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Todd Graham named as Hawaii’s next head coach

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The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football program has afforded a wayward coach a means to return to the sidelines.

In the days after Nick Rolovich left to replace Mike Leach at Washington StateRobert Anae‘s name had been mentioned prominently as a potential successor.  Tuesday, however, the Virginia offensive coordinator announced in a statement that he has withdrawn his name from consideration for the job as the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football head coach.

Just prior to that, it was reported by The Athletic‘s Bruce Feldman that Todd Graham is getting consideration for the job.  Very late Tuesday night, Hawaii confirmed that Graham has been hired as the school’s 24th head coach.

Graham will be introduced at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

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.  He was mentioned as a candidate for the Kansas job that ultimately went to Les Miles.

LSU, two B1G schools will have most players on Super Bowl rosters

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The LSU Tigers football program represented the sport well in winning the 2019 national championship, and now they’re set to be well-represented when the next level crowns its Super Bowl champion as well.

Sunday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs again overcame an early deficit to beat the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship game. In the NFC championship game, the San Francisco 49ers pummeled the Green Bay Packers to earn a berth opposite the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. That game will be played at the home of the Miami Hurricanes, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Feb. 2.

The 49ers, seeking their first Super Bowl win since 1994, have four former LSU football players currently listed on their official online roster*. The Chiefs, in search of their first title since 1969, have one former LSU football player on their Super Bowl roster. That total of five is tied for the most for a single school in this year’s game.

The number for LSU is matched by a pair of schools from the Big Ten — Iowa and Penn State — for the most players on Super Bowl rosters this year. Three former Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes play for the 49ers, two for the Chiefs.

Two SEC schools, Florida and Vanderbilt, each have four former players as part of the game, as does Stanford. Middle Tennessee State and San Diego State are two of a gaggle of schools with three players on teams playing in the game, which is the most of any Group of Five conference member.

Conference-wise, it was the SEC leading the way (again) with 32 players, followed by the Big Ten’s 22. The ACC (17), Pac-12 (16), Big 12 (12) and Conference USA (11) were the only other FBS leagues in double digits.

As for the other conferences?

  • Mountain West, nine
  • AAC, six
  • MAC, five
  • Sun Belt, four

Football independents accounted for six players. There were a total of 21 players who played at levels of football other than the FBS.

Below are all of the individual schools that will be represented on Super Sunday:

FIVE
Iowa
LSU
Penn State

FOUR
Florida
Stanford
Vanderbilt

THREE
Arizona
Auburn
Clemson
Kansas State
Middle Tennessee State
Mississippi State
Notre Dame
Ohio State
Oklahoma
Pittsburgh
San Diego State
South Carolina

TWO
Alabama
BYU
Central Michigan
Duke
FAU
Florida State
Georgia Southern
Michigan
Michigan State
NC State
Ole Miss
Oregon
Purdue
Southern Miss
Tennessee
Texas
Texas A&M
USF
Utah
Virginia

ONE
Air Force
Alabama A&M
Appalachian State
Arizona State
Arkansas
Baylor
Boston College
Bowling Green State
Buffalo
Cal
Cincinnati
Colorado
Colorado State
Colorado State-Pueblo
Eastern Illinois
Eastern Michigan
Eastern Washington
Georgia
Georgia Tech
Grand Valley State
Harvard
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
James Madison
Louisiana Tech
Louisiana
McGill (Canada)
Minnesota
Montana State
New Hampshire
New Mexico State
North Texas
Northern Illinois
Northern Iowa
Oklahoma State
Old Dominion
Oregon State
Princeton
Samford
San Diego
San Jose State
SMU
South Carolina State
TCU
Temple
Texas Tech
UConn
Utah State
Valdosta State
Villanova
Virginia Tech
Wagner
Washington
West Alabama
Western Illinois
Western Kentucky
Wyoming

(*Includes players on injured reserve, practice squad, etc.)

Arizona completes revamping of defensive coaching staff with hiring of Andy Buh

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The reshaping of the Arizona Wildcats football coaching staff under Kevin Sumlin is officially complete.

In late October, Sumlin fired defensive coordinator Marcel Yates and linebackers coach John Rushing.  Two months later, Paul Rhoads was hired to replace Yates.  Friday afternoon, the Wildcats confirmed that veteran assistant Andy Buh will replace Rushing.

