Atlantic Coast Conference

SHREVEPORT, LA - DECEMBER 26:  Head coach Frank Beamer of the Virginia Tech Hokies takes the field for pregame warmups prior to the Camping World Independence Bowl against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on December 26, 2015 in Shreveport, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Frank Beamer headlines class of new CFP selection committee members

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Now three years into the new system, the College Football Playoff’s selection committee roster is beginning change.

Gone are Barry AlvarezCondoleezza Rice and Lloyd Carr (Carr had already stepped down for health reasons), and in are Ohio State AD Gene Smith, Robert Morris University president Dr. Chris Howard and former Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, which the CFP made official on Tuesday.

Additionally, Kirby Hocutt had his 2-year stay on the committee extended through the 2017 season, and Bobby Johnson will stay through 2018. Hocutt and Johnson stepped in when Oliver Luck stepped away after taking a job with the NCAA and Archie Manning stepped down due to health reasons. Hocutt will again serve as committee chairman in 2017.

With Rice leaving, the CFP will consist entirely of men for the first time in its history.

“Frank, Chris and Gene will each bring a wealth of knowledge to the selection committee,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement. “All three played college football.  And they will continue the CFP tradition of committee members with high integrity and a passion for college football.

“We are also delighted that Kirby will return as chair. He did a tremendous job of leading and facilitating the committee’s deliberations, and he was also an excellent representative with the media and public.  Likewise, we are pleased that Bobby accepted our invitation to return. He is an excellent evaluator of teams and brings a valuable coach’s perspective.”

Smith has served as Ohio State’s AD for 12 years and served on a wealth of NCAA committees in that time, including a run on the Men’s Basketball Selection Committee.

“This is a tremendous honor and privilege to be appointed to this committee,” Smith said in a statement. “The sport of football has given so much to me and I feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity to be able to give back.”

Howard is a former Air Force player who was named the inaugural Campbell Trophy winner as the nation’s top scholar-athlete in 1990. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in politics from the University of Oxford and an M.B.A. from Harvard. Howard became the president of Hampden-Sydney College in 2009 — he was among the youngest college presidents in the country at the time — and took over at Robert Morris in 2015. Also a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Howard earned a Bronze Star for distinguished service in Afghanistan.

Beamer, of course, is a future College Football Hall of Fame coach who walked away from the game with 280 total victories and a 238-121-2 mark while serving as Virginia Tech’s head coach from 1987-2015. In addition to winning or sharing seven conference championships, seven top-10 finishes and an appearance in the 1999 BCS title game, Beamer shepherded the Hokies from a Division I-AA independent to the ACC.

“College football has been my life’s work, and I’m really humbled that I can still contribute to the game in this role,” Beamer said in a statement. “Hopefully the rest of the committee will be interested in my perspective. To join a group with so many great minds and such a diverse range of experience, I just want to pull my weight. The committee has an important role, and I’ll do everything asked of me to help rank the best teams in America for the right to compete for the national championship.”

Vols add UNC DB coach Charlton Warren to coaching staff

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 7:  A Tennessee Volunteer holds up his helmet in the team huddle before the NCAA football game against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders at Neyland Stadium on September 7, 2002 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee won 26-3. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Following a somewhat disappointing season in Knoxville, changes are in the air for the Tennessee Vols coaching staff. Among the first changes of the offseason comes at the defensive back coaching position.

Tennessee has announced the addition of Charlton Warren as the new defensive backs coach for the Vols. It is the same role he previously filled at North Carolina for the past two seasons. Warren will replace Willie Martinez, who will not be returning to the Tennessee staff in 2017, according to a released statement from the university’s athletics department.

“Coach Warren is a passionate, knowledgeable and driven football coach that has an outstanding history of developing defensive backs on the collegiate level,” Tennessee head coach Butch Jones said in a released statement. “He also has a great reputation as one of the top recruiters in the country with strong ties to our recruiting areas. We feel extremely fortunate to add someone of his caliber to our coaching staff and our defensive meeting room.”

Tennessee finished ranked 10th in the SEC in passing defense, allowing an average of 230.7 yards per game through the air to opposing quarterbacks. The Vols allowed the fifth-lowest opponent passer rating and picked off 11 passes while allowing 18 touchdown passes, which actually fared well among SEC peers even if just around the middle of the pack or just toward the bottom half of the conference in each category. For a school that prides itself on its defensive backs, a change was necessary.

