2017 Senior Bowl Standouts – Defense

With the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl now officially in the books that puts an end to the college all-star game portion of the pre-draft process. Having scouted both the North and South team’s practices throughout the week, and graded the game film from Saturday here are the players who stood out the most down in Mobile.
1. Haason Reddick – LB – Temple, as an undersized defensive end Reddick was very productive for the Owls football program. However, in the NFL Reddick is looking at a position switch to either inside or outside linebacker, and the Senior Bowl would be his first time playing these new positions in front out coaches and scouts. Reddick did not disappoint as he was all over the field whether he was lined up as in inside Will-backer in a 3-4 or even further outside as a weak-side LB in a four-man front. Reddick demonstrated an ability to quickly diagnose and locate while also displaying the ability to play off the LOS and in space. In coverage, he was able to quickly break on the ball and got his hands on a couple of pass deflections. While in run defense he was able to shed blockers, and wrap up the ball carrier. With his pass rush ability Reddick gives defensive coordinators the option of rushing him off the edge either by blitzing him or standing him up in a two-point stance. A tough and competitive athlete Reddick should be an instant contributor on special teams as a rookie while he continues his transition to linebacker.
2. Obi Melifonwu – S – UCONN, Melifonwu catches your eye with his size, and length for a defensive back, but what really impressed many was his ability to move and redirect without slowing down while in coverage or planting and attacking downhill in run support. For a safety, his size Melifonwu appears to have the foot quickness and agility to cover tight ends in the slot or taller receivers on the outside (especially in red zone situations). With rumors circulating that Melifonwu expects to run the forty in the high 4.4’s at the combine next month the intrigue surrounding Melifonwu might just be starting to ratchet up.
3. Alex Anzalone – LB – Florida, A highly-touted recruit out of high school Anzalone was one of the better linebackers down in Mobile this week. He was consistently around the football as he displayed good instincts to quickly diagnose and locate the ball. He was solid in his run fits coming downhill and filling the hole with authority. He also possesses good speed and burst able to quickly close in on the ball carrier. Coaches lined him up both inside as well as on the outside demonstrating some of his scheme versatility. The biggest concern surrounding Anzalone revolve around his health. Injuries have taken a big chunk of his playing time away the last couple of seasons, missing four games last season with a broken arm, and 12 games the previous year with a shoulder injury. If he can stay on the field, he looks like he has the skillset to develop into a four-down LB.
4. Tarell Basham – Edge – Ohio, Basham, the 2016 MAC Defensive Player of the Year, showed good quickness off the snap able to engage and get into the offensive lineman instantly. He displayed strong hands as he would knock back lineman when he planted them into their chests. He can convert speed to power and walk back the tackle into the quarterback’s lap. While he was solid with his run defense there were, times were, he gave up the edge and lost containment allowing the ball carrier to breakout for a long run. What teams will need to figure out is whether Basham will need to add more weight and play as a hand in the dirt defensive end or stand him up as an outside LB in a 3-4 defense.
5. Damontae Kazee – CB – San Diego State, Kazee was one of the more aggressive defensive backs in the one-on-one drills, and team sequences during the mid-week practices. He took it to every receiver he went up against being physical with jam at the line, and at the top of their stem as well as downfield. Kazee has very quick feet which allows him to mirror a receiver downfield, while also allowing him to plant and drive forward in his transition. Kazee was able to get his hands on the ball, displaying good awareness and ball skills something he also demonstrated in college where he ended up with 17 career interceptions and 29 passes defensed. With his agility, closing burst, and toughness Kazee projects best inside as a slot corner/nickel back. Throughout the week Kazee displayed good competitiveness and toughness that caught the attention of not only the receivers he was battling but also the scouts and coaches in attendance.
Others who also flashed during the week on defense……Dalvin Tomlinson – DT – Alabama, Isaac Rochell – DE – Notre Dame, Stevie Tu’ikolovatu – DT – USC, Marquez White – CB – Florida State

