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After Dabo Swinney’s comments, remember when Clemson and South Carolina threw down with insane in-game brawl

Rivalry weekend is arguably one of the greatest points of the college football season and there are few rivalries in sports, let alone in college football, that are more heated than the matchup between Auburn and Alabama.

The Iron Bowl is one of the most heated rivalries in sports between two in-state schools that simply just don’t like each other, but one head coach outside of the game, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, seems to think that the matchup between Clemson and South Carolina is up to par.

Recently discussing this weekend’s matchup in the Palmetto Bowl, Swinney was adamant that Clemson vs. South Carolina is right up there with the Iron Bowl.

“I had a good understanding of what a rivalry was all about coming from Alabama. I lived in Alabama for 33 years, so that’s all I knew. Zero difference in this state. Zero. Year round. That’s all people talk about [Clemson vs. South Carolina]. It’s just different logos. It’s the same type of intensity, emotion.” https://twitter.com/BradFralickWYFF/status/933010453244104705

That’s a bold statement from Swinney. Clemson vs. South Carolina is a heated rivalry but is it on the level of Alabama vs. Auburn, or, for another college football reference, Michigan vs. Ohio State?

Perhaps not, but there is evidence to point to the game being up there on the intensity scale. Need proof of that, look no further than the 2004 in-game brawl between the Gamecocks and Tigers:

When discussing fights in professional sports that spill way out of bounds and cross the line — both figuratively and literally — this ranks right up there with the “Malice at the Palace”, which ironically happened the day before.

The football fight above, which got nasty and required police attention, started when South Carolina quarterback Syvelle Newton was knocked to the ground after a throw in the fourth quarter and a Clemson player laid on top of him so he couldn’t get up. The fight got so ugly, in fact, that a South Carolina player was kicked in the head while he was on the ground without a helmet by Yusef Kelly.

It was bad, and it was yet another chapter in the heated rivalry between Clemson and South Carolina.

So perhaps the Palmetto Bowl isn’t the Iron Bowl. But perhaps, Swinney does have a point.

4-star RB Isaiah Spiller goes from legacy prospect to College Football Playoff contender commit

Four-star running back Isaiah Spiller seemed like a lock to commit to Texas A&M.

Spiller, who’s the son of former Texas A&M tight end Fred Spiller, is an Aggies legacy and he almost seemed destined to play football for Texas A&M. Spiller received the offer from Texas A&M and at that time, he declared that he would like to be an Aggie.

In fact, in his recent commitment video, the Klein Collins running back wore a Texas A&M t-shirt for the first half of the video.

That is until his dad showed up in the video, and Spiller relayed that he was thinking about starting his own legacy. Flash forward to the next frame and Spiller and his dad were decked in Oklahoma gear, finishing the video with a “Boomer Sooner” to add emphasis to the fact that the young running back decided to start his own story with Oklahoma rather than follow his father’s footsteps at Texas A&M.

Sorry for the wait! All the glory goes to God! @LoneStarHSFB @JoeHamilton247 @CoachJ_Boulware @Perroni247 @JLMcCuistion @SWiltfong247 pic.twitter.com/MbifvCZ5rg — Isaiah Spiller (@isaiah_spiller) November 22, 2017

Spiller went on to speak about his decision with 247Sports:

“I really like Coach Riley, he is young enough to relate to this younger generation,” Spiller said. “We are building something special for 2019!”

Spiller is right, Lincoln Riley is building something special at Oklahoma in the 2019 class. Spiller became Oklahoma’s sixth 2019 commitment, joining three other four-star recruits and two three-stars. It’s early, but the Sooners’ 2019 class is currently ranked No. 4 nationally, per 247Sports.

As far as Spiller’s rankings are concerned, they would suggest that he’s a big-time commitment for Oklahoma. A four-star, he’s ranked as the No. 21 running back in his class as well as the No. 34 recruit from the always talent-filled state of Texas.

