National college football writer for @USATODAYsports. Heart/kidney transplant kid's dad. Blessed. Romans 5:8. Email:

Healing underway, winning returns at rejuvenated Grambling — GRAMBLING, La. - In the months since he became head football coach at his alma mater, Broderick Fobbs has had several conversations with his predecessors. He talks occasionally with former coach Doug Williams. He has touched base with Rod Broadway. And of course, there's one other.

Selection committee chairman Jeff Long juggles day job with lots of football — LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The conversation doesn't last long. Jeff Long hangs up the phone, laughs, and delivers the one-liner. "It was Bill Hancock," he says, referring to the College Football Playoff's executive director. "He just wanted to remind me that it was Saturday, and to watch football."

Mike Slive's departure from SEC signals changing of guard — Mike Slive's plans for retirement sound intriguing. Along with his wife Liz, he plans relaxing road trips through the South, an unhurried exploration of the region they've adopted as their own. They might drive, for example, the Natchez Trace. "I've always wanted to visit the Civil War sites," Slive told USA TODAY Sports back in August.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive announces retirement plans — SEC commissioner Mike Slive announced Tuesday he will retire from his post on July 31, 2015, after serving 13 years in the role. Slive is also beginning treatment for a recurrence of prostate cancer for which he was treated in the late 1990s.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive plans to retire July 31 — Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive has announced his retirement, and acknowledged he is beginning treatment for prostate cancer. Slive, 74, who is widely considered to be one of the two most powerful leaders in college athletics along with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, has been the SEC's commissioner since 2002.

Oregon lineman's return poses question for Playoff committee — It probably can't be measured in one moment of frustration. But when UCLA defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes slugged Jake Fisher the other day, it only served to underscore the impact one player can make: With Fisher back at left tackle after missing two games to injury, Oregon suddenly has a lot more punch.

Baylor shows it's never out of a game, definitely in playoff conversation — WACO, Texas - Someone asked Bryce Petty, not too long after the wild, wacky shootout had finished, to imagine it had gone another way. That Baylor had not rallied from a three-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter.

No. 3 Baylor comes from behind to beat No. 12 TCU 61-58 — WACO, Texas - Breaking down No. 3 Baylor's 61-58 victory over No. 12 TCU: THE BIG PICTURE: Down 21 points in the fourth quarter, Baylor came back to win a wild shootout on Chris Callahan's 28-yard field goal as time expired.

Around college football: When Mississippi State's mindset changed — One month and 11 days ago, Mississippi State athletics director Scott Stricklin heard the rumblings of discontent. The Bulldogs were 4-6, having suffered losses to the top SEC West teams - Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama. They had been improving steadily under coach Dan Mullen, but couldn't break through and beat the best.

In practice, picking College Football Playoff proves difficult — GRAPEVINE, Texas - After three votes and several hours of debate, the field for the 2008 College Football Playoff - if there had been a 2008 playoff - was Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and USC. But the argument was only just beginning.
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Oct 25, 2014

You say CORN dogs, Les Miles says corn DOGS. Cannot tell if that's inflection or point of emphasis.

Oct 25, 2014

Third-and-21. Cal defense is nonexistent. But then, that's redundant.

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