2017 East West Shrine Game Standouts

This weekend marked the “unofficial” start of the 2017 pre-draft process as the 92nd annual East West Shrine game was played. While not the first college all-star game on the docket (College Gridiron Showcase in Dallas was) the East West Shrine is considered by many as the start of a long process that culminates with the 2017 NFL Draft in April.
Listed here are five players who stood out to me during this weekend’s game. Seeing that the game ended with a final score of 10-3 in favor of the West team, and that the games only TD was not scored until midway through the fourth quarter. It should be no surprise that defensive players from both rosters were the players that caught my attention.
Deatrich Wise Jr. – DE – Arkansas
Measuring in at 6’5” 275-pounds with 35-inch arms Wise offers both size and length at the defensive end position. He followed up a solid week of practices with a good performance in the game. Wise had 1 ½ sacks (one being a strip sack) in the game and made a few impressive plays defending the run.
He displayed the ability to stack and shed at the line of scrimmage and set the edge when defending the run. While also hustling to make tackles on the backside of the play as well as downfield.
While he may not develop into a double-digit sack pass rusher what Wise has is the size, length, and strength to become a base 4-3 end and a solid NFL defensive lineman.
DeAngelo Brown – DT – Louisville
Brown flashed early in the game when he stood up the opposing center and blew up a 4th and goal attempt for the West squad by tackling the RB for a loss. Brown is powerful and stout at the point of contact. He has heavy hands and when he gets leverage on an offensive lineman he is a load to block.
He had 13 tackles for loss last season for Louisville, 22 for his career, demonstrating his strength and ability to penetrate the offenses backfield.
While he won’t give you much in terms of a pass rush he looks to be a very good rotational defender who can line up at either the nose guard position in a 3-4, or as an interior run stuffing tackle in a four-man front.
Trey Hendrickson – DE – Florida Atlantic
Hendrickson was the talk of the week during the practice sessions down in Tampa leading up to the game. Then on Saturday Hendrickson, the 2016 conference CUSA DPOY, did not disappoint as he displayed good speed when he beat Texas A&M tackle Avery Gennesy off the snap with a speed rush, turning the edge to create a sack fumble. Later on in the game Hendrickson showed his competitive toughness by racing across the formation to track down the ball and make a backside tackle.
Although productive as a defensive end for Florid Atlantic (41 TFL & 29.5 sacks) look for Hendrickson to be converted to outside linebacker in the NFL and initially used as a rush specialist. At 255-pounds and below average arm-length it would be difficult for Hendrickson to hold up physically as a hand in the ground defensive end in the league.
Hendrickson made a name for himself this week, and if he was not on every NFL teams radar before the East West game he surely will be now.
Fabian Moreau – CB – UCLA
During the game Moreau displayed the skill set that has many projecting him as a complete corner. Moreau demonstrated cover skills as he mirrored receivers down field, followed by closing speed to aggressively attack anything thrown in front of him. He even made an impressive special team tackle in punt coverage as a gunner.
Moreau possesses good size and athleticism along with the aforementioned closing speed. He displays good awareness while in coverage downfield, and is willing to come downhill and support the run defense.
UCLA coaches rave about his football character and when coupled with his 6-foot frame along with 4.40 speed, and ball skills Moreau has a chance to be the first player from this year’s game to be drafted come April.
Bryan Cox Jr. – DE – Florida
The son of former NFL linebacker Bryan Cox Sr. showed the same hustle and effort you saw when scouting his game film. The average sized end did not produce eye popping stats while playing for the Gators but you always saw him hustling and playing to the whistle.
Similarly, Cox made a couple of downfield tackles and provide some pressure on the QB’s that allowed him flash. He was able to quickly locate and track down the football while also displaying some strength and the ability to set an edge when defending the run.
While he will need to continue to develop/refine his pass rush technique his non-stop motor, athleticism, along with his bloodlines will allow him an opportunity to make it in the NFL.

