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Penn St. gives Franklin 6 years, $34.4M

(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- Penn State approved a six-year contract extension for head coach James Franklin through at least the 2022 season, the school announced Friday.

The new contract for the football coach will average $5.73 million per year for six years, according to Sports Illustrated and confirmed by ESPN. Franklin was scheduled to make $4.7 million this year under his previous deal.

Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour announced the agreement after the university board unanimously approved Franklin's extension.


Ex-Vandy player gets 15 years for rape

(TSX / STATS) -- Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday for his role in the 2013 gang rape of an unconscious female student.

Banks was found guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery in June.


Georgia Tech dismisses star RB Mills

(TSX / STATS) -- Sophomore running back Dedrick Mills was dismissed from the Georgia Tech football team on Friday for violating team rules.

Mills, the top B-back on the roster, was the top returning rusher for the Yellow Jackets. He compiled 771 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns as a freshman in 2016.


Darnold, USC looking for WRs to step up

(TSX / STATS) -- Sam Darnold, you know. He's the early choice for top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He's the betting favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, unseating the current holder of the stiff-armed trophy, Lamar Jackson.

Darnold, a redshirt sophomore quarterback, led USC to nine consecutive victories to end last season, fueling the Trojans' skyrocketing expectations heading into 2017 -- a Pac-12 title, a spot in the College Football Playoff ... and then, who knows?


Pressure on Washington after CFP berth

(TSX / STATS) -- The pressure is now on Washington, and it will be interesting to see how the program handles heightened expectations.

The Huskies operated under the radar at the beginning of last season before being one of four teams to reach the College Football Playoff. Washington lost to Alabama on the big stage, but the stellar record (12-2) exceeded all the preseason forecasts.


New coach Taggart begins Ducks' revival

(TSX / STATS) -- How the mighty have fallen.

From 2007 to 2015, the Oregon football program was as good as any in the country. The Ducks reeled off nine consecutive seasons with at least nine victories, including two appearances in national championships games, three BCS bowl victories. Quarterback Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy.


UCLA's Mora seemingly on hot seat

(TSX / STATS) -- This could be a season of unrest for UCLA, or at least it appears that way heading into Jim Mora's sixth season as the Bruins' coach.

Mora is widely considered on the hot seat because he has only 12 wins in the last two seasons, including a 4-8 record last season when the Bruins were picked by the media to win the Pac-12 South. UCLA, despite highly touted recruiting classes each year, has not won a division title since Mora's first season in 2012. He has yet to coach the Bruins to one of the biggest bowls.


Minus McCaffrey, Stanford turns to Love

(TSX / STATS) -- Losing two first-round NFL Draft picks is difficult, but Stanford is among the most stable programs in the country and is built to absorb the departures.

The Cardinal will miss defensive lineman Solomon Thomas (the third overall pick in the draft) and running back/returner Christian McCaffrey (eighth overall pick), but coach David Shaw liked what he saw in camp as his team prepared for an Aug. 26 opener against Rice in Sydney, Australia.


QB Montez takes the reins for Colorado

(TSX / STATS) -- Redshirt sophomore quarterback Steven Montez is by no means a wide-eyed, inexperienced rookie. So, Colorado's task of replacing its all-time leading passer, Sefo Liufau, might not be as daunting as it sounds.

Montez takes over at quarterback for a program that enters a season for the first time as the incumbent Pac-12 South champion. And while spirits are high in Boulder after the school's first 10-win season since 2001, a return to the conference title game is considered a long shot, especially given the departure of eight starters on defense.


Sun Devils' Graham in win-or-else mode

(TSX / STATS) -- Arizona State coach Todd Graham hears the win-or-else cries from fans and, to another extent, from his own administration.

When athletic director Ray Anderson was asked about Graham's fate if the sixth-year coach delivered another five- or six-win season, Anderson answered, "I don't think it's any revelation to anyone that if that happens -- and unequivocally I don't think it will, I think we're going to win -- but if that happens then we'll make the prudent business decision, whatever that might be."

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