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Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

When North Carolina and Clemson play in the ACC championship game, Broyles Award finalists Gene Chizik and Brent Venables will be faced with a similar task: slowing down a high-powered offense. Both coordinators have been so impressive, it is tough to say who has done a better job. Is it Chizik, who transformed one of the worst defenses in the country a year ago into a group giving up an average of 100 yards and 19 points fewer per game? Or is it Venables, who replaced eight Clemson starters and still has the No. 8 defense in the country?

Rice RB gives powerful postgame speech

Rice senior RB Luke Turner, who received just one Division I offer after he broke his leg in high school, gave a powerful reminder of how strong the coach-player relationship can be when speaking to reporters Saturday. Watch his emotional speech

Rice University

Saban's shadow looms large over SEC

Mark Richt is out at Georgia, and Les Miles was nearly let go at LSU, even though both have won more than 70 percent of their games. The reason: Nick Saban, who is 35-5 in his last 40 games against SEC foes. Beat 'Bama or bust

AP Photo/Brett Davis

Oklahoma now alone at No. 3

The Sooners own sole possession of third place in ESPN's rankings after sharing with Michigan State last week. That's a product of their 58-23 thumping of Oklahoma State, which ended their regular season. Power Rankings

Schad: Clay Helton earned this

USC chose not to hire a big name from outside the program, which shows Joe Schad just how well the players have embraced Helton.


Joe Schad @schadjoe

USC QB Cody Kessler told me today: We dont need a big-name coach. We need someone who will get the job done.

Herman, Houston have 'agreed in principle'

Tom Herman said Monday that he has "agreed in principle" on a new contract to stay at Houston, adding that he and the school are "moving in the right direction". Herman, who has led Houston to a 11-1 record this season, emphasized that nothing is final at this point.

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How might Heisman contenders fare in NFL?

NFL Insiders Mel Kiper and Todd McShay huddled up to pick their top 4 for the Heisman race (spoiler: Derrick Henry tops both lists.) But how might those candidates perform in the NFL draft? Predictions (Insider)

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Rudock could play in Michigan bowl game

QB Jake Rudock sprained the AC joint in non-throwing shoulder in Saturday's loss to Ohio State but should be healthy enough to play in a bowl game, a source told ESPN's Dan Murphy.

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Sam Khan Jr. ESPN Staff Writer 

Houston coach Tom Herman said on Monday he has "agreed in principle" to a new contract to stay at UH. Herman said details of the deal are being worked out but he said "We're moving in the right direction on generalities." Herman made it clear that nothing is final and was cautious because he doesn't want to say something that isn't true but it appears he and Houston are moving forward regarding his future. Herman has been a hot name speculated for several of the Power 5 coaching openings.

Eight teams still have a chance ...

Entering the last week of games before the CFP committee makes its final decisions, six teams are still in contention and two more are on the fence. Eliminator: Who's in?


Future looks bright for Trojans

According to ESPN's Recruiting Nation, USC has the Pac-12's 2nd-best recruiting class coming in. The Trojans also rank 10th nationally, two spots behind fellow Pac-12 member Stanford.

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

Clay Helton essentially took over a 3-3 team and has them one win away from the Rose Bowl. Players absolutely love him.

Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Justin Fuente made it clear during his news conference Monday the only job he wanted was Virginia Tech; athletic director Whit Babcock made it a mutual admiration society when he said Fuente was the only coach he targeted. Fuente said there were two reasons he wanted the job, replacing Frank Beamer: "What it has been, what it can be and the community that comes with it" plus "the best defensive coordinator in the country" in Bud Foster.

Ted Miller ESPN Staff Writer 

USC made it official Monday that Clay Helton will become the Trojans head coach, dropping his "interim" tag. So his status will be secure in advance of PAC-12 title game against Stanford. Interesting call from embattled athletic director Pat Haden. Helton has players support and he projects stability. He's not a young hotshot type like Kiffin and Sarkisian. On the other hand, he's not a choice that will energize the fan base, which was hoping for a big name. First question is how team handles business vs Stanford. Second is how Helton deals with a staff he inherited.

Clay Helton, USC sign multi-year deal

USC AD Pat Haden announced a multi-year agreement with Helton, who guided the Trojans to a 5-2 record as interim head coach this season. USC is playing Stanford Saturday in the Pac-12 title game.

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Ted Miller @TedMillerRK

Clay Helton officially announced as USCs next head coach, dropping interim from title in advance of Pac-12 championship game vs. Stanford

Mark Richt: 'I'm really at peace'

Richt joined Georgia AD Greg McGarity at a press conference to discuss the coach's firing: "Expectations have been built to the point if you don't win a championship, things are miserable around here," said Richt, who demonstrated class and grace in the face of bad news.

Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI

Watch: Mark Richt press conference

Richt addresses the media after he was fired as Georgia's football coach Sunday. The Bulldogs beat Georgia Tech Saturday to finish the regular season at 9-3. Live on SEC Network, WatchESPN

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Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Virginia Tech will introduce Justin Fuente as head coach Monday, a hire that many have applauded because he will bring a more dynamic approach to offense -- something that is desperately needed in Blacksburg. But just as important is his decision to ask Bud Foster to stay on as defensive coordinator. Foster worked side by side with Frank Beamer to build Virginia Tech into a power. He can help Fuente get Virginia Tech back, while also bridging the link between the past and the future.