College Football All-Decade Team
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College Football All-Decade Team — CFT’s selections

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Hey, look, it’s a College Football All-Decade Football Team, so let the whining commence in earnest as there’s little doubt that we hate (insert name of your favorite player from your favorite team here).

While it might be hard for some to believe, we have come to the end of yet another decade. As such, we — Zach Barnett, Bryan Fischer, Kevin McGuire and myself — decided to cobble together a list of players who have been the best of the best in college football over the past 10 years. And, yes, we’ve done so fully aware of the verbal slings and written arrows that are sure to follow.

(Writer’s note: Speaking of the esteemed panel and verbal slings/written arrows, their personal Twitter accounts can be found HERE, HERE and HERE. Fire away at will.)

This was truly an impossible task — with a small handful of exceptions. Justin Blackmon as one of the wide receivers? Zero doubt. Luke Kuechly manning one of the linebacker spots? No-brainer. Aaron Donald in the middle of the defensive line? Obviously.

Outside of those three, plus a couple of more? Good luck.

Let’s also be clear: This team is based on what the players did at the collegiate level.  What they did or didn’t do in the NFL has no — zero, none, zip, zilch, nada — bearing whatsoever in this endeavor.

One final note before we get on to the festivities: Players needed to have spent more than half of their collegiate careers in this decade to be included. Thus, players such as Alabama’s Mark Barron, Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles, Alabama’s Julio Jones, Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh and Texas’ Early Thomas were ineligible.

With that all out of the way, let’s get it on.  Or something.

OFFENSE

QB: Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
A three-time Heisman finalist, the former two-time walk-on finally claimed the trophy in 2017.  Twice Mayfield helped lead the Sooners into the College Football Playoffs as well as breaking the FBS pass-efficiency rating each of his last two seasons in Norman.  This was arguably the hardest selection as I wouldn’t argue one bit if someone were to put the special mention in this spot.
(Special Mention: Deshaun Watson, Clemson)
(Honorable mention: Lamar Jackson, Louisville; Robert Griffin III, Baylor)

RB: Derrick Henry, Alabama; Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin 
The only reason this position was “easier” to select than quarterback is the fact that there are two players instead of one.  Taylor is a two-time Doak Walker Award winner who this season, in breaking Herschel Walker‘s record, became the only player in FBS history with more than 6,000 yards rushing his first three seasons.  As part of the Crimson Tide’s 2015 title team, Henry won the Heisman Trophy after rushing for more than 2,200 yards and 28 touchdowns.  He was the only running back to win the Heisman this decade.
(Special mention: Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State; Christian McCaffrey, Stanford)
(Honorable mention: Any other Wisconsin running back; Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona)

WR: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State*; Amari Cooper, Alabama*
As noted earlier, Blackmon was one of the no-brainers.  In 2010 and 2011, Blackmon caught 233 passes for 3,304 yards and 38 touchdowns.  He’s one of just two receivers to win back-to-back Biletnikoff Awards, the other being Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree. Cooper put up two 1,000-yard seasons during his three years in Tuscaloosa, winning the Biletnikoff following the 2014 season.  He was a unanimous All-American that year as well.
(Special mention: Corey Davis, Western Michigan)
(Honorable mention: Justin Hardy, East Carolina; Marquie Lee, USC; James Washington, Oklahoma State)

TE: Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
Andrews totaled 22 touchdowns during his three seasons with the Sooners, coinciding with Baker Mayfield‘s time in Norman.  He was named the winner of the Mackey Award after catching 62 passes for 958 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017.
(Honorable mention: Jake Butts, Michigan; Evan Ingram, Ole Miss; Nick O’Leary, Florida State)

OT: Barrett Jones, Alabama*; Brandon Scherff, Iowa*
Jones was a four-year starter at Alabama.  He was a Freshman All-American at guard, won the 2011 Outland Trophy at tackle and claimed the 2012 Rimington Trophy at center.  Those last two seasons, he was a consensus All-American.  Scherff started at both guard and tackle at Iowa, and was a consensus All-American and Outland Trophy winner for the 2014 season.
(Special mention: Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M; Cam Robinson, Alabama)
(Honorable mention: Spencer Drango, Baylor; Jake Matthews, Texas A&M; David Yankey, Stanford)

