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CFT Previews: Your Dec. 23 Bowl Viewer’s Guide

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Taking a quick-hit look at the Dec. 23 bowl menu, which today features a pair of 10-win teams, another that could’ve gotten to double digits were it not for a hurricane and a service academy that’s on the verge of its best season ever wins-wise.

WHO: Texas Tech (6-6) vs. South Florida (9-2)
WHAT: The 12th Birmingham Bowl
WHEN: Noon ET on ESPN
WHERE: Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama
THE LINE: Texas Tech, +3
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: San Diego State (10-2) vs. Army (9-3)
WHAT: The 15th Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
THE LINE: Army, +7
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Appalachian State (8-4) vs. Toledo (11-2)
WHAT: The 19th Dollar General Bowl
WHEN: 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
THE SKINNY: These two teams are very familiar with each other, at least when it comes to the recent postseason as they met in last year’s Camellia Bowl, with Appalachian State coming away with a three-point win. That game, incidentally, is the only meeting ever between the two schools. … Arguably the biggest surprise in this game is that Toledo head coach Jason Candle is neither coaching his last game nor already off to a bigger program.  In two full seasons, Candle has won 20 games at UT, the best start for a Rockets head coach ever.  This time next year, though, expect Candle to be in charge of his own Power Five program. … Toledo, incidentally, can post its highest win total since its 12-0 1971 season under Jack Murphy. A win would not only match that season, but could also leave the Rockets ranked in the final College Football Playoff Top 25 for the first time ever. … Both teams left the regular season on a high, with the Mountaineers winning three in a row and the Rockets doing the same, with the bonus for the latter being the last of those wins coming in the MAC championship game. … ASU is looking to run its all-time bowl record to 3-0. with the first two wins coming the past two seasons… If you like quality quarterback matchups, this one’s for you.  UT’s Logan Woodside and ASU’s Taylor Lamb are two of only three FBS quarterbacks, the other being Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, to throw for 25 or more touchdowns and fewer than eight interceptions this season.  Woodside is currently fifth in the country in pass efficiency, while Lamb is 16th. Woodside is also 11th in passing yards (3,758), while Lamb can also beat a defense with his legs as his 539 yards rushing are 10th amongst Group of Five quarterbacks. … Don’t sleep on the Rockets’ running game, though, as Terry Swanson‘s 1,319 yards leads the MAC. … Stat to note: Teams from the Sun Belt Conference have won two straight and four of the last five Dollar General Bowls.
THE LINE: Appalachian State, +7
THE PREDICTION: Toledo 50, Appalachian State 42

Iowa DT Brady Reiff arrested for public intoxication

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Iowa defensive tackle Brady Reiff could face some upcoming internal discipline following an arrest over the weekend. Reiff was arrested for public intoxication early Saturday morning by Iowa City police.

According to Hawk Central, Reiff was released from jail at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, a little less than seven hours after his arrest. A statement from Iowa Athletics Director stated the university was aware of the incident and was gathering more information on the story.

At this time, there has been no discipline handed out to Reiff from within the Iowa football program or athletics department, but some form of punishment should probably be expected down the line. A loss of playing time in the season opener would appear to be the most likely result given the misdemeanor caliber of the crime involved.

Reiff recorded 13 tackles, one sack and one interception while appearing in 12 games for the Hawkeyes last season. Reiff is expected to compete for a starting job on Iowa’s defensive line this season.

South Florida shows off new Adidas uniforms

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South Florida is switching apparel providers this season, leaving behind Under Armour for a new deal with Adidas. And with a new apparel partner now officially on board, the time has come to see what Adidas has up their sleeves for the Bulls.

South Florida shared a video on its Twitter account with the first look at the new uniform design, which looks fairly common to what most Adidas uniforms look like. One of the most notable changes to the uniform is the removal of “USF” from the front chest of the uniform and replacing it with text that reads “South Florida.”

The pants read “Bulls” on the legs and the USF “U” logo makes appearances on the hips and wrist bands. The first look at the helmet looks pretty interesting as well, with a chrome green face mask. The details of the helmet can be a bit more difficult to make out, although it appears at one point to be a green USF logo outlined in white (and gold?) on a gray helmet.

Reaction to the new uniforms among USF fans seems to be a bit mixed, but we will have to wait and see how the feelings are when USF reveals the full home and away assortment of uniforms down the road. As with many uniforms these days, it should be expected USF will have some combinations to keep them looking fresh on a weekly basis.

Miami’s signature Turnover Chain could be back in 2018, and WR Ahmonn Richards wants one too

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If you thought it was just a short-term fads designed to inspire Miami’s defense, well, you were probably right. But that short-term fad could very well be appearing once again this season on a Miami Hurricanes sideline near you.

After fielding plenty of questions about the iconic Turnover Chain, representatives of Miami at the ACC Football Kickoff last week showed no reason to doubt the chain will not be back again this fall. The Turnover Chain was a pop culture sensation in the world of college football as defensive players recovering a fumble or picking off a pass for an interception would race to the sideline to have the sparkling turnover chain placed around the necks. People either loved it or loathed it. So get ready to love it or loathe it again this fall.

Miami head coach Mark Richt didn’t shut down the idea while addressing the media at the ACC media day event, and he jokingly called it the greatest thing since sliced bread. Even wide receiver Ahmonn Richards was asked about the turnover chain and the possibility of having an equivalent prize for offensive players.

I think so. I think it’s time,” Richards said, according to The Sun Sentinel. “But those guys work hard, and they’re really enjoying it, and it helps them out, also, wanting to make plays and stuff. So I think we should have something, but it’s not up to me.”

Miami tied for third in the nation with the most takeaways with 31 (Wyoming led the nation with 38; UCF was second with 32 and Miami tied with Memphis and Central Michigan). In 2016, the Hurricanes had just 19 takeaways for the entire season.

Rutgers AD takes to Twitter to support head coach Chris Ash, downplay any hot seat talk

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We’re weeks away from the 2018 season beginning and with media days underway across the country, there’s inevitably some talk of which coaches are on the hot seat and who might be a few losses away from feeling the heat.

CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd complies a list every year of who might be feeling some pressure and who is safer than can be around the sport. One of the coaches who he listed as ‘start improving now’ (or a 4 on a 1-5 hot seat scale) was Rutgers head coach Chris Ash. The Scarlet Knights job is one of the hardest in football given their place in the Big Ten and while there has been some progress in the rebuild, Ash is 6-18 overall and only picked up his first conference win last season.

It’s only Year 3 of Ash’s tenure though and it seems that kind of pressure isn’t quite reflecting reality from the administration as athletic director Pat Hobbs took to his Twitter account on Saturday to say that there’s no hot seat at all for the young head coach:

We’re sure that Ash appreciates the extra bit of support publicly in what he’s doing with the program but something says he’ll be asked to comment about the whole thing next week at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. The Scarlet Knights certainly looked much improved in 2017 between the lines but digging out of such a big hole for the program is going to only get tougher as they try to get over the hump and make a bowl game in 2018.