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College Football Bowl Preview: Your Dec. 27 Viewer’s Guide

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Your trusty and semi-daily college football bowl preview that today takes a quick-hit look at the Dec. 27 bowl menu, one that features five games and schools from every Power Five conference.

WHO: North Carolina (6-6) vs. Temple (8-4)
WHAT: The 12th Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
WHERE: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
WHEN: Noon ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Temple, +5
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Michigan State (6-6) vs. Wake Forest (8-4)
WHAT: The 10th New Era Pinstripe Bowl
WHERE: Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York
WHEN: 3:20 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Wake Forest, +3½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Oklahoma State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)
WHAT: The 14th Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
WHERE: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
WHEN: 6:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Oklahoma State, +6½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: USC (8-4) vs. Iowa (9-3)
WHAT: The 42nd San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
WHERE: SDCCU Stadium, San Diego, California
WHEN: 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
THE LINE: USC, +2
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Air Force (10-2) vs. Washington State (6-6)
WHAT: The 31st Cheez-It Bowl
WHERE: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
WHEN: 10:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: Ye Olde College Football Bowl Preview has decreed that there may be more disparate college football teams than Air Force and Washington State, but it certainly wouldn’t take long to call the roll. The Cougars lead the nation — by a wide margin — in passing, averaging 444.3 yards per game; LSU’s 386.8 ypg is second.  The Falcons, meanwhile, are 124th at 131 ypg.  Conversely, the military academy is third at the FBS level in averaging 292.5 ypg on the ground. … Average number of runs per game for Air Force: 57.  Average number of passes per game for Washington State: 56. … Wazzu’s Anthony Gordon is second in the FBS with 45 touchdown passes this season.  In two games (vs. UCLA in September, vs. Oregon State in November), Gordon threw a combined 15 touchdown passes; in 12 games this year, Air Force threw 14. …  The Falcons will be playing in their first bowl game since 2016.  The Cougars are playing in their fifth straight, and will be looking for back-to-back bowl wins for the first time since the mid-nineties. … A win today would be Air Force’s 11th, which would be the football program’s most since 1998. … A loss for Wazzu would leave them under .500 for a season for the first time since 2014, Mike Leach‘s third year in Pullman. … Coming into the postseason, the Falcons have won seven straight.  The Cougars started the 2019 campaign 3-0 before losing six of their last nine, including the Apple Cup to rival Washington. … Wazzu has played in this game once (1992), back when it was called the Copper Bowl.  Air Force’s only appearance came three years later. … In addition to the Cheez-It Bowl and Copper Bowl, this game has also answered to names such as Insight.com Bowl, Insight Bowl, Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and Cactus Bowl. … Regardless of how this game plays out, it can’t possibly match the ugly duck that was last year’s game.  In a matchup that featured nine interceptions (nine!!!) and 15 punts, TCU came away with a 10-7 overtime “win” over Cal.
THE LINE: Washington State, +3
THE PREDICTION: Air Force 28, Washington State 34

Ole Miss corner Deantre Prince enters transfer portal

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If you had Ole Miss football as next up for an early-morning portal post, collect your winnings at the door.

Wednesday, it was reported by multiple media outlets that Deantre Prince has decided to enter his name into the NCAA transfer database.  By entering the portal, Prince can be contacted by any other school without receiving permission from Ole Miss football.  He can also pull his name from the database and remain with the Rebels.

Conversely, the defensive back could have his scholarship pulled at the end of the semester in which he entered the portal.

Prince’s decision, incidentally, comes two months after Lane Kiffin took over as the head coach of Ole Miss football.

A three-star 2019 signee, Prince was rated as the No. 18 player regardless of position in the state of Mississippi.  As a true freshman, Prince played in all 12 games for the Rebels.

With two interceptions, Prince tied for the team lead in 2019.  He as also credited with 25 tackles and two pass breakups.

Barring something unexpected, Prince would have to sit out the 2020 season in order to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws.  Unless those NCAA bylaws are changed and he’s grandfathered in, of course.

Todd Graham announces titles, responsibilities for first Hawaii coaching staff

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A little over four weeks after he was hired as the next Hawaii football head coach, Todd Graham‘s first staff is complete.

Wednesday night, Hawaii football announced both the titles and positional dutied for Graham’s 10-man on-field coaching staff.  As previously confirmed, G.J. Kinne will serve as the Rainbow Warriors’ offensive coordinator.  Kinne, who was Graham’s former quarterback at Tulsa, will also serve as quarterbacks coach.

Victor Santa Cruz will be the defensive coordinator for Hawaii football.  On top of that, he will coach outside linebackers for the Mountain West Conference program.  On top of that, Santa Cruz will carry the title of associate head coach.