G: Quinton Nelson, Notre Dame*; David DeCastro, Stanford
Nelson was a three-year starter for the Fighting Irish.  He earned unanimous All-American honors in 2017.  A two-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection, DeCastro was a unanimous All-American in 2011.
(Honorable mention: Chance Warmack, Alabama)

C: Pat Elflein, Ohio State
Elflein began his career as a guard, where he was twice named All-Big Ten.  After moving to center, he was named as the 2016 winner of the Rimington Trophy.
(Special mention: Ryan Kelly, Alabama; Billy Price, Ohio State)

DEFENSE

DE: Joey Bosa, Ohio State*; Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
On the defensive side of the ball, this might’ve been the toughest group to select.  His last two seasons in Columbus, Bosa was a unanimous All-American one year and a consensus All-American the other.  In three seasons, he totaled 51 tackles for loss and 26 sacks. Garrett was a two-time All-American who had 31 sacks his last two seasons with the Aggies.
(Special mention: Derek Barnett, Tennessee; Chase Young, Ohio State)
(Honorable mention: Vic Beasley, Clemson, Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina; Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois)

DT: Ed Oliver, Houston; Aaron Donald, Pitt*
I think people tend to forget just how dominating Donald was at the collegiate level.  His last three seasons, Donald was credited with 63 tackles for loss (63!!!).  A two-time unanimous All-American, Donald won Outland, Lombardi, Bednarik and Nagurski Awards in the same season.  In just 32 career games, Oliver accumulated 53 tackles for loss.  In 2017, he became the first sophomore to win the Outland Trophy.
(Special mention: Christian Wilkins, Clemson)

LB: Luke Kuechly, Boston College*; Jarvis Jones, Georgia; C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Kuechly, who finished his three seasons at BC with more than 530 tackles, was a two-time consensus All-American and the winner of the 2011 Butkus, Lombardi, Lott IMPACT and Nagurski Awards.  Like Kuechly, Mosley was a two-time consensus All-American and a Butkus Award winner.  Jones, who began his collegiate career at USC, was a two-time consensus All-American as well.
(Special mention: Khalil Mack, Buffalo)
(Honorable mention: Dont’a Hightower, Alabama; Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame; Roquan Smith, Georgia; Manti Te’o, Notre Dame)

CB: Morris Claiborne, LSU; Desmond King, Iowa*; Jalen Ramsey, Florida State*
Ramsey played multiple positions in the secondary during his time with the Seminoles, earning All-American accolades his last two seasons.  King was a two-time All-American as well who started all four seasons for the Hawkeyes.  His junior season, he was named winner of the Jim Thorpe Award.  Claiborne won the Thorpe Award in 2011.
(Special mention: Vernon Hargreaves, Florida)
(Honorable mention: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State; Adoree’ Jackson, USC)

S: Tyrann Mathieu, LSU*; Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama*
One of the most exciting players in the sport this past decade, Mathieu was a finalist for the 2011 Heisman after a season in which, among other things, he returned two fumbles and two punts for touchdowns.  The Honey Badger won the Bednarik Award that season as well.  A two-time consensus All-American and winner of both the Bednarik and Thorpe Awards in 2017, Fitzpatrick was the greatest defensive back produced by a Tide program known for cranking out quality secondary personnel.
(Honorable mention: Landon Collins, Alabama; Grant Delpit, LSU)

SPECIALISTS

K: Roberto Aguayo, Florida State*
Twice a first-team All-American, Aguayo is the third-most accurate kicker in college football history on field goals and never missed an extra point.  Following the 2013 regular season,  he was named as the winner of the Lou Groza Award.
(Honorable mention: Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State)

P: Tom Hackett, Utah
Hackett was the second punter to win back-to-back Ray Guy Awards.  As a senior, he averages exactly 48 yards per punt. For his career, he placed nearly 44 percent of his 242 punts inside the 20-yard line.
(Special mention: Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech; Michael Dickson, Texas)

RS: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Penny finished his collegiate career tied for the most career kick return-touchdowns (7) and combined kick-/punt-return touchdowns (8) in FBS history.  Four of those seven kick returns went for 100 yards, one shy of the FBS record.
(Special mention: Adoree’ Jackson, USC)