Mid-Summer 2016-17 Bowl Projections

With the Fourth of July holiday in the rear view mirror, a fresh college football season is on the horizon.
By the end of the shortened work week, we will be just seven Fridays away from the Hawaii-Cal season opener, and we are approaching a mere eight Saturdays away from the first weekend action of the new season.
So how will the 2016-17 postseason take shape?
Here are my very early projections of where your favorite program could land. As always, these predictions are subject to change and will look different than my post-spring Top 25, which was more of a power rankings than anything else. In addition, there is always more studying to do, so I’m likely to re-slot some teams before the season begins as I become more familiar with 2016 depth charts, quirks in the schedules, etc.
The College Football Playoff
Semifinal—Dec. 31 Peach (Atlanta): No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 TCU
Semifinal—Dec. 31 Fiesta (Glendale): No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Ohio State
Championship—Jan. 9 (Tampa): The winners of the two semifinals meet
The CFP Selection Committee New Year’s Six bowl games
Dec. 30 Orange (Miami): Clemson (ACC) vs. Notre Dame (Big Ten/SEC/Notre Dame)
Jan. 2 Rose (Pasadena): Michigan (Big Ten) vs. Stanford (Pac-12)
Jan. 2 Sugar (New Orleans): Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. LSU (SEC)
Jan. 2 Cotton (Arlington): Tennessee (At-Large) vs. Houston (At-Large)
The rest of the bowl slate
Dec. 17 Cure (Orlando): East Carolina (AAC) vs. Troy (Sun Belt)
Dec. 17 Las Vegas (Las Vegas): Boise State (MWC) vs. Utah (Pac-12)
Dec. 17 Camelia (Montgomery): NIU (MAC) vs. Appalachian State (Sun Belt)
Dec. 17 New Mexico (Albuquerque): Western Kentucky (C-USA) vs. New Mexico (MWC)
Dec. 17 New Orleans (New Orleans): Louisiana Tech (C-USA) vs. Georgia Southern (Sun Belt)
Dec. 19 Miami Beach (Miami): Memphis (AAC) vs. Central Michigan (MAC)
Dec. 20 Boca Raton (Boca Raton): Tulsa (AAC) vs. Marshall (C-USA)
Dec. 21 Poinsettia (San Diego): BYU (BYU) vs. Air Force (MWC)
Dec. 22 Potato (Boise): Ohio (MAC) vs. Colorado State (MWC)
Dec. 23 Bahamas (Nassau): UConn (AAC) vs. Toledo (MAC)
Dec. 23 Armed Forces (Fort Worth): Washington State* (Big 12) vs. Navy (Navy)
Dec. 23 GoDaddy (Mobile): Western Michigan (MAC) vs. Arkansas State (Sun Belt)
Dec. 24 Hawaii (Honolulu): FIU (C-USA) vs. Utah State (MWC)
Dec. 26 Quick Lane (Detroit): NC State (ACC) vs. Indiana (Big Ten)
Dec. 26 St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg): Georgia Tech (ACC) vs. Temple (AAC)
Dec. 26 Independence (Shreveport): Duke (ACC) vs. Mississippi State (SEC)
Dec. 27 Military (Annapolis): Syracuse (ACC) vs. Cincinnati (AAC)
Dec. 27 Holiday (San Diego): Michigan State (Big Ten) vs. Washington (Pac-12)
Dec. 27 Heart of Dallas (Dallas): Maryland (Big Ten) vs. Southern Miss (C-USA)
Dec. 27 Cactus (Tempe): Texas (Big 12) vs. Arizona (Pac-12)
Dec. 28 Texas (Houston): Baylor (Big 12) vs. Arkansas (SEC)
Dec. 28 Russell Athletic (Orlando): Miami, FL (ACC) vs. West Virginia (Big 12)
Dec. 28 Pinstripe (New York City): Pitt (ACC) vs. Northwestern (Big Ten)
Dec. 29 Birmingham (Birmingham): USF (AAC) vs. Missouri (SEC)
Dec. 29 Belk (Charlotte): North Carolina (ACC) vs. Auburn (SEC)
Dec. 29 Alamo (San Antonio): Oklahoma State (Big 12) vs. USC (Pac-12)
Dec. 30 Arizona (Tucson): San Diego State (MWC) vs. Georgia State (Sun Belt)
Dec. 30 Sun (El Paso): Virginia Tech (ACC) vs. Oregon (Pac-12)
Dec. 30 Liberty (Memphis): Texas Tech (Big 12) vs. South Carolina (SEC)
Dec. 30 Music City (Nashville): Penn State (ACC/Big Ten) vs. Texas A&M (SEC)
Dec. 31 TaxSlayer (Jacksonville): Louisville (ACC/Big Ten) vs. Georgia (SEC)
Dec. 31 Citrus (Orlando): Iowa (Big Ten/ACC) vs. Ole Miss (SEC)
Jan. 2 Outback (Tampa): Nebraska (Big Ten) vs. Florida (SEC)
TBD Foster Farms (Santa Clara): Wisconsin (Big Ten) vs. UCLA (Pac-12)
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

