As the college football season heads into its fifth week, there has been no shortage of thrills. Lets take a look at some of the national headlines as conference play begins.
• Notre Dame has called it quits with Michigan. The Fighting Irish agreed to a deal earlier this month with the Atlantic Coast Conference to play five games annually versus the conference, keeping the University independent. The announcement comes sooner than expected, terminating the rivalry after the 2014 season. The two schools were already scheduled to take a hiatus after 2018.
• Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne announced he will retire in January. The 75-year-old Osborne coached the Cornhuskers from 1973-1997, winning three National Championships in the process. Each of Osborne’s teams won at least nine games per season en route to his 255-49-3 overall record as head coach.
• Atlanta, Georgia, and Arlington, Texas, are among the six cities in contention to host the National Title game when the revised four-team playoff format commences in 2014. The other four cities are the current BCS-bowl sites (Miami, Glendale, Pasadena and New Orleans).
• Arkansas head coach John L. Smith will remain head coach until at least the end of the season, according to athletic director Jeff Long. After a preseason Top 10 ranking the Razorbacks (1-3) are coming off a 35-26 loss to Rutgers. Under former head coach, Bobby Petrino, Pig Sooie had a record of 34-17.
• Central Washington will have to relocate its home game for the second straight week due to wildfires. The Division II Wildcats will move to a 4,500-seat high school stadium just outside of Seattle.
• Vanderbilt running back Wesley Tate, brother of Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate, has been getting an earful of opinion about his brother’s controversial touchdown catch Monday night versus the Packers. When asked his opinion on the catch, “I’m a little neutral on this one, players play, coaches coach, and referees call the game. So for (Golden) he was just playing the game,” Tate said.
• Alabama tight end/H-back Kelly Johnson might be in a bit of legal trouble. Former student Logan Herring filed suit against Johnson, claiming Johnson assaulted him at a fraternity pledge event in 2010. Herring attests he sustained “a concussion, brain injury, memory loss, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression,” and had to go as far as transferring schools because of the incident. Johnson has just one catch for 16 yards on the season.
• Harvey Updyke, the man alleged to have poisoned the trees at Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner, was arrested for terrorizing when he was trying to return a lawn mower to a home improvement store in Louisiana. The store manager said Updyke became angry when the store would not credit a full reimbursement of $150. Updyke is currently wanted in Texas for the same charge and is due in court on Monday for his actions at Auburn.
• Another player has left the Penn State football program. Quarterback-turned-tight end Paul Jones withdrew from the team for personal reasons according to head coach Bill O’Brien. Jones will remain a student at Penn State, but becomes the 14th player to have either transferred or left the team. Nittany Lions players still have until next year to transfer schools and be eligible immediately.