AP: Christian McCaffrey, Stanford*
In 2015, McCaffrey shattered Barry Sanderssingle-season all-purpose yardage record, finishing that season with 3,864 yards (Sanders’ old record was 3,250).  McCaffrey finished his time with the Cardinal with (take a deep breath) 3,922 yards rushing and 21 rushing touchdowns; 1,206 yards and 10 touchdowns on 99 receptions; a 26.4-yard average and one touchdown on 56 kick returns; an 11.2-yard average and a touchdown on 34 punt returns; two passing touchdowns; and seven tackles.
(Special mention: Saquon Barkley, Penn State; Jabrill Peppers, Michigan)

(*Denotes unanimous selection)

Buffalo claims first-ever bowl win, runs past Charlotte in Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl

Buffalo Charlotte Bahamas Bowl
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Both Buffalo and Charlotte entered Saturday’s Bahamas Bowl looking for their respective program’s first-ever bowl win.  In the end, it was the school that had a few hundred miles further to travel down to the islands that can make that claim.

At the sixth annual Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, it was the Bulls jumping out to a 17-0 halftime lead. From there, the MAC school dropped it into cruise control and rolled to a 31-9 win.  After the half, the closest the 49ers could get was to within 15 at 24-9 early in the fourth quarter. A Jaret Patterson touchdown run from 10 yards out with under two minutes remaining officially iced the game.

Speaking of Patterson, the running back was the unquestioned star of the game.

The sophomore entered the contest sixth nationally with 1,626 yards on the ground.  Exiting it, he did little to hurt that standing as he totaled a game-high 172 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries.  This was Patterson’s eighth 100-yard game of the season and sixth in a row.

The 32 carries, incidentally, set a Bahamas Bowl record.

As we had previously alluded to, the win marked Buffalo’s first in a bowl in the program’s FBS history, which dates back to 1962.  The Bulls had played in three bowl games previously (2018, 2013, 2008).  The Bulls also have 18 wins the last two seasons, the most-ever in a two-year span.

For Charlotte, in just their fifth season at the FBS level, this was its first-ever bowl appearance.  Despite the loss, the seven wins coming into this game this season, in Will Healy‘s first year, are a school record.

In a losing effort, 49ers quarterback Chris Reynolds passed for 191 yards.  Charlotte could get nothing going on the ground, averaging just three yards on its 30 carries in the game.

College Football Bowl Preview: Your Dec. 20 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. 20 bowl menu, which on Opening Day features a pair of games with schools from three different conferences — two from the MAC, one each from Conference USA and the MAC.

WHO: Buffalo (7-5) vs. Charlotte (7-5)
WHAT: The 6th Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl
WHERE: Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas
WHEN: 2 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: For those curious, the sponsor of the bowl, Makers Wanted, is not a whiskey.  Or a bourbon.  Rather, it serves as the slogan for an industrial park in a Chicago suburb, the largest such park in the United States. … Under fifth-year coach Lance Leipold, Buffalo has already won more games in a two-year span (17) than it has at any other point in its history.  The Bulls are also playing in a bowl game in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever, but are seeking their first-ever postseason win. … Charlotte is even more of a postseason neophyte than today’s opponent.  The 49ers are in just their fifth season at the FBS level, and this will mark their first-ever bowl game. … Charlotte enters that first-ever postseason appearance riding a five-game winning streak, easily the longest in the program’s short history. The old standard? Two in a row, accomplished twice. … Buffalo isn’t exactly freezing cold at the moment, though, as the MAC school won five of six to end the regular season. … If you want one player on which to focus, try Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson (pictured). The sophomore running back leads the MAC and is fifth nationally with 1,626 yards. His 17 rushing touchdowns are also tops in the conference and tied for eighth in the country. … That could prove to be a frightening proposition for Charlotte as the 49ers are 97th in stopping the run (190.8 yards per game).
THE LINE: Charlotte, +6½
THE PREDICTION: Buffalo 27, Charlotte 17