North Carolina owned the ACC’s top pass defense in 2016, allowing just 180.8 yards per game and 11 touchdown passes. The one downside was having just one interception recorded in 13 games. Every other FBS program had at least three interceptions last season. How UNC only picked off one pass all season long is quite a remarkable feat considering how respectable the pass defense was last season.

Louisville reportedly pulls O-line coach Mike Summers away from Florida

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 17: Offensive lineman Lukayus McNeil #72 comforts quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals after being sacked by the Houston Cougars in the third quarter at TDECU Stadium on November 17, 2016 in Houston, Texas. Houston Cougars won 36 to 10. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
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After a white-hot start, Louisville belly flopped through the end of the 2016 season. After rising as high as No. 3 in the polls, finishing seven yards shy of knocking off eventual national champion Clemson at Clemson and winning nine of their first 10 games, the Cardinals stumbled through the finish line, falling 36-10 at Houston, losing to Kentucky for the first time since 2010, then losing 29-9 to LSU in the Citrus Bowl.

The offensive line had a lot to do with that.

Despite playing in front of the most elusive quarterback in college football, Louisville finished third-to-last in college football with 47 sacks allowed and 94th in FBS with 83 tackles for loss allowed. Houston got to Lamar Jackson 11 times, Kentucky got to him three times (one off their season-high) and LSU sacked Jackson eight times, two more than their next best mark of the season.

Clearly, something needed to be done and it appears Bobby Petrino has done it.

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reported Saturday Louisville has hired Florida’s Mike Summers to coach the offensive line. FootballScoop reports Summers will receive a co-offensive coordinator title, and existing offensive line coach Chris Klenakis will transition to tight ends. (Full disclosure: I also write for FootballScoop.)

Florida finished the 2016 campaign tied for 71st in sacks allowed and tied for 49th in tackles for loss allowed but, with Jackson returning, merely moving from “terrible” to “average” would represent massive improvement for what is otherwise an explosive offense.

Clemson defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks announces retirement

FILE - Int his Sept. 20, 2014, file photo, Clemson defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks talks to his players in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. Brooks is retiring after eight seasons with the Tigers.  Brooks spent 33 seasons coaching football and has been at Clemson under coach Dabo Swinney since 2008. Brooks also coached at Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida.  (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser, File)
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In addition to a plethora of players, Clemson will have to replace one of its assistant coaches as it gears up for a title defense this fall.

At the Tigers’ national championship celebration on Saturday, Clemson announced through head coach Dabo Swinney that associate head coach and defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks has retired from coaching.

“There has never been a coach that has been more committed or cares about his players more than Dan Brooks. Ever,” Swinney said, via TigerNet. “Dan is 65 and decided he wants to retire and go out on top. I tried to talk him out of it, but this is what he wants to do. Dan Brooks – you deserve this, brother. You deserve this.”

Brooks spent eight seasons on staff — he was an original member of Swinney’s first full-time staff — and spent 33 years in coaching. The Tigers finished the last four seasons as the FBS leader in tackles for loss, collecting a total of 510 stops behind the line and 180 sacks over that 56-game stretch.

TigerNet notes Brooks produced 30 NFL draft picks, seven 1st-round picks, three All-Americans, 14 all-conference selections and one Outland Trophy winner in his 410 total games as a coach.

In addition to claiming the national title, Brooks also goes out winning the American Football Coaches’ Association’s Assistant Coach of the Year award for FBS.

 

A second Clemson Tiger reportedly transferring

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 22: Tyshon Dye #23 of the Clemson Tigers carries the ball during the game against the Georgia State Panthers at Memorial Stadium on November 22, 2014 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Tyler Smith/Getty Images)
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Earlier Friday, we noted that offensive lineman Jake Fruhmorgen had decided to transfer from Clemson.  A few hours later, another Tiger has parted ways with the reigning national champions.

According to TigerNet.com, Tyshon Dye is opting to leave the Tigers and transfer to an unknown destination.  Clemson officials have thus far declined to address the running back’s status with the team moving forward.

While no reason for transfer was given, it’s believed the back will be looking for a better opportunity at playing time wherever he lands.

A four-star member of the Tigers’ 2014 recruiting class, Dye was rated as the No. 14 running back in the country.  The Georgia high schooler chose Clemson over offers from, among others, Auburn, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Tennessee and USC.

After running for what turned out to be a career-high 151 yards as a true freshman, he ran for 91 in 2015.  Dye’s 109 yards during the Tigers’ run to the title was tied for sixth on the team.