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College football rankings: Shakeup to Bottom 25 Playoff race as Arizona, UNLV pick up first wins

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25. Bowling Green 3-6 Bowling Green had last week off and found itself entering The Bottom 25. The Falcons won their last game! I don’t track these things, but I’m fairly confident they are the first team in history to enter The Bottom 25 off a win and a bye. We’ll forever remember this day. (Last Week: Not Ranked) 24. ULM 4-5 The Warhawks left us for a couple of weeks following a 41-31 win over South Alabama, but two straight losses have them back under .500 and back in The Bottom 25. They’ll hope to get out again this week with a win over No. 5 Arkansas State. (NR) 23. Tulsa 3-6 Tulsa literally came within inches of a possible upset win over Cincinnati on Saturday, fumbling at the goal line down eight in the final minutes. Instead, they lost 28-20 and joined The Bottom 25. Also, while I don’t know if the College Football Playoff selection committee reads this column, I have to point out that Cincinnati has struggled in three straight games against teams currently ranked in The Bottom 25. Tulsa will face one of them this weekend when it goes on the road to face No. 11 Tulane. (NR) 22. Texas State 3-6 The Bobcats picked up a nice 27-19 win over ULM on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to get them out of The Bottom 25. They do have a couple of winnable games remaining on the schedule, though, including this week at home against No. 13 Georgia Southern. Could we see a winning streak begin? (15) 21. Indiana 2-7 The Hoosiers fell to Michigan 29-7 last week, giving them their sixth loss against a team ranked in one of those other inferior polls. That’s part of the reason the Hoosiers are only at No. 21 despite being 2-7 — their strength of schedule is a lot stronger than most of the other teams here. Things get a little easier this week when the Hoosiers host Rutgers. (25) 20. Louisiana Tech 2-7 The Bulldogs dropped their fifth straight despite taking an early 21-7 lead over UAB. Things turned quickly after that, as the Blazers outscored the Bulldogs 45-17 the rest of the way to win 52-38. Tech hopes to put an end to the streak this weekend against Charlotte. (24) 19. South Florida 2-7 The Bulls continue to show strong signs of feistiness as they fell to Houston 54-42. While the wins aren’t coming, this is a team that’s improving as the season goes on, and it could pull off a surprise before all is said and done. And what if that surprise is at home against Cincinnati on Friday? (19) 18. New Mexico 3-6 New Mexico found itself on the wrong end of UNLV’s first win in a 31-17 home loss. I was not surprised at the result, as I picked UNLV to win on the Locks Pod edition of The Cover 3 Podcast. I do not expect the Lobos to win this week at Fresno State, either. (22) 17. Temple 3-6 If The Bottom 25 rankings began in October, Temple would be a serious contender for a playoff spot. The Owls have lost four straight games and have been outscored 180-27 in the process. This team has run out of gas, which bodes well for its opponent this week: Houston. (23) 16. Rice 3-6 Rice was close to pulling off a victory Saturday but fell to Charlotte 31-24 in overtime. Close games have been a theme for the Owls since three early-season blowout losses. This week they’ll try to slow down the high-octane offense of Western Kentucky. (17) 15. Ohio 2-7 The Bobcats picked up their second win of the season last Tuesday, beating Miami (OH) 35-33 in The Battle of the Bricks. They’ll look to make it two wins in a row when they face Eastern Michigan on Tuesday night. Remember, kids; The Bottom 25 is The Unofficial Official Poll of #MACtion. (11) 14. Navy 2-7 Navy couldn’t maintain its strong level of play over recent weeks in South Bend, losing to Notre Dame 34-6. The Mids will have this week off to recover before returning to action next week against East Carolina. (16) 13. Georgia