Updated: LSU fans victims of assault after WVU game

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After watching their team suffer a beatdown at the hands of LSU Saturday night, some West Virginia “fans” apparently decided to take out their anger over the loss on a group of Tiger fans attending the game.

Allegedly.

According to WBOY-TV, four LSU fans were assaulted — presumably by individuals with a heavy WVU loyalty lean — in a parking lot near Milan Puskar Stadium.  One victim suffered significant injuries in the alleged attack.

Here’s the TV station’s account of what transpired:

It happened in the Purple Lot as the fans were leaving in their vehicle headed toward Route 705, police said in a news release. That’s when an unidentified person threw a rock through the open window of the victim’s car. When the driver asked a group of people standing nearby if they threw the rock, police say the group approached the car and assaulted the driver.

The driver’s wife and two other people in the car got out and were also assaulted, according to police. They sustained minor injuries.

The driver was transported to Monongalia General Hospital for treatment and later transferred to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for surgery.

There were rumors bouncing around the Internet earlier today that the woman mentioned above was five months pregnant, although that’s not been confirmed by any reliable news source.

No arrests have been made in connection to the incident, although an investigation by the Morgantown Police Department is ongoing.

This continues what’s been a weekend the WVU football program would rather forget.  In addition to the loss on the field and the alleged assault off it, WVU’s locker room was broken into and items stolen during the LSU game.

And, please, don’t even start on the “WVU fans are nothing but redneck thugs” BS.  Every fan base has their derelicts, and WVU is no different.  The picture of an entire fan base shouldn’t be painted with the same brush because of the actions of a handful.

Now, let the stereotyping commence in earnest in three… two… one…

UPDATED 8:28 P.m. ET: The Charleston Daily Mail has a report on the story as well, and provides some additional details.

The mother-in-law of the man who was injured confirmed that the four individuals who were assaulted were LSU fans, although there was nothing on the vehicle identifying it as being fans of the school. “It was just a random act of violence,” Helen Smith, the mother-in-law, told the paper.

Smith also confirmed that her daughter was in the car and is 22 weeks pregnant.  The rock that was thrown through the window to start the incident landed in the pregnant woman’s lap.  After three men dragged her husband from the vehicle, the beating didn’t stop until the woman began screaming that she’s pregnant.

The man suffered a broken nose, a crushed eye socket and a fractured frontal bone in the middle of his forehead.

The pregnant woman suffered bruising on her arms, legs and shoulders; fortunately, their unborn child was unharmed.

As of Monday evening, no arrests have been made.

Pac-12 looking stronger at top after early-season losses

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
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When Oregon got throttled by top-ranked Georgia and Utah lost at Florida, it appeared as though the Pac-12 was headed toward another College Football Playoff miss.

One week into the season and two of the conference’s top teams had already failed big early tests.

Flash forward three weeks and it seems the Pac-12 might be in good shape after all.

The Ducks and Utes bounced back with big wins and the top of the conference looks strong, with four teams in the top 15 for the first time since 2016.

It’s still early, but the Pac-12 is putting itself in position to get a team through to the CFP for the first time since Washington in 2016-17.

A look at how the top of the Pac-12 is stacking up headed into the first weekend of October:

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

The No. 6 Trojans (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) seem to have quickly returned to glory in their first season under Lincoln Riley. The former Oklahoma coach brought quarterback Caleb Williams with him to Southern California and they have thrived through the first four games.

Williams has thrown for 1,054 yards and nine touchdowns, adding 100 yards and two more scores rushing. USC’s defense has been opportunistic, leading the nation with 11 interceptions while tied for the lead with 14 takeaways.

The Trojans survived a scare against scrappy Oregon State over the weekend to start 4-0 for the first time since 2012. USC has to play at Utah on Oct. 15, but avoids Washington and Oregon this season.

UTAH

The 12th-ranked Utes opened the season with a tough road loss at The Swamp in Florida, but have won three straight lopsided games.

