NCAAF Notebook: Will Deion Sanders be USC's next head coach?
We're already a quarter of the way through the college football regular season. The weeks go even faster from here as conference play begins and every game takes on much more significance.
Let’s take a quick spin around the country to cover the top stories in the sport in this week’s edition of our NCAAF Notebook.
In one of the bigger surprises of the year, Clemson's offense is not clicking. Perhaps it should have been obvious as the Tigers lost quarterback Trevor Lawrence and several other key pieces to the NFL, but given the recruiting success they’ve had in recent years it's still mildly shocking.
After failing to score a touchdown against Georgia in the opener, they put up only 14 points as 28-point favorites against bottom-dwelling Georgia Tech in Week 3. Clemson is still a big favorite to win the ACC at -400, but considering they were -900 just a week ago, their power grip over the conference seems shaky.
ACC Conference Winner 2021
Sun, December 5 2021, 11:00 AM
North Carolina Tar Heels
Miami Florida Hurricanes
Virginia Tech Hokies
North Carolina State Wolfpack
Boston College Eagles
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Clemson has been a national title contender for many years in a row, but if things don’t change quickly they may miss the College Football Playoff entirely.
Playoff Expansion seems inevitable
Speaking of the CFP, talks have been underway about expanding it in future years to up to 12 teams. We all knew it was coming and a vote has been pushed out beyond next week as some expected, but clearly discussions are being had.
Most of the discussion is likely about the status of automatic qualifiers as power conferences and fans of fair play negotiate what it will take to earn a bid. Regardless of whether the NCAA expands its playoff format to eight or 12 teams, it feels inevitable that expansion will occur.
Will Deion Sanders be USC's next head coach?
Everyone’s favorite dramatic sports announcer, Gus Johnson, indicated on Sunday that Deion Sanders may be a candidate for the USC head coaching position that opened with Clay Helton’s termination a week ago.
Deion Sanders was a star at Florida State and then in the NFL, before moving on to a career in television. He is now in just his second year as the head coach at Jackson State, and a move to USC would be a major step up in class for the new coach.
Although he's relatively new to coaching, Sanders has worked with plenty of young players in a less formal capacity over the years since retiring from the NFL, and he was an elite player that clearly understood the game. He has the charisma and charm that would make him among the best recruiters in the Pac-12.
You have to admit, "Primetime" in Los Angeles does have a catchy ring to it.
Young is closing in on Heisman thanks to poised play
Bryce Young is near co-favorite with Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral for this year’s Heisman Trophy. As the Alabama Crimson Tide steamroll opponents and maintain their position as the elite program of college football, it makes sense that their leading offensive player would see money come in for the sport’s top individual award.
Heisman Trophy 2021
Sun, December 5 2021, 10:57 AM
The million dollar freshman is playing poised football and has all of the talent that was expected of him as a five-star recruit receiving endorsement deals prior to starting a collegiate football game.
Alabama has produced three of the last 12 Heisman Trophy winners, but interestingly none of them were quarterbacks despite 12 of the last 15 winners being a QB. Whether Young can break that mini-trend will be intriguing to see as the season rolls on.
College Football Games of the Week
There are two games this week between ranked opponents, although it's worth noting there is a third between undefeated power conference teams as Rutgers takes on Michigan.
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas is the afternoon matchup, with the fifth-ranked Aggies being favored by 4.5. Arkansas has a strong running game and looked impressive in a rout against Texas in Week 2, but the Aggies have more talent and a seasoned coaching staff.
Sat, September 25 2021, 7:30 PM
Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin is the real game of the week as both teams and their fanbases head to Chicago for a neutral site matchup at Soldier Field that will be the home of College Gameday.
Sat, September 25 2021, 4:00 PM
Wisconsin is favored by 6 points on the strength of their elite defense, but the Irish have shown grit getting to 3-0, and with former Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan leading the way, ND will have insider knowledge on how Wisconsin attempts to attack their opposition. It should make for a great game in a highly charged venue.