Injuries and suspensions are part of the lead-up to any college football season, but it truly seems like the months of July and August have been particularly busy on those two fronts. Adjust your power ratings accordingly.
A team without weaknesses has at least one minor question mark. Florida State will be without sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Jones. Jones would have fit into the offense this season after Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw both moved on in their football careers.
One week after popping up in the news for a torn ACL to linebacker Kelby Brown, Duke lost tight end Braxton Deaver to the same injury. Deaver had 46 catches for 600 yards last season.
Nobody seems to be saying much about it, but a SI.com report insinuated that there was some big friction between Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino and his defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham. It seems to be an unsubstantiated rumor as of now, but the cameras will always be rolling during games.
Potential Miami starting quarterback Jake Heaps missed a key practice over the weekend to “rest his arm”. The job seems to belong to Heaps for the opener at Louisville on September 1.
The biggest story in the Big Ten is obviously the status of Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller. The school hasn’t confirmed the media reports that Miller will be out for the season, but it’s unlikely that so many sources are wrong.
Northwestern received quite a bit of bad news this past week. Venric Mark, who was suspended for the first two games of the season, will leave the program to be closer to his family. Shortly after that, news broke that returning leading receiver Christian Jones is done for the season with a knee injury.
Michigan has rightly dismissed sophomore wide receiver Csont’e York after video surfaced of the alleged sucker punch that broke a man’s face in three places and caused a concussion. With an assault charge pending, Brady Hoke acted as swiftly as a man of his size can.
Mark Dantonio hasn’t given out many specifics, but starting right guard Connor Kruse will not start for Michigan State in Week 1 and possibly longer as he deals with an undisclosed injury.
Oklahoma has finally made a decision on five-star true freshman Joe Mixon. The decision was not a favorable one for Mixon. He has been dismissed from the program following the school’s investigation into an assault allegation.
West Virginia has enough problems, but ineligible defensive backs like Ishmael Banks could add another wrinkle. Just days after Dana Holgorsen admitted to the media that coaches lie during the recruiting process, one of his starting corners could be ineligible for the season.
Congratulations to Utah’s Travis Wilson, who was named the starting quarterback for the opener after facing an uncertain future most of the offseason. Wilson was just recently cleared to play by team doctors.
Mark Stoops has named the starting quarterback at Kentucky. It’s Patrick Towles, a redshirt sophomore who played as a true freshman and spent last season learning the offense.
Speaking of naming quarterbacks, Texas A&M has tabbed Kenny Hill as the guy to replace John Football. Hill beat out true freshman Kyle Allen and will be under center when the Aggies visit South Carolina on August 28.
The Auburn defense has enough to worry about because they need to replace Dee Ford and Chris Davis, but safety Robinson Therezie is dealing with eligibility issues. He could miss the opener against Arkansas and possibly more games.
Mississippi State offensive lineman Damien Robinson tore his ACL and will miss the 2014 season. That leaves a huge hole at right tackle for the Bulldogs. Dan Mullen admitted to the media that the Bulldogs weren’t deep at that position.
One of the top defensive linemen in the class of 2014, Thomas Holley, will miss the season and take a medical redshirt for Florida. He has a labral tear in his hip and it will take some time to heal.
In other injured linemen news, South Carolina guard Mike Matulis is out with a sprained knee. The bigger injury for the Gamecocks is the loss of Jamari Smith to a very young and inexperienced secondary. He’s out for the season with a broken ankle.
If not for the Braxton Miller news, the academic cheating scandal at Notre Dame would have been the biggest story of the week. Four players, Davaris Daniels, Keivarae Russell, Ishaq Williams, and Kendall Moore, were all suspended from the team until an investigation is completed. This scandal may run deeper and this could be an updated story over the next few weeks or months.
Gunner Kiel has been named the starting quarterback for Cincinnati. The former Notre Dame recruit beat out Munchie Legaux for the job.
Not specific player news, but the Hawaii football program is in some financial trouble. The Athletic Department is facing a huge deficit and travel costs plus the current state of college football could force the Warriors to drop football in order to protect other sports.
The execs at ESPN will never outright say it, but their new 13-year contract to televise MAC football is driven by ratings interest due to gambling. Either way, more #MACtion for all!
USF named Mike White their starting quarterback. Related, head coach Willie Taggart attempted to have the names removed from all of the jerseys and instead mandate that “The Team” would be the name on the back. The NCAA stepped in and stopped that. Service academies are exempt from the NCAA’s bylaws regarding alternate names on the back.
Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.
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