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College Football Playoff reveals new chairperson, six new selection committee members

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As expected, the group that will determine the four playoff semifinalists next season will have a new leader — with the group consisting of new members as well.

The College Football Playoff announced Wednesday that Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens has been named as the selection committee’s new chairperson.  Mullens replaces Kirby Hocutt, the Texas Tech athletic director whose two-year term is expiring Feb. 1.

Former Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long was the first CFP chair (2014-15).

“We are delighted that Rob will be stepping into this role,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement. “He is an experienced committee member, extremely passionate about college football, detail-oriented and brings a high level of energy that is perfectly suited to chairing the committee.”

As chairman, the press release stated, “Mullens will set the selection committee’s agenda, run its meetings and serve as the spokesman for the committee along with Hancock.”

“College football plays a vital role in intercollegiate athletics, and it is an honor to continue to serve on the CFP Selection Committee,” said Mullens. “I look forward to partnering with the other committee members and the staff to build on the strong foundation which has been created in the first four years of the CFP.”

Additionally, the CFP announced six new committee members:

  • Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione, as previously reported
  • Former journalist/current journalism professor Paola Boivin
  • Former Rice/Clemson/Arkansas/Air Force head coach Ken Hatfield
  • College and NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott
  • Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury
  • Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin

There were five members whose terms are set to expire at the beginning of next month: Clemson AD Dan Radakovich, Arkansas AD Jeff Long, former NCAA executive Tom Jernstedt, former Stanford/Notre Dame/Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham, former Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson and former journalist Steve Wieberg.

The six additions bring the committee back to a dozen voters, including Robert Morris president Christopher B. Howard (term expires in Feb. of 2020), former Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer (2020), Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith (2020), former Southern Miss head coach Jeff Bower (2019), former Central Michigan head coach Herb Deromedi (2019) and Mullen (2019).

Bob Stoops’ WR son will be preferred walk-on at Oklahoma

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Despite having a Power Five scholarship offer in his hip pocket, Drake Stoops and his very familiar surname have decided to stay home.

Drake Stoops, the son of former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and a 2018 prospect, announced on Twitter that he has committed to play his college football for the Sooners. The younger Stoops is coming to his dad’s old stomping grounds as a preferred walk-on.

Coming out of Norman North High School, Stoops is listed as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.com. The same recruiting website has the 5-11, 175-pound receiver rated as the No. 20 player at any position in the state of Oklahoma.

Iowa, to which he took an official visit in early December, had offered Stoops a scholarship, and it was thought he could possibly be headed to the Hawkeyes before he made the decision to be a walk-on at OU. Air Force, Arkansas State, Memphis, Ohio and Western Kentucky were the group of Five programs that offered him as well.

According to the Oklahoman, “Stoops’ twin brother, Isaac, is a two-star recruit and has an offer from Army, as well as preferred walk-on offers from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nevada, Northwestern and Kentucky. He has yet to announce his college decision.”

Purdue adds Oregon State home-and-home, one-off with Air Force

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With their coaching situation settled, Purdue has gotten down to some scheduling business.

The football program announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement on a future home-and-home series with Oregon State. The Beavers will visit West Lafayette in 2021, with the Boilermakers heading to Corvallis in 2024.

The only previous meeting between the two football programs came in 1967.

Additionally, Purdue confirmed a one-off game with Air Force in 2022. That game will be played at Ross-Ade Stadium.

This will also mark the first-ever meeting between the teams. Purdue has not played a service academy in football since 1944, and have only played two games against them ever. Both of those came against Navy, and both were losses.

New England Patriots to set up practice camp at Air Force ahead of Mexico City game

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One of the service academies will have some very famous, albeit temporary, visitors next week.

The New England Patriots will face the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High this Sunday night.  Instead of heading back to Foxborough ahead of its Nov. 19 game in Mexico City, however, the defending Super Bowl champions will set up camp at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, academy and NFL officials confirmed to the Denver Post.

From the Post‘s report:

The Patriots are holding over in Colorado Springs as opposed to returning to New England as part of their preparations for a Nov. 19 game against the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City. Beyond team-building prior to an international trip, the move also allows the Patriots to train at altitude. The Air Force Academy is located 7,258 feet above sea level, just shy of Mexico City at 7,382.

The football facilities at Air Force include three outdoor practice fields (two grass and one AstroTurf), two 10,000-square-foot weight rooms, two training rooms, and a 92,000-square-foot indoor practice facility (The Haladay Athletic Center).

Air Force plays host to Wyoming this weekend before traveling to Boise State Nov. 18.  The newspaper writes that, “[a]s of Wednesday afternoon, Air Force did not have an itinerary for the Patriots’ practice plans.”

Air Force overcomes 27-point deficit to knock off UNLV

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Because America, dammit.

With under a minute remaining in the second quarter, Air Force trailed UNLV 27-0.  Over the next 31 or so minutes, however, the Falcons outscored the visiting Rebels 34-3 in soaring to a 34-30 Mountain West Conference win.

The win was the second-largest comeback in the service academy’s history — they trailed Fresno State by 28 in 1996 before coming back to win — while it matched UCLA’s feat from the opener.

Quarterback Arion Worthman (pictured) led the way to the win with his legs, rushing for a team-high 166 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.  Air Force, which came into the game ninth nationally averaging 287.8 yards per game, gained 401 yards on the ground on a whopping 78 carries.  The Falcons attempted just eight passes on the day, completing four for 72 yards.

The win snaps a four-game losing streak for the 2-4 Falcons, while the Rebels have lost two in a row and sit at 2-4 on the season.