One of the worst-kept secrets in college football is official and the sites for College Football Playoff have been set. And there were absolutely no surprises.
Following up on reports from ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and the Associated Press from the past day, Cowboys Stadium will host the first College Football Championship Game in 2015. The Arlington site reportedly beat out a strong bid from Tampa for the right to host the first title game in the new postseason format.
Future CFP executive director Bill Hancock made the announcement on Wednesday during this week’s playoff meetings.
Additionally, the Chick-fil-A Bowl — which will apparently change its name back to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl — Cotton Bowl and Fiesta Bowl will fill out the remaining three semifinal rotation sites, joining the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl. The rotation for the semifinal sites over the 12-year contract are as follows (teams participating in non-semi bowls will be selected with an emphasis on geography):
- Rose and Sugar bowls: Jan. 1, 2015; Jan. 1, 2018; Jan. 1, 2021; and Jan. 1, 2024.
- Orange and Cotton bowls: Dec. 31, 2015; Dec. 31, 2018; Dec. 31, 2021; and Dec. 31, 2024.
- Fiesta and Chick-fil-A bowls: Dec. 31, 2016; Dec. 31, 2019; Dec. 31, 2022; and Dec. 31, 2025.
The Holiday Bowl in San Diego also bid for a chance to act a semifinal site. The next two championship game sites, which follow the 2015 and ’16 seasons, will be revealed this September.
A few other details from Wednesday’s announcement:
— As expected, teams occupying the top two seeds in the playoff will not be placed at a homefield disadvantage. For instance, if Oregon is a No. 2 seed, it would not have to travel to the Sugar Bowl over the Rose Bowl, or the Chick-fil-A over Fiesta, etc.
— Non-semifinal “BCS” games will have a ticket allotment of 12,500 instead of 17,500. Students will also receive tickets for the championship game at a discounted rate.
— The city hosting the championship game will not receive any direct revenue from the games; all of it will to go to the conferences.
Well-traveled doesn’t remotely begin to describe this particular FBS assistant coach.
With Willie Taggart taking over in Eugene, Oregon offensive coordinator Matt Lubick left the Ducks in December to take over as the wide receivers coach at Ole Miss. Exactly 12 days later, Lubick left Oxford to become the offensive coordinator at Baylor.
Less than two months later, Lubick is on the move again, with Washington announcing the assistant has been added to the Huskies’ coaching staff. Lubick will coach wide receivers and will also carry the title of co-offensive coordinator.
“I am excited to add Matt to our coaching staff,” UW head coach Chris Petersen said in a statement. “He has earned a national reputation as an innovative coaching mind and a successful recruiter. Equally as important, we believe he will be a terrific fit with our staff, players and the University of Washington.”
Lubick replaces Bush Hamdan, who left last weekend for an NFL job with the Atlanta Falcons.
Greg Adkins didn’t remain on the coaching unemployment line for long.
Earlier this month, Oklahoma State fired Adkins as its offensive line coach. Less than three weeks later, Adkins has been hired to fill the same role for the Charlotte 49ers.
“Greg brings a wealth of knowledge and experience at all levels to our offensive line,” said head coach Brad Lambert in a statement confirming the hire. “He’s coached in the NFL, at the Power Five level and at the Group of Five level. He’s an excellent recruiter and has served as a recruiting coordinator. He’s coached different aspects, like the defensive line and tight ends — all things that can benefit our offensive line play and our offense moving forward.
“He’ll be a huge asset to our program. We see a lot of benefits in him and see him as being able to influence our young guys in a positive manner.”
Adkins had spent the past two seasons at the Big 12 OSU. He and Lambert have also worked together on the same coaching staffs at both Georgia and Marshall.
From 2003-08, Adkins served as an assistant at Tennessee under Phillip Fulmer.
“Greg is an outstanding football coach, person and recruiter — one of those guys you want to be in the trenches with,” the former Vols head coach said. “He’ll do an outstanding job with (the 49ers) program.”
As our friends at FootballScoop.com put it, this is certainly an interesting hire by Frank Wilson.
UT-San Antonio announced via a press release Wednesday that Wilson has hired Bo Davis to be the Roadrunners’ defensive line coach. Davis’ last job came as a coaching intern for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars this past season.
Prior to that, he was the line coach at Alabama for two seasons.
“Adding a coach with an outstanding pedigree like Bo Davis is a coup for UTSA,” Wilson said. “He’s won at every level, on the biggest stages and in the biggest moments. He’s an outstanding teacher and recruiter and he has coached nationally acclaimed defensive linemen everywhere he’s been. He will be a tremendous asset to UTSA, and he gives us continued credibility in the direction this program is headed. It’s an honor to have him be a part of our staff.”
It was the manner in which Davis departed Tuscaloosa that will raise some eyebrows over this development.
In late April of last year, reports surfaced that Davis was expected to resign or be fired as Alabama’s defensive line coach after the school opened an inquiry into possible NCAA violations on the recruiting trail. The nature of the violations were not revealed, but the NCAA had launched investigations into the matter and Alabama opened its own corresponding inquiry.
A day later, the Tide announced that Davis had, ahem, “submitted his letter of resignation.” The status of the NCAA investigation is unclear.
In a report from al.com just last month, the website wrote that “[d]espite interest from several schools, a college team likely won’t hire Davis while the NCAA investigation is ongoing and until he’s served whatever penalty he gets from the NCAA.” A little over four weeks later, Davis is back in the coaching game after spending the past several months as a truck driver.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity to be a part of the Roadrunner family,” said Davis. “I’d like to thank Coach Wilson and (Director of Athletics) Lynn Hickey for giving me the chance to join a great coaching staff at UTSA. I am looking forward to an exciting future in San Antonio.”
Another day, another player leaving to look for greener playing time pastures.
The latest to suffer personnel attrition is Arizona State, with James Johnson taking to his personal Twitter account to announce his decision to transfer from the Sun Devils. The defensive back will be graduating from ASU this May, which would allow him to play immediately at another FBS program for his final season of eligibility.
A three-star member of the Sun Devils’ 2013 recruiting class, Johnson was rated as the No. 84 safety in the country coming out of high school in California. He held offers from, among others, Fresno State, Houston, Nevada and Oregon State.
After redshirting as a true freshman, Johnson played in 23 games the next two seasons. Injuries limited him to just one game this past season.