 in league play. The Owls have won five straight and are bowl eligible for the second consecutive season. Meanwhile, the Mean Green are in their first season in C-USA and are one game out of first place at 3-1 in the league after three straight victories. Rice is averaging 30.6 points per game behind dual-threat quarterback Taylor McHargue, who has struggled through the air but been effective with his legs leading the team's rushing attack. Defensively, Rice is holding opponents to just a 33 percent conversion rate on third downs. Meanwhile, North Texas is averaging 31.8 points per game behind quarterback Derek Thompson, whose 10 interceptions are second-most in C-USA. But the defense has forced 11 interceptions on the year.

Louisiana-Monroe at Troy: The Warhawks are on a two-game winning streak, and quarterback Kolton Browning threw a season-high four touchdowns in his return last week against Georgia State. Both the Warhawks and the Trojans have one loss in Sun Belt play and sit behind first-place Louisiana-Lafayette. I have both of these teams in the postseason in my latest 2013-14 bowl projections.

Arizona State at Washington State: The Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 South division, while the Cougars are looking to get one win closer to bowl eligibility after back-to-back blowout losses to Oregon State and Oregon. The Sun Devils recorded a 46-7 win over the Cougars last year, but this is an improved Wazzu team. Can Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday, who is on pace to set school single-season records in pass attempts and completions, play turnover-free in the face of what is expected to be a fierce Sun Devils pass rush?

Friday, November 1

Sean MannionUS PRESSWIRECan Sean Mannion and the Beavers bounce back from their loss to Stanford?

USC at Oregon State: The Trojans really gutted out a 19-3 victory last week over Utah despite being crippled by injuries. Ed Orgeron's team had only 58 healthy scholarship players in the win over the Utes, and they will still be beat up when they face a Beavers team that has won the last three meetings between the schools in Corvallis. The Beavers allowed eight sacks in their loss to Stanford, so the Trojans will look to put pressure on Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion, who was contained by the Cardinal defense last week.

Saturday, November 2

Wisconsin at Iowa: The Badgers are playing very good football and still could nab a BCS at-large berth even if they don't advance to the Big Ten title game. But how much running room will tailback Melvin Gordon, who leads the Big Ten with 1,012 rushing yards, find against the Hawkeyes' run defense led by linebacker James Morris?

Army at Air Force: The Falcons have dropped seven in a row following their season-opening win, while the Black Knights are looking to move a step closer toward securing a berth in the Poinsettia Bowl. The Knights are just 3-5, though, and this game counts in the team's quest for the annual Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.

Mississippi State at South Carolina: Dan Mullen has yet to break through with a standout win with the Bulldogs, but he'll have a chance to do so against a Gamecocks team that is still riding high after its incredible comeback win fueled by Connor Shaw last week at Missouri. But getting running back Mike Davis back to his dominant form is of the utmost importance for Steve Spurrier's squad after the SEC’s leading rusher fumbled twice in the first half last week against Mizzou. Mississippi State has been outscored 50-10 in the second halves of its last three games, so offensive consistency remains a priority.

Michigan at Michigan State: The Spartans' lone loss was at Notre Dame in a game they could have won, and their defense remains one of the best in the country, as the unit is allowing just 12.2 points per game. Pat Narduzzi's unit is also the only one in the FBS that has held every opponent to fewer than 100 rushing yards this season. For the Wolverines, establishing a sound ground attack will be of utmost importance, especially because quarterback Devin Gardner has struggled on the road this season. The Spartans will be looking for their fifth win in their last six games against the Wolverines, and they seem to be in good hands offensively now with quarterback Connor Cook, who is coming off of a strong month of action.

Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville): The annual World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (yes, I will still refer to this game as such) features two teams that have been decimated by injuries. The Gators have lost players such as quarterback Jeff Driskel and defensive tackle Dominique Easley, while Georgia running back Keith Marshall and receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin-Scott Wesley have been shelved for the season. The Gators have not been effective on offense, while the Bulldogs have had a porous defense throughout the fall. Still, both teams are not dead yet in the SEC East. If they win out and have Missouri trip up a few more times, the winner of this game could still get to Atlanta for the SEC title game. Crazy season.

Minnesota at Indiana: This is a huge swing game for the Hoosiers as they try to get to the postseason for the first time under Kevin Wilson. But IU will face a Gophers squad that just knocked off Nebraska for the first time since 1960 one week after beating Northwestern in Evanston. The Hoosiers may need to win this one to avoid being home for the holidays.

Northwestern at Nebraska: Can Bo Pelini stop the bleeding after an inexcusable loss to Minnesota? The Cornhuskers will be facing a Wildcats team that has not been the same since losing a heartbreaker to Ohio State under the lights at Ryan Field. But while Kain Colter and Venric Mark being banged-up has certainly affected the team's offense, there is enough depth on that side of the ball to play better than it has the last few weeks. Not turning the football over is a start.

Oklahoma State at Texas Tech: The Red Raiders showed against Oklahoma in Norman that they can compete with the Big 12's upper-echelon teams. While there's been a lot of talk about the work that Kliff Kingsbury has done with his two freshman quarterbacks, the team's 3-4 defense is very underrated. But the tough second-half schedule continues when the Cowboys come to town. However, how good is Mike Gundy's squad? The Pokes have yet to face any ranked teams this fall.

Miami (FL) at Florida State: While there's no question that Duke Johnson must be productive on the ground for the Hurricanes to have any chance of beating the Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium, the real X-Factor f
or Al Golden and Co. is the play of up-and-down quarterback Stephen Morris, who combined to throw just one touchdown against four interceptions in close wins over North Carolina and Wake Forest the last two games. Morris has underwhelmed this fall but is going to have to play like the potential NFL first-round draft pick that some scouts believed he could be, especially on third-down attempts. The athletic signal-caller is completing just 40.9 percent of his throws with six interceptions on third downs this year — numbers that will lead to plenty of three-and-outs against coordinator Jeremy Pruitt's tough FSU defense this Saturday. Is his right ankle injury more serious than he is letting on? Meanwhile, FSU quarterback Jameis Winston will look to continue his push for the Heisman Trophy.

Other games to monitor on Saturday

Virginia Tech at Boston College
West Virginia at TCU
San Jose State at UNLV
Auburn at Arkansas
Tennessee at Missouri
Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech
Boise State at Colorado State

Dave Miller, the college football editor and writer for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

Aldon Smith turns himself in on felony gun charges

San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith turned himself in on felony weapons charges and is now free on bail, according to NBC Bay Area.

He's due in court Nov. 12 for the gun charges with a Nov. 19 court date for misdemeanor driving under the influence and drug charges.

He's free on $75,000 bail.

Smith has been in a rehab facility for alcohol treatment.

Smith was charged with gun charges stemming from a June 2012 incident where he was stabbed and two other individuals were shot.

Although the 49ers have said Smith is making progress in dealing with his personal problems that have played out on a public stage, there's no timetable for when he might return to the football field.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

Report: Dolphins' Jonathan Martin getting treatment for emotional issues after cafeteria incident

Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin is getting treatment for emotional issues following an incident in the team cafeteria, according to FOX Sports.

Martin hasn't been with the team all week due to the situation, where being the victim of a prank from a teammate angered him enough to “smash his food tray on the ground.”

Martin is officially listed as doubtful with an illness on the Dolphins' injury report. Tyson Clabo will start in his place.

NFL Network reported that Martin is with his family since the incident and had an “emotional breakdown.”

Per the report, Martin sought treatment at a local hospital before leaving and is now with his family.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.