'Bowl Projections' — Herd on hold

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With one more week remaining in college football’s regular season, here are CFT’s 2009-10 bowl projections.

Click HERE for a “who’s who” of bowl eligibility.

Right now it looks like Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and UCLA will be the 6-6 teams left out in the cold … unless Notre Dame decides not to go bowling.

Mark Snyder-less Marshall is good ol’ No. 68, otherwise known as “bowl team in waiting.”

Bowl Championship Series Title Game

January 7 — Pasadena, Calif.

BCS No. 1 vs. BCS No. 2

Projection: Alabama vs. Texas

BCS — Orange Bowl

January 5 — Miami Gardens, Fla.

BCS vs. BCS (ACC champion if available)

Projection: Georgia Tech vs. TCU

BCS — Fiesta Bowl

January 4 — Glendale, Ariz.

BCS vs. BCS (Big 12 champion if available)

Projection: Boise State vs. Penn State

BCS — Sugar Bowl

January 1 — New Orleans

BCS vs. BCS (SEC champion if available)

Projection: Florida vs. Cincinnati

BCS — Rose Bowl

January 1 — Pasadena, Calif.

BCS (Big Ten champion if available) vs. BCS (Pac 10 champion if available)

Projection: Ohio State vs. Oregon

GMAC Bowl

January 6 — Mobile, Ala.

ACC No. 9 vs. MAC No. 2

Projection: Middle Tennessee* vs. Ohio

(* no eligible ACC team available)

Alamo Bowl

January 2 — San Antonio

Big Ten No. 4-5 vs. Big 12 No. 4-5

Projection: Michigan State vs. Texas Tech

Papajohns.com Bowl

January 2 — Birmingham, Ala.

Big East No. 5 (or Sun Belt if none eligible) vs. SEC No. 9

Projection: South Florida vs. Kentucky

Cotton Bowl

January 2 — Arlington, Texas

Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC No. 3-4

Projection: Oklahoma State vs. Tennessee (an “Orange Bowl” of sorts)

International Bowl

January 2 — Toronto

Big East No. 4 vs. MAC No. 3

Projection: Rutgers vs. Temple (Owls seek revenge for getting booted from Big East)

Liberty Bowl

January 2 — Memphis, Tenn.

C-USA No. 1 vs. SEC No. 6-7

Projection: Houston vs. Arkansas

Gator Bowl

January 1 — Jacksonville, Fla.

ACC No. 3 vs. Big East No. 2, Big 12 No. 4, or Notre Dame

Projection: Miami (Fla.) vs. West Virginia

Capital One Bowl

January 1 — Orlando, Fla.

Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2

Projection: Iowa vs. LSU

Outback Bowl

January 1 — Tampa, Fla.

Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC No. 3-4

Projection: Wisconsin vs. Mississippi

Chick-fil-A Bowl

December 31 — Atlanta

ACC No. 2 vs. SEC No. 5

Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia

Insight Bowl

December 31 — Tempe, Ariz.

Big Ten No. 6 vs. Big 12 No. 6

Projection: Minnesota vs. Missouri

Sun Bowl

December 31 — El Paso, Texas

Pac 10 No. 3 vs. Big East No. 2, Big 12 No. 5 or Notre Dame

Projection: California vs. Oklahoma

Armed Forces Bowl

December 31 — Fort Worth, Texas

Mountain West No. 3-4 vs. C-USA No. 3

Projection: Air Force vs. East Carolina

Texas Bowl

December 30 — Houston

Big 12 No. 8
vs. C-USA No. 7 or Navy

< p>Projection: Iowa State vs. Navy (accepted bid)

Humanitarian Bowl

December 30 — Boise, Idaho

Mountain West No. 5 vs. WAC

Projection: Bowling Green* vs. Idaho

(* no eligible MWC team available)

Holiday Bowl

December 30 — San Diego

Big 12 No. 3 vs. Pac 10 No. 2

Projection: Nebraska vs. USC

EagleBank Bowl

December 30 — Washington D.C.

ACC No. 8 or MAC No. 4 vs. C-USA No. 6 or Army

Projection: Northern Illinois vs. Marshall (or Army if it defeats Navy on Dec. 12)

Champs Sports Bowl

December 29 — Orlando, Fla.

ACC No. 4 vs. Big Ten No. 4-5

Projection: Clemson vs. Northwestern

Independence Bowl

December 28 — Shreveport, La.

Big 12 No. 7 vs. SEC No. 8 (or Sun Belt if none eligible)

Projection: Texas A&M vs. Auburn

Music City Bowl

December 27 — Nashville, Tenn.

ACC No. 5 vs. SEC No. 6-7

Projection: North Carolina vs. South Carolina (“Carolina Bowl” should be an annual thing)

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

December 26 — Detroit

Big Ten No. 7 vs. MAC No. 1

Projection: Notre Dame* (if Irish decide they need 15 extra practices) vs. Central Michigan

(* no eligible Big Ten team available)

Meineke Car Care Bowl

December 26 — Charlotte, N.C.

ACC No. 6 vs. Big East No. 3

Projection: Florida State vs. Pittsburgh

Emerald Bowl

December 26 — San Francisco

ACC No. 7 vs. Pac 10 No. 4-5

Projection: Boston College vs. Stanford

Hawai’i Bowl

December 24 — Honolulu

C-USA No. 2 vs. WAC

Projection: SMU vs. Nevada

Poinsettia Bowl

December 23 — San Diego

Mountain West No. 2 vs. Pac 10 No. 6 (or WAC if none eligible)

Projection: Brigham Young vs. Arizona

MAACO Bowl

December 22 — Las Vegas

Mountain West No. 1 vs. Pac 10 No. 4-5

Projection: Utah vs. Oregon State (BYU can’t play in Vegas for fifth consecutive year)

New Orleans Bowl

December 20 — New Orleans

C-USA No. 4 vs. Sun Belt champion

Projection: Southern Miss vs. Troy (accepted bid)

St. Petersburg Bowl

December 19 — St. Petersburg, Fla.

