LSU Super Bowl
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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.)

BYU AD: Plans are still to join a Power Five conference in the future

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We’re a full week into the new year but the retrospectives from the past decade are still flowing in college football. One of the more monumental shifts that occurred in the 2010’s was undoubtedly conference realignment as numerous schools were thrown into various states of chaos as a game of university musical chairs played out across the country.

While a few schools got a lucky ticket to a Power Five conference, others were left in place in what became the Group of Five. One school, BYU, took a completely different track however and embarked on a grand experiment of football independence. The calendar turning over to 2020 allowed many in Provo to reflect on the past few years of this journey and the Deseret News caught up with Cougars athletic director Tom Holmoe to get his thoughts on going it solo at the FBS level.

While the former BYU football player had plenty of things to say about the program’s TV deal with ESPN offering more opportunities or the amount of success the team has seen over the years, the most interesting part of the Q&A with the local paper was certainly the forward-looking answer he gave about the university’s eventual plans.

“I also knew full well that going independent would not be easy and that success would be measured in varying ways. For example, playing unbalanced schedules, not having a conference championship to compete for and not always living up to our fans’ expectations would be a challenge,” Holmoe said. “There were other issues that we tried to resolve, but the MWC wouldn’t budge. Our only alternative was independence; however, our plans were — and still are — to join a Power Five conference in the future.”

BYU striving to join a Power Five league probably isn’t terribly surprising to hear given the revenue gap in the sports between those in one of the five conferences and those sitting on the outside. Still, it’s notable that he reiterated it with several media rights deals coming up in the not too distant future.

The Cougars were one of several universities vying for a spot in the Big 12 when that conference kicked the tires on expansion but Bob Bowlsby’s league eventually decided to stay put at 10. That won’t stop those in Provo from trying however, as it seems that for as well as Holmoe says things are going as an independent, the Power Five life is still what the program is striving for in the 2020’s.

Hawaii jumps out, comes back, hangs on for wild bowl win over BYU

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When it comes to why college football fans love bowl games, BYU and Hawaii were Exhibit A Christmas Eve night.

Hawaii’s Cole McDonald passed for 199 yards in the first quarter of the Hawaii Bowl.  He had 331 yards at halftime.  And four touchdowns, too — three passing, one rushing.  And his team held just a 31-24 lead at halftime as Zach Wilson threw for 209 yards — and BYU ran for three touchdowns in the first two quarters.

In the halftime locker room, the defenses inexplicably were awakened as just 17 points were scored in the second half.  Just seven of those were scored by the Rainbow Warriors, but that proved to be enough — barely — as UH held on for a 38-34 win.

Speaking of that score, and the winner, allow me to point you to our (my) prediction for this game, from yesterday morning’s “College Football Bowl Preview: Your Dec. 24 Viewer’s Guide“:

The win was Hawaii’s first over BYU since 2001, snapping a five-game losing streak to the Cougars.  It’s also just the Rainbow Warriors’ second win over the Cougars since 1992.

In finishing 10-5 on the season, Hawaii reached double-digit wins for the first time since 2010.  They also played in their first-ever Mountain West Conference championship game.

McDonald would finish this game with 493 yards passing, a career-high.  The junior came into the game ninth nationally with 3,642 yards.  He also had four touchdown passes on the night, the last of which came with 1:17 left in the game that proved to be the game-winner.

With the bowl game, McDonald now has 33 scoring tosses on the season.

College Football Bowl Preview: Your Dec. 24 Viewer’s Guide

College Football Bowl Preview
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Your trusty and semi-daily college football bowl preview that today takes a quick-hit look at a very light Dec. 24 bowl menu, one that, for the second-straight day, features just a single matchup.

WHO: Hawaii (9-5) vs. BYU (7-5)
WHAT: The 18th SoFi Hawaii Bowl
WHERE: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
WHEN: 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
BUY TICKETS: Click here