__________

WHO: Utah State (7-5) vs. Kent State (6-6)
WHAT: The 3rd Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl
WHERE: Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2
TICKETS: Click here
THE SKINNY: Utah State’s postseason hopes nearly went up in smoke when three players, including starting quarterback Jordan Love and leading rusher Gerold Bright, were popped for pot, but it has since been confirmed that the trio will play in the game. … Come to think of it, it’s a shame USU isn’t playing in today’s Bahamas Bowl. … Kent State, meanwhile, is bowl-eligible for just the fifth time in the last four decades.  The Golden Flashes last played in a bowl game in 2012, and have played in just two in the program’s FBS history. The MAC school has never won a postseason game. … Kent’s six losses this year are its fewest since that 2012 season.  And, it should be noted, three of those 2019 losses came at the hands of Arizona State, Auburn and Wisconsin. … Kent enters this game riding a three-game winning streak, its longest in seven years.  USU has won three of four entering the postseason. … The Aggies averaged over 50 points per game on offense a year ago; that number has been cut in half this season (25.2 ppg). … What could help USU is Kent and its porous defense. The Golden Flashes give up 31.8 ppg (88th nationally) and 6.3 yards per play (108th). … The two programs have met just twice previously (1973 & 1974).  Each team won one game in that home-and-home. … History, as brief as it is, would suggest this particular game won’t be close. The first two Frisco Bowls had a combined score of 78-10.  To that, I say history be damned.
THE LINE: Kent State, +6
THE PREDICTION: Kent State 31, Utah State 30

Family of Colby Singletary, killed in July car wreck, sign preferred walk-on papers at Miami in honor of son

Miami Colby Singletary
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Out of everything that transpired on the first day of the Early Signing Period, what the Miami football program did for the family of Colby Singletary was arguably the classiest.  Actually, it was inarguably the classiest.

Singletary grew up a fan of Miami Hurricanes football and dreamed of playing football for The U.  While Singletary, who was also a two-time state champion in wrestling, held football scholarship offers from the likes of Buffalo, Southern Miss and Troy, he hadn’t yet earned one from his preferred school. He had even talked about walking on with the Hurricanes if need be.

Sadly, none of that ever came to fruition as the 18-year-old Singletary, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time, was killed in a single-car crash this past July. His girlfriend, who was wearing her seatbelt, was a passenger and survived.

Fast-forward to Wednesday, when Singletary’s family took part in a signing ceremony at Palmetto Ridge High School that made their son a posthumous preferred walk-on at Miami.  The family had been kept in the dark about the surprise until the day before it took place.

“He and I were huge Miami fans, we watched the games every Saturday and went to quite a few of them as well,” Casey Singletary, the late young man’s father, told the Naples Daily News. “It didn’t look like it would be possible. They started looking at him his junior year but I don’t know if they were going to offer him a scholarship. I told him maybe we should look at some other schools and he wasn’t having it. He told me, ‘I’ll walk on if I have to and I’m going to start there one day.”

With the help of the U-M football staff, the genesis for such an emotional ceremony started shortly after Singletary’s death.  From the News:

It was with that in mind that the wheels started being put in motion this summer by the Palmetto Ridge football and wrestling coaching staff. Defensive coordinator and recruiting director PJ Gibbs reached out to Miami outside linebackers coach Jonathan Patke — who had been recruiting Singletary — to see if they could make something happen.

He went through NCAA compliance and texted me a few weeks ago that everything was good to go,” Gibbs said. “I spoke to him on the phone and he sent me the letter. This is a great day for Colby’s family and like I said, it was going to happen regardless because this was his dream school. We would have worked toward a preferred walk-on or a scholarship for Colby had July not happened.

Bravo to all involved in this sweet gesture for a family that’s certainly still grieving their loss.

Buffalo suspends RB Dylan McDuffie after domestic violence arrest

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When Buffalo takes the field for the Bahamas Bowl Dec. 20, the MAC program will do so down a man in its backfield.

Saturday night, running back Dylan McDuffie was arrested on domestic violence charges.  Details of what led up to the arrest and charges have not yet been released, although the school did acknowledge that the alleged victim is not a student at the university.

As a result of the incident, McDuffie has been indefinitely suspended by the football program.

“Whenever there is a serious violation of our program’s code of conduct, we will take immediate action to address the situation, with the understanding that the university and law enforcement has a process that must be respected and followed,” a statement from head coach Lance Leipold read. “Domestic violence will not be tolerated.”

In its release, the school added that “[s]tudents are told in no uncertain terms that they put their academic and athletic careers at risk by breaking the law or violating UB’s Student Code of Conduct.”

A redshirt freshman, McDuffie is currently third on the Bulls in rushing with 150 yards.  His 6.5 yards per carry leads the team.