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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.)

Cincinnati new home for Alabama transfer RB Jerome Ford

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For one erstwhile Alabama Crimson Tide football player, the portal wait was a short one.

On his Twitter account Jan. 7, Jerome Ford tweeted a cryptic missive that read “I don’t know where im goin, I just know ima win.” A day later, it was confirmed by an Alabama Crimson Tide football official that the running back’s name was listed in the NCAA transfer database.

Via Twitter exactly one week after his first social-media missive, Ford indicated that he was committed to continuing his collegiate playing career at Cincinnati.

Ford was a four-star member of Alabama’s 2018 recruiting class, rated as the No. 12 all-purpose back in the country. The Florida product took a redshirt as a true freshman.

This past season, and because of suspensions ahead of him on the depth chart, Ford started the 2019 opener against Duke. After that, he appeared in just three games the rest of the year. He finished his redshirt freshman season with 114 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries.

Barring the unexpected, Ford would have to sit out the 2020 season if he moves on to another FBS school. That would then leave him with two years of eligibility beyond that.

Ford’s announcement came three days after Michael Warren II announced he is headed to the 2020 NFL Draft.  This past season, Warren led the Bearcats with 1,265 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Last Chance U? Ex-Cincinnati RB Tavion Thomas annoucnes transfer to JUCO school

Tavion thomas is transfering to a football program previously featured on the Netflix series, "Last Chance U."
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Cincinnati running back Tavion Thomas announced back in November he would be entering the transfer portal to weigh his options for his football future. Today, a little more than two months later, Thomas has announced his next stop. Thomas confirmed with a statement on his Twitter account he will be attending Independence Community College in Kansas.

“Bless to say that I will be attending Indy for my red shirt sophomore year,” Thomas announced in his message on Twitter.

Independence Community College’s football program has been featured in two seasons of the hit Netflix series “Last Chance U.”

Thomas was a member of Cincinnati’s Class of 2018. After appearing in 10 games as a true freshman in 2018, Thomas played in four games for the Bearcats in 2019, allowing him to preserve a year of eligibility under the NCAA’s rules. Thomas has three years of eligibility remaining as a result. If he chooses to transfer to another FBS program after the 2020 season, he will then have two years remaining.

Thomas rushed for 689 yards and seven touchdowns over the past two seasons.

Cincinnati new home for Michigan State transfer TE Noah Davis

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One of the handful of Michigan State football players who entered the portal the past few months has found a new college football home.

On Twitter Wednesday, Noah Davis (pictured, No. 84) announced that he will be transferring to Cincinnati.  Davis had entered the NCAA transfer database in mid-October.

The move is a return home as Davis played his high school football in the city of Cincinnati.

Because he is leaving the Michigan State football program as a graduate of the university, he’ll be eligible to contribute on the field for the Bearcats in 2020.  The upcoming season will be the tight ends’ final year of eligibility, unless he seeks a sixth season from the NCAA.

Davis was a three-star member of Michigan State football’s 2016 recruiting class.  He was rated as the No. 23 player at any position in the state of Ohio on the 247Sports.com composite.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Davis played in 11 games in 2017.  An injury ended up costing him the entire 2018 season.  In 2019, he played in four games before deciding to enter the portal.

During his time in East Lansing, Davis caught three passes for 22 yards.  He also returned one kickoff for another 12 yards.

Cincinnati finishes off back-to-back 11-win seasons with Birmingham Bowl blowout of Boston College

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There is just something about Boston College and weather delays in bowl games. At least this year, Boston College was able to finish the game. Given the result, maybe Boston College would have been content to pack things up early again and call it a day. No. 21 Cincinnati (11-3) overpowered Boston College (6-7) in the Birmingham Bowl, 38-6. The game was interrupted by a 92-minute weather delay midway through the first quarter.

Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder ran for 105 yards and three touchdowns to lead Cincinnati. Running back Michael Warren II also rushed for 105 yards on 21 carries. Cincinnati’s running game was too much for Boston College’s defense to handle. Although not having leading rusher AJ Dillon hurt Boston College, it may not have been why the Eagles took a lopsided bowl loss to close out the season.

The win by Cincinnati improves the American Athletic Conference to 3-3 this bowl season. The American is 1-1 against the ACC and 1-0 against the Big 12, but the conference is .500 against power-conference opponents due to a loss by conference champion Memphis in the Cotton Bowl. The ACC falls to 4-6 overall and will have a losing record this bowl season, but Clemson is still alive for the national championship. The ACC had a winning record against just the MAC with Pitt’s win in the Quick Lane Bowl.

Luke Fickell is the second coach to guide Cincinnati to back-to-back 11-win seasons. The only other coach to do so was Brian Kelly in 2008 and 2009. Kelly was hired away by Notre Dame following his second 11-win season with the program (Kelly actually won 10 or more game sin three consecutive seasons). Fickell will likely be a top coaching candidate for some power conference program in need of a head coach in the next round of the coaching carousel, especially if these results continue in 2020.

Fickell and Cincinnati will begin the 2020 season at home against Austin Peay on Sept. 5. The highlight of Cincinnati’s non-conference schedule will be a road trip to Nebraska on Sept. 26. Cincinnati will also host some key conference games with crossover division matchups against Houston and defending conference champion Memphis being played in Nippert Stadium in the fall. Cincinnati will play pivotal division games on the road at UCF and Temple.

Boston College will usher in a new era under head coach Jeff Hafley. Hafley’s first game as head coach of the Eagles will be at home on Sept. 5 against Holy Cross. Boston College will also face two power conference opponents with a road game at Kansas (which is actually a revenge game for the Eagles) and a home game against Purdue in back-to-back weeks to close out September.