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Alabama clear AP No. 1 ahead of OSU, FSU

(AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

No need to overthink it: Alabama is No. 1 in the AP preseason Top 25.

The Crimson Tide became the first program in 12 years to take the top spot in The Associated Press preseason media poll two straight years, and will start the season ranked in the top five for the ninth consecutive time.

Coach Nick Saban's program has become the surest thing in sports these days. The Tide does not always win the national championship - just half the time over the last eight years - but is always in contention. Since 2008, only once has Alabama lost more than one game before bowl season.


Buckeyes RB Dobbins may get major snaps

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The parents of true freshman running back J.K. Dobbins will get a call soon from an Ohio State coach to say their son will make his college football debut.

That's a tradition at Ohio State, and it's also an indication that Dobbins likely will play significant snaps in the opener against Indiana next week.


No. 19 USF welcomes high expectations

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Charlie Strong is accustomed to high expectations.

But the situation is a little different in for him at South Florida. He isn't building or re-building a program in his first season. He is trying to lead a talented Bulls team to another level.


Vols WR Smith out with collarbone injury

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee wide receiver Josh Smith is expected to miss the start of the season after injuring his collarbone.

Volunteers coach Butch Jones said Monday there's no timetable on Smith's potential return but added that he anticipates the fifth-year senior will miss at least Tennessee's first game.


Utah names sophomore Huntley starting QB

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Sophomore Tyler Huntley will be Utah's starting quarterback after beating out returning starter Troy Williams.

The decision to start Huntley was a bit of a surprise since Williams, a senior, started all 13 games last season and was voted an offensive captain last week. Williams threw for 2,757 yards and 15 touchdowns with eight interceptions last season.


Cards transfer Bolin named Rutgers QB

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Kyle Bolin has won the starting quarterback job at Rutgers.

Bolin beat out redshirt junior Giovanni Rescigno and freshman Johnathan Lewis. Rescigno started the final five games for Rutgers last season, completing 86 of 153 passes for 889 yards and five touchdowns, while Lewis is a highly touted recruit out of St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey.


Kansas LB dismissed after gun threat

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) A sophomore linebacker at Kansas has been dismissed from the Jayhawks after being accused of threatening a woman with a handgun.

Nineteen-year-old Maciah Long of Houston was charged Monday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property and marijuana possession. Douglas County court records allege Long damaged or destroyed the woman's television.


Oklahoma St. RB Hill set for big season

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Running back Justice Hill isn't as well known to Oklahoma State fans as teammates Mason Rudolph and James Washington. He might be after this season.

The Cowboys took off last year when Hill emerged as the clear go-to back. He led all FBS freshmen with 1,142 yards rushing and was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.


Rice practices after flight to Australia

Rice football coach David Bailiff reckoned one way to ensure his players didn't nod off after a 15-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney was to bypass the team hotel and go straight to the practice field from the airport.

So within an hour of arriving Down Under early Tuesday morning, Bailiff had his players stretching and doing a light workout at a training session at Moore Park, which encompasses Allianz Stadium where the Owls will take on No. 14 Stanford at noon Sunday, or Saturday evening back in the U.S.


LSU has new live tiger mascot on campus

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Louisiana State University officially has a new live tiger mascot on its campus.

The tiger arrived in Baton Rouge last week, coming from a rescue facility in Okeechobee, Florida. The university announced in a statement that the tiger began its "reign" as Mike VII on Monday, the first day of the fall semester.

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