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It’s official. QB Cam Rising will return to Utah for his seventh season in 2024. He redshirted at Texas in 2018 and missed this season at Utah with an injury.
Here’s what’s happening in college football through Saturday…
FCS bracket is set.
South Dakota State goes for title number 2
The 24-team FCS playoff bracket was revealed yesterday, and the undefeated South Dakota State Jackrabbits (11-0) received the No. 1 overall seed. SDSU won its first FCS title last season, also earning the top seed.
As many FBS teams begin to pack up for the year, the second half of the division grows in championship football. And these playoffs are on campus, too. Can’t wait until next year for those in college football.
Here’s the full bracket by the NCAA.
Here’s the 24-team FCS win bracket for 2023: pic.twitter.com/mhecTOhkBA
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) November 19, 2023
A few things to note:
Last season’s runner-up, North Dakota State (8-3), will host a first-round game against Drake on Saturday. The Bison have won nine of the past 12 championships. They have been in the playoffs every year since 2010, but have only played in the first round twice (2010 and 2020). Every playoff game NDSU has lost (four) is the eventual champion. Montana (10-1) will make its fourth straight trip to the playoffs, but earned the top seed at No. 2 this year. The Grizzlies won their first Big Sky title since 2009 and clinched the second seed with a 37-7 win over Montana State on Saturday, and former No. 2 Furman was upset by 2-9 Wofford. How to watch: First round games on Saturday, second round on Dec. 2 (both rounds on ESPN-plus). The quarterfinals will be played Dec. 8-9, followed by Dec. 15-16 (TBA on broadcasts for those two rounds). The national championships will be held on January 7 (ABC).
Another coach opening
Syracuse will make a change
Syracuse fired Dino Babers yesterday, a day after the Orange lost 31-22 to Georgia Tech and fell to 5-6 this season. In eight seasons, Babers posted a 41-55 record, highlighted by a 10-3 campaign in 2018. Syracuse is off to a 4-0 start this season but has lost six of its last seven and is 1-6 in ACC play.
Our own Bruce Feldman profiled Babers in the middle of last month. The move isn’t surprising considering how the season went for the Orange. Syracuse ranks at the bottom of the Open Power 5 coaching jobs hierarchy. The Orange are far behind their peers in terms of name, image and image, and have played in just two bowl games in the past decade. The next coach is stepping into a tough role that will require a lot of building. As for replacement candidates, Bruce reports that Toledo coach Jason Schama, James Madison coach Curt Cignetti and New Orleans Saints offensive line coach Doug Marrone could get long looks.
New AP Top 25
Georgia ranks No. 1 when Ohio State jumps
A new AP poll was released yesterday, and after five weeks among the top teams, Ohio State jumped Michigan to 2nd place. Of course, the Buckeyes and Wolverines will have a chance to clarify their status in the first head-to-head matchup between top-five teams this season. A few other notes:
No. 1 Georgia (11-0) holds the largest lead of all time, receiving 61 of 62 first-place votes. Ohio State (11-0) received the other first-place vote. Washington (11-0) and Florida State (11-0) swapped spots, with the Huskies moving to No. 4 and Florida State dropping to No. 5. I expected a similar switch in the College Football Playoff last week. So I wasn’t surprised to see it happen in this week’s poll. The Huskies’ win over Oregon State (which dropped five spots to No. 15) gave them a lift, but undefeated Florida State has plenty of question marks after an injury to QB Jordan Travis. Former No. 16 Utah (7-4) fell out of the poll after losing to Arizona, James Madison (10-1) dropped six points to No. 24, and Tennessee (7-4) dropped four to No. 25. Hello Toledo! The Rockets (10-1) are ranked 23rd in the poll for the first time since 2015. Tulane (No. 18), Liberty (No. 22) and JMU (No. 24), joined the group of 5 conferences. Have a strong presence this week. UNLV (56 points) and SMU (49) were among the top four in the poll.
Where do these teams rank us athletically? Of all 133 FBS teams in the final round, Washington gets more honors than Chris Vannini.
Apple Cup Live is on.
Washington, Washington State extended the competition
This looks like a good, civil start to Rivalry Week. Washington and Washington State have agreed to extend the Apple Cup rivalry for five years through the 2028 season.
Washington is making significant progress in preparing to join the Big Ten next year, and Washington State is struggling with a conference that is uncertain about its future.
The teams will meet for the 115th time as Pac-12 foes in the final game at Husky Stadium on Saturday. Among several major rivalries in jeopardy due to the recent wave of conference realignment, the Apple Cup is the first to move beyond conference affiliation.
Which Endangered Race would you like to see next? Respond to today’s poll through Saturday.
Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek confirmed the Razorbacks will remain with Sam Pittman as head coach despite a 4-7 record.
David Ubben knows the CFP committee may have doubts about Florida State without Travis. But that doesn’t mean the Seminoles should be eliminated from the playoffs. After all, we’ve seen this kind of situation before.
The high school postseason is in full swing for many of the nation’s top prospects. Check in with Grace Raynor’s weekly recruiting update.
In non-CFB news, Brian Hamilton details how Wisconsin volleyball became one of the most dominant programs in the country … with a coach who never knew the game.
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(Top photo: Bailey Hillesheim / IconSportswear via Getty Images)