Bill Hancock, Charles Steger

Bill Hancock announces that Rose, Sugar will be first semifinal sites


Next year’s BCS championship will be the final game of the current postseason format for college football before a four-team playoff takes effect. On Tuesday, Bill Hancock, the playoff’s new executive director and current leader of the BCS by the same title, provided more details of what the playoff will look like.

Confirming previous reports from ESPN and CBSSports, Hancock announced that the Rose and Sugar Bowls will act as the first national semifinal sites for the 2015 edition of the new postseason system. As expected, the Rose and Sugar will be paired together for the semifinal sites in 2015, 2018, 2021 and 2024.

The Orange Bowl and another TBD host bowl (believed to be either the Fiesta or Cotton Bowl) will pair as semifinal sites in 2016, 2019, 2022 and 2025. Two more host bowls will be paired as semifinal sites in 2017, 2020, 2023 and 2026. It is thought that the Cotton, Chick-fil-A and Fiesta Bowls will be the other three host sites. That should become official in April.

Since the Rose and Sugar Bowls are slotted for New Year’s Day, the national semifinals will be played on New Year’s Even eight out of the next 12 years. Of course, those dates would be modified slightly if either fell on a Sunday.

(Info courtesy of ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and Pac-12’s Bryan Fischer) 

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah