Future of UAB football in serious jeopardy

It appears that UAB does not have a bright future as a football program.

Head coach Bill Clark told ESPN's Joe Schad on Sunday that he believes the school's football program is going to be shut down.

“I think it's going to happen,” said Clark, who just finished his first regular season with the school.

“Unless something changes before the weekend ends, I think it's over. I think the odds are very high it ends this week. To shut the doors? That's sad.”

The Blazers are 6-6 and eligible for a bowl game, but a postseason berth for the first time in a decade is not guaranteed.

According to the ESPN story, Clark has been in contact with officials from the school and Conference USA, and the school had been evaluating such things as fiscal feasibility. UAB has made improvements both on the field and in the NCAA's academic ratings, and Clark was able to get financial pledges to help with improvements such as athletic facilities. However, the school was taking a cautious approach on any matters that involve any future football commitments. The football program is overseen by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, and it could be ready to kill it despite the strides made under Clark. Since starting as a member of Division III in 1991, a lack of funding and on-field success have plagued the Blazers.

Clark, who was a highly successful Alabama high school coach, was hired by UAB away from Jacksonville State (AL) as a first-year college head coach. He is working on a three-year contract through 2016, but UAB has no nonconference games scheduled beyond that season. Not only have current players been dealing with the distraction of an unknown future, but some recruits have decommitted because of the speculation. And now it is unknown if Clark will even have an office to go to this offseason.

If UAB drops its football program, its men's basketball team and other sports teams may have to depart C-USA. The league's bylaws require members to be an FBS school in football.

Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

Latavius Murray inactive for Raiders

Raiders running back Latavius Murray won't be able to run for a ridiculous yards per carry average this week against the Rams.

Murray has been ruled inactive due to a concussion he sustained during Oakland's first win of the season last Thursday against the Chiefs. Murray claims this was the first concussion he's ever had at any level of football.

Before the concussion, Murray had totaled 112 yards and two touchdowns on only four carries against Kansas City. However, Murray was unable to clear the NFL's concussion protocol and will be unable to play Sunday as a result.

Follow me on Twitter: @JasonHButt

Taylor Lewan inactive due to ankle injury

The Tennessee Titans were hoping to have both Taylor Lewan and Michael Oher available for Sunday's game against Houston. However, only one will be able to suit up.

Lewan has been ruled inactive for the game after sustaining an ankle injury a week ago. Oher, who has a toe injury, will be able to play.

Not having Lewan will hurt rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger, though the young quarterback has improved on getting rid of the ball quickly in recent weeks. Mettenberger will have to be even more aware of the pass rush this week with Lewan out.

Follow me on Twitter: @JasonHButt

NFP Top 25

With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror and Championship Saturday on the horizon, we are close to finding out which four teams will comprise the very first College Football Playoff.

Just one undefeated team remains from the Power Five conferences, as Florida State once again was taken down to the wire but survived a scare against rival Florida. Meanwhile, Alabama outlasted Auburn in the Iron Bowl and Oregon once again took care of business in the Civil War. But with Mississippi State falling in the Egg Bowl, there are questions as to which team will ultimately be No. 4 when the final CFP rankings come out.

For now, let's take a look at the National Football Post's newest Top 25 after 14 weeks of play.

2014 record in parentheses and last week’s ranking in brackets.

Jameis WinstonJameis Winston and the 'Noles enter the ACC title game unbeaten.

1. Florida State (12-0) [1]

2. Oregon (11-1) [2]

3. Alabama (11-1) [3]

4. TCU (10-1) [4]

5. Baylor (10-1) [6]

6. Ohio State (11-1) [7]

7. Arizona (10-2) [11]

8. Mississippi State (10-2) [5]

9. Kansas State (9-2) [12]

10. Michigan State (10-2) [13]

11. Wisconsin (10-2) [14]

12. Georgia Tech (10-2) [16]

13. Georgia (9-3) [8]

14. Ole Miss (9-3) [17]

15. UCLA (9-3) [9]

16. Arizona State (9-3) [10]

17. Missouri (10-2) [21]

18. Auburn (8-4) [15]

19. Oklahoma (8-3) [20]

20. Clemson (9-3) [22]

21. Louisville (9-3) [23]

22. Nebraska (9-3) [25]

23. Utah (8-4) [NR]

24. USC (8-4) [NR]

25. LSU (8-4) [NR]

The next five: Boise State (10-2), Minnesota (8-4), Marshall (11-1), Colorado State (10-2) and Memphis (9-3).

Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.

Your Week 13 Sunday preview

Before I get into our discussion on Sunday’s games, there’s something that I have to write about. As a 30-year NFL scouting veteran, it ruffles my feathers a bit when a sports writer who knows nothing about the evaluation business writes a story in November about who a certain team should select in the first round next April.

In this case, I am referring to an article in Saturday’s New York Post written by Kevin Kernan. The title of the article is, “Why Jameis Winston would be a perfect fit for Jets next season.” I read the article and had to laugh.

Does Mr. Kernan know anything about the success ratio of quarterbacks taken in the top-10 picks over the last six or seven years? He can hop on I-95 and take a drive down to Washington and see that “anointed” quarterbacks aren’t all they are made out to be. RGIII is not the only top-10 or top-12 signal-caller who has busted out in recent years.

I recognize Jameis Winston’s talents, as he has the “physical” talent to eventually be a good NFL quarterback. I emphasize “physical” because it ends there. The last person in the world the New York Jets need at quarterback Is Jameis Winston.

Jameis WinstonWould the Jets really be willing to roll the dice on a guy like Winston?

