College football news: Nick Saban says Johnny Manziel has NFL future; Vanderbilt dismisses Chris Boyd

Scott Halleran

Barely halfway into Week 4, the college football world has already generated a remarkable number of headlines.

Bo Pelini and Mack Brown had already given us a week's worth of headlines by Tuesday morning. Then came news from Texas A&M, Alabama and more.

Nick Saban says Johnny Manziel has an NFL future

Perhaps it's truth, or perhaps it's a result of the ever-burgeoning anti-Johnny Manziel sentiment that began early in the offseason and has only gathered steam through half-a-month of college football. Seemingly more people than ever assert the Texas A&M quarterback and defending Heisman Trophy winner doesn't have a clear-cut path to stardom awaiting him in the NFL.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, whose Crimson Tide topped Manziel and the Aggies this past weekend, believes the opposite. He spoke to Sports Illustrated's Peter King about the topic:

Saban paused a moment, put his bags down and made eye contact to make sure his point would be understood. "I think Johnny's a unique player," he said. "Many people have said about these guys, like [Robert Griffin III], that they're not really NFL-style quarterbacks. But yet they're all doing pretty well in the NFL.

"I think when somebody's as instinctive as [Manziel] is, and as fast as he is, and as athletic as he is, and he's developing into a pretty good passer-I mean last year he really developed as a passer-I do think he has an NFL future."

Saban's opinion alone is enough to justify that claim, but after Manziel completed 28 of 39 passes for 464 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions, the comments are even more interesting. Arguably college football's finest coach, Saban isn't in a position where he simply has to say nice things about Manziel. Sure, Saban avoids a whole mess of bad press without negative comments here, but King has earned the reputation of a writer connected enough to discern between standard coachspeak and truly interesting quotes. That note on Saban's eye contact points to the latter.

Alabama planning all-black jerseys?

Though they remain unconfirmed, images of all-black Alabama jerseys surfaced Tuesday in the store. The jerseys are black with black numbers and a white Nike swoosh, and the attached product description indicates they'll be worn vs. Ole Miss Sept. 28.

Inherent in the black-on-black design, however, is the notion that nobody will really be able to discern the jersey numbers beyond, say, five yards away. That alone casts their game usage in doubt.

But Alabama players likely wouldn't be able to wear this jersey on the field. The numbers aren't distinguished from the rest of the jersey, meaning it would be impossible for opposing coaches to tell players apart from afar. NCAA rules require contrast. So unless that gray is actually really reflective, or the official models have white numbers, I'd bet against seeing them in action.

Vanderbilt WR Chris Boyd dismissed from team

Vanderbilt wide receiver Chris Boyd has been dismissed from the football team, the school announced Tuesday. Boyd pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of trying to cover up an alleged rape on June 23, and was previously suspended for the Commodores' first three games of the season.

Boyd was expected to start at wideout for Vanderbilt, but his alleged involvement in a case that's embroiled several other teammates led to his suspension. After a 21-year-old woman had allegedly been dumped in a Vanderbilt dorm hallway, Boyd is said to have carried the partially nude victim into the room of one of the men suspected of sexually assaulting her.

Four former Vanderbily players -- Brandon Vandenburg, Cory Batey, Brandon Eric Banks and Jaborian McKenzie -- have already been charged with rape.

"Vanderbilt's athletic administration, in conjunction with its head football coach, today dismissed Chris Boyd from the university's football team and athletic program," Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Beth Fortune said in a statement. "The action came after an ongoing review that included information disclosed during a hearing Sept. 13 in Davidson County Criminal Court.

"The review concluded that Mr. Boyd's admitted actions are clearly inconsistent with the high standards of behavior expected of our student-athletes."

Austyn Carta-Samuels "wrongly identified" in Boyd's texts

Perhaps a sliver of good news for Vanderbilt in this otherwise horrid case: starting quarterback Austyn Cara-Samuels was wrongly identified as one of the Commodore players who moved the victim's body after she passed out and the alleged rape and sexual battery took place.

Initially, Carta-Samuels was implicated in a text message sent by Boyd that night and later read at Boyd's plea hearing. Tuesday, Nashville police said Carta-Samuels had been wrongly identified based on evidence collected to date.

Carta-Samuels is still expected to be called as a witness in the case, alongside Dillon van der Wal.

Texas A&M raised a ridiculous sum of money the year it joined the SEC

Texas A&M raised $700 million from Sept. 1, 2012, to Aug. 31, 2013, according to a school release. That timeline is essentially its first year as a Southeastern Conference member, and it eclipses the previous record for a 12-month period by more than $300 million.

"The voluntary commitment of time, talent and treasure by Aggies begins as students and continues throughout their lives," Chancellor John Sharp said. "We are the very fortunate benefactors of their loyalty and respect for this fine institution and all that it represents. That is why A&M has far outpaced every university in the state and most in the nation."

Ready, aim, fire your Johnny Football jokes. We'll just end with this:


More from SB Nation:

Spencer Hall’s Alphabetical | Bill Connelly’s Numerical | This Week in Schadenfreude

Bo Pelini’s profane rant isn’t bigger than Nebraska

What we learned from the Alabama-Texas A&M classic

Pretty much everyone agrees Wisconsin-Arizona State ending was botched

Would coaches rather replace Mack Brown or Lane Kiffin?

Today’s college football news headlines

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