Buh will handle UA’s outside linebackers, while Rhoads will be responsible for inside linebackers.

“We are excited to welcome Andy Buh to the Arizona Football Family!” a statement from the Arizona Wildcats football head coach began. “Andy brings a track record for development and teaching that fits perfectly with our program. His meticulous work ethic, love for the game and passion for having an impact on his players will be a great asset to our entire program.”

In 2019, Buh was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Rutgers.  He’s also been on Power Five staffs at:

  • Maryland, defensive coordinator (2016-18)
  • Kentucky, outside linebackers (2015)
  • Cal, defensive coordinator/linebackers (2013)
  • Wisconsin, linebackers (2012)
  • Stanford, co-defensive coordinator/linebackers (2007-09)

“I want to thank Coach Sumlin and Coach Rhoads for the opportunity to be a part of Arizona Football,” Buh said. “I couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to be a part of what Coach Sumlin is building, and am looking forward to getting to work right away. My wife Kelly and I are excited to make Tucson and the University of Arizona our home.”

In addition to Yates and Rushing, defensive line coach Iona Uiagalelei was let go in the defensive purgeStan Eggen was hired earlier this month to take over that post.

As it stands now, Demetrice Martin is the only assistant from the defensive side of the ball who’ll return to the Wildcats in 2020.  The cornerbacks coach in 2019, Martin is expected to oversee the entire secondary.

In 2019, Arizona was last in the Pac-12 and 118th nationally in scoring defense at 35.8 points per game.  In total defense, they were again dead last in the conference and 120th in the country in allowing 471.4 yards per game.

Oklahoma new home for UCLA transfer WR Theo Howard

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In between signing days, the Oklahoma Sooners football program has seen its wide receiving corps receive a boost in talent.  And experience.

Wednesday night, Theo Howard indicated on social media that he will be transferring to Oklahoma and continuing his playing career with the Sooners football team.  The announcement comes nearly three months after the receiver decided to transfer from UCLA.

Prior to the OU announcement, Howard had also considered Arizona, Baylor, Oregon State, TCU and Washington.

Howard graduated from UCLA in December, giving him immediate eligibility for the Oklahoma Sooners football program this coming season.

In 2018, Howard earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors after catching 51 passes for 677 yards and four touchdowns. Because of a pair of hand injuries that sidelined him for a sizable chunk of 2019, Moore didn’t record a catch this past season for the Bruins.  Because he played in fewer than four games, he was able to use a redshirt for the 2019 season.

During his time at UCLA, Howard totaled 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns on 119 receptions. In a loss to OU in September of 2018, Howard caught two passes for 53 yards.  He didn’t record a catch in the Bruins’ loss to the Sooners this past September.

Kevin Sumlin adds veteran defensive line coach to Arizona staff

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The reshaping of the Arizona Wildcats football coaching staff under Kevin Sumlin has officially continued.

In late November, defensive line coach Iona Uiagalelei was fired.  Nearly seven weeks later, that position has been filled as Stan Eggen was officially announced as the line coach on the defensive side of the ball.

“We are excited Stan Eggen has joined the Arizona Football Family as Defensive Line Coach,” the Arizona Wildcats football head coach said in a statement. “Stan’s personal and professional values, fundamental approach to teaching the game, as well as his track record for development and recruiting make him a great fit for our defense, and our entire program.”

The past four seasons, Eggen has served as the line coach at New Mexico.  He’s also been the line coach at:

  • Iowa State (2014-15)
  • Louisiana Tech (2008-13)
  • Texas A&M (2003-07)
  • Alabama (2001-02)
  • TCU (1998-2000)
  • New Mexico (1997)

Eggen was also the defensive coordinator at UNLV from 1994-96.

This coming season will be Eggen’s 42nd as an assistant coach at the collegiate level.  His other stints at Power Five schools were Alabama, Iowa State and Texas A&M.

“I want to thank Coach Sumlin and (defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads) for the opportunity to become a part of the Arizona Football Family,” Eggen said. “I can’t wait to get started immediately representing such a great institution, and getting to know our student-athletes. (My wife) Tina and I are excited to be able to make our home in the Tucson community.”