Big East No. 6 (or Sun Belt if none eligible) vs. C-USA No. 5

Projection: Connecticut  vs. Central Florida

New Mexico Bowl

December 19 — Albuquerque

Mountain West No. 3-4 vs. WAC

Projection: Wyoming vs. Fresno State

Phil Bennett leaves Arizona State staff

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The plan for success at Arizona State under AD Ray Anderson was to remove head coach Todd Graham and while keeping everything else the same — just with a head coach that was… better. And as we know, that head coach turned out to be Herm Edwards.

But not a week into his tenure, Edwards has already hit his first crossroads.

The Sun Devils announced Tuesday that defensive coordinator Phil Bennett has left the staff over family matters.

The statement from Edwards:

“While I would have liked for Defensive Coordinator Phil Bennett to remain on the coaching staff, I do appreciate the fact that he has chosen not to stay based upon family reasons,” said Edwards. “Family always comes first and right now he needs to turn his attention to that.  My top priorities right now going forward are to solidify our recruiting class and to assemble a defensive coaching staff.  Both objectives are moving along quite well.”

The question now will be who Edwards turns to as Bennett’s replacement. As we know, the new Devils coach has not coached in a decade and not coached in college in nearly three.

So this hire will be anyone’s guess.

Report: Bill Snyder to return to Kansas State in 2018

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Retirement rumors will persist about Bill Snyder until he inevitably retires, especially at this time of year. But a report from K-StateOnline on Tuesday will push those rumors back another year.

According to the site, the Wizard will return to the Kansas State sideline in 2018:

Four separate sources have now confirmed to K-StateOnline.com that Bill Snyder plans to return to coach Kansas State in 2018.

Multiple sources also said that the mood within the Vanier Football Complex and K-State program is “good” heading into bowl season – despite speculation to the contrary.

Snyder took a leave of absence in the offseason to battle throat cancer, but he returned in time for fall camp and has not missed any games this season. A report also emerged last month that former AD John Currie attempted to bring Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt aboard as a head coach-in-waiting, but the school rebutted that by stating Snyder will be the Wildcats’ head coach until he decides he’s not.

Snyder has made no secret he’d like his son, Sean Snyder, to one day succeed him, but a number of logical candidates exist in Leavitt, Brent Venables and new UTEP head coach Dana Dimel.

Now in the ninth year of his second stint as K-State head coach, Snyder owns a record of 209-110-1 with the Wildcats. He has guided the program to two Big 12 championships and six top-10 finishes, though none since 2002.

Kansas State entered this season ranked No. 18 in the AP poll but finished the regular portion at 7-5. The Wildcats will meet UCLA in the Cactus Bowl on Dec. 26 (9 p.m. ET, ESPN).

 

Finalists named for inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year

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Jason Witten was named the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2012, and now his foundation is attempting to start a similar honor for college football. While the William V. Campbell Trophy goes to the nation’s best scholar-athlete and the Wuerffel Trophy honors the nation’s best community servant, no other college award attempts to recognize what the Witten Man of the Year recognizes.

And what is that, you ask?

Reads the boiler plate from the Jason Witten SCORE Foundation:

Presented annually to the Division I college football player who has demonstrated a record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship both on and off the field. The award honors the type of exemplary character and commitment to community, family and teammates demonstrated by Jason Witten, the 2012 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year and one of the most prominent role models in the game.

Nominees are gathered from the Sports Information Directors of each NCAA Division I football-playing institution. Three finalists are selected by the award’s board of directors, and the winner is selected by a panel of prominent former players and coaches, as well as members of the college football media.

The finalists were announced Tuesday, and they are:

  • Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick
  • UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin
  • Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph

“I am very excited to announce these three exceptional young men as the finalists for the inaugural Collegiate Man of the Year,” the former Tennessee tight end said in a statement. “Minkah Fitzpatrick, Shaquem Griffin and Mason Rudolph are outstanding leaders on the field, in the classroom and in the community, and they embody what the sport of college football is all about. It was a nearly impossible task to choose just three from all of the great student-athletes nominated. There are so many outstanding leaders who are great representatives for college football, and I commend all of the nominees for the tremendous example they set on and off the field.”

These types of awards seem to be just as much about honoring the namesake as they do the winner, but I doubt either of the three finalists would turn down the award if chosen.

The winner will beget a $10,000 contribution in his name to his school’s scholarship fund, and will be chosen on Feb. 22.

Jeremy Smith’s dad says RB son transferring from Louisville

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A lost 2017 season for Jeremy Smith has morphed into a departure for the player.

The father of the running back confirmed to the Louisville Courier Journal Monday night that his son has been granted a release from his Louisville scholarship. A school official subsequently confirmed Smith’s departure as well.

The senior will be leaving the football program as a graduate of the university, giving him the ability to use his final season of eligibility immediately in 2018.

Smith came to the Cardinals from the junior college ranks as a member of their 2015 recruiting class.  After rushing for 270 yards his first year, he ran for 382 (on 57 carries) in 2016.  That latter season, his eight rushing touchdowns were second on the team to Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson‘s 21.

Entering the 2017 season as the Cardinals’ top returning back, Smith suffered a foot injury during practice between the first two games of the year that sidelined him for the remainder of the season.  That injury limited him to just eight yards on five carries.