NCAA

Way Too Early 2017 College Football Top 25 Ranking

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USA Today Sports

Way Too Early 2017 College Football Top 25 Ranking

Clemson knocked off Alabama 35-31 in Tampa, Fla. to win the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship in one of the most thrilling and exciting championship games of all time.

But now that the confetti has been swept up and the players return back to campus, it's time to look ahead to the 2017 season.

Preseason rankings are far from an exact science, but do these way too early polls provide a good snapshot at the general consesus well in advance.

Way Too Early 2017 College Football Top 25 Ranking:

25. West Virginia: Former Florida QB Will Grier gets to man the helm for the Mountaineers. Not a great team, but they should be able to score by the bushel. 

24. Tennessee: The Volunteers are hit hard by matriculation, but Butch Jones has stockpiled enough talent. Will the pressure finally get to him, though?

23. Washington State: QB Luke Falk returns for his senior season and although the Cougars lose prolific receiver Gabe Marks, they return All-American guard Cody O'Connell. Defense should improve with nine starters returning.

22. South Florida: Head coach Charlie Taggart left for Oregon, but the Bulls got Charlie Strong in return. Some would say that's an upgrade. Remember the name Quinton Flowers. The QB has a great back story and should be in and around the Heisman talk.

21. Colorado: Mike MacIntrye was national coach of the year for a reason. The loss of QB Sefo Liufau hurts, but most of the offense returns.

20. Boise State: The Broncos are once again expected to be at or near the top of the Group of 5 with QB Brett Rypien back at the helm.

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19. Miami: The 2016 Miami defense was young and injured, but oh so talented. Even with QB Brad Kayaa headed to the NFL, the Hurricanes are going to put a hurting on folks. 

18. Georgia: Nick Chubb and Sony Michel return. Jacob Easson is in his second full season. This one shouldn't been too terribly difficult for Kirby Smart.

17. Texas: Charlie Strong did most of the heavy lifting and now Tom Herman gets to reap the benefits. The Longhorns should have a ton of experience on both sides of the ball. 

16. Louisville: The Cardinals ended the season with three consecutive losses, and on top of that, the will need to replace a bevy of top stars. The silver lining in all of this? Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson is back for his junior year.

15. Kansas State: Wildcats have a favorable home Big XII schedule and should go 3-0 in non-conference play. 77-year-old wizard Bill Snyder gets a bevy of experience back on both sides. 

14. LSU: RB Derrius Guice showed that life after Leonard Fournette might not be all that bad. LSU hired offensive coordinator Matt Canada away from Pitt. Tigers will be interesting to track.

13. Auburn: The Tigers return 17 starters from the up-and-down 2016 campaign, including tailbacks Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson. Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham will face the fire early with a road game at Clemson.

12. Wisconsin: 16 returning starters and an easy schedule should help the Badgers once again be in position to contend for the Big Ten title. Can QB Alex Hornibrook take the next step?

11. Stanford: All David Shaw does is win 10 games a season. The Cardinal won 10 games in 2016 despite a litany of injuries. The names are important, because Stanford will once again be in the thick of things.

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10. Oklahoma State: Like David Shaw, Mike Gundy only knows how to win 10 games a year. He's won at least 10 games in five of the last seven seasons. Cowboys have enough firepower coming back to do damage.

9. Michigan: Jim Harbaugh is 1-3 against Ohio State and Michigan State and must replace 18 starters. But if there is anyone crazy enough to respond with resounding success, it's "Coach Khaki Pants." Rashan Gary and Wilton Speight will help lead the way.

8. Oklahoma: Dede Westbrook, Semaje Perine and Joe Mixon are all gone, but Baker Mayfield returns. Oklahoma seems to do better when they're not a Top 3 team to start the season.

7. Clemson: Too high? Too low? The national champs lose a majority oif their top players, including Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams and Ben Boulware. But Dabo Swinney can recruit and boy can he coach.

6. Washington: A trip to the CFB Playoff was nice, but the Huskies don't want to be a one-time thing. Chris Peterson has to replace a bunch of starters on defense, but with QB Jake Browning and RB Myles Gaskin returning, a foundation of excellence is there.

5. Southern Cal: Another "Too High, too low?" pick here. Sam Darnold looks to be the real deal, but the losses of JuJu Smith-Shuster and Adoree Jackson are going to hurt. Has the depth finally returned to USC? This is a top 10 team for sure, it's just had to figure out where exactly they fall. 

4. Penn State: 2016 was a springboard season for Penn State and with James Franklin getting back a good number of starters, the sky is the limit in 2017. Also: The Nittany Lions have Saquon Barkley. He is the best running back in the country. 

3. Florida State: Although the loss of Dalvin Cook hurts, a majority of the Seminoles' defensive starters return. With Clemson taking a slight dip due to matriculation, the ACC should be FSU's to reclaim.

2. Ohio State: A new offensive coordinator, a new running back and a lot of new faces on defense. But the talent is there, and so is both JT Barrett and some guy named Urban Meyer.

