'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

Former East Carolina WR Jason Nichols returns to alma mater as RBs coach

GREENVILLE, NC - OCTOBER 04:  Justin Hardy #2 and Anthony Scott #3 of the East Carolina Pirates celebrate after Scott's touchdown against the Southern Methodist Mustangs during their game at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on October 4, 2014 in Greenville, North Carolina. East Carolina won 45-24. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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Once upon a time, Jason Nichols was a school-record holding receiver at East Carolina. On Tuesday, he officially returned to campus — as running backs coach.

“Not only does Jason bring a wealth of coaching experience to East Carolina, he knows first-hand of the special bond that exists between Pirate Nation and our program,” head coach Scottie Montgomery said in a statement. “To have the opportunity to impact young men on the same campus and playing field where he earned his degree and competed is immeasurable. From a recruiting standpoint, I’m not sure if there’s anyone else who could tell a more compelling story of what it means to be a Pirate.”

After leaving East Carolina in 1998, Nichols deposited a couple years in the CFL and Arena Football League before returning to campus as a graduate assistant in 2001.

From there, Nichols went on to coach wide receivers at Sacred Heart, Appalachian State, Toledo, Louisiana-Monroe and, in 2016, at Western Carolina.

Nichols takes over a running game that finished 110th nationally at 132.4 yards per game and 101st in FBS at 3.93 yards per carry. The Pirates’ leading returning rusher stands as rising senior Anthony Scott, who carried 79 times for 384 yards and two touchdowns in eight appearances.

Virginia AD Craig Littlepage returns to work full-time for first time in four months

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - NOVEMBER 26:  Kris Burd (R) #18 of the Virginia Cavaliers is greeted by Craig Littlepage (L), director of athletics for the University of Virginia, during Senior Day festivities prior to the Cavaliers' game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Scott Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
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Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage has been on a quasi-sabbatical for the past four months, but that period is now over.

Littlepage announced in late October he would work on an “adjusted” schedule through Jan. 2 to attend to personal matters involving a family member. January eventually turned into February, but the school announced Monday Littlepage is now back at work on a full-time basis.

Executive associate AD Jon Oliver served as the Cavs’ acting AD during Littlepage’s absence.

“I would like to thank the University administration, our student-athletes, coaches, staff and especially Jon Oliver for their support and hard work while I was away,” Littlepage said in a statement. “It’s great to be back and I look forward to a successful and productive spring semester for Virginia Athletics.”

Nick Saban hosts meeting with Mark Zuckerberg

MENLO PARK, CA - APRIL 04:  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during an event at Facebook headquarters on April 4, 2013 in Menlo Park, California. Zuckerberg announced a new product for Android called Facebook Home.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Mark Zuckerberg is in the midst of a self-guided tour of America, and on Tuesday his travels took him to Tuscaloosa. And when you’re Mark Zuckerberg visiting Tuscaloosa, you have to go see The King.

Nick Saban hosted the Facebook founder and his wife, Priscilla Chan, at the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility for a chat on leadership, Saban said. “I just met with Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook guy,” Saban told a luncheon in nearby Hoover, Ala., according to AL.com. “He wanted to know about leadership, and what do you do to affect people.

“It was kind of interesting that he saw the spirit that we have in this state relative to supporting athletics as something that is very special, very unique, and very wholesome in terms of people having the opportunity to create hope whether it’s in competition, or something they believe in or a spirit.”

Wrote Zuckerberg:

We stopped by the University of Alabama and sat down with Coach Saban. We talked about what it takes to build a world class football organization. Many of the same things go into building a good company and a winning football program — a focus on recruiting, developing talent and setting high expectations.

We also got lunch with some of the Alabama Football players who come from all over the country to be part of this program. We talked about about the pressures of being a student athlete — not only the personal pressure of achieving their goals of making it to the NFL, but also having the hopes of their community ride of their success.

We all need to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Communities can form around all kinds of things — churches, schools, teams — and it’s clear that for a lot of folks in Alabama, college football is an important part of their community.

It’s hard to imagine a meeting of two people with a greater mastery of their respective fields that have absolutely zero knowledge in the other’s field. But it does create an interesting hypothetical prop bet: Who could give a longer seminar: Saban on the mechanics of coding, or Zuckerberg on the basic tenants of the 3-4?

Michigan reportedly adds ex-Vikings QBs coach as offensive analyst

scott-turner
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Jim Harbaugh has added more experience and another “name” to his Michigan football staff.

According to NFL.com‘s Albert Breer, Harbaugh has hired Scott Turner as an offensive analyst.  Harbaugh’s nine-man on-field coaching staff is already full, but Turner could be in line to join that group if/when the NCAA approves a 10th assistant.

Turner, the son of former Washington, Oakland and San Diego head coach Norv Turner, spent the past three seasons as the quarterbacks coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

Turner has spent the past six seasons in the NFL.  His last job at the collegiate level came as the wide receivers coach at Pittsburgh in 2010.

It was previously reported that Harbaugh had, controversially in the eyes of some, hired former NFL offensive coordinator Michael Johnson Sr. to an undetermined off-field position.  Johnson, the father of the top-rated dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2019, ultimately took an on-field job at Oregon.