'Bowl Projections' — Herd on hold

Leave a comment

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

Heisman winner Chris Weinke hired as Tennessee’s running backs coach

Getty Images
2 Comments

It can be argued that the only reason Tennessee has a national championship is because of Chris Weinke. As we know, the Vols claimed the 1998 national championship by defeating Florida State in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl, the first national championship game of the BCS era. Tennessee won that game, 23-16, thanks in large part to a pick-six thrown by Marcus Outzen, a third-string quarterback forced into action due to an injury by the two signal callers ahead of him on the depth chart.

Here’s how a Sports Illustrated article described Weinke and that FSU team in its 1999 preview issue:

Don’t think of 1999 as a new season for Florida State, think of it as the resumption of an old one. Before quarterback Chris Weinke was dumped on his head and suffered a season-ending ruptured disk in his neck in a 45-14 win over Virginia last Nov. 7, no team in the country was playing better than the Seminoles, who had bounced back from an early-season defeat at North Carolina State. So how cruel was this? Upset losses suffered by Ohio State, UCLA and Kansas State sent 11-1 Florida State to the national title game in the Fiesta Bowl, but without its best quarterback. The Seminoles and backup signal-caller Marcus Outzen struggled on offense and lost to Tennessee.

Nevertheless, Tennessee won that season’s title, Weinke would lead Florida State to the 1999 national title and take the Heisman Trophy a year after that. The past is the past.

But now the past is the present, as the former Florida State quarterback on Wednesday was announced as Tennessee’s running backs coach.

“I’m excited to have Chris Weinke on our staff to coach running backs,” Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt said in a statement. “He has played the game at the highest level and what he has accomplished on the field speaks for itself. He is also an outstanding coach and teacher of the game, coaching in the NFL, in college this past season and at the high school level. He has a great eye for talent and knows the game on the offensive side of the ball as well as anybody I’ve been around. He will be a great fit for our Tennessee program.”

Weinke entered the NFL as a 26-year-old and lasted seven seasons with the Panthers and 49ers before moving into coaching. He first worked as a trainer at IMG Academy, then moved onto coaching the high school program, where he went 19-2 as head coach and offensive coordinator. From there he deposited a stint as the Los Angeles Rams’ quarterbacks coach before spending the 2017 season as an offensive analyst at Alabama, where he hooked up with Pruitt.

Weinke will be charged with re-building the Vols’ backfield after losing John Kelly to an early entry into the NFL draft. Rising sophomore Ty Chandler is Tennessee’s leading returning rusher, carrying 71 times for 305 yards and two touchdowns in 2017.

Report: starting West Virginia defensive lineman Adam Shuler leaving to pursue career in track

Getty Images
Leave a comment

You don’t see this happen too often.

Citing multiple sources, Mike Casazza of EerSports.com is reporting that West Virginia defensive lineman Adam Shuler is no longer a member of the Mountaineers football team.  A team official stated the redshirt sophomore “is reportedly pursuing a career in track and field,” Casazza wrote.

It’s unclear whether the track & field pursuit would take place at WVU or at another university.

According to Shuler’s bio on the team’s official website, he finished runner-up as a high school senior in the discus at the Florida state track & field championships.  He finished third in the same event as a sophomore.

Shuler, a three-star member of the Mountaineers’ 2015 recruiting class, started 10 games this past season.  However, on the most recent depth chart, he’s listed as the backup to Ezekiel Rose at one of the defensive end spots.

In 12 games, Shuler’s three sacks were tied for third on the team while his eight tackles for loss were good for solo third.

East Carolina grad transfer QB Gardner Minshew will reportedly visit Alabama this weekend

Getty Images
1 Comment

It appears the Jalen Hurts Transfer Protection Plan™ is close to being implemented.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Alabama had an interest in Gardner Minshew, the quarterback who announced late last month that he had withdrawn from East Carolina to tend to a personal matter in his home state of Mississippi.  That interest has ramped up since as al.com is reporting that Minshew will be visiting the Crimson Tide’s campus this weekend.

As a graduate transfer, Minshew would be eligible to play immediately this season at UA, or any other FBS program for that matter.

Alabama’s interest in a grad transfer at the position will do nothing to quell the rumors that Hurts, the starter for each of the last 29 games over the past two seasons, is a potential candidate for a transfer. Hurts was benched in favor of Tua Tagovailoa in the national championship game, with the true freshman’s comeback heroics signaling a likely changing of the guard under center.

As for Minshew, he started five games for the Pirates last season, throwing for 2,140 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions in completing just over 57 percent of his 304 pass attempts. Prior to his departure from ECU, he was penciled in as the Pirates’ 2018 starting quarterback.

Wake Forest WR Greg Dortch cleared for spring practice

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Unlike how his 2017 season ended, Greg Dortch‘s 2018 offseason is trending much more positively.

In Wake Forest’s late-October win over Louisville, Dortch went down with what turned out to be a season-ending abdominal injury. Four months after sustaining the injury, and with spring practice right around the corner, the wide receiver has been medically cleared to fully participate in practice.

Despite missing the last month of the regular season as well as the postseason, Dortch still led the Demon Deacons in receiving yards with 722. His 53 receptions and nine receiving touchdowns were tied for tops on the team as well.

In the game in which he was injured, he set the school record with four touchdown catches.