THE SKINNY: BYU will be playing in a bowl game for the 14th time the past 15 seasons.  The Cougars are 8-6 in that stretch. … In one of the most inexplicable and unexplainable coincidences in college football, eight of Hawaii’s last nine postseason appearances have come in the Hawaii Bowl.  The Rainbow Warriors are an even .500 in those island appearances. … Here’s to guessing that, because of that last note, I’m going to be rueing the fact that there is currently no sarcasm font in WordPress. … The two football programs have played a total of 27 times, with the first meeting coming in 1974 and the most recent in 2018.  The Cougars lead the all-time series 22-5, and the Rainbow Warriors have lost five in a row and 11 of 12 in the series. … Hawaii is coming off its first-ever appearance in the Mountain West Conference championship game, a 31-10 loss to Boise State.  BYU has won five of their last six games entering the postseason, including a 28-25 win over Boise State. … In fact, nearly half of BYU’s wins came against quality/Power Five opponents — Boise, Tennessee and USC. Hawaii started off the season beating a pair of Pac-12 teams — Arizona, Oregon State. … Cole McDonald has passed for 3,642 yards (fifth nationally) and 29 touchdowns (tied for 13th) this season, but the Hawaii quarterback’s 14 interceptions are also tied for fifth in the country. … On a related note, BYU’s 15 passes intercepted on defense are tied for ninth in the FBS.  The Cougars are also inside the Top 40 in giving up 203.8 yards per game through the air. … Hawaii Bowl fact: six of the last seven games have been decided by 15 or more points.
THE LINE: Hawaii, +1½
THE PREDICTION: Hawaii 37, BYU 34

College football bowl games: Matchups, TV times and dates for 2019-20 schedule

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The games have been played. The wins have been tallied. The touchdowns have been counted. The championship trophies have been hoisted.

Now it’s time for the college football postseason to commence. College football Bowl Games have long been the time-honored holiday tradition of football extending into your holidays and your New Year. And this year is no different.

So where is everybody going bowling? Here’s a look at the full lineup of games and who’s in them. All times ET, games on ESPN unless otherwise indicated.

College Football Playoff Semifinals

Bowl Teams
Peach Bowl – Dec. 28, 4pm No. 1 LSU No. 4 Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl – Dec. 28, 8pm No. 2 Ohio State No. 3 Clemson

New Year’s Six

Bowl Teams
Cotton Bowl – Dec. 28, Noon Memphis Penn State
Orange Bowl – Dec. 30, 8pm Florida Virginia
Rose Bowl – Jan. 1, 5pm Wisconsin Oregon
Sugar Bowl – Jan. 1, 8:45pm Baylor Georgia

2019 FBS Bowl Games

Bowl Teams
Bahamas Bowl – Dec. 20, 2 pm Buffalo Charlotte
Frisco Bowl – Dec. 20, 7:30pm** Kent State Utah State
New Mexico Bowl – Dec. 21, 2pm San Diego State Central Michigan
Cure Bowl – Dec. 21, 2:30pm^^ Georgia Southern Liberty
Boca Raton Bowl – Dec. 21, 3:30pm* SMU FAU
Camellia Bowl – Dec. 21, 5:30pm Arkansas State FIU
Vegas Bowl – Dec. 21, 7:30pm* Washington Boise State
New Orleans Bowl – Dec. 21, 9pm Appalachian State UAB
Gasparilla Bowl – Dec. 23, 2:30pm Marshall UCF
Hawaii Bowl – Dec. 24, 8pm Hawaii BYU
Independence Bowl – Dec. 26, 4pm Miami Louisiana Tech
Quick Lane Bowl – Dec. 26, 8pm Pitt Eastern Michigan
Military Bowl – Dec. 27, Noon UNC Temple
Pinstripe Bowl – Dec. 27, 3:30pm Michigan State Wake Forest
Texas Bowl – Dec. 27, 6:45pm Texas A&M Oklahoma State
Holiday Bowl – Dec. 27, 8pm++ USC Iowa
Cheez-It Bowl – Dec. 27, 10:15pm Washington State Air Force
Camping World Bowl – Dec. 28, Noon* Iowa State Notre Dame
First Responder Bowl – Dec. 30, 12:30pm Western Michigan Western Kentucky
Music City Bowl – Dec. 30, 4pm Louisville Mississippi State
RedBox Bowl – Dec. 30, 4pm+ Cal Illinois
Belk Bowl – Dec. 31, Noon Virginia Tech Kentucky
Sun Bowl – Dec. 31, 2pm^ Arizona State Florida State
Liberty Bowl – Dec. 31, 3:45pm Navy Kansas State
Arizona Bowl – Dec. 31, 4:30pm^^ Georgia State Wyoming
Alamo Bowl – Dec. 31, 7:30pm Texas Utah
Citrus Bowl – Jan. 1, 1pm* Alabama Michigan
Outback Bowl – Jan. 1, 1pm Minnesota Auburn
Birmingham Bowl – Jan. 2, 3pm Boston College Cincinnati
Gator Bowl – Jan. 2, 7pm Tennessee Indiana
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Jan. 3, 3:30pm Ohio Nevada
Armed Forces Bowl – Jan. 4, 11:30am Tulane Southern Miss
LendingTree Bowl – Jan. 6, 7:30pm Miami (OH) Louisiana

ABC

** ESPN2

Fox

++ FS1

CBS

^^ CBS Sports Network