College Football News May 5: Replacing Top Draft Picks

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A happy Cinco de Mayo to all the CFBHuddle.com readers. Growing up and attending college in the American Southwest, Cinco de Mayo was to me what I imagine St. Patrick’s Day is to the Northeast: an opportunity for people to get hammered in “celebration” of a holiday the origins of which revelers are oblivious.

Now that I have sufficiently played the part of Buzz Killington for the day, let’s jump into today’s headlines.

How Will Elite Programs Replace Top Draft Picks?

Kevin Causey, The Student Section

The completion of the NFL draft keeps college football’s circle of life turning. With 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, 2014 Heisman winner Marcus Mariota, 2014 Heisman finalist Amari Cooper and Florida standout Dante Fowler all headed to the pros, their former college homes are left with considerable voids.

The Student Section’s Kevin Causey breaks down the outlook for each program, replacing its departed NFL draftee.

College Football Playoff Makes Every Conference Richer, Except One

Kristi Dosh, FoxSports.com

As more details of the College Football Playoff’s financials roll in, it’s abundantly clear the new postseason system was a resounding success — well, for every league but the American Athletic Conference, anyway.

The American was the one conference to take a loss, a result of its move from BCS status in 2013, to Group of Five designation in 2014. Otherwise, as Kristi Dosh details, the Playoff was a revenue bonanza for all conferences — especially those who were the most slighted by the BCS.

Most of the Group of Five saw substantial gains, and one Power Five league, perhaps most jaded by the BCS, was the top tier’s big winner.

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson on Track for a Full Recovery

Adam Iacobelli, Associated Press

Promising Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson — ranked the ACC’s best QB heading into 2015 by Athlon Sports — told the Associated Press he expects to be 100 percent for the season opener.

Watson missed the Tigers’ spring practice after having knee surgery, but remained engaged in workouts.

“I’m there mentally to take every rep that every other quarterback takes to make sure that I’m staying prepared,” Watson told the AP.

Watson will play a key role in the Tigers’ season of lofty expectations. After smashing Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl, Phil Steele has Clemson tabbed to open 2015 ranked 15th in his AP projection.

USC Lands Commitment from 4-Star 2016 QB Matt Fink

USC head coach Steve Sarkisian is loading up on quarterbacks. With Cody Kessler in his final season, Sark has Max Browne on deck. After Browne, the Trojans have 2015 recruits Ricky Town and Sam Darnold, and today added 2016 prospect Matt Fink.