Outside of a costly interception late against the Gators, quarterback Cam Rising has been sharp, throwing for 954 yards and 10 TDs. Utah (3-1, 1-0) has a physical defense and is third in the FBS, allowing 132.8 yards passing per game.

The Utes also have a veteran team that won the Pac-12 championship last season. The bad news: tight end Brant Kuithe, their leading receiver, is out for the season with a knee injury.

Utah plays Oregon State this weekend and has tough games against USC and Oregon still on the schedule.

OREGON

The Ducks’ playoff chances took an immediate hit with a 49-3 loss to reigning national champion Georgia in their opener.

No. 13 Oregon (3-1, 1-0) bounced back with a decisive win over a good BYU team and outlasted previously undefeated Washington State 44-41 last week.

The Ducks were no match for the Bulldogs in any aspect – few teams are – but have averaged 51.6 points the past three games. Oregon’s biggest weakness is its pass defense. The Ducks are allowing 72.5% of passes to be completed, third worst in the country.

Oregon’s biggest tests left in the season will come in back to back games against Washington and Utah.

WASHINGTON

The Huskies have made a quick turnaround in their first season under coach Kalen DeBoer.

Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has been superb now that he’s healthy, throwing for an FBS-best 1,388 yards and 12 TDs with one interception. No. 15 Washington (4-0, 1-0) picked up a solid home win against Michigan State and has 15 sacks this season, including eight against Stanford last week.

The Huskies play their first road game at undefeated UCLA on Saturday and have to face Oregon on Nov. 12.

UCLA

After winning at Colorado for the first time since 2014 last Saturday, the Bruins (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) have their longest winning streak since winning the first eight games in 2005.

UCLA had a hard time getting past South Alabama and opened its Pac-12 schedule with a win against the struggling Buffaloes.

The Bruins will find out how good they are over the next three weeks, a brutal stretch that includes home games against Washington and Utah before heading to Eugene to play the Ducks on Oct. 22.

CFP expansion talks head toward October after 7-hour meeting

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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ROSEMONT, Ill. — The conference commissioners who manage the College Football Playoff met for almost seven hours Tuesday to work on expanding the postseason system from four to 12 teams as soon as the 2024 season.

There is still much work to be done.

“We will not wrap up this week,” CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock said.

The CFP management committee, comprised of 10 conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, is scheduled to convene again at the Big Ten offices for a few hours Wednesday morning. They are set to meet again in person in Dallas on Oct. 20.

“That’ll be important,” Hancock said.

Expansion talks were revived by the university presidents and chancellors who oversee the College Football Playoff last month.

By adopting a 12-team plan that had been on the table since the spring of 2021, the presidents pushed the commissioners to try to implement a new format before the end of the CFP’s current contract with ESPN. That deal ends after the 2025 season.

Expanding from four to 12 in 2024 and ’25 will require rescheduling semifinals and championship games that already have dates and sites set, plus adding four new first-round games in mid-December to be played on campus sites.

Squeezing it all into about a month and working around the NFL for television will be challenging.

Hancock said the idea of moving up the start of the college football season to the week before Labor Day to create more room at the end for the playoff has been discussed, but more for beyond the 2025 season.

“I think most people view that as a future item. As long-term item and not an immediacy item,” Hancock said. “Remember, there’s so many details.”

Hancock said CFP officials have spoken to bowl partners and hosts cities that are set to hold semifinals and championship games after the 2024 and ’25 seasons, but they have not been presented definitive new dates.

Atlanta already has been chosen as the host city for the championship game to be played following the 2024 season, on Jan. 6, 2025. The game would have to be pushed back about two weeks if the playoff grows from four teams to 12.

“(Atlanta organizers) have some work to do because of other businesses in the community,” Hancock said. “Other meeting-type business, hotel business and Convention Center business there. They’ve been great to work with.”