2016 Post-Spring Top 25

With the calendar flipping to May and spring practices completed for programs across the country, it’s time to take a look at the National Football Post’s post-spring Top 25.
1. Alabama: Nick Saban’s defending national champs aren’t going anywhere, as the reload continues in Tuscaloosa. Blake Barnett, Cooper Bateman, David Cornwell and Jalen Hurts will try to win the starting job under center, but it may not matter who is the starter because the Tide are loaded on defense.
2. Florida State: The biggest question for the Seminoles is whether Deondre Francois or Malik Henry can beat out senior Sean Maguire for the starting quarterback gig. We know that Dalvin Cook will remain a beastly and productive running back after setting the single-season school record with 1,691 rushing yards, but the ‘Noles need to be able to make big plays through the air. The defense will feature new starters, but safety Derwin James leads a talented unit.
3. LSU: It was ridiculous that Les Miles had to deal with the “hot seat” drama late last season, but that’s the world of big-time college football that we live in these days. The Tigers certainly enter the new season with high expectations, as a boatload of veteran talent returns. Leonard Fournette recorded a school-record 1,953 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns last year, but can Brandon Harris or Purdue transfer Danny Etling provide a steady force under center? I’m convinced that Harris is poised for a strong ’16 campaign.
4. Tennessee: Is this the year for the Vols? Butch Jones led his team to six straight victories to close out last season, and most of the main pieces are back from that squad, including linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin and cornerback Cameron Sutton on defense and quarterback Joshua Dobbs and running back Jalen Hurd on offense. The defense is deep and experienced, but can the offense be more explosive and pick up bigger chunks of yardage in bunches?
5. Baylor: Quarterbacks Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham return to an offense that should be stocked again with leading rusher Shock Linwood and a receiving corps that is still deep despite the losses of Corey Coleman and Jay Lee. The defense is undergoing a bit of a rebuild, but coordinator Phil Bennett’s unit should be steady enough to complement the explosive offense.
6. Clemson: The Tigers nearly captured the national title last season, and they’ll have a chance to win one this year behind stud quarterback Deshaun Watson, who could be the top overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. He’ll be surrounded by weapons such as running back Wayne Gallman and wide receiver Mike Williams, who was lost to a neck injury last season. We saw how good the Tigers were defensively last year despite losing a ton of talent to the NFL, but can that level of play be sustained after returning just four starters from the ’15 unit and losing cornerback Adrian Baker to a torn ACL in March? Three defensive backs left early for the draft, and pass rushers Kevin Dodd and Shaq Lawson also departed.
7. Michigan: Jim Harbaugh has put his stamp on the Wolverines faster than most had expected, so expectations are very high for the ’16 squad. Star defender Jabrill Peppers will be used as a hybrid linebacker by coordinator Don Brown, so his athleticism will be depended upon when facing teams with spread elements. Offensively, can former Houston signal-caller John O’Korn lead the unit as well as Jake Rudock did last season?
8. Notre Dame: Brian Kelly and his offensive staff must decide on a starting quarterback after junior Malik Zaire and sophomore DeShone Kizer both proved capable of carrying the load. Kizer was thrown into a difficult situation but managed to help the Irish to a 10-win season after Zaire was hurt early in the season at Virginia. The team certainly lost top-level talent in this past weekend’s NFL Draft, but the cupboard isn’t bare in South Bend.
9. Oklahoma: The Sooners made the College Football Playoff last season, but they didn’t have the Orange Bowl experience that many had expected. Baker Mayfield is back to run the offense, which should continue to be efficient under coordinator Lincoln Riley. Mayfield completed over 68 percent of his throws last season, while Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon combined to rush for over 2,500 yards. But can the defense replace the level of play that performers such as Zack Sanchez and Eric Striker provided? Tests against Houston and Ohio State will answer that question early in the season.
10. Stanford: The Cardinal reached their third Rose Bowl in four seasons in ’15, but longtime starting quarterback Kevin Hogan is gone. However, do-everything Christian McCaffrey, who notched 3,864 all-purpose yards last season, returns for another Heisman Trophy run. The question is whether Ryan Burns or Keller Chryst will be able to do enough through the air to complement McCaffrey’s game.
11. Ohio State: Urban Meyer seems to do his best work with young squads, and the ’16 version of the Buckeyes will indeed feature youth. The program lost 15 starters from last year’s one-loss team, but keep in mind the national championship team from two years ago was short on experience. It helps that this will be J.T. Barrett’s offense again.
