Erick Smith on Muck Rack

Erick Smith Verified

Senior Digital Producer — USA Today
As seen in:  USA Today, Greenville News

Senior digital producer @USATODAYsports helping with coverage of college football and other sports. On two wheels in my free time.

Bowl projections: Names change, but SEC still has two playoff teams — Mississippi may have lost to LSU, but the SEC's road to the College Football Playoff still runs through Oxford. The Rebels will play Auburn and Mississippi State at home with a trip to Arkansas sandwiched in between those two games. Three wins puts Ole Miss in Atlanta for a likely meeting with Georgia.

Bowl projections: Mississippi makes its move into playoff — Another weekend of change in college football has caused adjustments to this week's bowl projections. After an impressive win at Texas A&M, Mississippi has the inside track on the SEC West with both Auburn and Mississippi State coming to Oxford next month.

Bowl projections: For second week in row, Florida State barely hangs on — Florida State found itself down 17 points in the first half before a come-from-behind win at North Carolina State that kept the Seminoles as part of this week's College Football Playoff projection. The one change to the six major bowls is the addition of East Carolina as the representative from the best team outside the Power 5 conferences.

Bowl projections: Florida State barely hangs on to its place — With or without Jameis Winston, it didn't matter if Florida State lost at home to Clemson. The Seminoles would have been on the outside looking in at the College Football Playoff picture. But FSU survived and advanced and the only damage was a drop in its seeding.

LSU's Les Miles takes shot at Notre Dame QB Gunner Kiel — Les Miles isn't pulling any punches about the decision of Gunner Kiel to renege on his commitment from LSU. The Tigers coach was speaking about his recruiting class Wednesday and touched on the subject of Kiel, a quarterback from Columbus, Ind., who enrolled early last month at Notre Dame after being pledged to LSU in December.

College football's Week 2 winners and losers — With the way Notre Dame dominated Michigan in a 31-0 win Saturday, you have to wonder why the Irish decided to end this series. Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson was outstanding with a pair of first-half touchdowns to put his team comfortably ahead.

College football's Week 1 winners and losers — Sam Ficken had been here before. Two years ago, Penn State lost to Virginia when he missed a field goal on the final play. Flash forward to Ireland on Saturday, and the senior redeemed himself with a 36-yard kick at the gun to lift the Nittany Lions past Central Florida 26-24.

Why history isn't in No. 1 Florida State's favor — Florida State has several advantages as it attempts to win consecutive national championships. Jameis Winston will be better after winning the Heisman as a freshman. He will be protected by a senior-laden offensive line. The defense returns six starters, including a talented secondary. One thing not on FSU's side is history.

Don't ask Florida coach Will Muschamp any 'Star Wars' trivia — We know Will Muschamp was an assistant for Nick Saban with LSU and the Miami Dophins. Now we know he clearly isn't a Star Wars buff. The first-year Florida coach will face his mentor when No. 2 Alabama comes to The Swamp on Saturday.

Ten college football bowl storylines to watch — Just as you've caught your breath from college football's regular season, and here come 35 bowl games in 18 days that will make even the most ardent fan's head spin. To make sense of the postseason, here are 10 storylines to follow all the way until the BCS National Championship Game on Jan.
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Oct 31, 2014

Schilssel says Michigan ties not requirement for AD job and school in no rush: "Don't have a particular timetable. Have excellence in mind."

Oct 31, 2014

Everyone thanking Dave Brandon to his lifelong commitment to Michigan. Now on to the new guy ...

Oct 31, 2014

Dan Mullen coaches the No. 1 team. But as @lakenlitman reveals, home is where his heart is.

Oct 29, 2014

Royals end up 90 feet short. Amazing performance by Bumgarner.

Oct 29, 2014

Not much sympathy for Gurley for knowingly violating rules. But hard to balance four games after admitting guilt when Manziel got one half.

Oct 29, 2014

NCAA: Todd Gurley's punishment only four games due to "student’s full disclosure of his involvement in the violations." Points for honesty.

Oct 27, 2014

Glad Romo talked his way into the game so he could lose it after the backup had success. True team player.

Oct 27, 2014

Somehow Jason Garrett decided to put the ball in the hands of an injured QB and not his Pro Bowl RB. That's why Dallas is so flawed.

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