Washington State Cougars

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29:  Former Tennesse quarterback Peyton Manning and current quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts is honored alongside his former college coach Phillip Fulmer before the start of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks on October 29, 2005 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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SEC, Ohio State tops on Carolina, Denver Super Bowl rosters

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Cam Newton may be hurtling toward history, but the former Auburn quarterback will not be the lone player representing the SEC in next month’s Super Bowl.  In fact, he’s far, far from it.

As you may have heard, Newton’s Carolina Panthers are set to square off with Peyton Manning‘s Denver Broncos in the 50th Super Bowl Feb. 3.  Manning and Newton are two of and FBS-best 30 former SEC players who are on the two teams’ rosters, which includes those on the 53-man, reserved/injured list, practice squad, reserved/suspended by commissioner and reserve/future squad.

The Pac-12 is next with 23, followed by the Big Ten (21) and ACC (17).  The final Power Five conference, the Big 12, has 10, three less than the Mountain West’s 13.  The AAC, with eight, is the only Group of Five league to come close to double digits.  The MAC, meanwhile, is the only conference to be shutout, while all of the other divisions in the NCAA combined for 18 players.

Nearly every SEC team is represented in this year’s big game, the lone exception being Vanderbilt.  Of the dozen schools in the Pac-12, only Arizona and Washington State are missing.  Both the ACC and Big Ten have 11 of their 14 teams in the game, the lone exceptions being Clemson, Louisville and Virginia Tech for the former and Illinois, Minnesota and Rutgers for the latter.

One of those B1G schools that’s in, Nebraska, has had at least one player on a Super Bowl roster for 23 straight years, the longest active streak for any FBS program.

Ohio State easily outdistances individual schools with seven, three more than the four each for Auburn, Georgia Tech, Oregon State and Tennessee.  Alabama, Arizona State, Colorado State, Georgia, Nevada, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, USC and Utah.

A total of 20 schools have two players each, including Coastal Carolina, the only non-FBS program in the group.  The other 19 includes Arkansas, Boise State, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, San Diego State, South Carolina, Stanford, Troy, Tulane, Washington and Wisconsin.

Mike Leach adds WKU’s JaMarcus Shephard to Wazzu staff

PULLMAN, WA - NOVEMBER 10:  Head coach Mike Leach of the Washington State Cougars on the sidelines early in the fourth quarter as the Cougars trail the UCLA Bruins 21- 44 at Martin Stadium on November 10, 2012 in Pullman, Washington.  (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
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A couple of weeks after losing one of his assistants to a rival Pac-12 school, Mike Leach has found a replacement.

JaMarcus Shephard, Washington State announced in a press release, has been added by Leach to coach the Cougars’ inside receivers.  Shephard will replace Dave Yost, who left earlier this month to become the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Oregon.

“JaMarcus is a tremendous coach and will fit nicely within our program,” said Leach. “He has great passion for coaching and recruiting, is familiar with how we attack from an offensive standpoint, and believes strongly in not only improving every day on the field but also in the classroom.”

Shephard spent the past five seasons at Western Kentucky. The first three seasons he spent as a defensive analyst, offensive quality control assistant and volunteer assistant. He was promoted to receivers coach in 2014, where he spent the past two seasons with the Hilltoppers.

That was Shepard’s first coaching job at the collegiate level.

Wazzu the landing spot for ex-UM lineman Logan Tuley-Tillman

Logan Tuley-Tillman
Michigan athletics
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Looking for a fresh start, Logan Tuley-Tillman hopes he’s found it clear on the other side of the country.

On Twitter late Saturday night, Tuley-Tillman announced that he will be attending Washington State and continuing his collegiate playing career with the Cougars.  As Tuley-Tillman will be a graduate transfer, the offensive lineman will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.  As an added bonus, he will also have two years of eligibility remaining.

In addition to Wazzu, Louisville, Miami and Ole Miss were interested in the offensive lineman.

