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Titans, Vols players offer support to bullying victim who made heartbreaking viral video

When a boy from the Knoxville, Tennessee, area was revealed to be a victim of bullying, players for the Tennessee Titans and Vols football teams decided to step up.

>> Read more trending news

A video went viral Friday afternoon of a Knoxville boy detailing the bullying he had endured at school.

>> Watch the heartbreaking clip here

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

University of Tennessee sophomore receiver Tyler Byrd and freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano both pledged to visit the boy and offer support.

Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker responded with his own video and invited the boy and his family to an upcoming game.

>> Click here to watch

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

WATCH: The Army-Navy national anthem in the snow was one to remember

When it came to the Army-Navy college football game on Saturday, there was no doubt what the national anthem was going to look like in terms of participation, but the addition of snow to the equation made the moment that much more memorable.

>> Watch the clip here

>> PHOTOS: Army beats Navy 14-13

The rendition by the West Point and U.S. Naval Academy glee clubs was a hit on social media, with many Twitter users saying the performance gave them "goosebumps” and “chills.”

Other commenters took the opportunity to call out the NFL players who have been kneeling in protest of racial inequality as the anthem is performed before games.

Army went on to win Saturday's game 14-13.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Oklahoma RB Rodney Anderson denies rape allegation

Documents show a woman filed a protective order that accuses starting University of Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson of rape.

>> Watch the news report here

The order accuses Anderson of driving a woman home from a bar and attacking her while she was blacked out. No charges have been filed.

His attorney released a statement denying the allegations: 

"Mr. Anderson first learned of (the woman’s) request for a civil protective order late yesterday evening. Mr. Anderson is shocked and disturbed by (the woman’s) claims. The allegations are patently false. Mr. Anderson did not, nor would he ever, force himself on any woman," the statement began.

"There are undoubtedly true victims of sexual assault, for whom Mr. Anderson carries a tremendous amount of compassion. However, there are those accused of sexual assault which they unequivocally did not commit – as is the case for Mr. Anderson. It is incumbent on our community to reserve judgment and to treat this allegation on its own merit. We are confident that when authorities have all of the information surrounding this circumstance, Mr. Anderson will be completely exonerated of any wrongdoing, and he looks forward to the conclusion of this investigation so he can focus on his obligations as a student-athlete."

>> Read more trending news 

The news comes weeks before the University of Oklahoma faces off against Georgia in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.

The university released a brief statement Monday on the situation saying officials "are aware [of the filing] and are gathering information."

KOKI reached out to them again Tuesday following the release of more details on the allegations and received this statement:

"The university is aware of the situation and is following our protocols in coordinating with the Norman Police Department, which is currently handling the inquiry. The university takes seriously all allegations of misconduct and is continuing to collect information in this matter."

Anderson created a Twitter account Tuesday to defend himself: 

>> Visit KOKI for the latest on this developing story

Jackson, Love, Mayfield three finalists for 2017 Heisman Trophy

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, Stanford running back Bryce Love and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield are this year’s Heisman Trophy finalists, according to the Heisman Trust, which made the announcement on ESPN Monday night.

>> Read more trending news

The Heisman is one of the most prestigious awards in sports and the top award in college football.

Jackson is looking for a repeat after winning the trophy last year, hoping to become the second player to win the award two years in a row after Archie Griffin did it in 1974 and 1975. And he’s got a good chance at it, throwing for 3,489 yards and making 25 touchdowns this season, according to Sports Illustrated.

Mayfield is a favorite to win, though, leading the Sooners to their third straight Big 12 title. Mayfield broke his own 2016 record this season, setting a Football Bowl Subdivision record for passing efficiency, SI reported. He threw for 4,340 yards with 41 touchdowns, the second highest number of the season.

Love scored 17 touchdowns and was second in the country for rushing with 1,973 yards. He did it mostly with a seriously injured ankle, too.

