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Coaches are overwhelmingly suggesting Chip Kelly take one head coaching job

Chip Kelly is seemingly choosing between Florida and UCLA for his next college football job and that is an open secret at this point. However, the choice is a (very) interesting one on a number of levels and Adam Rittenberg of ESPN attempted to tackle the decision by catching up with a number of coaches with experience in at least one of the locations.

There were quite a few opinions to sift through but one focused on Kelly’s recruiting profile and familiarity in the Pac-12 when compared to the SEC.

“That’s where people know him now,” said a Power 5 head coach. “He came from New Hampshire, but he’s established himself from a recruiting standpoint in that part of the world.”

Perhaps the centerpiece, though, is the widely held belief that Kelly doesn’t particularly enjoy the media dealings and glad-handing that would come with the Florida job and one coach shed extensive light on that divide.

“Off the field, it is significantly different,” a coach who has spent time in both leagues said. “In the bigger city, you can go to the grocery store. The SEC towns are so small and everybody’s going to be in your business. If you want to be the guy who everybody sees and you want to be on TV all the time, and everybody recognizes you at the restaurant and gets pictures, then you probably go to the SEC.”

The entire piece is worth a read for all of the various opinions but Rittenberg describes a “near consensus” pushing Kelly to UCLA. In many ways, Florida is the better job but, considering Kelly’s personality and make-up, it is easy to see why the Bruins would perhaps be more appealing and only time will tell as to which way he chooses to go.

Donald Trump takes aim at Roger Goodell in his latest rant against the NFL

The war of words between President Donald Trump and the NFL continues.

While the league continues to deal with some backlash from the continued protests during pre-game national anthems, Trump has continuously been pushing the NFL and its leadership to make changes to prevent players from demonstrating. Trump originally said back in September that players protesting should be fired, and he has recently taken aim at Oakland’s Marshawn Lynch by saying that Lynch should be suspended for his recent demonstrations.

Just ahead of the Thanksgiving slate of games, Trump is again calling out NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, insinuating that the commissioner is not doing his job by allowing the protests.

The NFL is now thinking about a new idea – keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season. That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league!….. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2017 The NFL is now thinking about a new idea – keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season. That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league

The NFL has reportedly been working on ways to discourage players from demonstrating during the national anthem, but the league has made no official changes to their policy.

This is far from the only pressure that Goodell has been facing lately, as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been pressuring other owners around the league to block the contract negotiations for Goodell’s extension as commissioner.

The NFL has three games set to be played on Thanksgiving Day this year: Vikings vs. Lions, Chargers vs. Cowboys, and Giants vs. Redskins.

Need for Speed Payback undergoes changes to progression in latest patch

Battlefront 2 isn’t the only game that Electronic Arts (EA) has been facing criticism over lately. The launch of Need for Speed Payback saw a fairly lukewarm reception in early November for – among other things – the unwelcome presence of microtransactions and a grind unworthy of a series geared around going as fast as possible. With much of the game’s content arbitrarily locked behind better car parts (obtainable either through repeating missions or buying “Speed Points”), players have been all too willing to scrap their expectations for the previously exciting franchise.

Yet, just as with Battlefront, it seems that the developers over at Ghost Games have been listening to their community and implementing changes – if slowly. According to a recent developer post over the Need for Speed SubReddit, a lot of work is going on under the hood with regards to Payback’s progression system.

The latest patch includes the following changes:

  • Increased the amount of REP awarded by taking part in events.
  • Increased the amount of Bank awarded by taking part in events.
  • Bait crates now reward increased REP.
  • Bait crates now reward increased Bank.
  • Competing against a Roaming Racer will reward you with increased REP.
  • Competing against a Roaming Racer will reward you with increased Bank.
  • Air Suspension will now appear more frequently within Shipments.
  • Slightly increased REP and Bank for finishing an event outside of first place.

Additional updates are still in development, with further tweaks to the functionality of Tune-up shops planned for the future. Specifically, the developers intend to address the availability of high quality parts in these shops, while a fix for slow-loading textures on the PS4 is similarly in the works.

According to a more detailed post over EA’s website, Ghost Games also intends to increase both the level of parts awarded from events and the quality of cards retrieved from targeted rolls via Tune-up shops. Further changes include your standard game performance and stability improvements – another welcome arrival, given the frequency of complaints after launch regarding poor framerate.

Follow the developers over Twitter @NeedforSpeed for future updates.

The former BCS rankings would have a huge change in the Top 4 compared to the Playoff committee

The BCS had many detractors but, in the end, the system came up with the “right” result most of the time. Still, it is no longer in existence and, while the College Football Playoff is a fantastic idea, the approval rating of the committee selected to choose the teams hasn’t exactly been off the charts at times.

With that in mind, it has become popular to simulate what the BCS would have done in various scenarios and, because the data is publicly available, it isn’t that difficult to do. This time around, the BCS would have a pretty significant change in the top four, at least through mid-November.

And! Your side-by-side comparison of what the #BCS might have looked like this week and the fourth @CFBPlayoff rankings. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! — (@BCSKnowHow) November 23, 2017

It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that undefeated Wisconsin would be buoyed by the BCS given its unblemished mark. Still, jumping ahead of two established top four teams like Clemson and Oklahoma is certainly noteworthy and there is a bit of an amusing switch in the BCS system sending Georgia ahead of Auburn given what happened on the field earlier in the month.

Thought exercises like this won’t be going away anytime soon, especially when the line of demarcation for the top four is as blurry as it is right now. In the end, it will probably sort itself out with Wisconsin having to face a real challenge in the Big Ten title game but, until then, the speculation burns.

Lane Kiffin calls out Alabama disrespect: “Pay attention”

Lane Kiffin may not have left Alabama on the greatest of terms, which isn’t a huge surprise, but the current Florida Atlantic head coach is still sticking up for the Crimson Tide.

Alabama is currently ranked No. 1 in the college football playoff rankings — again, not a surprise — but the Crimson Tide and its schedule have been a sticking point with pundits as of late. Sure, Nick Saban’s team has rolled to an undefeated 11-0 record, but three of those wins have come against teams like Fresno State, Colorado State, and Mercer.

Still, recently talking with Paul Finebaum on the radio, Kiffin defended the Crimson Tide. Here’s what he said, via SECCountry:

“All these people blow me away. Pay attention,” Kiffin said on The Paul Finebaum Show of those who doubt Alabama. “I think it’s ridiculous. You’re the champ till you’re not.”

Those paying attention would point out that Alabama is technically not the champion right now. That honor belongs to the Clemson Tigers, who beat the Crimson Tide in last season’s national championship game.

With that said, it’s hard to deny that Saban and the Crimson Tide are the top dogs of college football. He’s arguably the greatest coach of all-time and he’s built a modern-day dynasty at Alabama — a stint that includes four national championships.

Alabama has also won the past three SEC championships, so technically speaking, at least from an SEC perspective, Kiffin is correct. The Crimson Tide may not have played the toughest schedule in the country, but it’s hard to deny the fact that Alabama is one of the favorites to win it all once again.

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.”

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 — 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 — 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! — 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.

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