Just as No. 4 Alabama’s much-depleted linebacker group was starting to get healthy again, it suffered another setback ahead of next Monday’s CFP National Championship against No. 3 Georgia. In a Twitter post on Wednesday morning, linebacker Anfernee Jennings said he had surgery for a knee injury he suffered during Monday’s Sugar Bowl win over Clemson. While another MRI is upcoming, he will not play in Atlanta.
UCF Athletic Director Danny White said Wednesday the program has decided to claim a national championship and will place a championship banner inside Spectrum Stadium to recognize it’s undefeated 2017 season.
The Knights beat Auburn 34-27 in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl to cap a 13-0 season, finishing as the only undefeated team in college football. But because UCF doesn’t play in a Power 5 conference, it entered the bowl game ranked No. 12 by the College Football Playoff selection committee and was not given an opportunity to play for the national championship.
College football’s highest-paid assistant coach is staying at LSU and getting even richer. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron announced Wednesday night on Twitter that defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has agreed to remain with the Tigers. Aranda is receiving a new four-year contract that will pay him $2.5 million annually, a source told ESPN. The entire $10 million deal is guaranteed. According to USA Today’s head coaches’ salary database, only 46 head coaches at FBS schools made more than $2.5 million last year. Orgeron himself makes $3.5 million per year.
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has announced he will enter the NFL draft. Rosen threw for 3,754 yards, 26 touchdowns, and ten interceptions this season for a Bruins squad that finished a disappointing 6-7. He missed playing in the Cactus Bowl because of a concussion injury.
Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports has signed the top college running back available for this year’s NFL draft. Penn State’s Saquon Barkley told ESPN on Wednesday that he has signed with the company. Scoring Barkley means Jay-Z’s sports agency has nabbed one of the top running backs in three of the past four draft classes. In 2015, the agency signed Todd Gurley, who went 10th to the Rams, and Last year, Roc Nation Sports signed LSU running back Leonard Fournette, who was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the fourth pick.
Wild Card weekend is coming up in the NFL. Saturday, Tennessee will play at Kansas City at 3:35 on ESPN/ABC, while the Atlanta Falcons will travel west to face the Rams at 7:15 pm on NBC. On Sunday, Buffalo will be at Jacksonville at 12:05 on CBS and the Carolina Panthers will travel to New Orleans to take on their division rivals at 3:40 pm on FOX.
High School Basketball Friday 1/5/18
Marshall at Mt. Pleasant—7:30 pm
Sulphur Springs at Texas High—7:15 pm
Life Oak Cliff at Paris—6:30 pm
Mt Vernon at Winnsboro—7:45 pm
Texas High at Sulphur Springs—7:30 pm
Paris at Liberty-Eylau—7:30 pm
Mt Vernon at Winnsboro—5:45 pm