>> Related: 2 Georgia players arrested after SEC championship game

The Heisman has been awarded to the best college football player dating back to 1935, although the first award was called the DAC Trophy after New York’s Downtown Athletic Club. The name of the award was changed to the Heisman Memorial Trophy in 1936 after the death of legendary football coach and DAC athletic director John W. Heisman.

The winner of the 2017 Heisman Trophy will be announced at a ceremony Saturday in New York.

Ready, set, bowl! Here is the college football bowl schedule

Ready, set, bowl! The schedule and matchups have been announced for the 2017 college football bowl season, with 41 games on tap between Dec. 16 and Jan. 8. 

>> Read more trending news

That includes the College Football Playoffs, with the national title game to be held in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. No team ranked No. 1 in the final CFP regular-season rankings has ever won the national title. Defending national champion Clemson, heading into this year’s playoffs at No. 1, will try to change that.

Sit back and get your college football fix, as the bowl season begins with five games on Dec. 16. Here is the complete schedule.

Saturday, December 16

New Orleans Bowl

(New Orleans)

North Texas vs. Troy, 1 p.m., ESPN

Cure Bowl

(Orlando, Fla.)

Georgia State vs. Western Kentucky, 2:30 p.m, CBS Sports Network

Las Vegas Bowl

(Las Vegas)

Boise State vs. Oregon, 3:30 p.m., ABC

New Mexico Bowl

(Albuquerque)

Colorado State vs. Marshall, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

Camellia Bowl

(Montgomery, Ala.)

Arkansas State vs. Middle Tennessee State, 8 p.m., ESPN

Tuesday, Dec. 19

Boca Raton Bowl

(Boca Raton, Fla.)

FAU vs. Akron, 7 p.m., ESPN

Wednesday, Dec. 20

Frisco Bowl

(Frisco, Texas)

SMU vs. Louisiana Tech, 8 p.m., ESPN

Thursday, Dec. 21

Gasparilla Bowl

(St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Temple vs. FIU, 8 p.m., ESPN

Friday, Dec. 22

Bahamas Bowl

(Nassau, Bahamas)

UAB vs. Ohio, 12:30 p.m., ESPN

Potato Bowl

(Boise, Idaho)

Wyoming vs. Central Michigan, 4 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 23

Birmingham Bowl

(Birmingham, Ala.)

Texas Tech vs. South Florida, 12 p.m.

Armed Forces Bowl

(Fort Worth, Texas)

Army vs. San Diego State, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Dollar General Bowl

(Mobile, Ala.)

Toledo vs. Appalachian State, 7 p.m., ESPN

Sunday, Dec. 24

Hawaii Bowl

(Honolulu)

Fresno State vs. Houston, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Tuesday, Dec. 26

Heart of Dallas Bowl

(Dallas)

Utah vs. West Virginia, 1:30 p.m., ESPN

Quick Lane Bowl

(Detroit)

Duke vs. Northern Illinois, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

Cactus Bowl

(Phoenix)

UCLA vs. Kansas State, 9 p.m., ESPN

Wednesday, Dec. 27

Independence Bowl

(Shreveport, La.)

Florida State vs. Southern Miss, 1:30 p.m., ESPN

Pinstripe Bowl

(New York)

Boston College vs. Iowa, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

Foster Farms Bowl

(Santa Clara, Calif.)

Purdue vs. Arizona, 8:30 p.m., Fox

Texas Bowl

(Houston)

Missouri vs. Texas, 9 p.m., ESPN

Thursday, Dec. 28

Military Bowl

(Annapolis, Md.)

Navy vs. Virginia, 1:30 p.m., ESPN

Camping World Bowl

(Orlando, Fla.)

Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

Holiday Bowl

(San Diego)

Michigan State vs. Washington State, 8 p.m., FS1

Alamo Bowl

(San Antonio, Texas)

Stanford vs. TCU, 9 p.m., ESPN

Friday, Dec. 29

Belk Bowl

(Charlotte, N.C.)

Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M, 1 p.m., ESPN

Sun Bowl

(El Paso, Texas)

North Carolina State vs. Arizona State, 3 p.m., CBS.