Winston has an abundance of character issues. There is no need for me to go over them, as there is something new added to his resume just about every week. On top of that, the evaluation process on the quarterbacks that will be in the next draft isn’t even 50 percent complete. Don’t forget, last year at this time many “experts” were saying that Teddy Bridgewater was a lock to be the first pick in the 2014 draft. If I recall correctly, Bridgewater got drafted with the last pick in the first round.

In Winston’s case, the evaluation process really hasn’t begun in earnest yet because he is an underclassman who hasn’t declared for the draft. By league rule, scouts who go into Florida State aren’t allowed to ask people involved with football operations anything about Winston. However, if the Florida State people say that Winston is leaving, then that opens the door to commence in-depth research. When and if Winston declares for the draft, scouts will be talking to many who are involved with the Florida State football program including coaches, trainers, weight coach and support staff. They will also talk to the academic advisor and most likely the campus police.

When we talk about Winston’s issues, we can’t say that everything is in his past. In the sexual assault case, while criminal charges weren’t filed, Winston still has a campus hearing to go through within the next few weeks and then there will undoubtedly be a civil lawsuit. In Winston’s case, the civil lawsuit may end up being worse than a criminal case would have been.

Does Mr. Kernan really think that the publicity from that case is something the Jets would want, especially after going through the soap opera seasons they have had over the last few years? Does he really think that the Jets would want a person of Winston’s character to be the face of the franchise? I doubt it.

As for my Sunday preview, I didn’t do very well last week, as one win isn’t something we’re going to celebrate. I had the correct teams winning, just not against the spread. And that’s what counts.

Having babbled on about Jameis Winston for so long, I will make this short and sweet. Because there are only 13 games left this week on the NFL schedule, I’m going to pick just three games and hope I come out on the right side at least twice.

Miami Dolphins (-7) at New York Jets

Ryan TannehillTannehill and the Dolphins should manhandle the Jets on Monday night.

The Jets had everything going for them last week. Buffalo had “Snowageddon” to deal with and their practice schedule and routine was cut way short. Because of the snow, the game was moved to Monday night and played in Detroit. That gave the Jets, who were already coming off a bye, an extra day to prepare. All that extra day did was give them an extra day to prepare to fail as they got smoked by the Bills 38-3.

The Jets flat out quit in that game and, in my opinion, are the worst team in the NFL. Take Miami and lay the points.

Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) vs. San Diego Chargers

The Ravens are in the middle of a both a divisional and playoff battle. In order to keep pace with Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Cleveland, Baltimore has to win. With the game being in Baltimore and San Diego traveling across the country and playing at 1:00pm eastern, it’s a huge advantage for the Ravens. I like Baltimore to win by at least 7.

Cincinnati Bengals (-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This one is easy. If the Bucs couldn’t beat a hapless, unemotional Chicago team, how are they going to beat a squad that is fighting for a divisional title? Saying the Bucs looked terrible in the second half last week is an understatement. Cincinnati should win this game easily.

Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggabe

Jaguars promote Tommy Streeter, cut Mike Brown

The Jacksonville Jaguars promoted wide receiver Tommy Streeter from the practice squad and waived receiver Mike Brown.

Streeter has been on the practice squad since September. Streeter has previous stints with the Ravens, Buccaneers and Bills.

Brown has 39 catches for 534 yards and two touchdowns in three seasons.

He has seven catches for 88 yards this year.

Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider

Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

Baalke apologizes to Chris Roman for daughter's Tweet

San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke and his daughter, Cassie, apologized to offensive coordinator Greg Roman after she ripped him on Twitter during a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Cassie Baalke wrote on Twitter: “Greg Roman can take a hike. The 49ers don't want you no more.”

Trent Baalke released a statement Friday apologizing.

“My daughter and I both regret that her feelings got the best of her after last night’s game and that she chose social media as an avenue to express her feelings,” Trent Baalke said. “We have apologized to Greg for this unfortunate matter. While disappointed, as a father I will use this as a teachable moment to help my daughter grow.”

Cassie Baalke has deleted her Twitter account.

Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider

Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

Dolphins claim Don Jones, cut Lowell Rose

The Miami Dolphins claimed former safety Don Jones off waivers from the New England Patriots.

Jones was drafted last year by the Dolphins in the seventh round.

Jones was cut by the Patriots this week.

The Dolphins cut cornerback Lowell Rose to create a spot for Jones.

The Dolphins are banged-up in their secondary.

Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider

Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

Johnny Manziel explains incident with fan

Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel told reporters that a fan went after him in an aggressive manner in the lobby of his condo.

Manziel said the fan was drunk, “approached me in the lobby, putting his hands on me and kind of toying with me.”

Manziel wouldn't say whether he was punched or punched Chris Gonos.

“It was a very unfortunate situation, a situation that was tried to be averted at all costs, and one that [I] was unfortunately not able to really get away from,” Manziel said. “I let [the Browns] know what really happened and wanted them to be on top of it from the very get-go. I'm very thankful for the Browns having my back in all this and at the same time supporting me on a situation that seemed to be a little blown out of proportion.”

When asked if he hit the man, Manziel said: “I'm not going to go into exact details of everything that happened. It was broken up really fast, and at the time it was more toward my roommate than it was toward me, the initial offering. After there had been some aggressiveness and hostility in the lobby, we didn't want to enter the elevator with this guy. There was kind of a brief pause trying to decide if we were going to get into the elevator and avert this whole thing or if they were going to go up.”

The Browns said they were concerned about the time of the incident, roughly 2:30 a.m.

“One night I did get a chance to go out and stay out a little later, a decision I made on my own,” Manziel said. “I felt at the time [it] was OK, and I know there are other guys in the league and other guys in this locker room that do the same thing and enjoy their time when they are out of the building. I know at night when I go to bed I need to make sure I'm ready and capable of going to work the next day and fulfilling my job and the duties I have in this building the next day.”

Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider

Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun