TagsTransfersAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say Man Utd can land Ozan Kabak for third of Galatasaray valuationby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United can snap up Galatasaray defender Ozan Kabak for a cut-price fee.The Daily Mail says the 18-year-old centre back only made his first-team debut earlier this year but has quickly established himself as a regular under manager Fatih Terim.His potential has alerted United and other top European clubs who have established that Kabak has a £6.7million release clause despite Galatasaray valuing the teenager at £20m.Under-pressure Jose Mourinho has been pushing for his club to sign new defenders. Though he has been keen for them to sign more experienced players such as Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Leicester’s Harry Maguire, United have been earmarking younger players with potential to grow such as Kabak and Porto’s Eder Militao.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal Double winner McNab: We should’ve fought harder for Van Dijk, Robertsonby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal Double winner Bob McNab has slammed the club for failing to sign Liverpool pair Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson.McNab believes both would have jumped at the chance of bringing back the Gunners’ glory days had Dutch master Dennis Bergkamp and Scot Frank McLintock been asked to intervene.He told The Sun: “Van Dijk has to be one of the best centre-backs the Premier League has seen in ages.“For the life of me I really can’t understand why we didn’t go for him when he was at Southampton.“Robertson has been brilliant, a joy to watch for ageing full-backs like me.“Liverpool took a gamble because you never know how someone will cope when they move to a big club where there’s pressure and scrutiny all the time. But Jurgen Klopp really did his homework.”McNab added: “We shot ourselves in both feet by not signing Van Dijk and Robertson.“I couldn’t imagine Andy Robertson turning us down if Frank McLintock had got involved in talks.“And the same applies to Bergkamp — if he’d have had a quiet word in Van Dijk’s ear then it could have been us at the top.”
TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Juventus demand Chelsea cough up big for Higuainby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus are demanding Chelsea cough up big for Gonzalo Higuain.The Daily Express says a permanent deal at the end of the loan could be worth more than £54million.Juventus have rejected an initial six-month loan deal for the Argentine striker.Higuain is currently on loan at AC Milan but wants to join his former coach Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea.But Chelsea have proposed a long-term loan, with them taking over the remaining six months of Milan’s lease on the player.They then want to take the Argentine on loan for next season as well for an £18m fee, followed by a permanent deal in the summer of 2020. Juventus are reluctant to go for another loan move but could be persuaded with clauses for the deal to be made permanent if Chelsea finish in the top four or win the Europa League.
Venkatesham insists Arsenal happy with Emeryby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham insists they’re happy with the work of manager Unai Emery.Despite their collapse in drawing at Watford, Venkatesham insists the board are happy with Emery’s tenure so far.”We are very comfortable with him and his coaching staff,” Venkatesham said of Emery during an interview with the Strait Times. “We think he is doing an excellent job, so we are very happy.”When we appointed Unai, the team that worked on that looked at lots of different attributes that we felt we want to have in our head coach.”One of them was, we want a coach who was willing, able, and had a track record of playing young players, because that is an important part of Arsenal Football Club.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Malachi Boateng pens terms with Crystal Palaceby Paul Vegas24 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveMalachi Boateng has penned terms with Crystal Palace.Palace midfielder Boateng has signed his first professional contract with the club.Boateng, 17, is the brother of Academy graduate Hiram Boateng and has featured four times for the Under-23s this season, scoring once against Hull City.Hiram is now with MK Dons. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Fred praises Man Utd assistant coachesby Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFred insists he maintains a strong relationship with the coaches at Manchester United, particularly former Red Devils midfielder Michael Carrick.The 26-year-old has struggled to adapt to the Premier League since arriving from Shahktar Donestk in the summer of 2018.But he is working hard with the United coaches on the training pitch to improve his game.He told The Telegraph: “I have a good relationship with the manager and the coaches.”I speak to the coach [Mike Phelan] every day. And to Michael [Carrick] and Kieran [McKenna]. Michael played in my position – he knows what he is saying.”They are always encouraging me and I feel the support of fans, too. And I thank them for that.”
