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Conflicting Nick Saban Reports, Rumors Good Sign for Texas Longhorns





It’s one thing when college football rumors come from “unreputable sources” but it’s another thing when two very respectable news outlets report opposite stories at the same time. In this case, these reports and rumors regarding Nick Saban’s future are a great sign for the Texas Longhorns, who are also the topic of much hot debate.

First up, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says he’s been told Saban is on his way to Austin in 2014:

Next, the NFL’s official website and Sports Illustrated each reported that Saban is currently in negotiations for a new contract extension with Alabama that would pay him roughly $7 million per year. And another report already stated Saban signed that agreement, which has yet to be disclosed.

So what to believe? Well for starters, you can throw out the phony statements recently made by Texas president Bill Powers. The headlines say he “debunked” the Saban-to-Texas rumors, but that’s simply not true. He claimed that he has never spoken to Saban and that the Bama coach “hasn’t been hired.” That doesn’t mean anything, especially considering ESPN confirmed earlier this year Saban’s agent did indeed speak with Texas officials about taking the ‘Horns job in 2014.

In short, don’t believe anything you hear until there’s a press conference confirming because at this point, the rumors and reports are getting out of hand. If you’re placing bets, put your money on Saban in burnt orange because considering half of his starters are seniors, including AJ McCarron. In addition, the rumors of Mack Brown stepping down weren’t completely false like he said — the guy simply doesn’t know how to save face anymore.

Saban has a history of accomplishing what he wants to with a program and then moving on. He’s going to miss out at a shot for three straight BCS National Championships, but he’ll have to start all over in 2014, so why not do it with the program that boasts the richest recruiting trails in the nation? Again, don’t believe anything until something is official, but the writing is on the wall for a lot of things in Austin.

Jeric Griffin is the General Manager for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JericGriffin, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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Auburn’s Defense Will be Tigers’ Achilles Heel in BCS National Championship Game





When Auburn beat Alabama in the 2013 Iron Bowl, I became the biggest Michigan State fan in the state of Texas. After last year’s catastrophe of a BCS National Championship Game, I’ve I have craved a hard-fought, down-to-the-wire title game in college football and thanks to Sparty, we won’t have to witness that again this year. Everybody and their dog knows Florida State would have thrashed Ohio State, but thankfully we won’t have to suffer through that. However, Auburn is going to have to turn things up on a notch (or six) on defense for this game to be a good way to send the BCS off with a bang.

The Tigers’ 59-42 win over Missouri in the SEC Championship Game was very impressive. Watching Tre Mason bring back memories of the good old days of workhorse running backs made this old football soul smile, as did the fact Auburn’s running game put up 49 of the team’s 59 total points. That’s just something you don’t see very often, especially in today’s pass-happy era. But even with Auburn’s impressive victory, there was just one problem: The fact Missouri scored 42 points.

Auburn has been really good all year long and has put up a lot of points in every one of its games, but the glaring concern that could cause major problems in the title game is the Tigers’ defense. Auburn has the 99th-ranked total defense while giving up an average of 444.3 yards per game in 2013. What’s worse is the Tigers have allowed their opponents to score an average of 26 points per game this year, which isn’t good considering Florida State boasts the fourth-best total offense and the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation.

Now some folks say the best defense is a good offense and when that “defense” is Auburn’s running game, I might tend to agree. If the Tigers can keep Jameis Winston off the field, that will be their best bet at upsetting the Seminoles. But once again, the No. 1 team in the country might just be too good: FSU also boasts the 11th-best rushing defense, which means Auburn won’t be rushing for 545 yards again.

Look, numbers are just that, and BCS National Championship Games are usually sloppy since the teams have to wait over a month to play each other, so anything can happen. But the point is this: If Auburn doesn’t eat up clock and put points on the board with its running game, Nick Marshall dang sure ain’t going to out-duel Winston in shootout.

Sure, Auburn put up 59 points against Missouri, but Marshall only threw the ball 11 times. The Tigers should definitely try to duplicate that pattern of success against Florida State, but to think the national title game will be the same as Auburn’s conference title game is foolish. Oh well, Gus Malzahn has a new six-year contract and a month to figure out how to win this game.

Jeric Griffin is the Director of Content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JericGriffin, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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Urban Meyer’s Comments About “Flawed” BCS System are Ironic in Multiple Ways



The rocky, roller coaster-like career of Urban Meyer continued on Monday when he called the BCS “flawed” two days after his Ohio State Buckeyes improved to 10-0 on the season. Meyer’s new team is now 22-0 in his nearly two years as its head coach, yet Ohio State currently sits at No. 3 in the BCS standings with little hope of getting into the BCS National Championship Game. Thus, the timing of Meyer’s comments are pretty ironic.

It was Meyer’s Florida Gators who controversially got into the title game following the 2006 college football season and, even more ironically, beat Ohio State to capture a surprising championship in Chris Leak’s final (and Tim Tebow‘s first) season. Granted, a rematch of Michigan and Ohio State certainly wouldn’t have been any better, but Meyer’s team got lucky that year in the same flawed system. And if you want to play the Cinderella card, Boise State could have even played in that year’s title game as the only other undefeated team.

The problem with Meyer’s current Buckeyes team is they haven’t played anyone. Now that’s not really his fault — or his team’s — the Big Ten just doesn’t have much to offer this year. But that was the reason Boise State was left out in 2006 (and again in 2009), so Meyer could be consoled with the ancient Buddhist saying: What goes around, comes around.

Unless Alabama or Florida State loses, the Buckeyes should just be thankful they’re bowl eligible this year and enjoy their Rose Bowl appearance. Because really and truly, Baylor has more of a case for a BCS National Championship Game appearance than Ohio State, and that will only be strengthened if the Bears beat Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas while Ohio State yawns its way past Indiana, Michigan and likely Michigan State in the Big Ten title game.

Whether he, his team or Buckeyes fans want to admit it, Meyer got lucky before and now he’s being left out fairly. Now that’s not to say the BCS is getting it right — it is indeed a flawed system as Meyer said. However, Ohio State doesn’t have any signature wins and its close call against Northwestern is like a semi-loss at this point considering the Wildcats have lost six straight since that shootout in Evanston.

And on a final note, how ironic is it that this is happening in the final year of the BCS — with exactly four undefeated teams from major conferences — just one season before the four-team playoff kicks in? One must wonder if Meyer’s postgame speech to his team after the Rose Bowl will include the line “there’s always next year.”

Jeric Griffin is the Director of Content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JericGriffin, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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