Rivalry Games With Impact

November, 24, 2014
Nov 24
12:24
PM ET


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Chris Low looks at two rivalry games this weekend that could shake up the College Football Playoff picture.
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Danny Kanell discusses Florida's chances of beating Florida State.
There’s not much time for Virginia Tech to reflect on its 6-3 double overtime loss to Wake Forest, writes the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and that’s probably a good thing.

The Hokies probably have no interest in reliving the gory details, of course. And there are much bigger questions ahead.

[+] EnlargeFrank Beamer
AP Photo/John BazemoreFrank Beamer has a short week and plenty of issues after the Hokies' loss to Wake Forest.
First among them is getting prepared for Virginia. The Hoos’ defense was stellar against Miami on Saturday, and Mike London’s future in Charlottesville might depend on UVA ending its 10-game losing streak to its rival.

The future of many coaches on Virginia Tech’s staff could ride on Friday's outcome, too.

As The Roanoke Times writes, plenty of questions are swirling around the program, chiefly surrounding offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler.

Our Travis Haney suggests changes on the Hokies’ offensive staff seem likely — meaning Frank Beamer would be on his third offensive coordinator in four years.

But the more immediate change could come at quarterback, where Michael Brewer has struggled to ignite the offense.

For the season, Brewer has the second lowest Total QBR in the ACC (ahead of only Wake Forest freshman John Wolford, who bested Brewer on Saturday), and Brenden Motley certainly seemed to provide the only minor spark for the Hokies against the Deacons.

It’s a situation to monitor, and the decision on how Tech handles its QBs could have huge ripple effects for both the Hokies and UVA.

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PREGAME SPEECH

There's a reason why the coaches of the College Football Playoff contenders are wound tighter than a fire hose these days.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher would rather grow arm-hair curtains than face Florida and Georgia Tech in back-to-back weeks.

Alabama's Nick Saban gets Auburn in the Iron Bowl this week and, if the Tide win, gets Missouri or Georgia in the SEC championship game. Fun.

Baylor's Art Briles has to make the short trip to Arlington for a matchup against Texas Tech, and then play Kansas State in the regular-season finale.

TCU's Gary Patterson has to travel to Austin to play the suddenly dangerous Texas Longhorns, followed by a home game against not-so-dangerous Iowa State.

Ohio State's Urban Meyer meets desperate Michigan at the Horseshoe, and then plays either Wisconsin or Minnesota in the Big Ten championship game.

Oregon's Mark Helfrich takes his team to Corvallis for the Civil War (Arizona State can tell Helfrich all about the Beavers), and then faces UCLA, Arizona or ASU in the Pac-12 championship game.

Mississippi State's Dan Mullen has to survive the Egg Bowl in Oxford, and then hope for the best (an Alabama loss to Auburn, which would mean the Bulldogs would face either Mizzou or UGA in the SEC championship game).

And UCLA's Jim Mora, who runs Saban-Meyer-Fisher intense, has to beat Stanford at Pasadena, and then Oregon to have any chance at reaching the four-team playoff.

This is when roster depth matters. When avoiding injuries matters. When talent, coaching and luck matter.


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Florida State holds onto the top spot in the new AP poll. Jerry Kill and Minnesota have positioned themselves to potentially play for a Big Ten title, and the City of Angels belongs to UCLA. It's all ahead in your College Football Minute.

ACC won't penalize Jameis Winston

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
5:21
PM ET
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The contact between Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and an official in Saturday's Boston College game was "incidental and insignificant" and did not warrant an unsportsmanlike penalty, the ACC's coordinator of officials said.

With the score tied at 17 and 5:20 left in the third quarter, an official stood between Winston and center Cam Erving to prevent the Seminoles (No. 3 CFP, No. 1 AP) from running their next play. An official is instructed to stand over the ball to prevent the offense from snapping it until the defense has sufficient time to match the offense's substitutions. The center judge was not standing over the football, however, and Erving was already set with his hand on the ball.

Winston tried moving the official with his hand and arm before the center judge retreated to his normal position on the field.

Doug Rhoads, the ACC's coordinator of officials, said in a statement Sunday: "The center judge's positioning, which was due to the experimental year of having an eighth official, combined with the late substitution and by rule the need to allow the defense to matchup, led to contact between himself and the player. The official believed the contact was incidental and insignificant and did not rise to the level of unsportsmanlike conduct and automatic disqualification."