Music City Bowl

(Nashville, Tenn.)

Northwestern vs. Kentucky, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

Arizona Bowl

(Tucson, Ariz.)

New Mexico State vs. Utah State, 5:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network

Cotton Bowl Classic

(Arlington, Texas)

No. 8 USC vs. No. 5 Ohio State, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 30

Taxslayer Bowl

(Jacksonville, Fla.)

Louisville vs. Mississippi State, 12 p.m., ESPN

Liberty Bowl

(Memphis, Tenn.)

Memphis vs. Iowa State, 12:30 p.m., ABC

Fiesta Bowl

(Glendale, Ariz.)

No. 11 Washington vs. No. 9 Penn State, 4 p.m., ESPN

Orange Bowl

(Miami)

No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No. 10 Miami, 8 p.m., ESPN.

Monday, Jan. 1

Outback Bowl

(Tampa, Fla.)

Michigan vs. South Carolina, 12 p.m., ESPN

Peach Bowl

(Atlanta)

No. 12 UCF vs. No. 7 Auburn, 12:30 p.m., ESPN

Citrus Bowl

(Orlando, Fla.)

Notre Dame vs. LSU, 1 p.m., ABC

College Football Playoff semifinal

Rose Bowl

(Pasadena, Calif.)

No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Oklahoma, 5 p.m., ESPN

College Football Playoff semifinal

Sugar Bowl

(New Orleans)

No. 4 Alabama vs. No. 1 Clemson, 8:45 p.m., ESPN.

Monday, Jan. 8

College Football Playoff

Championship game, 8 p.m., ESPN, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta

College football: 5 takeaways after Alabama gets last playoff spot

First off, let’s be clear: I don’t really think Ohio State got a raw deal being left out of this year’s College Football Playoff. 

>> Read more trending news

Neither the Buckeyes nor Alabama had much to complain about, given what they did and did not do on the field in 2017. 

Both teams were absolutely at the mercy of the committee going into Sunday, and the committee showed favor to the Crimson Tide despite a lack of compelling evidence to do so. 

>> Four teams chosen by playoff committee

The Buckeyes had more positive marks on their resume, but there were also more negatives. 

Here are five takeaways from Sunday: 

1. The announcement sounds like an early death knell for the four-team playoff. 

I don’t know how long it’s going to take for an expansion to eight teams, but I’m pretty certain it’s going to happen for the same reason Alabama making the BCS championship in 2011 killed the two-team system.

This proves again every game doesn’t matter, which was the mantra the BCS reps leaned on and the one used by defenders of the four-team playoff against expansion. 

If we’re still just guessing who are the best four teams, we might as well just go back to voting on the winner on Jan. 2. 

2. The four-team playoff’s biggest issue: Five power conferences.

The conferences are very hard to compare in any given year, and we start necessarily having to leave out one based on some assumptions that may or may not be correct. 

That’s not ideal, and it’s often going to be unsatisfying. 

But leaving out two leagues even when none were dominant (or blatantly down) is even worse. 

Ironically, if this were 2011 it would have made a lot more sense, because LSU and Alabama reasonably were considered to be a lot better than everyone else.

Now that the conference of Jim Delany, one of college football’s ultimate power brokers, has been spurned, I would expect change to happen sooner or later. 

3. The committee simply believed Alabama was better than Ohio State. 

Therefore, they used whatever justification they wanted to explain the decision to pick the Crimson Tide. That was the Buckeyes’ blowout loss at Iowa. 

I want the the four best teams to make it, but only when it’s unequivocal who those are. 

That was not this year. 

Neither team really passed the eye test, so claiming one did rang really hollow. 

That is why I still would have gone back to the resumes, and I have always felt comparing wins was better than comparing losses because if nothing else it is a larger sample size. 

I’m also more interested in what a team is like on its best days than its worst, but if the committee disagrees that’s how it’s going to be I guess. 

