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NCAA Football News and Notes: Pair Of Ranked Matchups

Week 10 of the college football season is not exactly filled with exciting matchups, as some of the bigger names like Alabama and LSU have the week off, but that doesn’t mean that there still won’t be good football.

Here are a couple of the more interesting matchups to keep an eye on:

No. 15 SMU (8-0) at No. 24 Memphis (7-1)

This American Athletic Conference matchup features SMU traveling to take on Memphis Saturday at 7:30 pm ET. For SMU, Shane Buechele leads the team from under center. On the season, he has thrown for 2,325 yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. On the ground, Xavier Jones leads the way for SMU with 884 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns.

For Memphis, it is Brady White who runs the show from under center, having thrown for 2,161 yards, 20 touchdowns and four interceptions. On the ground, Kenneth Gainwell leads the way with 979 yards and 11 touchdowns.

No. 8 Georgia Bulldogs (6-1) vs. No. 6 Florida Gators (7-1)

This SEC matchup is probably the most interesting game of the week. No. 8 Georgia looks to rally behind Jake Fromm, who has thrown for 1,406 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions thus far. The leading rusher for Georgia is D’Andre Swift, who has rushed for 752 yards and seven touchdowns.

Florida is led by Kyle Trask, who has thrown for 14 touchdowns and four interceptions thus far. On the ground, they are paced by Lamical Perine, who has rushed for 460 yards and four touchdowns.

NCAA Appears Poised To Allow Athletes Make A Profit

It appears that the NCAA has read the writing on the wall, particularly after legislation passed in California, and is now starting to change its tune on allowing athletes to earn money for playing college athletics. While they still won’t be paid to play, there does appear to be a movement to allow them to earn money for their name, image or likeness.

By doing so, this will allow players to earn money for things ranging from advertisements to video games to sports apparel or memorabilia sales, among other things. While there are certainly critics already coming out against this change, it does appear to be a step in the right direction for the NCAA, particularly as many states have already introduced (or passed in the case of California) legislation to do the exact same thing.

While there is still a lot to work through from the NCAA’s perspective, this is certainly a monumental change in the landscape of the NCAA.

Will Tagovailoa Play Against LSU?

In a significant matchup that has major postseason ramifications, the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide will be matching up on Nov. 9. That much we know. What we don’t know is who will be under center for Alabama during that game.

On a conference call Wednesday, head coach Nick Saban said that Tua Tagovailoa would be a game-time decision. While he is expected to start practicing this week (Alabama is off this week), Saban wouldn’t commit to Tua coming back next week.

While this may be a mixture of wanting to see how he reacts to full practices or if it is some gamesmanship remains to be seen, but for now, your guess is as good as anyone’s at the moment.

To date, Tagovailoa has played in seven games this season, going 145 for 194 for 2,166 yards, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions. Certainly, if he is able to go, that would be a huge boost for an already dynamic Alabama team.

Harbaugh Doing Right By Commit

It is always sad to see a player’s career end due to a medical condition. It is even sadder when the career never gets a chance to start. That is the case for JD Johnson, a four-star recruit who had been planning on going to Michigan as a quarterback.

Sadly for Johnson, he has a heart issue that cannot be treated through surgery that will end his playing days. Still, coach Jim Harbaugh announced that Michigan will still honor his scholarship and that the freshman will have a spot on the coaching staff if he were interested.

Even though he is a little shorthanded at the quarterback position going into next year, it is still an amazing gesture for Harbaugh, the Wolverines football program and the university as a whole.

Auburn Backup Ready To Move On

It appears as if Auburn’s backup quarterback, Joey Gatewood, is leaving the program. Wednesday led to a flurry of reports of his departure, and the Tigers’ head coach, Gus Malzahn, confirmed it that afternoon. Essentially, in a bid to try to find a starting position elsewhere, Gatewood has left the team and has entered his name into the transfer portal.

A four-star recruit from the 2018 class, Gatewood lost out on the job to current starter Bo Nix. While Nix has had an inconsistent season as a true freshman for the 6-2 Tigers, he has still seemingly cemented a spot on the field for now.

In limited time, Gatewood has gone just 5 of 7 for 54 yards and two touchdowns. He has also rushed 29 times for 148 yards and three touchdowns. Regardless, he will be looking for a new home and a new opportunity to hopefully start elsewhere.

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