12. Houston: Tom Herman put together a magical first season as a head coach, as the Cougars earned a berth to the Peach Bowl where they handled Florida State. Can Greg Ward Jr. (3,936 yards of total offense and 38 total touchdowns in ’15) and an opportunistic defense (35 takeaways last fall) actually compete for a College Football Playoff berth in ’16? The schedule may allow for it to happen, as UH opens against Oklahoma and hosts Louisville.
13. Georgia: Kirby Smart landed his dream job in Athens, and he inherits a team loaded with talent. When will true freshman quarterback Jacob Eason get his chance to run the offensive show? Greyson Lambert may get the call against North Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, but Eason will see the field very soon. Oh, and star running back Nick Chubb is expected to be at full strength after tearing knee ligaments last October.
14. Michigan State: The Spartans will be replacing Connor Cook at quarterback with either Tyler O’Connor or Damion Terry, and whoever wins the battle will be working behind a line that lost some key pieces. However, the backfield is deep, and the defense is filled with experience such as defensive end Malik McDowell, linebacker Riley Bullough and safety Demetrius Cox.
15. TCU: The Horned Frogs showed a lot of resiliency throughout last season, including in the team’s bowl game. Injuries decimated the squad, but Gary Patterson still notched 11 wins. Foster Sawyer and Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill are battling to replace prolific signal-caller Trevone Boykin, and a lot will be expected of the winner of that QB derby because the offense only returns three starters.
16. Ole Miss: The Rebels lost some top talent to the NFL, as head coach Hugh Freeze has to replace 12 starters from a team that helped the program to its first 10-win season in 13 years. Quarterback Chad Kelly is back after setting program records for total offense and total touchdowns, but he’ll need some help from the running back corps.
17. Louisville: Bobby Petrino brings back an electric quarterback and an experienced defense. There’s no question that Lamar Jackson needs to be more consistent and efficient through the air, as he completed just 54.7 percent of his passes and tossed eight interceptions last fall. However, the sophomore nearly ran for 1,000 yards and had 11 TDs on the ground. Can he consistently resemble the player we saw go off in the Music City Bowl? Former TCU linebacker Devonte Fields paces the defense and had 11 sacks and was a force against the run last fall.
18. Iowa: The Hawkeyes were a goal-line stand away from making the second College Football Playoff, but longtime head coach Kirk Ferentz was still able to lead the program to its first Rose Bowl in 25 years. Can the Hawkeyes prove that 2015 was not a fluke? They have a chance with quarterback C.J. Beathard, who proficiently led an offense that was more wide open in ’15.
19. USC: Clay Helton had the interim tag removed from his title, but can he navigate a tough schedule and the high-stakes pressure of being in the Los Angeles spotlight? The Trojans open up the season against defending national champion Alabama, and either junior Max Browne or redshirt freshman Sam Darnold will be under center. Offensive weapons abound, but can the defensive line hold up for an entire season?
20. Washington: The Huskies are a sleeping giant in the Pac-12 under Chris Petersen. The team closed ’15 strong, and the duo of quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin will pace the offense. How much time will junior cornerback Budda Baker see at wide receiver? The defense returns a lot of key players from a unit that led the Pac-12 in scoring defense and total defense.
21. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys bring back a lot of experience from a team that won 10 games in ’15, although the Pokes did drop their final three contests of the season. Better offensive line play is needed, as OSU ranked 113th in the FBS in rushing yards per game and allowed 32 sacks. Road trips to Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma loom.
22. Florida: Jim McElwain claimed an SEC East title in his first season in Gainesville, and he’ll need to find a quarterback if the Gators want to repeat and put up a better fight than they did in their showcase games to close the ’15 campaign. Luke Del Rio is the favorite to start at quarterback, and plenty of talent remains on defense.
23. Boise State: Bryan Harsin has taken over play-calling duties on offense after coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz left for NC State, while linebackers coach Andy Avalos was promoted to defensive coordinator to replace Marcel Yates, who left for Arizona. Quarterback Brett Rypien passed for 3,353 yards with 20 touchdowns as a freshman, while running back Jeremy McNichols grounded out 1,337 rushing yards and 20 scores.
24. North Carolina: The Tar Heels advanced to the ACC title game and gave Clemson fits before ultimately falling short. Still, Larry Fedora led the program to its first 11-win season since 1997. UNC made a dramatic improvement on defense last year, so a similar effort will be needed along with stability at quarterback with Mitch Trubisky, who is replacing the prolific Marquise Williams.
25. Miami (FL): New head coach Mark Richt inherits Brad Kaaya, who is one of the best quarterbacks in the country and has logged consecutive 3,000-yard passing seasons. We don’t know what the future holds for running back Mark Walton (DUI charge), who had a team-high nine touchdowns last season. But Joseph Yearby ran for 1,002 yards in 2015.
Under consideration:
Washington State
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

