Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium ‘virtual’ lock’ over Tampa as first title game host


In the nine months or so since a four-team playoff was announced, an ever-growing school of thought was that Cowboys Stadium would play host to the first championship game following the 2014 season.

Next month, that should officially become a reality.

Citing sources familiar with the process, Brett McMurphy of reports that, yes, Cowboys Stadium is a “virtual lock” as the site of the inaugural title game.  It appears that most other potential sites saw the writing on the wall as well; Tampa Bay was the only other city to submit a bid, which McMurphy points out was likely an effort to improve its chances of landing future games.

An official announcement is expected during the last full week of April, during a meeting of BCS commissioners.

If this development comes to fruition, the sites for the 2014 playoffs would be set: the two semifinal games in Pasadena, Calif. (Rose Bowl) and New Orleans (Sugar Bowl), on New Year’s Day 2015, with Arlington, Tex. (Cowboys Stadium), hosting the title game 11 days later.

The Orange Bowl will host one of the two semifinal games following the 2015 season, with the other site to be determined.  The group overseeing the new playoff system will begin taking bids for that season’s title game before the end of summer this year.

Also to be determined are the three bowls that will complete the six-bowl rotation that will make up future national semifinals.  The Chick-fil-A, Cotton (also at Cowboys Stadium) and Fiesta bowls, though, are expected to join the Orange, Rose and Sugar bowls as part of that rotation.

That announcement is also expected to be made in late April.

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