SEC postseason
Getty Images

SEC finishes 2019-20 postseason with highest winning percentage; the Big 12, not so much

2 Comments

After being knocked off its perch last season, the SEC is back atop the postseason heap.

LSU’s resounding win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff national championship game Monday night officially put the 2019-20 college football postseason to bed.  That was the eighth win for the SEC during this month-long postseason, easily the most of any other conference.  The .800 winning percentage for the SEC in the postseason was also far and away the highest.

Last season, the SEC went 6-6 during the 2018-19 postseason cycle, including Alabama’s beatdown at the hands of Clemson in the title game.  At .667 (4-2), Conference USA had the best winning percentage a year ago.

Getting back to 2019-20, the Pac-12 was the only other Power Five conference with a winning record this postseason at 4-3 (.571).  That’s an improvement from the 3-4 (.429) of a year ago and a far, far cry from the 1-8 (.125) egg the league laid two cycles ago.

Speaking of the postseason laying of eggs, the Big 12 went 1-5, posting a Pac-12-esque .168 winning percentage.  Three of those losses came by double digits, including Oklahoma’s 63-28 woodshedding by LSU in one of the College Football Playoff semifinals.

As for the other Power Fives, the Big Ten went 4-5 (.444) and the ACC 4-7 (.364).

Football independents, incidentally, posted a .667 winning percentage (2-1).

And how did the Group of Five fare?

  • Sun Belt 3-2 (.600)
  • AAC 4-3 (.571)
  • Mountain West (.571)
  • MAC 3-4 (.429)
  • Conference USA (.375)

Boston College officially welcomes Ex-Notre Dame QB Phil Jurkovec to the Eagles’ nest

Notre Dame football
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images
Leave a comment

What was previously reported within the last few days is now official. Boston College has welcomed Notre Dame transfer quarterback Phil Jurkovec to the program.

Boston College officially announced the addition of Jurkovec to the program on Tuesday afternoon. Boston College was previously reported to be the most likely landing spot for the Fighting Irish transfer with rumors about his pending transfer to Boston College coming up just days after Jurkovec added his name to the NCAA transfer portal.

Jurkovec played two seasons at Notre Dame. Under standard NCAA transfer rules, Jurkovec would be required to sit out the 2020 season, He played in two games in 2018 but was able to preserve a year of eligibility due to the revised NCAA redshirt rule that went into effect in 2018. As it stands now, that would leave Jurkovec with just one year of eligibility to play at Boston College, in 2021.

However, according to the official release from Boston College, Jurkovec will apply for a waiver for immediate eligibility. The NCAA was pretty forgiving with waiver requests last season but it remains to be seen just how many players will get the cooperation of the NCAA this year when it comes to waiver requests.

Jurkovec played in six games for Notre Dame in 2019, including a brief appearance against Boston College in late November. Jurkovec attempted one pass and completed it for a 10-yard gain in the Irish victory in South Bend.

Notre Dame promotes Tommy Rees to offensive coordinator

Getty Images
2 Comments

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has promoted two assistants on the coaching staff to new positions for the 2020 season. Tommy Rees will be the new offensive coordinator of the Fighting Irish and Lance Taylor has been promoted to run game coordinator.

“After an extensive national search, I’m proud to name Tommy Rees our next offensive coordinator,” Kelly said in a released statement. “Tom’s ability to connect with our players and staff and accepting and embracing the incredible opportunity in being the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame made him the right choice. While Tom’s leadership ability and knowledge of the game was evident, it was his humble approach to his own development and desire to continue to grow and learn that were also key factors that set him apart in a talented pool of candidates.”

Rees, a former Notre Dame quarterback, had been serving on the staff as a quarterbacks coach for the past three seasons. Rees started his coaching career at Northwestern as an offensive graduate assistant under Pat Fitzgerald in 2015. Rees then got some coaching experience in the NFL with the Sam Diego Chargers in 2016. He returned to his alma mater in 2017 to fill the role of quarterbacks coach and has overseen the position for the past three seasons.

