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CFT Previews: Your Dec. 29 Bowl Viewer’s Guide

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Taking a quick-hit look at the Dec. 29 bowl menu, which today features the only two postseason games that truly matter… until the national championship game in a week and a half, that is.

WHO: No. 10 Florida (9-3) vs. No. 7 Michigan (10-2)
WHAT: The 51st Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
WHEN: Noon ET on ESPN
WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
THE LINE: Florida, +5½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: South Carolina (7-5) vs. Virginia (7-5)
WHAT: The 17th Belk Bowl
WHEN: Noon ET on ESPN
WHERE: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
THE SKINNY: South Carolina has won five of its last six bowl appearances, and are 1-1 in the postseason under Will Muschamp. … Virginia, meanwhile, hasn’t won a bowl game since the 2005 Music City Bowl, going 0-3 in that stretch. … The Gamecocks didn’t win more than two games in a row this season — they did that once — but they also didn’t lose two games in a row at all in 2018.  All five of USC’s losses this season were followed by wins the following game. … The Cavaliers come in having lost two games in a row, although both of those losses were by a combined six points.  Those twin defeats also came on the road. … The two schools are actually former conference rivals as South Carolina played in the ACC from the league’s founding in 1953 before leaving following the 1971 season and, after a stint as a football independent, joining the SEC in 1992.  They have met 34 times in football, the first coming in 1912 and the most recent in 2003. The Gamecocks lead the overall series 21-12-1. …  Over the last five games of the regular season, Jake Bentley topped 300 yards passing on three different occasions, including a school-record 510 yards in USC’s loss to Clemson. He also tossed 16 of his 27 touchdown passes in that five-game span. … The Gamecocks will be down three starters, two because of injuries (defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, cornerback Keisean Nixon) and one, leading receiver Deebo Samuels, who decided to skip the game to focus on draft preparations. … With a win, the Cavaliers would post its best record since going the same 8-5 back in 2011.
THE LINE: Virginia, +5½
THE PREDICTION: South Carolina 38, Virginia 34

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WHO: Arkansas State (8-4) vs. Nevada (7-5)
WHAT: The 4th NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
WHEN: 1:15 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network
WHERE: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
THE SKINNY: If there is ever a bowl game to get lost in the viewing wash it’s this one as it kicks off in the middle of a Big Ten-SEC postseason clash and will end after the first of two playoff semifinals has started. … To pique your interest, though, this is the only 2018-19 bowl game in which both teams have the word “Wolf” or a derivative in their nickname — the Red Wolves of Arkansas State, the Wolf Pack of Nevada. … Arkansas State will be making its school-record eighth bowl appearance in a row, with three wins and four losses in that postseason stretch. … Nevada will be playing in its first bowl game since the 2015 season. … After starting the year a pedestrian 4-4, the Red Wolves ripped off four straight wins to close out the regular season. They won all four of those games by at least 14 points. … The Wolf Pack also ended the season on a run, although a loss to in-state rival UNLV in the finale snapped what had been a four-game winning streak. … Speaking of which, the two teams had one common opponent this season: UNLV.  ASU beat UNLV 27-20 in late September, while Nevada fell 34-29 late last month. … Nevada holds a 3-2 edge in the all-time series, with the last meeting coming in 1999. … The Wolf Pack, though, will be without its leading receiver as McLane Mannix announced his transfer to Texas Tech earlier this month.
THE LINE: Nevada, +1½
THE PREDICTION: Arkansas State 31, Nevada 27

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WHO: No. 2 Clemson (13-0) vs. No. 3 Notre Dame (12-0)
WHAT: The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
WHEN: 4 p.m. p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
THE LINE: Notre Dame, +10½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: No. 1 Alabama (13-0) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1)
WHAT: The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl
WHEN: 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
THE LINE: Oklahoma, +14
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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