ESPN’s Playoff odds currently have one undefeated team on the outside looking in

The Wisconsin Badgers haven’t received a great deal of respect during the 2017 season, even while boasting an unblemished record in the always competitive. Most of that is due to a less than appetizing schedule navigated by Paul Chryst’s team but, in the same breath, it remains quite impressive that any Big Ten team would be able to navigate the regular season undefeated.

Still, the College Football Playoff committee isn’t quite buying in just yet and ESPN’s Playoff odds apparently feel the same way. In fact, the latest edition apparently has the Badgers with less than a fifty percent chance to reach the playoff.

The College Football Playoff race is heating up. Find out which 4 teams are IN. The CFP Selection Show Dec 3 on ESPN pic.twitter.com/7qjDINd5sZ — ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 22, 2017

It would be very interesting to dive deeper into the numbers and see just how much of this has to do with the distinct possibility that Wisconsin loses to Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. In the same breath, it seems rather crazy to suggest that a 13-0 Big Ten champion would fall short if Wisconsin were to win out, especially with both Clemson and Oklahoma sporting losses on their ledgers.

Wisconsin has more work to do but, if they finish undefeated, it would seem to be tough to leave the Badgers at home. Stay tuned.

Four-star OLB Payton Wilson announces decommitment from UNC

Four-star outside linebacker Payton Wilson, who has been committed to North Carolina since May, announced his decommitment from the Tar Heels on Wednesday via Twitter.

Please respect my decision! pic.twitter.com/CV8oS64VyI — Payton Wilson (@payton_wilson21) November 22, 2017 “This is one of the hardest decision I have had to make,” wrote Wilson. “I would like to thank Coach Fedora and Coach Jp for everything they have done for me. I would like to thank the UNC fans for supporting me and all the friends that I have made along the way. My family and I have been praying and thinking on this decision a lot and I am going to be opening my recruiting process back up and decommit from UNC. Please respect my decision as I move forward.”

During the past month, Wilson has taken official visits to NC State (Nov. 3) and Notre Dame (Nov. 18), prior to announcing his decision to reopen his recruitment.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior ranks as the No. 4 outside linebacker, No. 4 player from the state of North Carolina and the No. 49 overall prospect for the 2018 national recruiting cycle, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Wilson recorded 103 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 10 sacks prior to suffering a season-ending injury in October, according to Tom Loy of 247Sports.

The U.S. Army All-American currently has 26 total scholarship offers including Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, N.C. State, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

The Tar Heels currently have 11 hard commits and rank No. 48 overall in the 247Sports’ team rankings for the 2018 national recruiting cycle.

Kirk Herbstreit says it’s “kind of ironic” what Ohio State fans are saying right now

Last season, the Ohio State Buckeyes were 11-1 in the regular season but because their one loss came to Penn State, they were kept out of the Big Ten Championship game.

PSU represented the Big Ten East instead and ultimately beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game to earn a berth in the Rose Bowl, but Ohio State, despite playing in the championship game, made its way into the College Football Playoff off the strength of the rest of its schedule.

The Buckeyes argued that being a conference champion shouldn’t have to be a prerequisite to being in the College Football Playoff, and ultimately, the selection committee agreed. Ohio Statelost to Clemson, the ultimate champion, in the Fiesta Bowl, but the Buckeyes made the College Football Playoff none the less.

This season, ironically, Ohio State is in a different boat. The Buckeyes have two losses — to No. 5 Oklahoma and to Iowa at Kinnick Stadium — but they’re still in line to represent the Big Ten East in the title game with a 7-1 in-conference record. If Ohio State beats Michigan and goes on to beat a presumably undefeated Wisconsin in Indianapolis the Buckeyes would have a pretty decent playoff bid.

Ironic would be the word to describe that bid, though, and that’s something Kirk Herbstreit recently brought up when breaking down the new College Football Playoffs rankings. Here’s Herbstreit , per 247Sports:

“What Ohio State basically has to hope happens is that Alabama wins out. If Alabama wins out — if you look at the teams ahead of them — then Auburn and Georgia are out of the mix. If Ohio State beats Wisconsin, that puts Wisconsin out of the mix. … Kind of ironic, fellas. Last year, Ohio State fans last year were saying, ‘The Big Ten championship doesn’t matter.’ This year, they’re going to be saying, “Hey, the Big Ten championship should matter.”