Paul Pogba’s confidence is growing game by game and he remains central to Manchester United’s hopes this season, according to teammate Nemanja Matic.Pogba scored twice on Boxing Day as United beat Huddersfield 3-1 at Old Trafford to continue their revival under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and he appears to have slipped out of the shackles imposed on him during the final weeks of Jose Mourinho’s doomed tenure.The France international’s relationship with Mourinho disintegrated after the Portuguese referred to him as a “virus” following United’s 2-2 draw with Southampton earlier this month. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? But Pogba publically thanked his former manager for helping to “improve” him after last Saturday’s 5-1 win against Cardiff City, and Matic believes there is more to come from the club’s record signing after his recent uplift.“As I’ve said in previous interviews about him, he’s very important for us,” the Serb told the Guardian.“When he plays at his best, he can make the difference in every game. He played very well [against Huddersfield] but I think that he can do even more.“Slowly, game-by-game [he is doing better] and it’s very important for him to score some goals. The confidence for the next game is going to be better and he needs to know that he still can improve. He needs to know that he’s very important for this team.”“It’s difficult to answer what we changed [under Solskjær],” he said. “For sure, our approach to the game was different because this team have quality and we have to give our best every game if we want to win the games.”United have scored eight goals in their two games since the Norwegian took over from Mourinho, and have re-discovered the attacking verve that has so often been absent since the club last won the Premier League in 2013.“Everyone wants to show against Manchester United that they can compete with us, so we need to know that our level of running and fighting needs to be the same or even higher than the other team. Then our quality can make the difference.”“But when we are fighting, when we know what we have to do in every moment of the game, then the other teams don’t have a lot of chance to take points from here. The next game is a new challenge. We have to do more. We have to do everything to win because this is the way to make [improvements].”
Inter are prepared to let Gabriel Barbosa go out on loan once more after the youngster relaunched his career in 2018, with Fulham among those leading the way in the battle to sign him.Barbosa, dubbed ‘Gabigol’ in his native Brazil after bursting onto the scene as a teenage sensation, joined Inter in 2016 from Santos.He failed to settle in Italy, however, playing just a handful of games in his debut season and subsequently disappointing in a temporary switch to Benfica. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? A move back to Santos saw him rejuvenated over the past 12 months , with Barbosa finishing as Serie A’s top scorer with 18 goals to help the Peixe gain a Copa Sudamericana spot.And now, Goal understands, he will again be offered out on loan by Inter in the hope that the 22-year-old will continue to fine tune his play, with Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martinez both ahead of him in the pecking order at San Siro.The Nerazzurri, however, stipulate that only teams that are willing to cover the full cost of Gabigol’s wages – some €3.5 million per season – will be considered as potential suitors.And while the January transfer window has recently opened two sides in particular are willing to accept those terms: Fulham and Brazilian giants Flamengo.Fulham currently find themselves in a tense battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League, currently sitting second from bottom in the standings four points adrift from safety.A lack of goals, moreover, has contributed to that malaise; the west Londoners’ tally of just 19 goals in 21 outings is superior only to Huddersfield and Newcastle United’s strike-rate to date.But while Gabigol is a big fan of English football, June’s Copa America is weighing heavy on his mind.The striker believes that spending the next campaign in Rio de Janeiro with Flamengo, who finished second to Palmeiras in 2018 and will dispute this year’s Copa Libertadores, would be more beneficial to his Brazil chances than a relegation dogfight.Inter and Flamengo remain in negotiations, with the cost of a prospective deal causing an early stumbling block.The Italians are looking for a fee before releasing Barbosa for the next year in order for the loan to run to the end of the Brazilian season, a condition that did not go down well in Rio.West Ham also remain keen as they look to bolster their own forward line, though they are unwilling to match Inter’s wages demands.
England Women’s manager Phil Neville has said he fears no side in the Women’s World Cup.The Lionesses face Cameroon in the round of 16 on Sunday, after progressing with a perfect record from the group stages for the first time in their World Cup history.Despite that success, Neville acknowledged that each game had seen some sloppy passages from his team but also admitted his own standards might be unrealistically high. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “Yes, it does frustrate me,” the former Manchester United player said at a press conference.“I’m looking for something that may take a long time to achieve, that total domination for 90 minutes. I sometimes expect more of them, but maybe no team can do it for 90 minutes.“My expectation levels are sometimes higher than what’s achievable. But I have to keep pushing the standards.“And so far I’ve seen nothing in this tournament that gives me fear. I’ve seen nothing that makes me go: ‘Oh dear me, if we play them we’re going to struggle’.”England are favourites to beat Cameroon and progress to the quarter-finals, where they would face Norway, who beat Australia in a penalty shootout on Saturday, should they advance.Despite that, Neville will not underestimate their opponents, saying that his team could struggle against a defensive style.“Our biggest tests are going to be against teams like that, the teams that we’re expected to beat but will sit low and really try to stifle us,” he continued.“My players are looking forward to the games where teams will come out at us, give us more spaces to play and to counter-attack.”No team at this World Cup has rotated as much as the Lionesses, and Neville says he has made those changes based on tactical needs in each game.“We pick players based on their profiles,” the 42-year-old added.“Over the years I’ve learned that, if you have one cog that’s not quite right in the system, that flow of how you want to play can’t work.”“It’s not science, it’s common sense, it’s playing the right players in the right positions for the style of football you want to implement in a specific game.”
Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo denied James Rodriguez is poised to join the La Liga side, adding there have not been negotiations for the Real Madrid midfielder. Tipped to move to Napoli throughout the off-season, Atletico have reportedly emerged as the favourites to sign James as the Italian outfit and Madrid struggle to reach an agreement. James is set to leave Madrid following a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich, who opted not to make the deal permanent at the end of 2018-19. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Asked about Colombia star James, Cerezo told reporters: “Atletico are interested in great players and James is a great player, but from that to he’s going to come, there’s some distance. “Negotiations? Not that I know of, no.” Atletico have been busy in the transfer market, breaking a club record to sign Portuguese sensation Joao Felix, while also adding Marcos Llorente, Hector Herrera, Felipe, Renan Lodi and Ivan Saponjic following the departures of stars like Antoine Griezmann, Rodri, Lucas Hernandez and Diego Godin. Diego Simeone’s transfer business is far from over, however, with Tottenham right-back Kieran Trippier and Espanyol defender Mario Hermoso reportedly close to moving to the Spanish capital. “We’ve had a few signings and are in negotiations for a few more,” Cerezo said. “Negotiations can end well or badly, but there are negotiations. “Everything’s going well, the team is training well, blending in well and very happy at Los Angeles de San Rafael. Now we’re waiting for next season with a month left to go.” The summer marks a bit of a rebuild for the club, who have seen a sustained run of success since Simeone took over late in 2011. The club have won the Europa League twice, La Liga once, the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup and finished as runners-up in the Champions League behind a team built around a fierce defensive unit. But with key players leaving the club, bringing in a host of new talent will test the manager’s ability to get a relatively new group up to speed on his intensive style of play ahead of the new campaign.
COLUMBIA, SC – NOVEMBER 25: Kelly Bryant #2 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after his team scores a touchdown against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Clemson and South Carolina have one of the best in-state rivalries in college football – one that certainly does not die down during the offseason. Monday, a Tigers supporter and a Gamecocks quarterback commit had an interesting back-and-forth on Twitter.A Clemson supporter who goes by Kelly Ferrell originally responded to a South Carolina supporter who addressed the fact that former five-star quarterback Hunter Johnson had announced he’d be transferring from Clemson. Somehow, South Carolina quarterback commit Ryan Hilinski got tagged in the conversation.After the fan trashed South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp’s accolades, Hilinski got involved. Check it all out:The man lost the QB battle to Trevor Lawrence. Sunshine done come in an forced 3 QBs to transfer out. He has beat out 3 QBs with veteran experience and 4-5⭐️ ratings. Y’all better get nervous cause this 4 game win streak might reach 7-8 now— Kelly Ferrell (@Palmetto_Bowl) May 21, 2018You really wanna tag Ryan in this thread? Lmao alright. When he steps foot on the field against Clemson he is going to be thrown around like a rag doll. Brent Venables is the best defensive coordinator in the game & will have 5⭐️ XT & KJ going do destroy him for years— Kelly Ferrell (@Palmetto_Bowl) May 21, 2018Lol let’s look at actual results. Venables winning championships, getting trophies & built one of the best defenses in the nation. There’s really no comparison— Kelly Ferrell (@Palmetto_Bowl) May 21, 2018What Muschamp achieved as a head coach? No conference championships, no national championships, really a whole lot of nothing. A lot of hype & no results. If you wanna brag cause your name gets mentioned that’s your choice. I know coots love participation trophies smhhh— Kelly Ferrell (@Palmetto_Bowl) May 21, 2018Not YET… and it’s not all about championships. He’s developed young men that can go into the world and make an impact on those around them! That’s way more valuable to me. https://t.co/Bld1mwQ5tr— Big Bo (@ryan_hilinski) May 21, 2018Lol there you go again with that participation trophy crap. Look Ryan I’m sure you’re nice kid. But you goin come down here to the South, win 0 conference championships & 0 Natty’s. Plus 0-4 aginst Clemson. That’s facts— Kelly Ferrell (@Palmetto_Bowl) May 21, 2018Hilinski won’t be enrolling at South Carolina until 2019, but it’s a safe bet that Gamecocks fans are going to be in his corner from the second he steps on campus.As for the rivalry on the field – Clemson has won the last four contests, though South Carolina won the five before that. The Tigers lead the all-time series 69-42-4.Clemson has also been the better program in recent years. The Tigers have won one national championship, lost a national title game and reached the College Football Playoff in three of the four years it’s existed.All that said, sometimes it only takes one or two players to change the fate of a program. Perhaps Hilinski will be the player the Gamecocks need to get back on the right side of their rivalry.Clemson will host South Carolina this year on Saturday, November 24.
NORMAN, OK – OCTOBER 18: An Oklahoma Sooners helmet is seen during warmups before the game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kansas State Wildcats October 18, 2014 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. The Wildcats defeated the Sooners 31-30. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)Oklahoma opens up the 2018 season this Saturday. The Sooners host a non-conference foe, FAU.Oklahoma fans will get their first look at new quarterback Kyler Murray. They can also see their defense go up against what should be a pretty explosive FAU offense this season under Lane Kiffin.The Sooners are decisive favorites in this game, but it should be a pretty good Week 1 test.It’s football time in Oklahoma!? Saturday? 11 a.m. CT? Florida Atlantic? https://t.co/Q28yviZQFU ? https://t.co/SHd7FT06Nn pic.twitter.com/aqUuTae7Za— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) August 27, 2018Kickoff for this game is set for noon ET on FOX.Here’s who will be broadcasting the action:Play-by-play: Gus JohnsonGame analyst: Joel KlattSideline reporter: Jenny TaftOklahoma is a 21-point favorite over the Owls.
TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 09: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers reacts after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide 35-31 to win the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Week 2 of the college football season is fast-approaching. Although the NFL will dominate Thursday night’s action, college football takes over Friday night and Saturday with a plethora of intriguing matchups.Ahead of the Week 2 slate of games, let’s take a look at the programs on “upset alert.” These teams might not lose, but they better not overlook their opponents of their hopes of the College Football Playoffs will be dashed.Here are five teams on “upset alert” for College Football Week 2.We have a couple of ranked teams, as well as other sizable favorites going on the road.No. 18 Mississippi State (-8) at Kansas State (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)Joe Moorhead shined during his debut with the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The offensive-minded coach had the Bulldogs firing on all cylinders with Nick Fitzgerald at quarterback against Stephen F. Austin. However, Bill Snyder’s team will be prepared for a dual-threat quarterback and Kansas State Wildcats have shown they know how to handle explosive offenses.Bulldogs beware.No. 3 Georgia (-10) at No. 24 South Carolina (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Georgia gets an early test in a South Carolina team that fields a competent quarterback and a stout defense. The Bulldogs might have the edge on the offensive line, but the Gamecocks were among the national leaders in points against during the 2017 season.Will Muschamp will have his team ready to fight for its home territory.No. 2 Clemson (-12) at Texas A&M (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)In what will likely be the College GameDay location, the Clemson Tigers travel to take on a Texas A&M program that destroyed an inferior opponent. The Aggies racked up over 500 yards on the ground against Northwestern State.The trenches will be the place to watch as Clemson’s defensive front hopes to contain junior tailback Trayveon Williams.No. 15 Michigan State (-6) at Arizona State (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Michigan State opened with a lackluster performance against Utah State. The Spartans will get a tough test in Herm Edwards’ Arizona State Sun Devils. Arizona State dominated in the team’s first contest, allowing just two rushing yards for the entire game.The Spartans’ offensive line needs to show up, or the team will be going home with dashed College Football Playoff hopes.Iowa (-3.5) vs. Iowa State (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)In-state rival Iowa State comes to town this weekend. Matt Campbell has the Cyclones back in the national spotlight and with dreams of an upset in the works. It’s the first game of the season for Iowa State after weather derailed its season-opener – the Cyclones want nothing more than a road win over a rival.Stay tuned.
