Step aside Mississippi, West Virginia is college football’s hottest state right now


The following is a list of states with multiple teams in the latest edition of the Associated Press Top 25: Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

The following is a list of states with its only FBS teams ranked in the latest AP Top 25: Arizona and West Virginia.

While the last half-decade has belonged to Alabama and this season has undoubtedly lived in Mississippi, it’s the Mountain State’s time to shine as College GameDay takes the country roads to Morgantown.

West Virginia’s two FBS clubs – N0. 20 West Virginia and No. 23 Marshall – hold a combined record of 14-2, equating to an .875 winning percentage – the best among all states represented in FBS. All while hailing from a state of less than two million people.

Dana Holgorsen‘s Mountaineers are 6-2 and on a four-game winning streak. With their win over then-No. 4 Baylor, West Virginia sits at 4-1 in the Big 12 and in control of its own destiny for the conference title, with both No. 10 TCU (Saturday) and No. 11 Kansas State (Nov. 22) heading to Morgantown, and winnable road games at Texas and Iowa State.

Doc Holliday‘s Thundering Herd is 8-0, the first team in college football to hit the eight-win mark. With every one of its eight wins by 15 points or more, Marshall is the AP’s second-highest ranked Group of Five team, seemingly putting itself in line (with the help of its newly-hired p.r. firm) of reaching a New Year’s Six bowl.

Both teams rank among the top 10 nationally in total offense and are led by prolific quarterbacks. West Virginia’s Clint Trickett ranks fifth nationally in passing with 2,763 passing yards, while Marshall’s Rakeem Cato ranks 13th nationally with 20 touchdown passes.

Not bad for a pair of programs that went a combined 12-13 just two years ago.


Vick, Fitzgerald and Suggs among stars on College Football Hall of Fame ballot for 1st time

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Michael Vick, Larry Fitzgerald and Terrell Suggs are among the college football stars who will be considered for induction to the Hall of Fame for the first time this year.

The National Football Foundation released Monday a list of 78 players and nine coaches from major college football who are on the Hall of Fame ballot. There also are 101 players and 32 coaches from lower divisions of college football up for consideration.

Vick, who led Virginia Tech to the BCS championship game against Florida State as a redshirt freshman in 1999, is among the most notable players appearing on the ballot in his first year of eligibility.

Vick finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1999. He played one season of college football before being drafted No. 1 overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001. Vick’s professional career was interrupted when he served 21 months in prison for his involvement in dog fighting.

Fitzgerald was the Heisman runner-up in 2003 to Oklahoma quarterback Jason White. He scored 34 touchdowns in just two seasons at Pitt.

Suggs led the nation in sacks with 24 in 2002 for Arizona State.

The 2024 Hall of Fame class will be chosen by the National Football Foundation’s Honors Court and announced in January. Induction into the Atlanta-based hall is the following December.

Alabama freshman DB Mitchell says he wasn’t sure he’d get to play again after arrest

Mickey Welsh / Advertiser / USA TODAY NETWORK
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama defensive back Tony Mitchell said he feared his football career was over after his arrest on a drug charge.

The Crimson Tide freshman said in a video posted Sunday on social media that he knew “something much bigger could have happened.”

A judge in Holmes County, Florida, sentenced Mitchell to three years of probation with a fine and community service on May 24 after Mitchell pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis.

“I didn’t know if I’d be able to play football again, but I continued to work out and stay close with the Lord and those who love me unconditionally,” Mitchell said. “During those times, it helped me to keep my mind off it. But when I was by myself looking at social media, what everybody had to say about it, it just felt like it happened again.

“I didn’t sleep at night.”

He was suspended from the Alabama team following the arrest, but Mitchell’s father, Tony Sr., posted on Facebook last week that the defensive back had been reinstated. An Alabama spokesman declined to comment on Mitchell’s status.

Tony Mitchell Sr. shared his son’s video on Facebook, saying it was filmed during a talk to youth.

“I was doing things I knew I shouldn’t to try to fit in,” the younger Mitchell said, “but not everybody’s your friend.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a four-star prospect and the 15th-rated safety in the 247Composite rankings.

He had been charged in March with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell after a traffic stop when authorities said he drove over 141 mph (227 kph) while trying to evade deputies in the Florida Panhandle. A deputy had spotted Mitchell’s black Dodge Challenger traveling 78 mph (125 kph) in a 55 mph (88 kph) zone on a rural highway north of Bonifay.

He also received 100 hours of community service and paid a fine of $1,560.

Mitchell and a passenger were both charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. The other man also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.