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CFT Previews: Your Dec. 22 Bowl Viewer’s Guide

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Taking a quick-hit look at the Dec. 22 bowl menu, which today features two AAC schools and one each from the ACC, Conference USA, MAC, MWC and SBC as well as a football independent that puts the ‘Merica in America.

WHO: Memphis (8-5) vs. Wake Forest (6-6)
WHAT: The 13th Jared Birmingham Bowl
WHEN: Noon ET on ESPN
WHERE: Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama
THE SKINNY: After starting the season 4-4, Memphis ripped off four straight wins to earn a berth in the AAC championship game opposite unbeaten UCF. The Tigers held a 17-point lead at halftime before the Knights roared back in the second half to claim its second consecutive AAC crown. … Wake Forest didn’t find itself too high or too low in 2018, never winning more than two in a row but never losing more than two in a row either. Two of their losses, though, came against teams that qualified for the College Football Playoff (Clemson, (Notre Dame). … U-M running back Darrell Henderson is currently second nationally as he has rushed for 1,909 yards; he’s also tied for the FBS lead with 22 rushing touchdowns.  Unfortunately for the Tigers, Henderson won’t be available as he’s one of a handful of players who are skipping out on their team’s bowl game. … Fortunately for the Demon Deacons, Henderson isn’t available as they are 91st nationally in giving up 191.3 yards per game on the ground.  They’ve also given up 29 rushing touchdowns, which is tied for 105th in the country. … One multifaceted player to watch is Wake’s Greg Dortch, who has caught 89 passes for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns (all team-leading totals) while also returning a pair of punts for touchdowns in 2018. … This will be Wake’s third bowl appearance in a row in Dave Clawson‘s five seasons, with the Demon Deacons winning the previous two. …  Memphis, meanwhile, will be playing in its fifth straight bowl game, although they have lost three in a row. … The Tigers have squared off with the Demon Deacons four times, with all four of those games coming from 1964-67. The two teams split that quartet of games, with three of them being played in Memphis. … Three of the last four Birmingham Bowls, incidentally, have been decided by eight points or less.
THE LINE: Wake Forest, +3½
THE PREDICTION: Wake Forest 38, Memphis 34

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WHO: Houston (8-4) vs. Army (10-2)
WHAT: The 16th Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
THE LINE: Houston, +5
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Buffalo (10-3) vs. Troy (9-3)
WHAT: The 20th Dollar General Bowl
WHEN: 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
THE LINE: Troy, +3
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Louisiana Tech (7-5) vs. Hawaii (8-5)
WHAT: The 17th SoFi Hawaii Bowl
WHEN: 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
THE SKINNY: Since 2002, including this season, Hawaii has played in nine bowl games; eight of those appearances have been in the Hawaii Bowl, with the lone outlier being the Sugar Bowl following the 2007 season. … The Rainbow Warriors are 4-3 on their home turf in the postseason since the turn of the century, incidentally. … Louisiana Tech, meanwhile, is riding a four-game bowl winning streak heading into its first postseason game on the islands. … It won’t be their first-ever appearance in Honolulu, though, as the two teams have met 10 times previously, with half of those regular season games being played at Aloha Stadium.  Hawaii leads the series 8-2, with the first game being played in 2000 and the most recent in 2011. … Hawaii is 41st in scoring offense at 32.1 points per game, while Louisiana Tech is T-41st in scoring defense at 23.8 ppg; LaTech is T-104th in scoring offense at 24.2 ppg, while Hawaii is 111th in scoring defense at 35.4 ppg. … Individually, Hawaii’s John Ursua‘s (pictured) 16 touchdown receptions are the most of any FBS player in 2018. … After starting the season 6-1, Hawaii lost four in a row from mid-October into early November.  The Rainbow Warriors righted the ship by winning their last two games (by a combined eight points). … Louisiana Tech comes into the postseason having dropped three of its last four games. … For those who are into the wagering side of the sport — and I’ll bet you I’m not — Hawaii is, according to our friends at OddsSharks.com, 0-15-1 against the spread in its last 16 games as a favorite.  Louisiana Tech, on the other hand, is 6-1 against the spread in its last seven games as a road underdog.
THE LINE: Louisiana Tech, +1
THE PREDICTION: Louisiana Tech 27, Hawaii 24

Veteran WRs coach Gunter Brewer joins Louisville staff

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After a brief foray in the NFL, Gunter Brewer is back in college football and, more specifically, back in the ACC.

Brewer was announced as Louisville’s wide receivers coach on Tuesday, completing Scott Satterfield‘s initial staff.

This will be Brewer’s fourth different tour of duty in the ACC. He joined the conference as a Wake Forest wide receiver in 1985-86, then joined the Deacons’ coaching staff as a strength and conditioning assistant in 1986-87. He returned to the conference as North Carolina’s wide receivers coach from 2000-04, then coached the Tar Heels’ wideouts again from 2012-17.

