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News, thoughts and more from the world of college sports across the nation and Long Island.

Heisman Trophy hype for 2014

Florida State's Jameis Winston with The Coaches' Trophy

(Credit: AP)

There’s nothing wrong with a little early Heisman Trophy hype. Jameis Winston will clearly be the favorite coming in. If Auburn wasn’t coming off a 3-9 season in 2012, Tre Mason might have made his way into the top three. Marcus Mariota and Sean Mannion both faded late, while Brett Hundley’s numbers weren’t overwhelming enough.

All players are listed under their current class.

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Gamecocks vs. Badgers highlight non-BCS Bowls

Jadeveon Clowney of the South Carolina Gamecocks prepares

(Credit: Getty Images)

While many are waiting for the BCS Bowl games to begin, here's a preview of several non-BCS Bowl matchups that are worth a look.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl Notre Dame (8-4) vs. Rutgers (6-6) (Dec. 28, Noon, ESPN): Notre Dame playing in Yankee Stadium? The Fighting Irish will be the big draw. Rutgers should have no problems with that. Just playing Notre Dame in a major venue on national TV is enough...

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The best of the non-BCS bowl games

Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees throws against Purdue

(Credit: AP)

Now that the bowl matchups are set, here is a summary of the best of the non-BCS games.

Las Vegas Bowl Fresno State vs. USC (Dec. 21, 3:30 ABC): This is one of the more intriguing bowl games as Fresno State’s David Carr will take on a legit defense. Considering Carr’s status as an NFL prospect and Fresno State’s near-perfect season, this is a game worth paying for. It could be Carr’s big selling...

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Heisman race still open

Alabama's AJ McCarron drops back to pass against

(Credit: Getty)

It's rare to see the Heisman Trophy race in such flux. For a while, it was all about Johnny Manziel, then it was about Marcus Mariota, then about Jameis Winston. At this point, it's anybody's race. If integrity and character weren't factors in the voting, Winston would probably win in a walk. But his legal problems opened the door for two to three other players. A.J. McCarron, who bested Manziel...

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Race for BCS title game berth gets tighter

Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty celebrates a touchdown against

(Credit: Getty Images)

Slowly but surely, Baylor is creeping into the national championship race. If the Bears can win at No. 10 Oklahoma State on Saturday, things could get really tight for 3rd-ranked Ohio State, which plays lowly Indiana on Saturday. After that the Buckeyes play an unranked Michigan team. Urban Meyer’s crew will have to win impressively the next two weeks and in the Big Ten title game to keep Baylor...

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BCS: Oregon's loss is everyone else's gain

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron celebrates a touchdown against

(Credit: AP)

Oregon couldn’t have picked a worse week to lose its first game of the season. With Alabama, Florida State and Baylor winning in dominating fashion and Ohio State still undefeated, the Ducks fell from third to sixth in the latest BCS standings.

Making matters worse for the Ducks, they fell behind Stanford in the BCS standings and PAC-12 North standings. If Stanford wins its remaining three...

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FSU's spot in BCS poll could be short lived

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (5) outruns Miami

(Credit: AP)

Florida State fans need to make sure that their celebration is subdued. The Seminoles made a huge statement after a 41-14 thrashing of Miami by vaulting Oregon and taking the No. 2 slot in the latest BCS standings.

Their joy could be short lived.

Third-ranked Oregon plays at No. 5 Stanford (7-1) on Thursday night, while Florida State visits Wake Forest (4-5). A win for Oregon would guarantee...

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No surprise in latest BCS rankings

Florida State's Devonta Freeman looks for an opening

(Credit: AP)

Oregon jumping Florida State in the latest BCS rankings shouldn’t be a shock. The Ducks ran roughshod over a talented UCLA team, 42-12, while the Seminoles beat a bad NC State team.

Sometimes voters let the “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” scenario take over the decision-making part of their brains. There’s nothing wrong with that in this case because the Ducks (8-0, 5-0 PAC-12) thoroughly...

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Games to watch this weekend

Another weekend and another pack of games that will have a huge impact on the BCS national title race. Saturday might be the biggest day of the season for the PAC-12 as UCLA plays at Oregon and Stanford at Oregon State. Texas Tech will look to keep itself at the top of the BIG 12 standings, while Ohio State hopes to avoid being upset by Penn State.

No. 10 Texas Tech (7-0, 4-0 BIG 12) @ No....

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SEC takes hit in first BCS poll

Notice anything strange about the BCS rankings? There are more ACC teams (3) in the top 10 then SEC teams (2). And there are just as many PAC-12 and BIG 12 teams (2) as Southeastern Conference squads.

That was a result of a tumultuous weekend that featured five ranked SEC teams losing. Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida all took a loss. Making matters even more intriguing,...

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