South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier seemed miffed when he was asked if power conferences will stop scheduling teams such as Central Florida next year. Beginning in 2014, a strength of schedule component helps decide which teams advance to the new college football playoff to determine the national champion. The Gamecocks travel to UCF (3-0) at noon Saturday. The game will air on ABC, the Knights’ first network TV game.
“Well, first of all, you’ve got to be kidding about scheduling a team like Central Florida hurting your strength of schedule,” Spurrier said. “UCF is an excellent team. It went and beat Penn State and you’re telling me don’t schedule them? They may be a little tougher team than you should schedule, actually, if you look at our schedule.
“They sort of clobbered that Akron team, a team that almost beat Michigan at the Big House. … It wasn’t a huge upset that they went up there and beat Penn State. … Coach (George) O’Leary has been there quite awhile, excellent coach, excellent assistants. So it’s going to be a tough game.”
Tennessee quarterback Nate Peterman will miss at least four weeks after undergoing surgery on his right hand. Coach Butch Jones said Justin Worley is the starter on Saturday against South Alabama and Joshua Dobbs of Alpharetta High is listed a co-No. 2 on the depth chart with Riley Ferguson. Both Dobbs and Ferguson are freshmen.
Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer says he wasn’t aware that Houston Texans running back Arian Foster ever received money during his college career at UT. Foster says in an upcoming documentary he was paid his senior year in Knoxville. Fulmer, who coached Foster at Tennessee from 2005-08, emailed a statement to the Associated Press on Sunday, saying, “As the head coach at Tennessee for 17 years, I took great pride in having a program that was NCAA compliant, as did our staff and administration. If we knew of a violation, big or small, we reported it.” Foster told reporters on Friday that the money he received didn’t come from a coach.
As if it weren’t bad enough that No. 20 Florida lost quarterback Jeff Driskell for the season to a broken leg in Saturday’s victory against Tennessee. The Gators are also having a difficult time getting into the end zone when they move inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Florida has been into the red zone 17 times in three games and has come away with just seven touchdowns. That’s 41 percent, which ranks 113th out of 125 FBS teams. Add in the three field goals they’ve settled for inside the 20 and that raises their scoring efficiency to 58.8 percent. Only Southern Mississippi, Louisiana-Monroe, SMU and Miami (Ohio) are worse.
“We played about five guys at cornerback and just kind of rotated them in there with the idea of we’re going to see if somebody can play the position with any kind of consistency, do their assignment and do their job. That’s an area we need to get better at.” — Alabama coach Nick Saban.