Michigan lands pledge from Heisman finalist's brother

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff are not letting up on the recruiting trail.
Just under two weeks after the Wolverines put together a Top-5 recruiting class for the 2016 cycle, the program landed a commitment Monday night from blue-chip quarterback Dylan McCaffrey, who is the younger brother of Stanford’s Heisman Trophy finalist Christian McCaffrey.
The 6-5, 200-pound Class of 2017 Colorado product tossed 27 touchdowns against just four interceptions in 2015 while leading Valor Christian High School to the Colorado Class 5A football championship. He also ran for 592 yards and 13 more scores.
McCaffrey is considered the nation’s No. 2 pro-style quarterback in 2017, according to the 247Sports Composite.
Michigan brought in signal-caller Brandon Peters this past National Signing Day, so McCaffrey certainly is not shying away from future stout competition. The son of former Denver Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey becomes the fifth player in the Wolverines’ 2017 class, joining running back Kurt Taylor, tight end Carter Dunaway, offensive tackle Ja’Raymond Hall and cornerback Benjamin St-Juste.
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

Miami (FL) fires Golden

Miami (FL) fired head coach Al Golden following the program’s biggest loss in its history.
Hurricanes athletic director Blake James made the announcement Sunday evening. Tight ends coach/run game coordinator Larry Scott will be the team’s interim head coach.
“Coach Golden has led our program through some very difficult times and he has done so with class, integrity and a true desire to see our students succeed on the field, in the classroom and in the community,” James said in a release. “However, we have a proud tradition of excellence at Miami, not just in football but in all sports, and we want to compete for ACC and national championships. I simply believe that now is the time to bring the Hurricane Family together and rally behind our young men.”
Golden, who never was able to defeat Florida State as Miami head coach, finished his ‘Canes career with a 32-25 mark (17-18 in the ACC) over four-plus seasons in Coral Gables. The final nail in the coffin was a 58-0 home loss Saturday to Clemson, which dropped the ‘Canes to 4-3 on the season.
“On behalf of my family I want to thank the University of Miami for a tremendous opportunity,” Golden said in a release. “I believe in what we are doing and how we are doing it and we have some outstanding young men in our football program. Though this moment is difficult, we wish the Canes the best of luck going forward.”
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

NFP Top 25

Let’s take a look at the National Football Post’s newest Top 25.
1. Ohio State (8-0) [1]
2. TCU (7-0) [2]
3. Michigan State (8-0) [3]

