Kassan Messiah, Darren Thellen, Zurlon Tipton

Predictions 101 — Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

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Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan
Wed., Dec. 26 – 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Detroit – Ford Field

A game in Detroit, one day after Christmas? It’s no problem for Western Kentucky, which is making its first bowl-game appearance.

The Hilltoppers, who won a FCS national championship in 2002, have been methodically climbing the mountain a few seasons now after making their jump to the higher level. Coach Willie Taggart, a former WKU quarterback, inherited an 0-12 team when he took over in 2010. Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers, Taggart is off to USF. Defensive coordinator Lance Guidry will serve as interim coach.

Now things are on solid ground. The Hilltoppers (7-5) like to pound it with junior running back Antonio Andrews (1,609 yards, 11 TDs), who is coming off rushing games of 238 and 230 yards.

Even though the Chippewas (6-6) won their final three games to reach the postseason, their defense wasn’t a pretty sight. Central Michigan allowed an average of 43.3 points in its six defeats.

Opening point spread: Western Kentucky by 6

The pick: Western Kentucky 29, Central Michigan 24

Click HERE to get predictions for the remaining bowl games.

Ex-Ohio State lineman to continue career at Cincinnati

CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 13:  Fans of the Cincinnati Bearcats cheer on their team at the start of the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Nippert Stadium on November 13, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Less than two weeks after leaving Ohio State, Grant Schmidt has a new college football home — and he won’t even have to leave the state to get there.

Citing university sources, the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that Schmidt will continue his collegiate playing career at Cincinnati.  The offensive lineman had indicated earlier this month that the Bearcats would be his landing spot.

Because of NCAA transfer rules, Schmidt will be forced to sit out the 2016 season.  He would then have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.

A three-star member of OSU’s 2015 recruiting class, 247Sports.com rated Schmidt as the No. 52 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 1 player at any position in the state of South Dakota.  Schmidt was the first player from that state to sign with the Buckeyes, but he failed to become the first to play in a game as he didn’t see the field during his brief stint in Columbus.

Schmidt’s mid-May move was believed to be related to a logjam along the offensive line and his failure to make a dent on the depth chart during spring practice.

Josh Rosen, on UCLA’s $280 million deal: ‘we’re still amateurs though … gotta love non-profits’

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 26:  Josh Rosen #3 of the UCLA Bruins runs back to the bench after he threw a touchdown pass to Kenneth Walker III against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi's Stadium on December 26, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Here’s to guessing that, right or wrong, Jim Mora won’t be pleased with his young quarterback’s latest social media foray.

Late last week, the UCLA head coach used the public airwaves to help “guide” Josh Rosen down the straight and narrow.  Specifically, in regards to the Freshman All-American infamous “f**k Trump” cap flap this offseason, Mora stated that the rising sophomore was “heading towards Johnny Manziel” territory with stunts like that.

Hyperbole?  Yes.  But Rosen is seemingly hellbent on giving Mora further reason to continue down his odd “Money Manziel” path.

Shortly after it was reported that UCLA was set to sign a record-breaking $280 million apparel deal with Under Armour, Rosen took to social media to offer up some snark on the financial windfall that will line the pockets of the athletic department — and which the student-athletes won’t get a sniff.

We’re still amateurs though … Gotta love non-profits #NCAA

A photo posted by Josh Rosen (@josh3rosen) on May 24, 2016 at 8:53am PDT

(The tweet above was retweeted on Rosen’s personal Twitter account)

Coming from a kid who had a hot tub in his dorm his freshman season and whose parents graduated from Ivy League schools — one’s a surgeon — it might not be the actual money but the principle that has Rosen feeling feisty.  Whether his head coach gets just as feisty on his own JFF moral high ground in return remains to be seen.

UCLA set to announce record-setting deal with Under Armour

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In July of last year, Michigan’s reported apparel deal with Nike set a then-record of $169 million over 15 years (the final figure came in at just shy of $174 million).

Four months after UM’s new deal was reported, news surfaced that Texas’ new contract with Nike would be worth $250 million over 15 years.  In January of this year, Ohio State announced its new deal with Nike, an agreement that will pay that school upwards of $252 million over 15 years.  Four months later?  There’s a new unofficial record-holder.

According to ESPN.com‘s Darren Rovell, “Under Armour and UCLA will announce a 15-year schoolwide shoe and apparel deal worth $280 million” later Tuesday.  Scout.com is also reporting the same financial parameters of an agreement between the two entities.

From the latter’s report:

UCLA’s agreement with Under Armour, too, will be unique in the details, providing UCLA a vast amount of benefits that are reportedly unequaled in other apparel agreements. For one, we’ve learned that the money is guaranteed, and doesn’t include royalties, which is a significant difference.

UCLA’s athletic program’s have been aligned with adidas since 1999.  A press conference to announce the switch to Under Armour is set for 3 p.m. ET.

OL Tyler Grimsley opts to transfer from Miami

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 15: The Miami Hurricanes mascot, Sebastian the Ibis leads the players onto the field for their game against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats on September 15, 2012 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Hurricanes defeated the Wildcats 38-10. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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The Miami Hurricanes had two late additions to its 2014 recruiting class: Joe Brown and Tyler Grimsley.

In January, Brown opted to transfer from the Hurricanes.  Four months later?  Lather, rinse, repeat for Grimsley.

In a press release, the Hurricanes announced that Grimsley has opted to transfer out of first-year head coach Mark Richt‘s football program.  No reason was given for the offensive lineman’s decision to move on to another, unspecified program.

“Tyler has decided to transfer away from our football program in the hopes of gaining more playing time,” Richt said in a statement. “I certainly respect his decision and I wish him nothing but the best in his future college football career.”

Grimsley took a redshirt as a true freshman.  The following season, the school described the lineman as a key member of the team’s practice squad in 2015.