The toughest part of my preseason AP Top 25 ballot was figuring out whether Florida State or Ohio State should be No. 2.
One of the next toughest parts? Figuring out how to order the other three top state schools - Florida, USF and Miami.
Outside opinions on this are all over the place. USA Today's coaches poll has UF at 16, Miami at 18 and USF at 21. Sports Illustrated ranked the Bulls 17th, above UF (18) and Miami (20). Statistical guru Bill Connelly's advanced S&P+ metrics have USF at 56, the Gators 15th and Miami at 18th....
GAINESVILLE — When Florida receiver Brandon Powell met new quarterback Malik Zaire this summer, he was struck by the Notre Dame grad transfer's enthusiasm and outgoing personality.
But when they began working out together, Powell quickly noticed something else. Zaire's first pass looked … different.
"It came weird," Powell said.
It came weird because Zaire throws with his left arm, not his right. ...
The toughest decision in my first stint as a voter for the AP Top 25 came at the top.
Not the very top. Spoiler alert: Alabama was a pretty easy choice at No. 1 on my preseason ballot.
But deciding who to put second was tricky. Like most polls I've seen, Florida State and Ohio State were my next two teams. The question: What order?
The full top 25 will be announced Monday, and I'll share my ballot in the next few days. In the meantime, let's break down the Seminoles and the Buckeyes....
Former East Lake High quarterback Pete DiNovo is no longer with UCF after missing recent practices, the Orlando Sentinel reported Tuesday.
"He's not with us, and he hasn't been at practice and all that, so we just focus on the guys that are here," Knights offensive coordinator Troy Walters told the Sentinel, adding he hasn't communicated with DiNovo and he wasn't sure why the redshirt senior was no longer attending practices....
Former East Lake High star Pete DiNovo is no longer with UCF, the Orlando Sentinel reported Tuesday morning.
DiNovo is no longer listed on the Knights' roster, either.
#UCF QB Pete DiNovo is no longer with the team per OC Troy Walters, who said he hasn’t been at practice the past couple of days....
GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Jim McElwain stood in front of reporters Monday afternoon to discuss a topic that is growing tiresome to the Gators.
Not the ongoing quarterback battle. Or the years of offensive struggles.
McElwain had to address yet another off-the-field issue involving standout receiver Antonio Callaway.
This one stems from Sunday's suspension of seven players (including Callaway) for the Sept. 2 season opener against Michigan, reportedly for misusing school-related funds. McElwain said they have been suspended from team activities, and none were seen at Monday's practice. ...
GAINESVILLE - Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain said he is disappointed in the seven players who were suspended for the season opener against Michigan but said he acted quickly in punishing them.
McElwain's comments Monday afternoon were his first since news broke over the weekend about the punishment to standout receiver Antonio Callaway and the others.
"It's not just Antonio," McElwain said. "It hurts."...
Months of speculation about whether Florida would suspend star receiver Antonio Callaway because of marijuana has turned out to be moot.
The Gators suspended Callaway, their top offensive skill player, and six other players Sunday for other reasons they didn't specify for their blockbuster Sept. 2 season opener against Michigan in Arlington, Texas.
"We have a small group of players that have made some choices that are extremely disappointing," coach Jim McElwain said in a statement. "Action has been taken. They have missed some practice and will miss the Michigan game. We will use this as a learning opportunity, and we will have some players step up as we move forward."...
The Florida Gators have suspended seven players, including star receiver Antonio Callaway, for the blockbuster Sept. 2 season opener against Michigan, UF announced Sunday.
The six other players (besides Callaway) suspended: Offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort, linebacker James Houston, defensive lineman Keivonnis Davis, defensive lineman Jordan Smith, defensive lineman Richerd Desir-Jones and linebacker Ventrell Miller....
GAINESVILLE — Given the rigor of being a starting defensive lineman at Florida, Jordan Sherit knew his study-abroad options would be limited.
The Hillsborough High alumnus couldn't miss too much of the Gators' offseason workouts and still be able to contribute this fall on a defense that should again be one of the best in the SEC. But his graduate school work toward a master's degree in international business requires at least one trip outside the United States....
Bucs legend Warren Sapp will be inducted into the Mami Hurricanes' ring of honor this season.
Sapp will be recognized during the Oct. 12 Thursday night game against Georgia Tech at Hard Rock Stadium.
Before becoming a Pro Football Hall of Famer for the Bucs, Sapp was the unanimous Big East defensive player of the year in 1994. He won the Nagurski Trophy, became a first-round pick and later helped Tampa Bay win its only Super Bowl....
The Florida Gators released contract information Friday for the rest of their coaching staff under open-records laws.
The notable change is for offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. His contract has been extended through the 2018 season and will receive a raise from $540,000 to $832,725. But Nussmeier had reportedly been receiving about $300,000 from Michigan as part of his severance package there....
The federal government has opened a second Title IX investigation into the University of Florida that appears to be related to the school's handling of the Antonio Callaway case.
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is already looking into a complaint from the woman who accused Callaway of sexual assault. But details from a July 28 letter sent from the federal government to UF suggest this second inquiry is coming from the opposite side — Callaway and his legal counsel....
TALLAHASSEE — The eight games Florida State receiver Keith Gavin appeared in during his true freshman season boiled down to one play — his 66-yard kickoff return against Michigan.
It was an enormous play during the Orange Bowl, even if Gavin probably wasn't supposed to take the ball out of the end zone. The Seminoles were trailing 30-27 before Gavin hesitated, plowed over one would-be tackler and returned the kick to the Wolverines 34. Four players later, Deondre Francois threw the game-winning 12-yard touchdown pass to Nyqwan Murray with 36 seconds left....
As redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks battles to become the Florida Gators' starting quarterback, he has at least one supporter from rival Florida State.
Seminoles receiver Keith Gavin said he thinks his former teammate from Crawfordville's Wakulla High is finally ready to contribute at UF.
"I know his work ethic. I know what he can do..." Gavin said Sunday during FSU's media day. "I know he's going to grind for it."...