In September, Michigan announced that Tuley-Tillman had been dismissed from the football program for “conduct unacceptable for a Michigan student-athlete.”  A month later, it was revealed that the offensive lineman had been charged with three felonies stemming from a Sept. 4 incident in which he was accused of filming a sex act with a woman without her knowledge.

That case is still pending, with a pretrial hearing scheduled for Feb. 8.  A judge gave Tuley-Tillman permission to leave the state of Michigan in order to find a new college football home, provided he wear a GPS tracker.

Tuley-Tillman was a four-star member of Brady Hoke‘s second-to-last UM recruiting class, rated as the No. 24 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Illinois.  He played in one game as a redshirt freshman in 2014, the season opener against Appalachian State.

Prior to his dismissal, he had been listed as the No. 2 left tackle and played in the 2015 opener.

Hall of Fame announces 16-member 2016 class

Randall Cunningham
UNLV athletics
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As has become customary this time of the year, the College Football Hall of Fame has announced yet another class on its way to enshrinement.

Friday afternoon in Arizona, the National Football Foundation announced that is 16 individuals strong — 14 players, two head coaches.  The NFF stated that “[t]he inductees were selected from the national ballot of 76 All-America players and five elite coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and the 92 players and 27 coaches from the divisional ranks.”

Of the 14 players on their way to induction, 11 came from the FBS level — 10 from Power Five programs — while the other three hail from the likes of Nebraska-Omaha (quarterback Marlin Briscoe), Harvard (punter Pat McInally) and Ashland (OH) (linebacker Bill Royce). Both of the coaches set for enshrinement come from non-FBS programs — New Hampshire’s Bill Bowes and Frank Girardi of Lycoming (Pa.).

Below are the complete list of individuals who will officially be inducted during a ceremony Dec. 6 in New York City:

Marlin Briscoe – QB, Nebraska Omaha (1964-67)
Derrick Brooks – LB, Florida State (1991-94)
Tom Cousineau – LB, Ohio State (1975-78)
Randall Cunningham – P/QB, UNLV (1982-84)
Troy Davis – TB, Iowa State (1994-96)
William Fuller – DT, North Carolina (1981-83)
Bert Jones – QB, LSU (1970-72)
Tim Krumrie – DL, Wisconsin (1979-82)
Pat McInally – TE, Harvard (1972-74)
Herb Orvis – DE, Colorado (1969-71)
Bill Royce – LB, Ashland (Ohio) (1990-93)
Mike Utley – OG, Washington State (1985-88)
Scott Woerner – DB, Georgia (1977-80)
Rod Woodson – DB, Purdue (1983-86)

“We are extremely proud to announce the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Mississippi. “Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played or coached the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments.”

Now, for those who are wondering — and are pissed off because Player X from Y State University isn’t on his way to enshrinement — below are the Hall of Fame’s ofttimes controversial rules for induction:

1. First and foremost, a player must have received First Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.

2. A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s honors courts ten years after his final year of intercollegiate football played.

3. While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and fellow man. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.

4. Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years*. For example, to be eligible for the 2016 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1966 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.

5. A coach becomes eligible three years after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.

* Players that do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Honors Review Committees, which examine unique cases.

Mike Leach has contract extended by Wazzu

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Following up on Washington State best season in more than a decade, Mike Leach is being rewarded for said success.

In a release, Wazzu announced that athletic director Bill Moos and Leach “have agreed to a provision in Leach’s contract to extend the agreement an additional year through the 2020 season.” The extension comes on the heels of a 9-4 season that was the school’s best since 2003. That was also the year of the Cougars’ last bowl win prior to a victory in the Sun Bowl earlier this month.

“Mike Leach and his entire staff have done a tremendous job in building our football program, and the goal is to keep moving forward,” said Moos. “Cougar football has returned to the upper echelon of collegiate football where it most deservedly belongs. I believe I speak for all Cougar fans when I say we want Mike Leach leading our football program for many years to come.”

Leach just completed his fourth season in Pullman. His first three seasons with the Cougars, Leach won a combined 12 games.

In addition to Leach’s contract extension, the school also announced that defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and assistant head coach/defensive line Joe Salave’a have signed multi-year contracts to remain part of the staff.