Rees was a regular starter for the Irish under Kelly. During his time in South Bend as a player, Rees passed for 7,670 yards and 61 touchdowns from 2010- 13. Notre Dame was 23-8 with Rees at quarterback.

Taylor joined the Notre Dame coaching staff last season as a running backs coach. The former Alabama special teams captain has held a number of coaching positions since starting his coaching career in 2007 at his alma mater in Tuscaloosa. Taylor was a graduate assistant for the Crimson Tide in 2007 and 2008 before taking on a role as wide receivers coach at Appalachian State in 2009. Taylor spent three seasons in different roles with the New York Jets from 2010 through 2012 and as an assistant receivers coach with the Carolina Panthers in 2013. Taylor joined the Stanford coaching staff in 2014 and worked with Christian McCaffrey. He returned to the NFL with the Panthers in 2017 and spent two seasons with the franchise before coming to Notre Dame last season.

College football title odds have Clemson as way-too-early 2020 favorite

College football title odds
Getty Images
3 Comments

You say the corpse of the 2019 college football season isn’t even cold yet, and we’re already looking ahead to 2020 when it comes to title odds?  We say of course we are.  Because that’s how we roll.  Or something.

Monday night, in New Orleans appropriately enough, LSU landed its magic carpet ride of a 2019 season in seemingly the only way possible, overwhelming Clemson with waves of offensive talent to claim the College Football Playoff championship.  The video game that was Joe Burrow, wobbly early on, righted itself in the romp, with the Heisman Trophy winner setting the single-season record for touchdown passes en route to the ever-elusive ring.

The reality that will set in a day or two from now?  Burrow has played his last down in a Tigers uniform, with the senior expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.  Burrow’s counterpart on the night, Trevor Lawrence, will return to Clemson for one more season before he’s expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

As such, the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has installed Clemson as a way-too-early 9/4 favorite to win the 2020 national championship.  LSU, meanwhile, sits at 8/1.

A year ago at this time?  Clemson, the reigning national champions, was at 7/2, behind Alabama at 3/2.  And LSU?  They were at 50/1 on Jan. 8, 2019.

This year, between Clemson and LSU, Ohio State comes in at an initial 3/1 and Alabama, which will be replacing Tua Tagovailoa, at 6/1.  Georgia’s odds are at 8/1 as well.

Of those five teams, just two — Clemson (Lawrence) and Ohio State (Justin Fields) — will return their starting quarterback.

At 14/1, Florida is the only other team in that neighborhood.  Six others start off at 30/1 — Auburn, Oklahoma, Oregon, Notre Dame, Penn State and Texas A&M.

And as for the Group of Five? At 1,000/1, Houston has the highest odds.

Notre Dame QB Phil Jurkovec set to transfer to Boston College

Notre Dame football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Just a couple of days after signaling his intent to transfer from the Notre Dame football program, it appears Phil Jurkovec has found himself a new college home.

Jan. 8, it was reported that the Notre Dame football player had entered his name into the NCAA transfer database. It’s now being reported that Jurkovec has decided to transfer to Boston College and continue his collegiate playing career with the Eagles.

Jurkovec’s apparent commitment came after visiting the BC campus.

While there’s been no official acknowledgment of Jurkovec’s addition to the roster, the quarterback retweeted a post made by first-year BC head coach Jeff Hafley.

A four-star member of Notre Dame’s 2018 recruiting class, Jurkovec was rated as the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in the country and their No. 2 player regardless of position in the state of Pennsylvania.

After appearing in two games as a true freshman, Jurkovec played in six this past season as a redshirt freshman. As Ian Book’s backup in 2019, he completed 12 of his 15 pass attempts for 222 yards and two touchdowns. He added another 130 yards on 22 carries.

Barring an unexpected waiver, Jurkovec will have to sit out the 2020 season. That would leave him with two seasons of eligibility he can use in 2021 and 2022.

In 2022, Boston College will travel to… South Bend to face Notre Dame.