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USC retains Helton after 8-4 season

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LOS ANGELES (AP) Southern California has decided to retain Clay Helton, extending the head coach’s improbable 4 ½-year tenure atop the West Coast’s winningest college football program.

New athletic director Mike Bohn announced the decision four days after the No. 24 Trojans (8-4, 7-2 Pac-12) missed out on a trip to the conference title game when they finished one game behind No. 5 Utah in the Pac-12 South.

“His commitment to our student-athletes and to leading with integrity is vital to restoring our championship program, which is the goal for all of our teams," Bohn wrote on his Twitter account. “Heading into 2020, Coach Helton and I will work together to take a hard look at all aspects of the football enterprise and will make the tough decisions necessary to compete at a championship level.”

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Fields named Big Ten off. player of year

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was honored Wednesday as the Big Ten offensive player of the year.

Fields won in voting of coaches and media.

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Clemson RB Etienne again named ACC POY

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) Clemson running back Travis Etienne is once again the Atlantic Coast Conference's player of the year and North Carolina's Sam Howell is the league's top rookie.

The ACC on Wednesday announced its individual awards as determined by a panel of 46 media members and 14 head coaches.

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OSU's Hubbard is Big 12 Player of Year

IRVING, Texas (AP) NCAA rushing leader Chuba Hubbard from Oklahoma State has been named the Big 12 offensive player of the year, and conference sacks leader James Lynch from Baylor the top defensive player.

The awards, as determined by a vote of the league's 10 coaches, was released Wednesday.

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Coach Bobo steps down at Colorado State

Mike Bobo has agreed to step down as football coach at Colorado State after a second straight losing season.

The move was announced Wednesday by athletic director Joe Parker.

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Michigan LB Uche entering NFL draft

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Michigan linebacker Josh Uche is entering the NFL draft.

The redshirt junior shared his plans Wednesday night on his social media accounts, adding he will play for the 17th-ranked Wolverines in their bowl game.

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Vols WR Jennings suspended for half bowl

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) The Southeastern Conference has suspended Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings for the first half of the Volunteers' bowl game for what the league said was a flagrant personal foul late in a 28-10 victory over Vanderbilt.

Commissioner Greg Sankey announced the suspension Wednesday.

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Top 4 remain in CFP rankings, Utah 5th

Ohio State will go into championship weekend as the top team in the College Football Playoff selection committee’s rankings, followed by LSU, Clemson and Georgia.

Utah, Oklahoma and Baylor are on deck, and that could turn out to be the great debate by Saturday night.

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Clemson, UVa also boast stout defenses

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) The offenses are deservedly getting a lot of attention heading into Saturday night's clash between Clemson and Virginia in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

But the defenses shouldn't be overlooked. They are mong the league's best and will play a role in who walks off the field with the title in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Herrien, Simmons in spotlight for UGA

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Tyler Simmons' role as the senior leader of No. 4 Georgia's wide receivers has never been more important.

The Bulldogs have lost top receiver Lawrence Cager following ankle surgery. The depth at the position took another blow when freshman George Pickens, who shares the team lead in receptions with Cager, was ejected for fighting in last week's 52-7 win over Georgia Tech. That means Pickens is suspended for the first half of Saturday's Southeastern Conference championship game against No. 1 LSU.

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