And yet CFP chairman Kirby Hocutt’s statement, “Alabama was clearly the No. 4 ranked team in the country as a non-champion,” just doesn’t hold water to me. 

4. Four-team idea came too late for Ohio State.

In 2015, Ohio State was probably one of the top two let alone four, but the Buckeyes were not afforded the same treatment as Alabama this year. 

That year, too, the Buckeyes could have made the argument moot by taking care of business against Michigan State, but that’s beside the point. At least they finished the season by crushing Michigan in Ann Arbor, leaving a positive last impression rather than a loss like the 2017 Crimson Tide. 

It was generally agreed upon that was a special Ohio State team even with its flaws. 

Can we say that about this Alabama squad? 

5. What would prevent expanding the playoff? 

The conferences -- which made up the BCS and comprise the group that oversees the playoff -- might still draw the line in the sand at four teams in the playoff so they can protect their garbage championship game cash cows that often don’t mean anything in the playoff discussion. 

Lots of people say every year the first weekend of December works as the round of eight, but that’s obviously not true, since 50 percent of the time a playoff participant has not even taken part. 

A move to eight teams could guarantee the importance of a conference championship by granting the Power 5 winners a spot and leave room for someone who might have had a fluke loss. Also, someone like this season’s undefeated Central Florida could get a shot to be a college football Cinderella. 

That could be fun, right? 

They left room in the calendar to do this already, and expanding just this once wouldn’t upend the bowl system as a 16-team playoff would, which is why the latter will never happen. 

It’s all fantasy for now, but I have a feeling we’re closer to it becoming reality than we have ever been. 

Georgia beats Auburn to win SEC Championship

Shaking off a blowout loss to Auburn just three weeks ago, Jake Fromm threw two touchdown passes and No. 6 Georgia made its bid for a spot in the College Football Playoff with a 28-7 victory over the No. 4 Tigers in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday.

>> Watch the trophy presentation here

>> On WSBTV.com: PHOTOS: Bulldogs celebrate after winning the SEC Championship

Auburn (10-3) was the hottest team in the country, rolling into Atlanta after wins over Georgia and then-No. 1 Alabama in its last three games. But the Tigers were stymied by two crucial turnovers, a blocked field goal and a Georgia team eager to make up for its embarrassing 40-17 defeat on the Plains.

>> On WSBTV.com: PHOTOS: Georgia and Auburn battle in the SEC Championship

Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and freshman D'Andre Swift provided a much more effective running game for Georgia than the first meeting, which opened up things for the freshman quarterback. Fromm completed 16 of 22 passes for 183 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to Isaac Nauta in the second quarter and a 6-yarder to Terry Godwin with just over 13 minutes remaining that essentially sealed Georgia's victory.

>> On WSBTV.com: PHOTOS: Fans, teams arrive for SEC Championship game

The Bulldogs claimed their first SEC title since 2005 and capped an impressive rise in Kirby Smart's second season as coach. Georgia went 8-5 a year ago, but Nick Saban's former defensive coordinator insisted he was establishing a culture that would return the team to national prominence.

>> Read more trending news

What's next for the Bulldogs? UGA will likely head to either the Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl to play in a semifinal game, looking to take another step toward the team's first national title since 1980.

>> Visit WSBTV.com for a minute-by-minute look at the game

Field breaks during Big Ten Championship Game

No, seriously. The field broke.

After Wisconsin scored a touchdown to pull within one score of Ohio State in the fourth quarter Saturday night, the Big Ten Championship Game was delayed for several minutes after some of the turf in the end zone got pulled up during the scoring play.

>> Click here to watch

>> Read more trending news

FOX reported that Lucas Oil Stadium had new turf put into the end zone prior to the game, and the parts that came up got slightly pulled apart as Ohio State defenders tried to dig their feet down to prevent Wisconsin from scoring.

>> Ohio State outlasts Wisconsin to win Big Ten Championship

Because the turf was uneven and extremely unsafe to play on, it took several minutes for the field crew to fix the issue.

>> See the photos here

Play eventually resumed after a nearly 12-minute delay. Wisconsin attempted a two-point conversion immediately after the fix, which was successful to make the game 24-21 in favor of Ohio State at the time. Ohio State went on to win 27-21.

Ohio State outlasts Wisconsin to win Big Ten Championship

The Ohio State Buckeyes held off Wisconsin and claimed their first Big Ten Championship since 2014, winning 27-21 on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

>> Watch a post-game interview with Robert Landers

The Buckeyes, ranked No. 8 in last week’s College Football Playoff rankings, will await their playoff fate on Sunday. The fourth and final playoff spot likely will come down to Ohio State (11-2) or Alabama (11-1). The Crimson Tide were No. 5 last week but didn’t play in a conference championship game. With wins on Saturday, Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia are the likely top three teams in the final rankings.

>> Read more trending news

Ohio State led 21-10 at halftime. Each team traded field goals in the third quarter. Wisconsin but Ohio State’s deficit to 21-13. Then Ohio State’s Sean Nuernberger pushed the lead back to 11 points with a 27-yard field goal.

The Buckeyes had several opportunities to add to its lead in the third quarter but went 3-and-out on one possession. Then J.T. Barrett threw his second interception.

After the Barrett interception, Wisconsin cut the deficit to 24-20 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Chris James with 12:39 left in the fourth quarter. Prior to that touchdown, Wisconsin had gone 3-and-out on its previous two drives.

J.K. Dobbins led the Buckeyes with 174 yards on 17 carries and was named the game’s MVP. Barrett completed 12 of 26 passes for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

FIRST-HALF RECAP

The Buckeyes built a 21-10 halftime lead on the strength of three big plays.

Terry McLaurin caught an 84-yard touchdown pass from Barrett to open the scoring. Parris Campbell turned a short catch into a 57-yard touchdown. A 77-yard run by J.K. Dobbins set up a 1-yard touchdown run by a Barrett.

>> On DaytonDailyNews.com: PHOTOS: Ohio State vs Wisconsin

>> On DaytonDailyNews.com: Meyer praises toughness of Barrett

Here’s a quick recap of the rest of the first half:

Key player: Barrett earned the start despite having a knee procedure Sunday and didn’t look slowed in the first half. He completed 8 of 16 passes for 182 yards and rushed eight times for 31 yards.

>> On MyDaytonDailyNews.com: Seven things to know about Big Ten title gameGame previewBarrett will playLaser focus for BuckeyesFive storylinesBig Ten historyRivalry historyPlayoff possibility | Championship breakdown

Key plays: Wisconsin is in the game because of two turnovers by Ohio State. Barrett threw an interception that was returned nine yards for a touchdown by Andrew Van Ginkel. Mike Weber lost a fumble at the Ohio State 11-yard line that Wisconsin turned into a field goal.

Key stat: Ohio State held Wisconsin standout freshman running back Jonathan Taylor to 25 yards on 10 carries.

Missed opportunity: Ohio State almost stretched its lead to 28-10 just before the half. Barrett overthrew a wide-open Johnnie Dixon in the end zone. Wisconsin blocked a 43-yard field goal attempt by Sean Nuernberger to end the half.

Ric Flair says he's available for Tennessee football coaching job

Wrestling icon Ric Flair tossed his hat in the ring for the Tennessee head football coach or athletic director openings on Friday.

>> Read more trending news

Flair posted a picture on Twitter of himself cropped into a photo with a Tennessee polo shirt with the caption, “If the shirt fits hire him! Available for either position! WOOOOO!”

Tennessee has yet to find a new football coach after the firing of Butch Jones on Nov. 12 despite several interviews and reportedly coming close to several deals.

Tennessee athletic director John Currie was fired Friday after failing to find a new coach and student protests on campus that called for his job over the past week.

Tennessee did name an athletic director later Friday, hiring Hall of Fame football coach Phillip Fulmer.

Fulmer coached the Volunteers from 1992 to 2008, going 152-52 overall and leading Tennessee to the 1998 national title.

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