Southern 2-7 The excitement of hiring Clay Helton wasn’t enough to inspire the Eagles to victory against Coastal Carolina, as they fell 28-8. And you know what? If I’m going to lose a game, I’d rather do it with an odd-looking score than a normal one. Losing 28-7 doesn’t grab anybody’s attention, but when you lose 28-8? The people notice. Not as much as if you’d lost 28-5 or 5-2, but they notice. Southern hopes to turn more heads this weekend against No. 22 Texas State. (14) 12. Arizona 1-8 While Cal fans will be quick to point out how depleted their team was on Saturday, it should also be pointed out that Arizona is down to roughly its ninth-string QB as well. The Wildcats are far from 100%, and as I said up top, I don’t care how the win comes, so long as it comes. It probably came just in time, too, because Arizona’s final three games of the season won’t be easy. The first of the three is against Utah Saturday. (5) 11. Tulane 1-8 My beloved Wave have dropped seven straight and remain on the hunt for their first win over an FBS team in 2021. This weekend, the Wave hope to crash back from a 14-10 loss to UCF at home against No. 23 Tulsa. (13) 10. Vanderbilt 2-7 The Commodores had the weekend off but return to action this week against a Kentucky team licking its wounds following a loss to Tennessee. (12) 9. UNLV 1-8 OK, so I predicted last week that UNLV would get a win against New Mexico. So, you know what? I’m predicting the second win of the season will come this week when the Rebels host Hawaii. (4) 8. Akron 2-7 The Zips lost to Ball State 31-25 last Wednesday and fired coach Tom Arth on Thursday. It’s been a rough couple of years in Akron, but the Zips will look to pull off an upset over Western Michigan Tuesday night. (10) 7. FIU 1-8 There just aren’t a lot of positive things to say about the Panthers right now. Old Dominion was one of the more winnable games remaining on the schedule, and they lost at home to the Monarchs 47-24. Given their performance, it’s hard to be optimistic about chances against the remaining three teams, including this week’s contest at Middle Tennessee. (9) 6. New Mexico State 1-8 The Aggies fell 35-13 to one of the Mountain West’s best in Utah State, and this week they get to take on Alabama a week after the Tide nearly lost to LSU. So I’m sure that’s going to be a lot of fun for the Aggies. Still, the good news is the Aggies did find a home during the week, as they were one of four schools invited to join the new-look Conference USA. (7) 5. Arkansas State 1-8 It was a rough day for the Red Wolves in a 48-14 loss to Appalachian State, but there’s no time to feel sorry for themselves. They’ve just got to pick themselves up and dust themselves off because this week they’re hitting the road to take on No. 24 ULM in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week! (8) 4. Southern Miss 1-8 The bad news for the Golden Eagles is they lost by 24 to North Texas in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of Last Week. The good news is games remain against No. 20 Louisiana Tech and No. 7 FIU, so a second win is possible. Maybe even a third. Of course, it’s not likely to come this week against UTSA, which means the Golden Eagles should hold onto their Bottom 25 Playoff positioning for at least another week. (6) 3. UConn 1-8 UConn was off again last week and will play its first game in 22 days on Saturday when it travels to Clemson. This means that the Huskies can blame a loss on being rusty if they’d like, or they can credit a possible upset win to being so well-rested. (3) 2. Kansas 1-8 The Sunflower Showdown did not go well. Kansas lost its 13th consecutive game to rival Kansas State, falling 35-10. This week the Jayhawks turn to an old reliable when it comes to looking for a conference win: Texas. (2) 1. UMass 1-8 The first leg of The Battle for New England did not go well for the Minutemen, as they lost to Rhode Island 35-22. They’ll look to salvage some pride this weekend in the second leg against Maine. (1)