In between those stints, Brewer has coached wide receivers at East Tennessee State, Marshall, Oklahoma State and Ole Miss. He has tutored two Biletnikoff Award winners and a third finalist — Randy Moss at Marshall (1997 winner) and Dez Bryant (2008 finalist) and Justin Blackmon (2010 winner) at Oklahoma State. (Blackmon also won the honor in 2011, but Brewer was at Ole Miss by then.)

Brewer spent the 2018 campaign as the wide receivers coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. His NFL stint ended with Alshon Jeffrey‘s drop against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional round.

Les Miles hires NAIA head coach to Kansas support staff

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Stay with me here, but Les Miles has made a smart, visionary hire to help his offensive coaching staff.

Bethel University head coach Brent Dearmon is leaving his post to become a senior offensive consultant at Kansas. The announcement was made by Bethel; KU has yet to confirm the hire.

“It has been one of the greatest joys of my life to come back home to Bethel and help rebuild the program,” Dearmon said in a statement. “This place will always be very a special place to me and my family. Bethel molded me into the player I was, the coach I am, and the man God designed me to be.”

Dearmon led Bethel, an NAIA school in McKenzie, Tenn., to its best season in school history. The Wildcats went 10-1, including an undefeated regular season and a ranking as high as No. 3, while averaging a staggering 55 points and 540.3 yards per game.

Dearmon’s offense was the highest scoring unit not just in NAIA, but all of college football.

Meanwhile, Kansas is still without an offensive coordinator after Chip Lindsey left to become the head coach at Troy.

“We are happy for Coach Dearmon and this opportunity for him but at the same time we regret to see him leave,” Bethel AD Dale Kelley said. “He did a marvelous job and the team was exciting to follow. The excitement around the program this past year was phenomenal. We wish him and his family the very best.”

The 2018 campaign was Dearmon’s first as head coach at Bethel, his alma mater. He had spent the previous three campaigns as the offensive coordinator at Division II Arkansas Tech, and prior to that deposited two seasons as an analyst on Gus Malzahn‘s staff at Auburn.

Missouri, Colorado reportedly ink home-and-home to celebrate Fifth Down anniversary

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Colorado and Missouri are set to reunite to celebrate the anniversary of one of the most infamous officiating gaffes in college football history, according to a pair of reports.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Friday that the Buffs and Tigers will play a home-and-home in 2025 and 2030, which was confirmed on Tuesday by CBS Sports‘s Dennis Dodd.

The 2025 game will be in Boulder and the 2030 game in Columbia, according to the Post-Dispatch. Specific dates have not been disclosed.

The pair will “honor” the anniversary of the famous Fifth Down game, an Oct. 6, 1990 game in which officials mistakenly gave Colorado two second downs in the closing moments of their meeting in Columbia. That mistake allowed Buffaloes quarterback Charles Johnson to score a 1-yard keeper as time expired, allowing Colorado to escape with a 33-31 win. Adding to the controversy, replays showed Johnson’s knee was down before the ball reached the goal line, but Colorado was allowed to keep its ill-gotten win and went on to share the 1990 national championship with Georgia Tech, the school’s only title.

Colorado and Mizzou have not met since both schools left the Big 12 following the 2010 season. Missouri won the final five games, including a 26-0 blanking in 2010, and holds a 41-31-3 all-time lead in a series that dates back to 1930.

The series will not be the first time either school faces a former Big 8/12 bunk mate since their respective departures. Missouri has a home-and-home with Kansas State set for 2022-23, while Colorado faces Texas A&M in 2019 and ’20, meets Nebraska in 2023-24 and squares off with Kansas State in 2027-28.

Colorado is set to open its 2025 season with Georgia Tech on Aug. 30 and visit Houston a week later. Mizzou has games with North Dakota, Miami (Ohio) and Massachusetts set for 2025. Neither team has another game on the docket for 2030 as of yet.

Penn State transfer TE Danny Dalton lands at Boston College

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One of the dozen(ish) members of the Penn State football program who has decided to transfer from the Nittany Lions this offseason has found himself a new college football home.

Over the weekend, Danny Dalton took to Twitter to announce that he has decided to transfer to Boston College and continue his playing career with the Eagles.  The tight end is on schedule to graduate from Penn State in June, meaning he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2019.

Including the upcoming season, the Marshfield, Mass., native will have two years of eligibility remaining.

A three-star member of the Nittany Lions’ 2016 recruiting class, Dalton was the top-rated player at any position in the state of Massachusetts.  After not playing at all his first two seasons in Happy Valley, the 6-4, 247-pound redshirt sophomore appeared in three games