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CFT Previews: Valero Alamo Bowl

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WHO: No. 24 Iowa State (8-4) vs. No. 13 Iowa State
WHAT: The 26th Alamo Bowl
WHEN: 9 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
THE SKINNY: Mike Leach is back in the Lone Star State.

Years after a contentious divorce from Texas Tech, the Washington State head coach is back and arguably better than ever as he and the Air Raid offense are aiming for win No. 11 against an old Big 12 foe in Iowa State. These aren’t the old Cyclones from Leach’s days in Lubbock however, as Matt Campbell has his team playing as well as just about anybody over the final few months of the season. There are only a handful of marquee matchups outside of the New Year’s Six and this game certainly qualifies as a pair of top 25 teams go at it hoping to close out the year in style.

Naturally, the quarterbacks are the star of the show. Wazzu’s Gardner Minshew II finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting and put together a stellar season as a graduate transfer from East Carolina, throwing for an FBS-leading 4,477 yards during the regular season. His play was a huge reason why the Cougars were in the thick of the Pac-12 title hunt for most of the year and why the signal-caller was an easy pick as the conference’s offensive player of the year. Though his mustache became as trending topic a few times on social media as the season wore on, the QB’s play is really a treat to watch and especially so given how well he spreads the ball around to a ton of different receivers and running backs. Keep an especially close eye on the two dynamic threats in the backfield when Minshew does drop back to pass as James Williams and Max Borghi have combined for over 1,800 total yards and have at least 350 through the air and on the ground.

On the opposite sideline, Brock Purdy has been a revelation for Iowa State ever since taking the reins under center (6-1 as a starter) and sparked the team to back-to-back eight win seasons for the first time since 1977-78.  In addition to throwing for nearly 2,000 yards and accounting for 19 touchdowns, the freshman signal-caller has continued to elevate those around him and really helped open things up for star tailback David Montgomery (12 touchdowns rushing) in particular. Wideout Hakeem Butler might be a first round pick in the draft and if this is indeed his last game as a Cyclone, you can bet he’ll want to go out in style with a few more highlight reel catches just up the road from where he played his high school ball.

ISU doesn’t just pack a potent offense though as the team leads the Big 12 in scoring defense and enter the game giving up just 228 yards through the air. Corner Brian Peavy has been stellar in shutting down opposing receivers and defensive end JaQuan Bailey is hoping to move into first place on the school’s all-time sack list by getting to the quarterback at least once down in San Antonio. The Cyclones see versions of Leach’s offense weekly in Big 12 play so they know how to slow the Air Raid attack, which they have a good shot at doing despite the big play potential from Minshew and company.

THE PICK: Iowa State 30, Washington State 27

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