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Joe, ‘O’ and No. 1 LSU cap off historic run with 2020 National Championship Game triumph over Clemson

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The season of Joe and O could have ended only one way.

No. 1 LSU capped off one of the all-time great college football campaigns in the history of the sport in record-breaking fashion on Monday night in their own backyard of New Orleans, putting an end to No. 3 Clemson’s 29-game win streak with a convincing 42-25 win in the 2020 National Championship Game.

Leading the way for the locally-based Tigers was none other than their incredible field general Joe Burrow. The Heisman Trophy winner completed was absolutely masterful in throwing for 463 yards and five touchdowns, overcoming a big of a slow start to once again set fire to an opposing defense. A third quarter strike to tight end Thaddeus Moss was especially memorable as it helped the signal-caller pass Hawaii’s Colt Brennan for the FBS single-season record for passing touchdowns (which eventually was left at 60).

That was far from the only record set on the season or in the game for the quarterback but it would be one for the all-time highlight reels as Burrow laid his (excellent) claim to perhaps the best year ever at his position to send college football’s 150th anniversary out in style.

When Burrow wasn’t targeting Moss underneath though, he was headed over the top to Biletnikoff Award winner Ja'Marr Chase. The wideout certainly lived up to his title as the most outstanding receiver in the country by hauling in nine catches for 221 yards and two scores — all just a few miles from away from where he grew up in the Big Easy. Tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire was mostly kept in check overall but did break out some huge plays, including a spin move in the second quarter away from the sideline that would have reminded head coach Ed Orgeron of a certain Heisman-winner he saw back in the day at USC.

In the process, LSU laid vanquish to a Clemson squad that will have won two of the last four titles in recent years but will have also seen two of their only losses in this incredible run come at the Superdome to SEC teams. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence also suffered his first ‘L’ as a starter in college and was mostly outplayed by his opposite number as he threw for only 234 yards and was shutout from the end zone through the air. He did run for a touchdown to showcase his legs off for a second straight playoff game but it was far from enough.

Running back Travis Etienne also came close to several game-breakers on the ground but was forced to be mostly a pass catcher as the very late night wore on and led the team with 78 yards and a score of his own.

As dominant and good as the Tigers from little ol’ Clemson were this season though, they just weren’t enough against an LSU squad that completed one of the most magical and out of nowhere seasons in the the sport’s history. While we’ll have to let things breathe just a bit over the coming days, weeks and months, there’s little doubt that Coach O’s team have stated quite the case as one of the greatest of all time.

The win over Clemson was LSU’s seventh over a team ranked in top 10 and they became just the second ever modern 15-0 national champion by dethroning the first on the other sideline. They re-wrote the school, SEC and FBS record books on offense and had the consensus coach of the year, a Heisman Trophy, the Thorpe and Biletnikoff Award winners and the best offensive line in the country.

There was only one fitting conclusion to such a campaign of dominance and it happened as a Louisiana native and an adopted son stepped to the podium amid a cheering hometown crowd to hoist the national title in fitting fashion.

USC makes hiring of Virginia’s Vic So’oto official

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The massive renovation of Clay Helton’s USC football coaching staff has taken another official step.

Last week, it was reported that USC was expected to poach Vic So’oto from Virginia.  As Clint Sintim‘s hiring as So’oto’s replacement was announced a few days later, the latter’s move to the Trojans was a mere formality.

Tuesday, USC football confirmed So’oto’s addition to Clay Helton’s staff.  As he did with the ‘Hoos, So’oto will serve as the Trojans’ defensive line coach.

The 32-year-old So’oto was the line coach at Virginia for the past three seasons.  Prior to that, he was a defensive graduate assistant at the ACC program.

So’oto played his college football at BYU, ending his four-year career in 2010.  After his NFL career ended, So’oto began his collegiate coaching career as a football intern at his alma mater.

For those unaware, So’oto is the second cousin of USC football legend Junior Seau.

LSU confirms hiring of Scott Linehan as new passing-game coordinator

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LSU football has officially replaced one of the hottest young coaches in the sport.

