UAB fans celebrate basketball upset, then chant for Ray Watts’ firing

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The first full day of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was a lot of fun. It was especially heartwarming to see UAB’s basketball team come up with one of the more notable upsets on day one of the tournament. The No. 14 seed Blazers upended No. 3 seed Iowa State in the early action (it was not a good day for the Big 12). Months after losing its football program, it is good to see UAB fans have something to cheer.

Of course, the calls for the job of UAB president Ray Watts were not far behind.

In Louisville, after UAB upset the Cyclones, a handful of UAB supporters assembled outside the arena by the vehicle for Watts. As the president made his way to his car from the arena, the UAB fans chanting in unison, “Fire Ray Watts!” At least one fan was also holding a sign. One can be heard calling him a criminal.

Who knows if UAB will again play football. At this point, the return of the Blazers would not happen until 2016, but the tension remains as long as Watts makes himself available as a face of the university.

Alabama’s Anderson repeats as Bronko Nagurski award winner

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. has become the second two-time winner of the Bronko Nagurski Award given to the nation’s top collegiate defensive player.

Anderson was presented the award on Monday night by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

The 6-foot-4, 243-pound Anderson had 10 sacks for the No. 5-ranked Crimson Tide this season. He also won the award last year after recording 17 1/2 sacks.

Anderson, a junior, had two sacks in Alabama’s regular-season win finale against rival Auburn and had his first touchdown when he returned an interception 25 yards against Louisiana-Monroe.

Anderson joins former Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald as the only two-time winner of the award. Fitzgerald won the award in 1995 and 1996 and later went on to become the head coach at Northwestern.

It’s unclear if Anderson will enter the NFL draft or return to Alabama next season.

FSU standout QB Jordan Travis returning for senior season

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, the fourth player in school history to account for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in a single season, is staying in school for his senior year.

Travis made the announcement Monday, the same day hundreds of players across the nation entered the NCAA transfer portal or declared for the NFL draft. Travis chose a different path and could be an early favorite in next year’s Heisman Trophy race.

“So many memories have been made on this field and we’re not done yet,” Travis said in a highlight video posted on social media. “See y’all in 2023.”

A fourth-year junior, Travis has 22 touchdown passes to go along with seven rushing scores, one receiving and just four interceptions. He has led the 13th-ranked Seminoles (9-3) to five consecutive wins as they prepare to play Oklahoma (6-6) in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 29 in Orlando.

Travis joined FSU’s three Heisman Trophy winners – Charlie Ward in 1993, Chris Weinke in 2000 and Jameis Winston in 2013 – to account for 3,000 yards and 30 TDs in a season. He is one of six QBs in Power Five conferences with at least 20 TD passes and four or fewer interceptions.