According to the most recent College Football Playoff rankings, Ohio State checks in at No. 9 behind Alabama, Miami, Clemson, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Auburn, Georgia, and Notre Dame, in order.

The Buckeyes will really need things to fall in their favor in order for the College Football Playoff to become a reality, but it is worth noting that at least in a way, they can control some of their fate by winning the Big Ten title.

Of course, if they lose to Michigan or Wisconsin all bets are off, but that’s the fun of the college football season, isn’t it?

Vols WR reportedly dismissed after torching Tennessee coaching staff on social media

Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings has reportedly been dismissed from the football program by interim coach Brady Hoke after consultation with athletic director John Currie, according to 104.5-The Zone’s 3HL radio program in Nashville.

. @UTCoachHoke says through consultation with Tennessee AD John Currie, he has decided to dismiss TN WR Jauan Jennings from the program. — 3HL (@3HL1045) November 22, 2017

Tennessee has since released a statement announcing Jennings’ dismissal.

Jauan Jennings has been dismissed from Tennessee's football program for making a social media video explicitly criticizing the coaching staff. Official statement from UT: pic.twitter.com/u93pPDIAJA — Orange & White Report (@OandWReport) November 23, 2017

Jennings went on a rant during an Instagram Live post on Wednesday in which he criticized the Vols’ coaching staff for apparently preventing him from playing in Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt after sitting out the majority of the season with a wrist injury, while making a plea for the next coach to be “honest.”

Here’s a transcript of Jennings’ video:

(Warning some language is NSFW)

“Please send us a great coaching staff.” “I’m leaving. I’m going back home. (In response to his status for Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt.” “I was practicing to play against Vanderbilt…I can’t stand those b*****s, each and every one of them. Real deal, trying to come back but you got some lying ass coaches. Lying ass b*****s.” “Bring us a coaching staff that is honest and we’ll do everything for everything that will do for the kids.”

Sources told SEC Country that there was no previous report of Jennings making his return from injury on Saturday. The junior wide receiver sat in the stands at Neyland Stadium during last week’s loss to LSU.

Jennings suffered the injury during the second quarter of Tennessee’s 42-41 overtime win over Georgia Tech in Week 1 and was originally expected to miss up to 12 weeks of action due to a dislocated wrist, according to Volquest.com.

Jennings was the Vols’ leading returning receiver with 40 receptions for 580 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016. He emerged as a favorite among Vol fans after recording a big touchdown during the team’s win against Florida, as well as a 43-yard Hail Mary touchdown to defeat Georgia last season.

One conference commissioner calls out College Football Playoff committee over not getting the “respect it deserves”

While the vast majority of attention is paid to the top four each week when the College Football Playoff committee unveils its rankings, there are other concerns each week. One such story line is the plight of UCF, as the team remains undefeated with impressive numbers in various metrics. However, the Knights can’t seem to rise in the rankings and, this week, three-loss Mississippi State comes in ahead of Scott Frost’s team on the heels of a very unimpressive win.

That particular slight has received some buzz and, on Wednesday, AAC commissioner Mike Aresco shared his gripes with a member institution not receiving love. In speaking with Heather Dinich of ESPN, Aresco noted that he does “not think (his) league is garnering the respect it deserves” and that he “feels strongly” about that conviction.

He wasn’t done there.

“Those kinds of performances have to count for something. We’ve tried to prove for five years how good our conference is. What do we have to do is my question, to prove that we’re a really good league, especially at the top? I just don’t like the notion that, well, strength of schedule, I don’t like to see UCF behind three- and two-loss teams, and I think they can play with anyone. I just don’t know what more we can do.”

Aresco’s concerns are legitimate, especially when UCF is lambasting opponents on a weekly basis. In fact, there is a growing sentiment that Group of 5 teams are virtually powerless when it comes to the committee’s blessing and this particular case won’t help that.

