We still have a little over a week before Clemson and LSU play for a title, but there were still plenty of big stories in the world of college football this week. Let's take a look.
Moorhead fired after two years at Mississippi State
Joe Moorhead's first two years at Mississippi State had been bumpy, to say the least, but expectations were that Moorhead would return for a third year for the Bulldogs.
Funny thing about expectations. Moorhead was fired on Friday, with athletic director John Cohen announcing the decision "goes a little bit beyond wins and loses." The former Penn State OC went 14-12 in his two years with the Bulldogs, and his final game was a 38-28 loss in the Music City Bowl to Louisville on Monday.
Moorhead is still very highly-regarded as an offensive mind, and even if he doesn't get another head-coaching gig this year, there's a very good chance he gets another shot soon. He should be able to find a spot as an offensive coordinator or some sort of offensive analyst job in 2020.
As for the Bulldogs' vacancy, the usual names are being bantered about, but Billy Napier of Louisiana has already mentioned that he's not interested in the position. Expect a resolution there relatively shortly.
Young officially enters NFL Draft
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Ohio State EDGE Chase Young announced on Friday that he is declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Young was an absolute monster off the edge for the Buckeyes in his time at Ohio State, and despite missing time with a suspension, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound defender was able to pick up 16.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles in 12 appearances while helping the Buckeyes reach the playoff and win a Big Ten Championship.
There was no question that Young was going to declare; despite some comments that suggested otherwise. The question now is where he goes. He's viewed by many as the best player in this draft, but the Bengals hold the first pick, and Joe Burrow seems very likely to be selected in that spot. The second pick belongs to Washington, and after taking Dwayne Haskins with a first-round pick last year, they likely don't take a signal-caller high this year. Young certainly would fill a need there, or Washington could look to trade the pick for a team that wants to procure Young's services. Either way, it'd be a major upset if he wasn't one of the first two selections come April.
Swift declares, Moses to return
While Young was the biggest draft entry of the week -- he'd be the biggest draft entry of any week -- he was far from alone.
Georgia junior RB D'Andre Swift declared for the NFL Draft, and like Young, it comes as no surprise. He was a star in his three years with the Bulldogs, and despite battling some injuries, he still ran for 1,218 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 6.2 yards on his carries. He's also a solid receiver (24-216), and despite his 5-foot-9, 216-pound size, he should be able to be a three-down back for whatever team drafts him. Testing will be important for Swift, but assuming he's the athlete we all think he is, he has a real chance to be the first running back off the board.
One of the competitors for that spot will be J.K. Dobbins, who also announced that he'll be leaving Ohio State for the NFL Draft. A very solid performer in his first two years, Dobbins (5'10/217) really saw things escalate in his junior campaign; breaking the school record with 2,0003 yards rushing and looking impressive doing it. He's a dual-threat as a receiver as well, and it'd be a big surprise if Dobbins is still on the board before the end of the second round; with the first round a very real possibility.
Ohio State is also losing Jeffrey Okudah, and it's very possible that means the Buckeyes will see two players from their defense selected in the Top 10 picks. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound defender is considered by many to be the best cornerback on the board, and was one of the reasons why the Clemson offense struggled in the passing game, as Okudah was able to break-up multiple pass. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranks the corner as the fourth best prospect in the class, so it'd be an upset if a corner-needy team didn't take him in the first-half of this draft, at the very latest.
One of the more interesting -- and possibly surprising -- declarations came from Washington junior RB Salvon Ahmed, who also announced on Friday. A former four-star recruit, Ahmed spent the first two years playing behind Myles Gaskin, and while he battled injuries in his junior campaign, he was still able to go over the thousand-yard mark and score 11 touchdowns for the Huskies. He has game-changing speed and also has contributed as a receiver, but there are some questions about his size (5'11/196) and vision. He projects as a Day 3 prospect right now, but there's certainly upside here for him to become a starter or strong change-of-pace back.
It came with some controversy -- or at the least some delay -- but we now know that Dylan Moses is going to be heading back to Alabama.
Moses had originally announced that he would be coming back to Tuscaloosa on Monday, but then on Thursday, he and his family released a statement suggesting that they would be considering options before making a decision. That likely (assuredly) had to do with Moses's torn ACL and the insurance that the 6-foot-3, 235-pound was able to procure while returning. He'll be a redshirt junior for the Crimson Tide if he doesn't declare again, and he'll be among the top linebackers in the country.
Oklahoma State junior WR Tylan Wallace also announced that he'll be back for his senior campaign. Wallace (6'0/185) was one of the best wideouts in the country before he tore his ACL in an October practice. Assuming medicals hold up, Wallace should be among the top wideouts for the 2021 class.
Five-star TE Washington commits to Georgia
The Under-Armour All-American game took place on Thursday, and as expected, we saw several big-name prospects announce their college choice. The best of those prospects was Darnell Washington; a consensus five-star prospect who announced that he had signed with Georgia. A 6-foot-7, 265-pound athlete, Washington has a chance to be an impact player right away for the Bulldogs; one that can line up wide or make an impact as a "move" tight end.
Washington was the highlight, but he was far from the only other big-name who pledged at the event. Four-star CB Dontae Manning made a pledge to the Ducks in the fourth quarter of the contest; and he's a potential two-way threat that likely makes his living on defense, but can help as a gadget player on offense and also potentially on special teams. Colorado also picked up a big get -- literally and figuratively -- at the event with 6-foot-7 Jason Harris, who ranks 11th among all weakside defensive ends and 185th overall in the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Rivals' Sean Callahan reports that Nebraska has "formally parted ways" with indefinitely suspended sophomore RB Maurice Washington … Purdue hired former Louisiana Tech DC Bob Diaco to serve in the same capacity ... NC State hired former Texas OC Tim Beck to serve in the same capacity and as QB coach. Temple redshirt junior DE Quincy Roche has entered the transfer portal. Roche tallied 44 total tackles (18.0 for loss), 13.0 sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and four quarterback hurries for the Owls ... Texas A&M WR Quartney Davis has declared for the NFL Draft ... Pitt redshirt sophomore S Paris Ford will return to school for the 2020 season ... LSU senior LB Michael Divinity has been reinstated to the team and will be available to play in the title game against Clemson on Jan. 13. The 6-foot-2, 214-pound defender has not played for the Tigers since November 18.
Wake Forest junior QB Jamie Newman entered the transfer portal. Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports reports there is "mutual interest" between Newman and Oregon ... Oklahoma five-star 2021 verbal QB commit Brock Vandagriff reopened his recruitment ... Former Northwestern senior WR Bennett Skowronek has signed with Notre Dame ... Ole Miss is hiring former Maryland HC D.J. Durkin to serve as an assistant coach ... Alabama junior T Alex Leatherood announced he will return for his senior season in 2020 ... Former Arizona State freshman QB Joey Yellen transferred to Pitt ... Former Miami sophomore RB Lorenzo Lingard transferred to Florida.