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10 coaches who could be bracing for bad news

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10 coaches who could be bracing for bad news

The first firing of the college football season came Sunday. Idaho let go of Robb Akey in a move that was not unexpected.

With a little more than a month to go, there are other axes to fall. It's safe to say Arkansas will not be signing up for another year of the John L. Smith experience.

Here are 10 more coaches who could be bracing for bad news.

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- Gene Chizik, Auburn

Two years removed from a national championship, Chizik is in trouble. No team had ever started a season 1-6 two years after finishing No. 1 in the AP poll - until the Tigers. It'll cost $7.5 million for Auburn to buyout Chizik as of Dec. 1, but if the Iron Bowl gets really ugly, money might not be an issue. ``I'm the head coach at Auburn,'' Chizik said. ``It's really not about me. It's about everybody else, and everybody else's expectations. I don't take that lightly. I feel a very, very high sense of responsibility.''

- Jeff Tedford, California

The Bears' 21-3 loss to archrival Stanford at their newly remodeled stadium (cost: $321 million) felt like the final blow. Tedford has been at Cal for 11 years and won 82 games. He'll leave the program in far better shape than when he arrived, but it has slipped over the past few years.

- Frank Spaziani, Boston College

The Eagles have been moving backward in four years under the former longtime BC assistant. Boston College was 4-8 last year and is 1-6 this season, with its only victory coming against Maine. This seems a more a matter of when then if.

- Joker Phillips, Kentucky

Phillips is only in his third season as Rich Brooks' successor, but each season has gotten worse. The Wildcats (1-7) have been hammered by injuries, but they are staring at a winless SEC season, and even at a basketball school, that's hard abide.

- Derek Dooley, Tennessee

Dooley took over a program in disarray, following Lane Kiffin's one-and-done in Knoxville. The Vols have improved, but there have been no big wins. Dooley is 0-14 against ranked opponents. A $5 million buyout might not stand in the way of AD Dave Hart, who did not hire Dooley.

- David Bailiff, Rice

Bailiff has had one winning season in six at Rice since taking over for Todd Graham, and is 2-6 this season, 0-4 in Conference USA. It's a tough place to win, but other than that 10-3 season in 2008, Bailiff is 15-41.

- Mike Price, UTEP

Price is 66 years old, so retirement might be on his mind anyway. The Miners are 2-6, 1-3 in C-USA, and haven't finished over .500 since his second season in El Paso, Texas, which was 2005.

- Dan Enos, Central Michigan

The former Michigan State quarterback is only in his third season at CMU, but this is a program that grew accustomed to being a Mid-American Conference contender under Brian Kelly and Butch Jones. Enos has only eight victories. The Chippewas are 2-5 overall and 0-3 in the league this season, though they did beat Iowa.

- Bobby Hauck, UNLV

Another guy only in his third season, but even at places such as UNLV, patience is thin these days. Hauck reached three national title games at Montana, so clearly he knows how to coach. But the Rebels are 1-7 and have won only five games total under Hauck.

- Doug Marrone, Syracuse

There is no doubt Syracuse is better off now than when Marrone took over four years ago, and sitting at 3-4 (2-1 in the Big East), he might not even need to get to a bowl game to be safe. But the school is moving to the ACC next season and if the Orange finish poorly, it might be tough to bring a coach already on shaky ground along for the ride.

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HEISMAN WATCH

Look for Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron and Oregon running back Kenjon Barner to start generating some Heisman buzz in the coming weeks.

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein has emerged as the front-runner for the award after accounting for seven touchdowns in a blowout of West Virginia on Saturday.

Behind Klein though, there is plenty of room for challengers to emerge now that Geno Smith's star has dimmed and Braxton Miller is coming off a poor game in which he was injured.

McCarron and Barner are set to surge, with high-profile games coming up.

Alabama's next three opponents are No. 13 Mississippi State, No. 6 LSU and No. 22 Texas A&M. McCarron is already tops in the country in passer rating with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions.

He won't put up gaudy, Big 12-like stats, but he's more than just a `game manager.'

As for Barner, spectacular teammate D'Anthony Thomas gets a lot of attention for the Ducks, but he is the engine of their prolific offense. The senior is 10th in the nation in rushing (124 yards per game) and has scored 13 touchdowns.

With games against No. 10 Southern California, No. 19 Stanford and No. 7 Oregon State still to come, the guy who spent the last three years backing up 2010 Heisman finalist LaMichael James could earn a trip to New York for himself.

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QUICK HITS

- Duke (6-2) became bowl-eligible for the first time since 1994 by beating North Carolina on Saturday (talk about a double-bonus for the Blue Devils). Put David Cutcliffe, the former Mississippi coach who was run out of Oxford after only one losing season in six years, on the short list of coach of the year candidates. The ACC Coastal Division-leading Blue Devils are at No. 11 Florida State, which leads the Atlantic Division.

