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

MSU, FSU top playoff list — If the season had ended last weekend, the College Football Playoff field would have a decidedly Southern flavor.

College Football Playoff's weekly ranking is a bad idea — GRAPEVINE, Texas - On a hat rack just outside the Bluebonnet Room, a dozen white ball caps hung Monday afternoon, each emblazoned with the name of a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee. Jeff Long came up with the idea as a visual reminder: Biases must be checked at the door.

With chance to further unsettle SEC West, LSU doesn’t drop ball — BATON ROUGE -- When the call came in from the sideline, Logan Stokes smiled. Just for a moment, he couldn't help himself. He would have to sell the run, but he knew he would catch the pass. "A great play call," he said. In the moment, it might have been perfect.

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.
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Oct 30, 2014

RT @ChuckCarltonDMN: Kenny Hill or Kyle Allen? Texas A&M's starting quarterback won't be confirmed until Saturday

Oct 30, 2014

"copy...will remain in city’s litigation file in case it is forced to release" RT @john_shinn: Latest on Mixon video:…

Oct 30, 2014

Sensing a Halloween costume. RT @DanWolken: @GeorgeSchroeder People used to say that was my celebrity lookalike

Oct 30, 2014

Applauding ESPN on the @BradPaisley pick, because I’m fairly certain the other option was 'lifelong West Virginia fan' Kenny Chesney.

Oct 30, 2014

Unsurprising: West Virginia’s own @BradPaisley will be the guest picker - in more ways than one - for @CollegeGameDay at Morgantown.

Oct 30, 2014

Nice look at Bielema’s tricks: RT @NWARobbie: Exploring the mad scientist side of Arkansas coach Bret Bielema -…

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