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Aaron Rodgers to the Jets? Giants' free agency options & Mike McCarthy's future with Cowboys | Ask Jay Glazer

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Jay Glazer discussed whether Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will head to the New York Jets, the New York Giants’ free agency options, and breaks down Mike McCarthy’s future with the Dallas Cowboys.



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Super Bowl LVII: Chiefs and Eagles will meet for title in Arizona

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Patrick Mahomes finally got the best of Joe Burrow. 

All he needed was a little shove.

Harrison Butker made a 45-yard field goal with 3 seconds left — after Cincinnati’s Joseph Ossai was flagged for a 15-yard penalty for shoving Mahomes after he was out of bounds — and the Chiefs beat the Bengals 23-20 in the AFC championship game to make it back to the Super Bowl.

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Kansas City will face the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona. 

The Eagles opened as a 1 1/2-point favourite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

There are no shortage of storylines: Kansas City coach Andy Reid goes against his old team — which he led to Super Bowl 39 — in a game that’s also the first matchup of Black starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl with Mahomes and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts. 

On top of that, there’s a brother-against-brother showdown between Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Philadelphia center Jason Kelce.

“Officially done being a Chiefs fan this season!! ” Jason Kelce tweeted immediately after the Chiefs won.

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The Chiefs have been making deep postseason runs on a regular basis ever since Mahomes came to town as the franchise quarterback. 

This was their fifth straight trip to the AFC title game and will be their third Super Bowl appearance in that span. They beat the 49ers for the NFL title in the 2019 season, but lost to the Bucs the following season.

The Eagles clobbered the Niners 31-7 in the NFC title game earlier Sunday. They’ve looked dominant in the playoffs so far, also beating the New York Giants 38-7 in the divisional round.

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Philadelphia is back in the Super Bowl five years after beating the New England Patriots 41-33 on Feb. 4, 2018. 

Now a mostly new generation of Eagles — led by coach Nick Sirianni and Hurts — will come to Arizona to try and win another title.

The Chiefs-Bengals game looked as if it was going to overtime before Ossai’s ill-advised play. Mahomes — who was playing on a badly sprained ankle — was running to get a first down in the final seconds as Ossai desperately tried to track him down. 

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Mahomes was out of bounds when Ossai gave him a shove, sending both players tumbling to the turf. The ensuing 15-yard penalty was enough to push Butker into field-goal range and the kick split the uprights.

A distraught Ossai sat on the bench with his head in his hands, well after the game was over.

The Bengals and Chiefs were playing for the fourth time in less than 400 days and Cincinnati had won the previous three meetings — all by three points. This one was decided by a field goal, too, and all Burrow could do was watch.

The Bengals lost to the Rams in last year’s Super Bowl and they just missed another chance at returning to the title game.

NO DRAMA IN NFC

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Oddsmakers thought fans were in for some close conference championship games. 

They’ll have to settle for a 50% success rate.

The NFC title game was a blowout. Niners rookie quarterback Brock Purdy was injured in the first quarter when Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick drilled his right arm on a play that was ruled a fumble. The Eagles recovered that fumble and the injury proved to be a game-changer.

With Purdy hurt, San Francisco turned to 36-year-old journeyman Josh Johnson, who couldn’t do much before eventually leaving with a concussion. Purdy came back into the game, but could barely throw, and the Eagles cruised to the win.

The 49ers dealt with quarterback injuries all season, losing Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo before turning to Purdy, a seventh-round draft pick out of Iowa State. Purdy stepped into a starter’s role in December and won his first seven games before Sunday’s injury. 

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Here’s a few things to know about the upcoming Super Bowl:

WHAT’S THE UPCOMING SCHEDULE?

FEB. 5

Pro Bowl flag-football game, 3 p.m. EST, ABC/ESPN

FEB. 12

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Super Bowl LVII, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 6:30 p.m. EST, Fox

RIHANNA AT HALFTIME

Rihanna will take center stage as the headline act for this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.

With sales of more than 250 million records worldwide, Rihanna ranks as one of the best-selling female artists ever. Her most recent album was 2016′s “Anti.” Rihanna last performed publicly at the Grammy Awards in 2018.

The singer said she turned down a similar opportunity for the 2019 Super Bowl that was ultimately headlined by Maroon 5. At the time, many artists voiced support for Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who protested police brutality against Black people and minorities by kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

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Country music star Chris Stapleton will sing the national anthem, while R&B legend Babyface will perform “America the Beautiful.” 

PRO BOWL MAKEOVER

The Pro Bowl is getting a major makeover this year after the NFL eliminated its full-contact all-star game and replaced it with weeklong skills competitions and a flag football game.

The flag football contest is Feb. 5 in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium, one week before the Super Bowl.

The Pro Bowl debuted in January 1951 in Los Angeles and stayed there for 21 seasons before the game moved to different cities from 1972-80. Hawaii hosted from 1980-2009, and the game has had several homes in the years since, including Miami, Phoenix, Orlando and Las Vegas.

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“The game was kind of silly, I guess,” Saints two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk said back in September when the news was announced. “Guys weren’t out there playing true football. Hopefully, there’ll be a lot of interactions with the fans and guys will get their opportunity to go out there and show some skills. I could see that being a good change.”

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Ohio State hires James Laurinaitis & Tennessee extends Huepel's contract | Joel Klatt Show

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Joel Klatt discussed Ohio State Buckeyes hiring former linebacker James Laurinaitis as a defensive GA. Joel believes that Laurinaitis can help transform the defense into a powerhouse like the offense is for wide receivers. He then discussed the Tennessee Volunteers giving Josh Huepel a contract extension after their 11-win season.



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