AP Top 25 Podcast: Sarkisian's road from rehab to Texas
Sarkisian is the new head football coach at the University of Texas. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)Steve Sarkisian was out of college football five years ago, having lost a dream job because of his struggles with alcoholism. Now Sarkisian is a head coach again, landing the job at Texas after helping Alabama win a national championship as offensive coordinator. Plus, Urban Meyer's first misstep as an NFL coach and Gus Malzahn lands at UCF. Ad___Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
UCF hires former Auburn coach Gus Malzahn to lead Knights
FILE - Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn argues a call during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama in Auburn, Ala., in this Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, file photo. Central Florida hired Gus Malzahn as its football coach Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, a little more than two months after he was fired by Auburn. “I truly believe that this is a program of the future in college football,” Malzahn said. Arkansas State won a conference title that season before Malzahn returned to Auburn as head coach. Ad“This is one of the top 25 coaching jobs in all of college football,” Malzahn said.
Ramsey leads No. 15 Northwestern past Auburn in Citrus Bowl
15 Northwestern’s defense made it stand up in a 35-19 victory over Auburn in the Citrus Bowl on Friday. Ramsey, a graduate transfer, totaled 291 yards passing and 50 yards rushing for Northwestern (7-2), which won its fourth straight bowl game. Auburn was led by interim coach Kevin Steele following the Dec. 13 firing of Gus Malzahn and was missing several key players. The Tigers got within 14-13 when Nix hit Elijah Canion for a 57-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter. Ramsey put Northwestern ahead 14-0 on first-quarter TD passes of 35 yards to Chiaokhiao-Brown and 6 yards to Raine.
Auburn hires Boise State's Harsin to lead football program
25 San Jose State will face perennial conference powerhouse Boise State in the Mountain West championship on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Steve Marcus, File)Auburn hired Boise State's Bryan Harsin as its head coach on Tuesday, luring him away from his alma mater and into the powerful Southeastern Conference. “I’m incredibly excited and humbled for the opportunity to be at a place like Auburn University,” Harsin said in a statement. Harsin has a proven track record as a head coach, more so than any Auburn coach in recent memory. Boise State won at least nine games in each of his first six seasons.
Auburn fires football coach Gus Malzahn after 8 seasons
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn listens to an official's call during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Mississippi State, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)Auburn has fired coach Gus Malzahn, who led the Tigers to the national championship game in his first season but could never replicate that success. “After evaluating the state of the Auburn football program, we’ve decided that it was time to make a change in leadership," Greene said in a statement. We will begin a search immediately for a coach that can help the Auburn program consistently compete at the highest level.””Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will be interim coach. Auburn will owe Malzahn a $21.45 million buyout for the remaining four years of a seven-year, $49 million deal.
SEC threatens fines, suspensions for breaking mask protocols
A Sept. 30 memo after the opening weekend of the SEC season included a reminder to coaches to be mindful of masking up and following other sideline protocols. According to the latest memo, going forward SEC schools will be “assessed a $100,000 reduction in Conference revenue” for failure to adhere to requirements. Repeat offenders will face an increase in lost revenue by $100,000 per offense and even suspensions, the memo said. The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, earlier this week issued a similarly stern warning to follow protocols as the league grapples with positive cases. Georgia coach Kirby Smart acknowledged this week he had been talked to by the commissioner and others about keeping his mask on.
Stetson Bennett, No. 4 Georgia romp past No. 7 Auburn 27-6
Stetson Bennett threw for 240 yards and a touchdown, solidifying his hold on the quarterback job as No. Postal Service cap in an effort to get noticed, Bennett was never viewed as a starting candidate for the Bulldogs. No matter the time of year, Georgia kept the upper hand with a fourth straight victory over Auburn. Georgia star Richard LeCounte got the boot in the second period for a helmet-to-helmet collision with Auburn receiver Shedrick Jackson. His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Week 5 Preview: Top-25 matchups in SEC; ACC title rematch
including the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry, highlights the fifth week of the college football season. 4 Georgia on Saturday night as the second month of the season starts, but only the second week of SEC play. The first of three games that decide the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy might have sneaked up on college football fans. The Falcons will play six conference games to go along with Navy and Army. ___Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Nix, No. 8 Auburn pull away from No. 23 Kentucky, 29-13
8 Auburn scored twice in the fourth quarter to pull away from No. 23 Kentucky for a 29-13 victory Saturday in the season opener. Nix delivered some big plays to start an encore to a promising freshman season, especially to Williams. He completed 24 of 37 passes for 239 yards and ran for 42 yards. Auburn: Has to get better on third-down defense, giving up eight first downs on 10 Wildcats attempts in the first half.
SEC, Big 12 to allow football workouts on campus next month
There are 130 major college football teams, spread across 41 states and competing in 10 conferences, save for a handful of independents. The Friday announcements are the latest signs that a college football season will be launched in some form this fall. The NCAA updated that ruling Friday by saying voluntary activities would be allowed in all sports starting June 1. Greg Abbott said Friday he thinks college football will return on schedule with at least some spectators. Once we get to college football season, our goal right now is to have college football season start as planned, with fans in stands, Abbott said in an interview with Austin television station KXAN.