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher and Winston said there was nothing malicious about the contact between the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and an official in the third quarter of the Seminoles' 20-17 win over Boston College on Saturday.


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The ESPN college football power rankings have been updated, and ESPN college football reporter Chris Low joins Antonietta Collins to break down notable movers and an the impact of SEC West upsets on the College Football Playoff.
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Adnan Virk, Danny Kanell, Heather Dinich, Brad Edwards and Butch Davis evaluate Florida State's performance so far this season.

Florida State still No. 1 in AP poll

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
2:12
PM ET
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Florida State is No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll, followed by Alabama, Oregon and Mississippi State. The top four teams were unchanged for the first time since late September.

The gap between the Seminoles and the Crimson Tide narrowed after another close call by Florida State, which beat Boston College 20-17 on a field goal in the waning seconds.

Florida State received 37 first-place votes and 1,458 points, down six first-place votes and 18 points from last week. Alabama has 21 first-place votes 1,445 points. No. 3 Oregon received two first-place votes, one more than last week.

Mississippi State is fourth, followed by Baylor and TCU. Baylor and TCU swapped places. Ohio State remained No. 7.


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ACC Power Rankings: Week 13

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
2:00
PM ET

Drawing conclusions from Week 13

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
9:33
AM ET

Boston College vs. Florida StateChris Morris for ESPN

Each Sunday during the season, ESPN.com will highlight four storylines that had an impact on the College Football Playoff race.

No. 3 Florida State 20, Boston College 17

Jameis Winston moved an official and, eventually, the Eagles out of the way, driving the Seminoles 66 yards to put Roberto Aguayo in position for a 26-yard game-winning field goal with three seconds remaining.


Baylor, Ohio State, UCLA look to impress

Three teams sitting just outside the top four vamped for the selection committee: No. 7 Baylor eased past Oklahoma State 49-28, No. 6 Ohio State clinched the Big Ten's East Division title with a 42-27 win over Indiana and No. 9 UCLA defeated No. 19 USC 38-20.


Three of top four cruise


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ACC helmet stickers: Week 13

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
9:00
AM ET
Here are the men whose play stood out above all others during another wild weekend in the ACC:

North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams: Williams turned in another outstanding game, keying a 45-20 rout of favored rival Duke on Thursday. He completed 18 of 27 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns, adding 98 rushing yards and two more scores on 21 carries. His 374 total yards gave Williams 3,499 total yards on the season, breaking Bryn Renner's single-season UNC record (3,394). Williams also has 32 touchdowns he has been responsible for this season, which also breaks Renner's single-season record (29 in 2012).

Florida State wide receiver Rashad Greene: Greene hauled in eight passes for 106 yards, and FSU needed every single one of them to extend its winning streak to 27 games and keep its repeat national title hopes alive. The Seminoles beat Boston College, 20-17, and Greene etched his name into the school record books Saturday, as his final catch helped him break Ron Sellers' FSU record for career receiving yards. Greene now has 3,613 career receiving yards, and the senior now has a personal-best 75 catches on the season. He still has at least three games left in his Noles career, too.

Wake Forest linebacker Marquel Lee: When you engineer a defensive effort that holds a team scoreless in regulation -- one that ends with your first league win of the season, no less -- you get recognition here. Lee, a sophomore, had a game-high 12 total tackles, including three for loss (2.5 sacks) and one forced fumble. The Demon Deacons shocked Virginia Tech in double overtime, winning 6-3.

Louisville running back Brandon Radcliff: Radcliff ran wild in the second half, carrying the ball 15 times for 129 yards and a touchdown in Louisville's 31-28 win over Notre Dame. He finished the day with 17 carries for 136 yards and a touchdown, the leader of a Cardinals rushing attack that set the tone for the day, finishing with 229 yards on the ground.

Clemson defense: There are too many people to name here, so the Tigers' defense will have to share this award. Yes, it was against Georgia State, but Clemson had nine different players record a tackle for loss, and three different players record an interception in the 28-0 win. The Tigers held Georgia State to 155 total yards of offense, the fifth different opponent they have held under 200 yards this season. This was also Clemson's second shutout of the season, marking its first multi-shutout season since 1998.

College Football Minute

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
1:51
AM ET


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The single-game rushing record was broken again, Florida State left it late again, and the SEC keeps beating up on itself. It's all ahead in the College Football Minute.

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Rivalry Games With Impact
Chris Low looks at two rivalry games this weekend that could shake up the College Football Playoff picture.
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