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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.)

Jan. 15 has come and gone, so Mark Dantonio is due $4.3 million retention bonus

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Believe it or not, Mark Dantonio will now be one of the highest-paid coaches in college football this year.  In very large part, as it turns out, because of a date on the calendar.

Back in October, we noted that Mark Dantonio would be due a very hefty bonus if were still the head football coach at Michigan State on Jan. 15.  It’s now Jan. 16, and Dantonio is still MSU’s coach.  Thus, per the terms of his contract, Dantonio is due a retention bonus in the amount of a whopping $4.3 million.

The contract calls for the bonus to be paid on or before March 31 of this year.

Including the retention bonus, Dantonio will make $8.6 million in guaranteed compensation in 2020.  That would’ve made Dantonio the third-highest-paid head coach in college football.  The only two ahead of him?  Clemson’s Dabo Swinney ($9.32 million) and Alabama’s Nick Saban ($8.87 million).

In February of 2016, MSU announced that it had reached an agreement on a revamped contract for Mark Dantonio that pushed his annual guaranteed compensation to north of $4 million. Since that extension, which came off of three straight 10-win seasons and four in five years, the Spartans have gone 27-24, including a second-straight 7-6 record this past season. The Spartans are 17-19 in Big Ten play since then as well.  Combine that recent futility with an offense that has languished near the bottom of the Big Ten during that stretch — and was the impetus for the coach to chafe at reporter’s dumb-ass question on at least one occasion — and you had chatter surrounding Dantonio and his long-term viability growing louder by the week.

Add that on-field unevenness with off-field issues that will play out in court beginning this month, and the speculation has been swirling as to how long Dantonio will continue on as the Spartans’ coach.  Dantonio stated in November that he would be returning to East Lansing for a 14th season in 2020.

At least for now, Dantonio also has the support of athletic director Bill Beekman and university president Samuel Stanley.

Son of Michigan OL coach Ed Warinner transfers to U-M from Michigan State

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A very familiar surname has been added to the Michigan football team.

A Michigan football spokesperson confirmed to mlive.com that Edward Warinner has enrolled at the university will play for the Wolverines in 2020.  Warinner is the son of U-M offensive line coach Ed Warinner.

It was confirmed earlier this month that the younger Warinner had entered the NCAA transfer database, the first step in leaving Michigan State.

It’s believed that Warinner will have to sit out the 2020 season.  He would then have two years of eligibility beginning in 2021.

Warinner was a three-star member of Michigan State’s 2018 recruiting class, rated as the No. 51 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 48 player at any position in the state of Ohio.  After redshirting as a true freshman, Warinner played in seven games this past season.  Most of that action came on special teams.

The elder Warinner has spent the past two seasons as the line coach at Michigan and will be entering his third year with Jim Harbaugh‘s program in 2020.  He’s also spent time at Minnesota (2017), Ohio State (2012-16), Notre Dame (2010-11), Kansas (2007-09; 2003-04) and Illinois (2005-06).  In 1985-86, Warinner was a graduate assistant at MSI.

Cody White, Michigan State’s leading receiver, declares for NFL draft

Cody White declares for NFL draft
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One of Michigan State’s top offensive players from the past two seasons is heading to the NFL. Wide receiver Cody White declared for the NFL draft and will forgo his senior season in East Lansing. White announced his plans in a statement on his Twitter account on Friday.

“East Lansing will always have a special place in my heart,” White said in his statement. “With that being said, after a tough decision, I have decided to pursue my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL. I will be forgoing my senior season and will enter the 020 NFL Draft.”

White is coming off a 2019 season that saw him lead the Spartans with 922 yards and six touchdowns. He scored the eventual game-winning touchdown in Michigan State’s Pinstripe Bowl victory over Wake Forest. White also was Michigan State’s leading receiver in 2018 with 555 yards and his two touchdowns were second-most on the team while appearing in just nine games.

White enters a draft pool that is pretty deep with talent this year. NFL teams looking for wide receivers will have plenty of options available to them. Having some NFL family history is never a bad thing either. White’s father, Sheldon White, played six years in the NFL with the New York Giants, Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals. He later went on to be the Vice President of Pro Personnel with the Lions and was an interim general manager before leaving to join the Michigan State program in 2016 as an executive director of player personnel and recruiting when his son

Previously, Michigan State cornerback Josiah Scott declared for the NFL Draft as a significant amount of roster turnover continues for Michigan State through graduating players, the NFL draft and the transfer portal.

Western Michigan officially adds transfers from Pitt, Michigan State, Nevada

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It was a busy day on the personnel front for the Western Michigan football program.

Friday, WMU announced the additions of three transfers from FBS schools — defensive back Therran Coleman, running back Jaxson Kincaide and running back La’Darius Jefferson.  Coleman (Pitt) and Kincaide (Nevada), come to WMU as graduate transfers.  Jefferson (Michigan State) will have to sit out the 2020 season.  He’ll then have two years of eligibility beginning in 2020.

During his four years at Nevada, Kincaide ran for 894 yards and six touchdowns on 199 carries.  He also caught 38 passes for another 316 yards and three touchdowns.

Prior to his decision to enter the NCAA transfer database in late September, Kincaide played in just four games, which allowed him to use a redshirt and preserve a season of eligibility.  It had previously been reported that Kincaide would be transferring to the Broncos.

In two seasons at Michigan State, Jefferson ran for 280 yards and four touchdowns on 97 carries.  His best season came as a true freshman as he ran the ball 28 times for 255 yards and a pair of scores.

Coleman played in 34 games over the past three seasons for the Panthers and was credited with 18 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble.