College football notebook: Alabama tops first CFP ranking

Sports

Alabama earned the top spot in the first College Football Playoff ranking, which was announced Tuesday night.

Oct 20, 2018; Knoxville, TN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) runs between Tennessee Volunteers defensive lineman Shy Tuttle (2) and defensive back D.J. Henderson (39) for a touchdown in the third quarter of a game at Neyland Stadium. Alabama defeated the Vols 58-21. Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Crimson Tide were followed by Clemson, LSU and Notre Dame in the top four of the initial rankings. The list is likely to change soon when Alabama visits LSU this weekend in a battle of longtime SEC rivals.

At 7-1, LSU is the only one-loss team to earn a spot in the top four. A crowd of one-loss teams are ranked Nos. 5-10: Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma, Washington State, Kentucky and Ohio State.

“LSU’s resume: They have six wins against teams over .500, and quality wins against Georgia and Mississippi State,” Oregon State athletic director Rob Mullens, who chairs the 13-member selection committee, said in comments published by ESPN. “Just the close loss to Florida. We’re impressed. Overall, their body of work is strong.”

—Rutgers University linebacker Izaia Bullock was arrested and charged in connection with a plot to commit murder, according to a news release from Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Rutgers University Police Chief Kenneth Cop.

Bullock, 22, was charged with two counts of attempted murder in the first degree and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree. The release notes the charges came after determining that on Monday, “Bullock initiated a plot to murder the family members of an acquaintance.”

A Rutgers spokesperson confirmed Bullock has been dismissed from the team and the university is launching disciplinary proceedings.

—The Big 12 announced that Baylor is being fined $2 million for “reputational damage to the conference and its members,” due to the sexual assault scandal that rocked the school earlier this decade.

The conference’s board of directors verified that Baylor has implemented the 105 Title IX recommendations suggested by the Pepper Hamilton law firm, which found during a 2016 investigation that Baylor failed to follow Title IX procedures and didn’t properly investigate allegations of sexual assault made against football players.

Baylor also recently received notice from the NCAA that it will be investigated for a lack of institutional control under then football coach Art Briles.

—Maryland head coach DJ Durkin and athletic director Damon Evans will keep their jobs in the wake of the scandal following the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair, according to university president Wallace Loh. Loh announced his retirement, effective June 2019, during the same press conference.

University System of Maryland Board of Regents chairman Jim Brady said the board recommended to university leadership that it retain Durkin as coach.

McNair collapsed during a May 29 practice, displayed symptoms of heatstroke and didn’t receive proper treatment from athletic staffers. He died June 13.

—Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer opened up about his health to Yahoo! Sports a day after addressing the matter at a press conference.

“Over the last few years, I’ve felt better and, with the help of my doctors, learned to manage it and monitor it with medication,” Meyer told Y! Sports. “I’m optimistic that this time won’t be any different.”

Meyer, who knelt down and received treatment on the sideline during an Oct. 6 game against Indiana because of severe headaches, told Y! Sports he wanted to outline his medical history because of all the questions about his future at Ohio State. Meyer had brain surgery in 2014 to relieve intracranial pressure caused by an enlarged congenital arachnoid cyst, which had caused consistent headaches for nearly a month.

—Former Clemson Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant is continuing his quest to figure out where he’ll play in 2019, his final year of eligibility.

He was in Missouri on Saturday and has visited Arkansas and made two trips to North Carolina. He told The State in South Carolina that he plans to take an official visit to see the Tar Heels this weekend, and there’s also a chance he’ll visit Mississippi State. Baylor and Louisville also have been speculated as potential destinations for Bryant.

—Southern California is going back to quarterback JT Daniels for Saturday’s Pac-12 matchup with Oregon State.

Head coach Clay Helton, who took over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Tee Martin on Monday, said Daniels was cleared from concussion protocol and will prepare as the starter for this week’s game.

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