1. Alabama: Reuben Foster, Jonathan Allen and Tim Williams depart from the defense, but the Crimson Tide reload better than a Fast & Furious movie cast. Jalen Hurts returns for his true sophomore season. 

Unique skillset benefits George Mason's Marquise Moore in NBA aspirations

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USA TODAY Sports

Unique skillset benefits George Mason's Marquise Moore in NBA aspirations

Marquise Moore is not your prototypical college basketball star. But as the 2016-17 season prooved, he is one of the most intriguing and interesting players. 

Standing at just 6-2, the George Mason guard averaged a double-double, and the second category wasn't assists.

The lightly recruited Queens, N.Y. native averaged 16.9 points and 10.9 rebounds, while being the eighth best rebounder in the country. Of the top 50 rebounders last season, Moore was the only one under 6-5 and was the best rebounder among guards. 

Entering college as a two-star recruit with just three offers, Moore's collegiate career ended as a all-conference performer at a traditional mid-major power.

This past season the Patriots finished 20-14, the best mark in Moore's four years with the team. It was also Moore's coming out party, Moore flourished on court and garnered attention from several national outlets due to his unique and unlikely skillset.

Outlets like the Washington Post and Bleacher Report were baffled on how a 6-2 guard could be so good at rebounding. His opponents were baffled too.

"Marquise could not be guarded and kept out of the paint one-on-one in the Atlantic 10," George Mason coach Dave Paulsen told CSN Mid-Atlantic. "I gotta believe he'd have the ability to get into the lane, to attack at the highest of levels."

Now, the Atlantic 10 is nothing compared to the level of play in the NBA, but his skills can transfer across all levels. In the association, teams cannot collapse on a small guard driving down the lane, otherwise sharp shooters will be left open. If his college game can translate, he could be the perfect bench point guard to at least get starters rest and generate scoring opportunities. Already his workouts with the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers prepared him for the higher level of play. 

"You want it more when you are playing against those type of guys," Moore told CSN in Early July. "I've never been highly ranked, highly recruited or anything. Definitely felt overlooked so I'm glad I proved I'm just as good or better than them." 

Getting some pre-draft workouts with both the Rockets and 76ers, there was optimism that Moore could get pulled for a summer league roster.

Unfortunately for the George Mason grad, an ankle tweak in early May served as a major setback for a player that has a lot to prove with opportunities few and far between.

"I think he'd have four or five more workouts if he hadn't had the ankle sprain," Paulsen said. "Had he had a few more workouts, that would have gotten him more exposure to get in for a summer league thing. He's a few weeks behind because of the ankle sprain and its going to take him a little longer to get where he wants to go."

With the summer league now gone without Moore on any roster, he is now in a limbo like many other talented stars who did not benefit from the high-major spotlight. Of course for all basketball prospects, the ultimate dream is to play in the NBA, but the best path to get there is not always clear.

The two primary options for Moore is to play overseas or continue to get workouts with the NBA and G-League teams domestically. 

Currently, Moore is still battling for his NBA path. He is set up to participate in the G-League Player Invitational Aug. 13 in Chicago, an event he can earn eligibility for the G-League draft in October. 

"I feel like I have interest from NBA teams," Moore said. "Going to the G-league will be a more foreseeable option, but I'm not sure if I want to enter the G-league blindly without hearing from any NBA teams becuase its really hard to move up that way."

As a guard with incredible physicality, the unknown is actually what could bring Moore to an NBA team.

Will there be a team willing to bite?

The G-League Player Invitational will be the next measuring stick on how NBA coaches and scouts feel about Moore a month removed from summer league. Admitting his weaknesses in the workouts, Moore thrives during live-ball action, which is a huge part of the invitational. 

Look out for teams that need rebounding and thrive off of physical play. Teams that come to mind instantly are the Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers; two teams that had pre-draft interest, the Chicago Bulls and Rockets; and the team who followed him thoughout his senior season, the Brooklyn Nets.

Its too bad that Washington's G-League team will not be formed until next season, otherwise there would be a perfect backup guard that could work right into Washington's system. 

"Mason fans know what I can do but I feel like most people still don't know. Just trying to show people what I can do one person at a time, you know, get a shot."

University of Virginia cornerback wins $100k in Virginia lottery

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Virginia Lottery

University of Virginia cornerback wins $100k in Virginia lottery

Virginia cornerback Chuck Davis hit all five numbers recently on Cash Five game from the Virginia Lottery to take home $100,000.

He went on a coffee run one morning for his mom and decided to play the numbers his gradmother gave him and now he's $100k richer and looks like the happiest person on the planet.

God first last and always 🙌🏽

A post shared by Charles Davis (@forevergone6) on

Davis is a redshirt freshman after sitting out a year after a transfer from Nebraska. As for his plans for the money?

Here's hoping he gets to enjoy all the money and doesn't get a call from the NCAA.