PALO ALTO, CA – NOVEMBER 28: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish stands on the sidelines during their game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)Despite a second-half surge from Vanderbilt, Notre Dame held on for their third victory of the season on Saturday. Now, the Fighting Irish will have to improve their act on the road against Wake Forest.Before Notre Dame deals with their grueling stretch against Stanford and Virginia Tech, Brian Kelly’s team needs to focus on this weekend. Wake Forest has looked impressive through three games, losing just one showdown to Boston College.Nonetheless, the Fighting Irish will enter this matchup as the favorite.According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Notre Dame has a 70.9 percent chance of winning. For Wake Forest, playing against Notre Dame will provide a great test before they begin their conference schedule. When it comes to the Fighting Irish, they’ve yet to defeat any opponent decisively.Notre Dame and Wake Forest will kick off at 12:00 p.m. ET on Saturday from BB&T Stadium.The game will be available on ABC.
EAST LANSING, MI – SEPTEMBER 20: A general view of Spartan Stadium during the game between the Eastern Michigan Eagles and the Michigan State Spartans on September 20, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. Michigan State defeated Eastern Michigan 73-14 (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)One of the Big Ten’s best programs is struggling at home against a 1-3 program. The Michigan State Spartans put up just six first-half points against Northwestern and trails at the half.The Wildcats hit on two long touchdown plays and hold a 14-6 advantage. Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson hit Kyric McGowan on a 77-yard touchdown then found JJ Jefferson on a 34-yard touchdown to take a 14-3 lead.Michigan State hit a late field goal to cut the lead to eight, but entered halftime on upset alert.1-3 Northwestern has a halftime lead for the 4th time this season. pic.twitter.com/kUzXfmlo3d— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) October 6, 2018Neither team has found success on the ground. The Wildcats have -20 yards on eight carries (yes negative yardage), while the Spartans have managed just 33 yards on 16 carries.Big plays have been the difference through two quarters. The Spartans will need to button it up on the defensive side of the ball if they want to avoid the upset.Meanwhile the Wildcats half their fourth halftime lead, but have just one win on the season. We’ll have to wait and see if they can hold on.
dabo swinney/YoutubeEvery college football season features one week in which things go way off the rails. Last weekend proved to be it for the 2018 season.Four Top 10 teams fell on the day, with a number of other upsets outside of the rankings as well.While it is unlikely that we see another week like that so soon, there are some definite upset spots on the schedule.Here are the five teams on “upset alert” heading into College Football Week 8.A pair of College Football Playoff contenders have very interesting match-ups on Saturday.No. 3 Clemson Tigers (-16.5) vs. No. 16 NC State Wolfpack (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)A battle of the final two undefeated teams in the ACC could decide who will represent the Atlantic Division in the conference title game. The Tigers are appropriately big favorites, and NC State is a bit untested. The ‘Pack’s huge non-conference game against West Virginia was canceled due to Hurricane Florence.Clemson hasn’t always come out firing this year, though. Just a few weeks ago, the Tigers were a few minutes from dropping a game to Syracuse for the second straight year, this one at Death Valley. Two years ago, they fell to Pitt. Like ‘Cuse, NC State has a talented senior quarterback in Ryan Finley. If Clemson comes out flat, this one could be very tight.No. 6 Michigan Wolverines (-7) at No. 24 Michigan State Spartans (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Michigan looked absolutely awesome against Wisconsin last week. I picked the Badgers in this same article last week, and that pick did not go well at all. Still, any Michigan fan who tells you that they are totally comfortable heading to East Lansing is lying to your face.The Wolverines are the better, more talented team, and have been red hot for a few weeks, but Michigan State has had their number for years, have the home field advantage, and just proved they can pull off an upset like this against Penn State.Duke Blue Devils (-7) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)Duke has flirted with being a Top 25 team this year, and are off to a 5-1 start. There’s a very strong argument to be made that the Blue Devils are the best team in the ACC Coastal this season. The conference just doesn’t make sense below Clemson, though, and 4-2 Virginia is much better than anyone thought it’d be this season. Duke has also dealt with quarterback injury issues, and Jones has really struggled in starts against Bronco Mendenhall Hoos teams.Missouri Tigers (-9.5) vs. Memphis Tigers (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)Missouri’s blowout loss to Alabama shouldn’t define the team. That happens to every team that crosses Alabama at this point. This is way more about Memphis.Last year’s AAC runner-up couldn’t quite get over the hump, blowing a big lead to undefeated UCF in last weekend’s loss. Memphis is still very good, with an extremely explosive offense. The S&P+ analytics system has Memphis ranked No. 27 in the country (Mizzou is No. 37), with a 49-percent chance to get this road win. This is a true toss-up.Syracuse Orange (-10) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)This may be based on experience as a Syracuse alumnus, but the Orange laying 10-points against a conference opponent in any situation just feels wrong. Syracuse looks to have its best team in years, with four definitive wins before a very close loss at Clemson and an overtime loss at Pitt. Still, the team has flaws on both ends, and Larry Fedora is still a talented offensive coach. UNC is just 1-4, but that win came against Pitt, and the team kept things very close against Virginia Tech last week. By all measures, Syracuse deserves to be the favorite that it is, but with the 2018 ACC, anything can happen.