Below are the titles for the other eight position coaches:

  • Dan Phillips — Defensive Line
  • Tony Hull — Inside Receivers
  • Jacob Yoro — Linebackers
  • Brandon Graham — Running Backs
  • Sam Bennett — Offensive Line
  • Abe Elimimian — Cornerbacks
  • Brennan Marion — Wide Receivers
  • Laiu Moeakiola — Safeties

Six of those eight position coaches will also hold additional responsibilities:

  • Hull — Co-Offensive Coordinator
  • Yoro — Co-Defensive Coordinator
  • Phillips — Special Teams Coordinator
  • Graham — Passing-Game Coordinator
  • Bennett — Running-Game Coordinator
  • Elimimian — Recruiting Coordinator

Graham was introduced as the Hawaii football program’s 24th head coach last month.  The 55-year-old Graham has been a head coach at four different FBS schools:

  • Arizona State (2012-17)
  • Pitt (2011)
  • Tulsa (2007-10)
  • Rice (2006)

Graham has posted a 95-61 record at those stops.  His teams have played in 10 bowl games in 12 seasons, winning five of those postseason appearances.  He’s also won three divisional titles.

After being fired by Arizona State in November of 2017, Graham has been out of coaching ever since.  He was mentioned as a candidate for the Kansas job that ultimately went to Les Miles.

Starting East Carolina DE Chance Purvis arrested on felony kidnapping charge, suspended

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For the second time this month, this time by way of a member of the East Carolina football program, a college football player is facing some serious off-field allegations.

According to 247Sports.com, Chance Purvis was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count each of second-degree kidnapping and breaking/entering with intent to terrorize or injure.  Both of those charges are felonies.

No details of what led to the arrest and charges have been released thus far.

As a result of the arrest, though, the redshirt junior defensive end has been suspended by East Carolina football head coach Mike Houston.

“We are aware of the situation concerning Chance Purvis and consider these charges as very serious and completely unacceptable,” a statement from the coach began. “Chance has been suspended from all football-related activities until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation, but since this is a legal matter, any additional comment on our part would be inappropriate at this time.”

Purvis didn’t play at all his first two seasons with East Carolina football.  In 2018, the lineman played in 10 games, starting one of those contests.  This past season, Purvis started all 12 games for the Pirates.  He was second on the team in tackles for loss (12) and sacks (four).

Depending on how the off-field situation plays out, Purvis would be the only returning starting lineman on the defensive side of the ball for East Carolina football in 2020.

Purvis is actually the second East Carolina football player arrested this year.  Last month, Cortez Herrin was arrested on one felony count of possession with the intent to sell or distribute.  He’s also facing a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

When healthy, Herrin has been a part-time or full-time starter at left guard for ECU the past three seasons.

In 2018, Houston started all 12 games for the Pirates.  He made five starts in 2017 as well.  A knee injury in 2019 helped limit him to five starts.

Michigan State investigating allegations of NCAA violations committed under Mark Dantonio

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Mark Dantonio may have retired as the Michigan State football head coach, but his impact on the program will continue. On and off the field.

In May of 2017, Michigan State confirmed that the university had “parted ways” with Curtis Blackwell after opting not to renew the football staffer’s contract.  Blackwell, whose official title with the program was director of college advancement and performance, was suspended with pay February 9 of that year, the same day three unidentified Spartan football players were suspended in connection to sexual assault allegations.  While Blackwell was a part of the police investigations into the allegations, he was not accused of participating in the alleged sexual assault but rather failing to disclose information he knew about the incident.

In a lawsuit filed in November of 2018, which named Dantonio, among others, as a defendant, Blackwell alleged that his employment contract was violated when it wasn’t renewed by the university. According to recent court filings connected to that ongoing suit, Blackwell and his attornies are also alleging that NCAA violations were committed by Dantonio.

From ESPN.com:

The mother of current Notre Dame defensive end Daelin Hayes said in an affidavit that Blackwell attended an in-home visit at their house in Michigan along with former head coach Dantonio and assistant coaches Harlon Barnett and Mike Tressel. LaKeshia Neal, Hayes’ mother, also provided a photo of the coaches and Blackwell on that visit.

The NCAA has reached out to Hayes to ask about the incident, a source said. Per NCAA rules, Blackwell was not allowed to be part of off-campus recruiting during that time at Michigan State because he was not one of the program’s on-field coaches.

In documents filed two weeks ago, Blackwell alleged that Dantonio helped arrange jobs for the parents of an unnamed, high-profile recruit as well. The day after those documents were submitted, Dantonio abruptly announced his resignation.

Dantonio has claimed that the allegations had nothing to do with his decision to step down. One of Dantonio’s lawyers labeled the claims as “false, scandalous, and wholly unsupported accusations.”

As a result of the allegations made by Blackwell, the university — and the NCAA — is in the process of investigating the claims.

“We are aware of the allegations made by Curtis Blackwell as part of his litigation,” an MSU spokesperson stated. “As with any allegation concerning NCAA compliance, MSU is investigating and working with the NCAA and Big Ten. We have fully complied with our self-reporting obligations to the NCAA throughout this case.”

Feb. 12, Colorado’s Mel Tucker was hired by Michigan State football to replace Dantonio. As part of Tucker’s six-year contract, there is a clause that protects the new coach should Michigan State football be sanctioned by the NCAA for the actions of the previous coaching staff. The language of the deal calls for an additional year to be added to the length of the contract “as of the date the sanction takes effect or, if such sanction lasts more than one year, the six-year term will be extended to match the length of the sanction period.”