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NCAA Football News and Notes: Crazy Week 2

Two weeks into the college season and there is already some readjusting in the college polls. After this last week’s slate of games, the biggest winner is LSU, which moved up to No. 4 in the polls after a 45-38 win over the Texas Longhorns.

Elsewhere in the Top 25, Clemson remained No. 1 after beating the Texas A&M Aggies 24-10. The Aggies dropped from No. 12 to No. 16 after the loss. Michigan fell a few spots as it looked very vulnerable, beating Army only 24-21 and taking two overtimes to do so. The biggest drop, though, was Washington, which fell nine spots to 23rd after losing to Cal 20-19.

The top 10 currently looks like this: Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Auburn, Florida and Michigan.

While Week 3 offers plenty of interesting matchups, there are no matchups pitting top-25 teams against one another.

Tennessee Permitting Thompson To Come Back

It was just a few short weeks ago that Bryce Thompson was arrested after police were called after a disturbance between he and a woman he is in a relationship with. While there were disputed allegations of threats and physical violence, Tennessee ultimately decided to suspend him indefinitely while the legal process ran its course.

Apparently, the Volunteers feel that that has happened. On Wednesday, Jeremy Pruitt, the Volunteers head coach, announced that the sophomore cornerback was being welcomed back to the playing field. Last season as a freshman, Thompson had 32 tackles (four for loss), a sack, three interceptions and a forced fumble.

While he is being welcomed back to the practice field, that does not mean that his legal troubles are behind him. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 23. What ultimately comes out of the legal battle remains to be seen, but for now, Tennessee feels comfortable having him back on the team.

Sadly, this is not the first time that Thompson has had issues. Before coming to Tennessee, he had a restraining order against him by a woman who accused him of physical violence and making threats. With a pattern of behavior, one can only hope that this does not continue to be a trend.

Regardless, it seems like a risk not worth taking for a Volunteers team that seems to be acting out of desperation after starting the season 0-2.

Could College Athletes Be Paid By 2023?

The answer to this question is yes, if you ask Senator Nancy Skinner of California. The state Democrat is sponsoring a bill (State Bill 206, the Fair Pay to Play Act) that would allow college students to profit from their name, image and likeness. In a climate where debates constantly swirl about whether college athletes should be paid or not, the California government is trying to take it upon itself to expedite the process. The California State Assembly voted unanimously, 72-0, to pass the bill.

While the bill would not come into play until 2023, it becomes very interesting as to what the ripple effect would be felt throughout the college ranks. For its part, the NCAA has tried to bully California, insinuating that if this came into effect, then California institutions and their athletes may be deemed ineligible and would forfeit their rights to any postseason play.

It is hard to imagine the NCAA taking that brash of a stand, but this certainly is something worth monitoring and may be the first step to breaking down the barrier of college athletics and the disparity between what the universities make off of their athletes and what the athletes actually get.

Seminoles Looking To Shore Up Their Defense

Through two games, the Florida State Seminoles are 1-1; however, if you looked at their defense, it could have been worse. In those two games, the Seminoles have given up 80 points, and that has left head coach Willie Taggart searching for help.

To come to his aid, he will be turning to a former colleague, as his old defensive coordinator at Oregon, Jim Leavitt, will be joining the defensive coaching staff. When Taggart left in 2018, Leavitt had remained on the Oregon staff, but in February, a financial settlement was agreed to, allowing Leavitt to leave his contract.

While Florida State is not expected to compete for any national championships, there are still high expectations. With Leavitt joining the staff, Taggart is hoping this can help fix some of the problems. After two games of rough defensive play, it certainly can’t hurt.

“The” Is Not Owned By Ohio State

Trying to trademark the word “The” when referring to Ohio State University, the university was rebuffed on their efforts. Given that branding and licensing can be big money for college programs, it is no shock that Ohio State tried to trademark the article.

Additionally, they had gotten some competition from a Marc Jacobs fashion line which intended to use the word “The” to ambiguously refer to the university. Regardless, as of right now, the university has no control over it; however, it will be interesting to see if they ultimately appeal the decision.

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