Not long after LSU football claimed the 2019 national championship, Joe Brady left to take over as the offensive coordinator for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Earlier this month, it was reported that Scott Linehan was expected to be hired as Brady’s successor.

Tuesday, LSU confirmed that Linehan has indeed been named by Ed Orgeron as the Tigers’ new passing-game coordinator. The 56-year-old Linehan has spent the past 17 seasons he’s been a coach at the NFL level.

Linehan was out of coaching this past season.

“Scott brings a wealth of knowledge to our offense,” the LSU football head coach said in a statement. “We wanted to bring in someone who will expand our passing game and with Scott’s experience as an NFL head coach and offensive coordinator we feel this is the best move for our offense. After talking to numerous people with NFL experience and interviewing Scott we knew he was the right fit for the LSU Tigers.”

In 13 of those seasons in the NFL, Linehan served as an offensive coordinator.

  • Dallas Cowboys, 2015-18
  • Detroit Lions, 2009-13
  • Miami Dolphins, 2005
  • Minnesota Vikings, 2002-04

In the other four NFL seasons in which he wasn’t a coordinator, Linehan was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2006-08) and passing-game coordinator for the Cowboys (2014).

Linehan’s last job at the collegiate level came as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Louisville (1999-2001). From 1996-98, he was the coordinator at Washington.

American announces 2020 schedule

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The American Athletic Conference will again play football in 2020, the conference confirmed on Tuesday.

The American revealed its 2020 conference schedule, a 44-game slate that completes the 88 total games AAC teams will play in 2020. As a reminder, UConn is no longer an American member, meaning the conference will have 11 football-playing members for the foreseeable future. All 11 teams will still play an 8-game league schedule, and the conference will still hold a title game.

The 2020 season will also be the conference’s first under the new rights agreement it struck with ESPN in March. As such, at least 40 American home games will be shown on the ESPN family of networks, and at least half of those will be on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. The conference will play a total of 12 games on Thursday or Friday nights.

“We are excited to announce our 2020 schedule as we enter the next phase of our longstanding relationship with ESPN,” said commissioner Mike Aresco. “With the continued success our schools have had, I have no doubt that we will once again provide our fans, and ESPN, with compelling matchups throughout the season in both conference and nonconference play. We look forward to another outstanding season of American Athletic Conference football.”

The season will begin on Saturday, Aug. 29 when Navy “hosts” Notre Dame at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. That game will be shown on ESPN with College GameDay in tow as part of the network’s season kick-off effort. While the full schedule can be viewed here, highlights include:

  • North Carolina at UCF, Sept. 4 (Friday)
  • South Florida at Texas, Sept. 5
  • Temple at Miami, Sept. 5
  • Houston at Washington State, Sept. 12
  • Cincinnati at Nebraska, Sept. 26
  • TCU at SMU, Sept. 26
  • Memphis at SMU, Oct. 1 (Thursday)
  • UCF at Memphis, Oct. 16 (Friday)
  • Memphis at Cincinnati, Oct. 31
  • Memphis at Navy, Nov. 14
  • Cincinnati at UCF, Nov. 21
  • UCF at South Florida, Nov. 27 (Friday)

The 2020 American season will conclude with the sixth annual American Championship on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Ohio State CB Sevyn Banks to wear No. 7

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George Costanza was never much of a college football fan. He was a New Yorker, after all. But he was a fan of the No. 7, and so he would have a new favorite college football player in 2020.

A product of Orlando’s Jones High School, Sevyn Banks has been a member of Ohio State’s defensive backfield since 2018. The former 4-star recruit has received limited playing time in the Buckeyes’ loaded defensive backfield, but figures to compete for a starting spot in 2020.

And now he’ll do so in his namesake number.

Banks announced Monday he will switch from No. 12 to No. 7 for the upcoming season.

The No. 7 had been claimed by linebacker Teradja Mitchell, who is now switching to No. 3, opening No. 7 for, well, Sevyn.

Banks appeared in all 14 games for Ohio State last season, collecting 11 tackles and one interception.

He’ll hope to get more burn in 2020, with some support from a fictional New Yorker.