GAINESVILLE — At last, there's some actual smoke to the Chip Kelly-Florida rumors.
The Gators sent a group — including president Kent Fuchs and athletic director Scott Stricklin — to New Hampshire on Sunday to talk with the former Oregon coach about UF's opening. Stricklin didn't tell reporters much after he disembarked from the plane in Ocala.
"There will probably be some more productive conversations in the days ahead…" Stricklin told SEC Country. "Lot of interest in the job."...
1. A milestone Florida probably doesn't want to celebrate: Johnny Townsend became the school's all-time leading punter with his 232rd career punt. But Townsend has legitimately been one of the team's MVPs.
2. It took far too long, but UF's tight ends finally made a contribution to the passing game. C'yontai Lewis and DeAndre Goolsby both caught their first touchdowns of the season.
3. Another hard-to-believe stat: DE Jabari Zuniga's first-quarter fumble recovery was UF's first of the season (on defense). Freshman DB Shawn Davis had the Gators' second in the third quarter....
GAINESVILLE — Florida's next head coach — whether it's odds-on favorite Chip Kelly or someone else — should be encouraged by Saturday's 36-7 win over UAB.
Not because the Gators (4-6) snapped a five-game losing streak by beating up on a 7-4 Blazers team that was disbanded three years ago.
But because of how UF rebounded — by starting 14 freshmen/sophomores and only one senior in an encouraging display of up-and-coming youth that gives a dash of hope to a program starving for positivity....
Shula Bowl coaches
None of the previous 15 FAU-FIU matchups had this much buzz. Both teams are bowl eligible, and both coaches are national names:
FAU coach Lane Kiffin
You knew him as: The arrogant hotshot who talked a big game at Tennessee and USC and failed at both stops (plus the Raiders).
You should know: His high-scoring offense has the nation's No. 8 rushing attack — one spot ahead of his last school, Alabama — with three 400-yard games. ...
Watching college football all day Saturday? Here's the meh and must-see time frames:
Lamest time window: Late. It's a pretty weak slate, so take a light day.
Noon: No. 5 Wisconsin finally gets a test, No. 19 Michigan.
3:30: How will No. 9 Notre Dame respond to the Miami blowout, against rival Navy?
7: First one to 40 wins when Oregon and Arizona meet....
While message boards and Twitter were running rampant all week about the possibility of Florida hiring Chip Kelly, an announcement on the Gators' next coach is not imminent.
It might not come today. Or Monday. Or next week.
So take a break from staring at the video feed of the Gainesville Airport to see if a high-profile agent will step out. If you actually want to watch football this weekend — and aren't excited about UF's home game against UAB — here are some things to look for with some of the Gators' three most likely targets:...
Tuesday's latest round of the College Football Playoff committee's weekly rankings shows a clear path to a (relatively) controversy-free final four.
Win out, and No. 1 Alabama, No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 5 Wisconsin are in. So, too, is the winner of No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Miami, assuming both keep rolling before their Dec. 2 meeting in the ACC title game.
But this is college football. Nothing is that easy, which is why we might be headed for the first two-loss team in the Playoff era....
MIAMI — A question that has been bubbling up all season crescendoed over the weekend after Miami's 33-point thrashing of Notre Dame.
Is the U back?
"We are back," former Gov. Jeb Bush tweeted.
"I don't think anybody can say we're not," receiver Braxton Berrios said.
Except for the person throwing him touchdown passes.
"We're not back until I have a ring on my finger," quarterback Malik Rosier said. ...
1. The crowd at Hard Rock Stadium exploded when Miami DB Jaquan Johnson intercepted a tipped pass in the first quarter. Why? Because it meant the turnover chain was making an appearance. It came out four times Saturday night.
2. There's no question that Ahmmon Richards is Miami's most-talented receiver. There's also no question that Braxton Berrios is Miami's best receiver. Richards couldn't grab a fade on first and goal; Berrios slid for a 7-yard touchdown reception on the next play to make it 7-0....
MIAMI — While No. 7 Miami's viral turnover chain embodies the swag of a once-proud program that sure looked back Saturday night, it doesn't tell the whole story about one of the nation's four remaining undefeated teams.
Even when it's not taking the ball away, this Hurricanes defense sparkles. That was obvious early and often in Saturday's 41-8 rout of No. 3 Notre Dame, in front of a Hard Rock Stadium crowd that rocked hard in UM's biggest home game in years....
MIAMI — No. 7 Miami got great news even before Saturday night's top-10 showdown with No. 3 Notre Dame kicked off.
Virginia's 38-21 loss to Louisville clinched the Hurricanes' first outright ACC Coastal Division title.
Regardless of what happened against the Fighting Irish — or what happens in the final two games against Virginia and Pitt — Miami will play No. 4 Clemson on Dec. 2 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The Tigers secured their third consecutive Atlantic Division title with Saturday's 31-14 win over Florida State. ...
MIAMI — When Miami defensive lineman RJ McIntosh scooped up a fumble last week against Virginia Tech, he rumbled as fast as his 6-foot-4, 293-pound frame would carry him.
He didn't reach the end zone, so the junior had to settle for the next best thing. McIntosh went over to the sideline, took off his helmet and waited for director of player development, Joel Rodriguez, to place the hottest fashion statement in South Florida around his neck. ...
Irish QBs, past and present
How Notre Dame starter Brandon Wimbush compares to the player he would have been competing against this season — Florida starter Malik Zaire:
Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush
103-200 passing; 1,286 yards; 11 TDs, 2 INTs
101 rushes; 639 yards; 13 TDs
Florida QB Malik Zaire
25-42 passing; 300 yards; 0 TDs, 1 INT
16 rushes; 18 yards; 0 TDs...
Must-see and meh time frames Saturday:
Lamest time window: Noon is the only slot without obvious College Football Playoff implications, so plan accordingly.
Noon: No. 13 Michigan State at No. 11 Ohio State is fine, but No. 12 Oklahoma State at No. 24 Iowa State should be a high-scoring blast.
3:30: No. 10 Auburn can be a playoff spoiler by beating No. 2 Georgia at home....
Authorities declined to file battery charges against Florida State offensive lineman Josh Ball last month but are still investigating a harassment complaint filed against him by a Lithia woman.
Incident reports released Wednesday by the Tallahassee Police Department revealed more details on accusations that the Seminoles' starting left tackle struck FSU student Sandra Sellers during their year and a half relationship. Sellers, 20, has filed for an injunction for protection against dating violence, with a hearing scheduled for today in Leon County. ...