- It's best not to get too worked up over college football's positional awards. Lots of deserving players always get overlooked. The Butkus Award, however, made a particularly egregious mistake Monday by leaving Khaseem Greene of Rutgers off its list of 12 semifinalists for top linebacker. Greene has not just been one of the best linebackers in the country, he's got a case for best overall defensive player.

- Michigan's defense, led by linebacker Jake Ryan, has quietly become one of the best in the country. The Wolverines rank 10th in yards allowed per game (285.3) and 13th in yard per play (4.46).

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LAST WORD

``I'm 73 years old. I hardly remember what happened yesterday, let alone 1998.'' Kansas State coach Bill Snyder when asked Monday to compare his current team to the one that came within a victory of playing in the BCS title game.

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AP Sports Writer John Zenor in Auburn, Ala., contributed.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphdrussoap

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Derrius Guice continues to ingratiate himself with Redskins fans with new fundraising effort

Derrius Guice continues to ingratiate himself with Redskins fans with new fundraising effort

For most college players, being a part of the NFL Draft experience is a dream come true, but for Derrius Guice, it was becoming a nightmare. Originally projected as a first round pick, Guice saw his name falling fast on draft boards due to questions raised about his maturity and high-maintenance personality.

Two months removed from the Redskins selecting him 59th overall, Guice has erased any doubt regarding his character. Whether it be taking fans out to the movies, shooting the breeze while signing autographs, or even the occasional leap frog over two practice barrels and a trainer, Guice has ingrained himself as a Redskins fan favorite. He's done a great job at making himself popular, now he's focused on making change for others. 

On June 20th, a day before his birthday, Guice announced he would be running a fundraiser for the Mary Bird Perkins center, a cancer foundation in his hometown of Baton Rouge. Inspired by his best friend's mother who "rang that bell,"—an indication that a patient has beaten cancer—Guice wants to help others do the same. 

Guice has utilized his newfound popularity to entice other peope to donate. If you donate $5, you can play him in Fortnite. For $50, you guys can go bowling together. Anyone willing to donate $100 or more will be entered in a raffle for tickets to the Redskins Monday Night Football game against the Saints. 

If Guice can match his off the field popularity with on the field production, he'll be in contention for Rookie of the Year. Anyone interested in donating can click here

 

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Kevin Huerter's fast rise continues into draft night

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Kevin Huerter's fast rise continues into draft night

After two short years in College Park, Kevin Huerter is hopeful his name will be called during tonight's first round of the 2018 NBA Draft. 

The Clifton Park, N.Y. native has a chance to become the first Maryland player to be selected in the first round since Alex Len went No. 5 overall to the Phoenix Suns following his sophomore year in 2013. 

Huerter has long been consistent in his pursuit of excelling in the sport he loves. 

It began in high school, where he led Shen to its first state championship while setting the state scoring record. 

Then, as a senior, Huerter was named Mr. Basketball in the state of New York. 

From smalltown upstate N.Y. to receiving over 20 offers and ultimately signing with Maryland, Huerter never looked back. 

The 19-year-old earned a starting spot right out of the gate his freshman season averaging 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. 

In between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Huerter was selected to the United States team for the 2017 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup coached by Jeff Van Gundy. 

Using that experience combined with an elevated offseason workout plan, he saw his production go up during his sophomore season scoring 14.8 points per game while en route to being named honorable mention All-Big Ten. 

After toying with whether or not he should leave Maryland, his father tweeted this out: 

Playing basketball with his talented younger sisters while trying to make the most difficult decision of his young life. That is Kevin Huerter in a nutshell. 

Fast forward to last month's NBA Combine in Chicago. Huerter chose to attend, seeing it as another opportunity to showcase his skills.

As a result, he saw his stock rise after showcasing his athleticism and sharp shooting, including a drill where he went 15 of 15 from 3-point range. 

According to Drew Zlogar, former teammate of Huerter's at Shenendehowa High School and current Digital and Social Content Publisher for the NBA, Huerter turned down a Barclays Center invite from the league to instead host a watch party of his own at a local country club in Clifton Park, N.Y., where he will be surrounded by family, friends and former high school teammates. 

As far as when Huerter is expected to come off the board, different scenarios continue to arise. 

If there's one thing for sure, it's that the former 3-star recruit is now an-almost guaranteed first round draft pick. 

Huerter has been known for his mild-mannered personality and cool-under-pressure aura about him in big moments. 

But the big man with a chip on his shoulder? That could be a scary thing for future opponents of the sharpshooter. 

Watch where Huerter goes in tonight's NBA Draft tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.