4. Baylor (7-0) [4]
5. LSU (7-0) [6]
6. Alabama (7-1) [7]
7. Clemson (7-0) [9]
8. Notre Dame (6-1) [10]
9. Stanford (6-1) [11]
10. Oklahoma (6-1) [12]
11. Iowa (7-0) [13]
12. Oklahoma State (7-0) [14]
13. Memphis (7-0) [15]
14. Florida State (6-1) [5]
15. Utah (6-1) [8]
16. Florida (6-1) [16]
17. Michigan (5-2) [17]
18. Temple (7-0) [18]
19. Toledo (7-0) [20]
20. Houston (7-0) [21]
21. Ole Miss (6-2) [22]
22. Duke (6-1) [23]
23. Mississippi State (6-2) [25]
24. UCLA (5-2) [NR]
25. Wisconsin (6-2) [NR]

The next five: Georgia (5-2), Pitt (6-1), BYU (6-2), Texas A&M (5-2) and Boise State (6-2).
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

NFP Top 25

Let’s take a look at the National Football Post’s newest Top 25.
1. Ohio State (7-0) [1]
2. TCU (7-0) [2]
3. Michigan State (7-0) [3]

4. Baylor (6-0) [4]
5. Florida State (6-0) [5]
6. LSU (6-0) [6]
7. Alabama (6-1) [7]
8. Utah (6-0) [8]
9. Clemson (6-0) [9]
10. Notre Dame (6-1) [12]
11. Stanford (5-1) [13]
12. Oklahoma (5-1) [15]
13. Iowa (7-0) [18]
14. Oklahoma State (6-0) [17]
15. Memphis (6-0) [21]
16. Florida (6-1) [11]
17. Michigan (5-2) [16]
18. Temple (6-0) [20]
19. Texas A&M (5-1) [10]
20. Toledo (6-0) [22]
21. Houston (6-0) [25]
22. Ole Miss (5-2) [14]
23. Duke (5-1) [24]
24. Cal (5-1) [NR]
25. Mississippi State (5-2) [NR]

The next five: Georgia (5-2), UCLA (4-2), BYU (5-2), Texas Tech (5-2) and Pitt (5-1).
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

South Carolina's Spurrier to retire

Steve Spurrier is hanging up his visor.
The Head Ball Coach is walking away from South Carolina, according to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated. Co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Shawn Elliott is expected to be named interim head coach on Tuesday.
The 70-year-old Spurrier is in midst of his 11th season with the Gamecocks. After a brief stint in the NFL, Spurrier returned to college football and built South Carolina into an SEC contender, culminating in three straight 11-win seasons from 2011 to 2013. But the team won just seven games last season and sits at 2-4 this fall, with all four losses coming against SEC foes. Spurrier has never had a losing season as South Carolina’s leader, and the team was bowl-eligible in his first 10 seasons.
Spurrier won the 1996 national championship and six SEC titles at Florida, where he coached for 12 seasons. The former quarterback played his college football in Gainesville from 1963 to 1966 and won the Heisman Trophy for his play in his final season.
He began his coaching career with the Gators in 1978 as the quarterbacks coach and served in the same role at Georgia Tech the next year before becoming Duke’s offensive coordinator in 1980. After becoming the youngest coach in professional football when he took over the USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits, he came back to Duke for his first head-coaching job in college football in 1987. He was named the ACC coach of the year twice while in Durham, and he left the school with a 20-13-1 mark. After a 122-27-1 record with the Gators, Spurrier resigned and took the head gig with the Washington Redskins.
Spurrier has a combined record of 228-89-2 at Duke, Florida and South Carolina. He is the Gamecocks’ all-time winningest coach with 86 victories.
It’s safe to say that college football won’t be the same without Spurrier.
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

USC fires Sarkisian

USC has fired head coach Steve Sarkisian.
One day after placing him on an indefinite leave of absence, athletic director Pat Haden terminated the contract of the head coach effective immediately. Clay Helton will continue as the interim head coach.
The following is a statement from Haden:
“After careful consideration of what is in the best interest of the university and our student-athletes, I have made the decision to terminate Steve Sarkisian, effective immediately.
“I want to thank Clay Helton for stepping into the interim head coach role, and I want to add how proud I am of our coaching staff and players and the way they are responding to this difficult situation.
“Through all of this we remain concerned for Steve and hope that it will give him the opportunity to focus on his personal well being.”
Sarkisian went 12-6 in less than two seasons as head coach. The Trojans went 9-4 last season and started 3-2 this year.
The question now is whether or not Haden will be around to pick the next permanent head man at ‘SC.
Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.