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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.)

Lendingtree Bowl win by Louisiana moves Pelican State to 4-0 in bowls

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It has been a pretty good bowl season for schools form the state of Louisiana. Louisiana (11-3) knocked off Miami Ohio (8-6) in the 2020 Lendingtree Bowl Monday night, 27-17, for the program’s first bowl victory since 2014. It also improved schools from the state of Louisiana to a clean 4-0 in bowl games this bowl season.

Louisiana quarterback Levi Lewis passed for 246 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 58 yards in the win. The Ragin’ Cajuns defense clamped down on Miami after halftime to help Louisiana reach the fourth quarter with a 24-10 lead. Miami had a chance to create a one-possession game in the fourth quarter, but the RedHawks imploded with a bad snap shortly after a 63-yard pass from Brett Gabbert to James Maye brought up a 1st & Goal from the Louisiana two-yard line.

Louisiana head coach Billy Napier, who just dismissed the idea he would leave the program to take the vacant job at Mississippi State, now owns his first bowl victory with Louisiana. Napier lost his bowl debut last season in the Cure Bowl, dropping the team to 7-7 on the season. The 11 wins this season is the most by Louisiana in a single season in program history.

Louisiana is the fourth school form the state to play in and win a bowl game this season. Prior to Louisiana’s win Monday night, Louisiana Tech defeated the Miami Hurricanes, Tulane defeated Southern Mississippi, and LSU scored a blowout victory over Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff semifinal). LSU will have a chance to put the cherry on top of a perfect 5-0 bowl season for the state next Monday when they face the Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff national championship game in, appropriately enough, New Orleans.

Louisiana’s 2020 season opens up on Saturday, Sept. 5 with a home game against McNeese State. Miami will begin the next season on the same day with a road game at Pittsburgh.

Late touchdown gives Louisiana halftime lead in Lendingtree Bowl vs. Miami Ohio

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It took a little time to get back in the swing of things after a month off, but Louisiana and Miami put some point son the board in the second quarter of the Lendingtree Bowl on Monday night. A late touchdown in the second quarter gave Louisiana its first lead of the game and the Ragin’ Cajuns lead Miami 10-7 at halftime.

Levi Lewis of Louisiana has completed 12 of 16 passes for 157 yards, and he has rushed for 20 yards on two carries against the RedHawks. Elijah Mitchell (24 yards) has the only touchdown of the game for Louisiana, which gave his team the lead just before halftime.

Miami’s offense has had to fight for yards, with just 132 yards at halftime with a fairly even distribution between run and pass. Jaylon Bester has the only score of the half for the MAC program with a five-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. Louisiana scored the final 10 points of the half.

College Football Bowl Preview: Your Jan. 6 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 Jan. 6 bowl menu, one that features just a single MAC-Sun Belt Conference matchup.

WHO: Louisiana (10-3) vs. Miami of Ohio (8-5)
WHAT: The 21st LendingTree Bowl
WHERE: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: This game features a pair of conference championship game participants, with Miami (OH) winning in the MAC title game and Louisiana losing in the Sun Belt.  Louisiana has played in both SBC championship games contested, losing both to Appalachian State.  Miami (OH) appeared in its first MAC title game since 2010 and fourth overall. … Louisiana won its first four bowl appearances (2011-14), but have lost their last two (2016, 2018). Miami (OH) is appearing in its first bowl game since 2016 and will be looking for its first such win since 2010. … One more win for the RedHawks, incidentally, would be their ninth, which would be the program’s most since that 2010 season.  Louisiana 10 wins are already a school record for a team that won a combined 12 games the previous two seasons. … These two teams have met just twice previously, first in 1991 and most recently in 1993.  The RedHawks won both of those long-ago matchups. … The Ragin’ Cajuns had won six straight games prior to the title game loss.  Two of Louisiana three losses this season came at the hands of App State.  The RedHawks are winners of six of their last seven — after opening the season 2-4 — heading into this matchup. … Louisiana is seventh in the country averaging 265.3 yards per game on the ground.  Their 6.4 yards per carry is tied for the best mark in the nation.  That could prove problematic for Miami (OH) as their 174.1 yards per game allowed on the ground is 80th at the FBS level. … Louisiana has scored 28 or more points in 12 of their 13 games, and 31 or more in 11 of them.  Miami (OH) has gone above 28 points just three times this season. … There have been six other names for this postseason game the past 20 years.  They are: Mobile Alabama Bowl, GMAC Mobile Alabama Bowl, GMAC Bowl, GoDaddy.com Bowl, GoDaddy Bowl and Dollar General Bowl.
THE LINE: Miami (OH), +14
THE PREDICTION: Louisiana  41, Miami (OH) 24

Mississippi State job is open, but Billy Napier says he isn’t a candidate

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Mississippi State has a vacancy, but it appears it won’t be Billy Napier that fills it.

Two days ago, Joe Moorhead was fired as the head coach at MSU.  The dismissal was the result of, well, whatever it was.

In the immediate aftermath of the dismissal, Billy Napier was considered one of the prime candidates to fill the Mississippi State job.  Sunday, Napier indicated that he’s not a candidate for the opening.

In his second season with the Ragin’ Cajuns, Napier led Louisiana to its first 10-win season in the program’s history in 2019.  The school has also played in the Sun Belt Conference championship game both seasons after winning the West division each year

Overall, Napier is 17-10 at Louisiana overall and 12-4 in conference play.

Late this past week, Louisiana announced that it had reached an agreement on a contract extension with Napier.  Napier is now signed through the 2025 season.  The school had previously announced a one-year extension for Napier in October of last year that tied him to the program through 2023.

In the two years after replacing Dan Mullen, Moorhead, who had previously been connected to the opening at Rutgers, went 14-12 overall and 7-9 in SEC play.  This past season, those marks were 6-7 and 3-5.

In Mullen’s last two seasons at MSU before leaving to take the Florida job in November of 2017, the Bulldogs went 14-11.

Moorhead went 2-0 in the Egg Bowl.  Mullen went 1-1 his last two seasons in the rivalry game.