LINCOLN, NE – SEPTEMBER 08: Head coach Scott Frost of the Nebraska Cornhuskers approaches the sidelines in the second half against the Colorado Buffaloes at Memorial Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)Few college football programs have had a more encouraging second half of the 2018 season than Nebraska.The Huskers, who lost their first six games of the year, have won four of five games and are looking for a 5-1 finish to the season.Scott Frost and Co. end the season with a rivalry game, taking on Iowa on Friday.Who’s going to emerge with the victory?OddsShark’s computer has made its prediction.Nebraska and Iowa are set to kick off at noon E.T.The game will be on FOX.
LINCOLN, NE – OCTOBER 14: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)Urban Meyer wouldn’t totally commit to never coaching again, when announcing his retirement from Ohio State. It doesn’t sound like its in the immediate cards, however.We’ve seen a similar script from Meyer before.He stepped away from Florida football after the 2010 season, and spent a year working for ESPN, before taking over Ohio State after the 2011 season.Texas and Oklahoma have very solid coaching situations, with Tom Herman and Lincoln Riley each wrapping up their second seasons with the Red River rivals. Things move fast in the football coaching world, though.A Texas columnist thinks that if either Tom Herman or Lincoln Riley leaves the Longhorns or Oklahoma Sooners, Urban Meyer could step in at one of those programs.Riley already has serious NFL buzz, but he’s denied that he has interest in coaching at the pro level right now. It is hard to see Herman taking another college job, and he hasn’t really drawn NFL hype, but you never know how things will turn with that Longhorns situation.Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News thinks the two programs are big enough to take Urban Meyer out of retirement again, if the situation arises.Let me ask: If you were searching for a coach who’s a lock to make you into a national contender, or sustain what the former coach built, who better than Meyer?His accessibility over the next few years will speed up timetables all over the nation. Why be patient with a coach who doesn’t own so much as a league championship if a guy who’s won 90 percent of his games and national titles at a couple of different schools, no less, is available?Notre Dame, which Meyer once called his dream job, is the prominent program that is most often connected to the soon-to-be-“retired” national championship winner. There have been NFL rumors around Brian Kelly, but they aren’t as loud right now as they have been.Oklahoma and Texas are certainly at the level that could attract an Urban Meyer-type coach. The questions are: would either want to deal with the baggage that he has accrued, and does he actually want to coach again?Sherrington thinks the answer to both is a resounding “yes.”[Dallas Morning News]
SOUTH BEND, IN – NOVEMBER 04: The macot, cheerleaders and players forthe Notre Dame Fighting Irish run onto the field before a game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium on November 4, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 48-37. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)Virginia Tech graduate transfer Eric Kumah is in the process of finding his new home. This weekend, Kumah visited Notre Dame.The Fighting Irish are one of six schools Kumah is considering. He also has visits scheduled to Texas Tech (March 30) and Penn State (April 6).If his Twitter is any indication, Kumah enjoyed himself in South Bend this weekend. He tweeted this morning that it was a “great visit.”Great visit this weekend! It’s been real South Bend 😎✌🏾☘️— ⚡️EK3⚡️ (@Eric_Kumah11) February 24, 2019Kumah is one of several Virginia Tech players to transfer out of the program this offseason. Another wide receiver, Sean Savoy, is heading to Maryland, where he’ll team up with Va. Tech quarterback Josh Jackson, who is also transferring to play for the Terps.In 2018, Kumah snared 42 passes for 559 yards and seven touchdowns. He caught 28 balls for 324 yards and two touchdowns in 2017.In 2016, Kumah saw action in all 13 games, but did not record a catch. He will be eligible immediately at his new destination.Notre Dame is losing top wide receiver Miles Boykin, and while the Fighting Irish have a number of pass catchers returning, led by Chase Claypool and Chris Finke, the team could use a veteran like Kumah to fill a key role.