The committee can say what it wants about UCF’s schedule but, when run-of-the-mill major conference teams are ranked ahead for seemingly no reason, this kind of sentiment will occur.

Five-star recruit Brian Bowen has reportedly made a decision on his future after leaving Louisville

Five-star recruit Brian Bowen will reportedly look to transfer from Louisville and seek an opportunity to play basketball elsewhere, according to Adam Zagoria of Zags Blog.

It was announced by Louisville on Wednesday that Bowen will not be permitted to participate in any future basketball activities as a result of a federal investigation into corrupt recruiting practices. The school said in the release that they will issue Bowen written permission to seek contact from another school if he chooses to transfer.

Federal documents stated that Adidas allegedly funneled $100,000 to an unnamed player — later identified as Bowen — to sign with Louisville. The school conducted an internal investigation in order to reinstate Bowen but Wednesday’s announcement indicates the school will instead move on from the 6-foot-7 small forward.

The school will allow Bowen to continue to receive his athletic scholarship if he remains at the school but will be unable to participate in any basketball function at any point in the future. Jason Setchen, the attorney representing Bowen, told Zags Blog that Bowen will look to complete this semester at Louisville and then seek an opportunity to play basketball somewhere else.

It was unclear following Louisville’s announcement what Bowen would ultimately do. Many speculated that he could look to play basketball overseas in Europe or even domestically in the NBA G League, but it appears as though he’ll look to stay at the collegiate level for the time being.

Former NBA All-Star DeAndre Jordan reportedly being shopped in trade talks to multiple teams

The Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly discussing trade scenarios with multiple teams regarding All-Star center DeAndre Jordan, according to Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post.

Jordan is currently in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. After re-signing Blake Griffin to five-year contract extension this past offseason, the team could look to move on from Jordan and continue to build around Griffin. If they know it’ll become difficult to re-sign Jordan next summer, it would be better to trade Jordan now in order to obtain assets in return for him rather than lose him for nothing.

The Clippers have yet to be able to make a deep playoff run with Griffin, Jordan and Chris Paul on the roster in recent years. If the team senses that they have gone as far as the current roster will take them, it could be time to start over and build around Griffin with Paul out of the picture and Jordan in the final year of his contract.

After beginning the season 4-0, the Clippers have gone just 1-11 since then and have lost nine consecutive games. With the team clearly struggling, it could be time for the front office to make some changes and begin planning for the future. Of course, it’s still early in the season and things could turn around, but it might be better to begin shopping players while they can.

(h/t The Score)

Disgusting video emerges of a coach attacking a football player

Football coaches are often known for various forms of tough love. At the best of the profession, coaches can help to positively mold young minds with messages of hard work, dedication and resiliency. At the other end of the spectrum, though, that “tough love” can escalate into inappropriate and disrupting behavior.

Unfortunately, video of such behavior surfaced this week, as former NFL lineman and offensive line consultant LeCharles Bentley provided images of a coach attacking a player with the confines of a practice setting.

When coaches whine about ppl "attacking" the game, remember, some coaches have done MORE to HURT the game than ANYONE on the outside of it. pic.twitter.com/ev2u0QKY5l — LeCharles Bentley (@OLineWorld65) November 20, 2017

While the identities of the coach and player are not publicly known, Bentley later let the world know that he is aware of the specifics and the questions that arise from the video.

I know EXACTLY who did this. This video begs so many questions. But this is part of why "the game" is hurting. Bullshit "tough guy" culture — LeCharles Bentley (@OLineWorld65) November 20, 2017

To put it plainly, this is a disturbing video that showcases actions from a coach that are never acceptable. Actual demonstrations can be useful but, for a coach to physically blast a player in this fashion leaps to the level of ridiculousness and that is clear to all parties involved.

Perhaps this particular coach will be outed in the near future but, even if that does not happen, hopefully this will escalate the issue to the general consciousness and provide evidence of what coaches should not do moving forward.

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