Alabama rolled over Michigan 41-14 in this past season’s edition of the Cowboys Classic. The Tide will get another shot at a Big Ten team in a couple of years.
Per a release, Alabama and Wisconsin will begin the 2015 season in Cowboys Stadium for the annual season-opening game. The Badgers were previously scheduled to play Washington State on that date. A new date for that game has not been announced as of yet.
“As a league we decided that we needed to upgrade our non-conference schedule,” UW athletic director Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “We understand that strength of schedule will be a factor in determining which teams earn the right to participate in the new four-team playoff system and we want to be in that mix. There’s no better way to do that than by playing the defending national champions. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to play a storied program like Alabama in a terrific venue like Cowboys Stadium. It will be a great experience for our program, our players and our fans.”
The two sides have met just one time before: a 15-0 Wisconsin win in Madison in 1928.
Playing neutral site games at the beginning of the year has become a tradition of sorts for the Tide under coach Nick Saban. Alabama played Clemson (2008) and Virginia Tech (2009) in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in Atlanta, and will face the Hokies again this season in Atlanta. Alabama also has a 2014 Chick-fil-A game against West Virginia scheduled as well.
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.
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