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Jim Brown named by ESPN as the greatest player in college football history


Jim Brown, greatest college football player ever?

College football is rapidly nearing the end of celebrating the 150th anniversary of the sport, with the 2020 College Football Playoff championship game serving as the capper of its sesquicentennial season.  So, why not kick off the next 150 years of the sport by doing what we as fans do best — argue about lists.

During halftime of the Clemson-LSU title game — the SEC Tigers came storming back in the second quarter, by the way — ESPN unveiled their Top 150 college football players of all-time in celebration.  The entire list can be viewed HERE.

Also during halftime, the Top 11 players on the Worldwide Leader’s list were feted on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium field.  Coming in at No. 1?  Jim Brown, according to ESPN, is the greatest college football player in the first 150 years of the sport.

The Top 11 are as follows:

  1. Jim Brown (RB, Syracuse, 1954-56)
  2. Herschel Walker (RB, Georgia, 1980-82)
  3. Bo Jackson (RB, Auburn, 1982-85)
  4. Archie Griffin (RB, Ohio State, 1972-75)
  5. Jim Thorpe (RB, Carlisle, 1907-12)
  6. Red Grange (RB, Illinois, 1923-25)
  7. Earl Campbell (RB, Texas, 1974-77)
  8. Dick Butkus (LB, Illinois, 1962-64)
  9. Barry Sanders (RB, Oklahoma State, 1986-88)
  10. Gale Sayers (RB, Kansas, 1962-64)
  11. Roger Staubach (QB, Navy, 1962-64)

I have but two comments on that top-tier group.  One, Barry Sanders is laughably, criminally low.  Two, Herschel Walker was the only college football player in my lifetime who was better than Sanders.

Seriously, Sanders being ninth offends me.

Other than that, fire away…

Malcolm Perry sets FBS record as Navy tops Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl

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Malcolm Perry has dazzled throughout his career at the academy but the quarterback’s final two games in a Navy uniform certainly closed out his historic career in unforgettable fashion.

The senior added another record-breaking outing under his belt on New Year’s Eve, helping setup a late trick play that eventually led to a Bijan Nichols chipshot field goal that allowed the Midshipmen to beat Kansas State 20-17 in the Autozone Liberty Bowl.

Perry, while not quite as productive as he was against Army earlier in the month, was still phenomenal running the option to near perfection on Tuesday evening in his home state — running for 213 yards and completing 5-of-7 passes for 57 more yards and a touchdown. The triggerman naturally helped milk the clock quite a bit and had his decision making on point during the game as he set an FBS single-season mark for rushing yards as a quarterback.

Tailback C.J. Williams was also heavily involved in the offensive effort as well, rushing for 34 yards on two carries but mostly earning acclaim for his terrific, well, passing. Facing 4th and short from midfield, he pulled off a trick play for the ages as he rolled and launched the ball 41 yards into the waiting hands of Chance WarrenThat put the team right on the doorstep and allowed Nichols, who had missed an attempt the drive before, to knock through the game-winner.

The heroics from the troops spoiled what had been a phenomenal game-tying drive from the Wildcats just prior. Skylar Thompson was an efficient 10-of-14 passing for 124 yards and scored a short touchdown off a keeper as well. K-State was somehow in the game throughout despite just 170 yards of total offense, taking advantage of an early Phillip Brooks 66 yard punt return.

Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough in the end as the Big 12 remains winless this postseason so far (dropping to 0-4 after the KSU result) with two underdogs still left to play in Texas and Baylor. That end result doesn’t take away from what still has been a successful season in the Little Apple for new head coach Chris Klieman however, who has done a great job taking over for a legendary predecessor and leading the team to eight wins.

That surge under a new coach still pales compared to the kind of turnaround his opposite number engineered however. Not only did Ken Niumatalolo help resurrect Perry’s career in his final year in Annapolis, but the bowl win meant a complete turnaround from 3-10 last year to 11-2 in 2019 — just the second time in school history with as many wins.

College Football Bowl Preview: Your Dec. 31 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 the Dec. 31 bowl menu, one that features two teams each from the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12.

WHO: Virginia Tech (8-4) vs. Kentucky (7-5)
WHAT: The 18th Belk Bowl
WHERE: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
THE LINE: Kentucky, +3
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.


WHO: Florida State (6-6) vs. Arizona State (7-5)
WHAT: The 82nd Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
WHERE: Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, Texas
WHEN: 2 p.m. ET on CBS
THE LINE: Florida State, +4½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.


WHO: Navy (10-2) vs. Kansas State (8-4)
WHAT: The 61st AutoZone Liberty Bowl
WHERE: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee
WHEN: 3:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Kansas State, +2½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.


WHO: Wyoming (7-5) vs. Georgia State (7-5)
WHAT: The 5th NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
WHERE: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona
WHEN: 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network

THE SKINNY: A member of the Mountain West Conference has won three of the first four playings of this bowl, with the lone loss coming in overtime. … As 26-point underdogs, Georgia State began the 2019 season with a stunning win over Tennessee in Knoxville. That same weekend, Wyoming upset UT’s SEC East compatriots, Missouri. … Both teams enter the postseason, though, having lost three of their last four games. … Four of the Cowboys’ five losses this season have come by five or fewer points.  Four of the Eagles’ five losses this season have come by 14 or more points. … If the passing game is your thing, look elsewhere.  Georgia State is 93rd nationally in passing at 201.8 yards per game.  That’s a veritable aerial circus compared to Wyoming, which is 125th (out of 130 schools) at 128 ypg. … The two teams have combined for 29 passes touchdowns; an even dozen individual quarterbacks have thrown for more scores than that this season. … The Eagles average 245.2 yards rushing per game, while the Cowboys give up less than a hundred per contest.  Their 99.4 yards per game is sixth-fewest in the country. … NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl fun fact: The past two games have gone into overtime, while the first was decided by just five points.  We won’t mention Air Force’s 24-point drubbing of South Alabama in 2016.
THE LINE: Georgia State, +7
THE PREDICTION: Wyoming 14, Georgia State 13


WHO: Utah (11-2) vs. Texas (7-5)
WHAT: The 27th Valero Alamo Bowl
WHERE: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Texas, +7
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

CFT Previews: AutoZone Liberty Bowl

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WHO: Navy (10-2) vs. Kansas State (8-4)
WHAT: The AutoZone Liberty Bowl
WHEN: December 31 at 3:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, TN

THE SKINNY: After a few down years, Navy bounced back in a big way this season. Although the Midshipmen didn’t play their way into the AAC championship game this season, the Midshipmen put together a 10-2 record that was worthy of Top-25 consideration and capped by a victory over rival Army to snap a losing streak to the Black Knights. Malcolm Perry has been one of the biggest reasons for the success this season and he will be looking to control the football against the Kansas State defense.

Perry rushed for 1,804 yards and 21 touchdowns this season and he mixed in over 1,000 passing yards and six more touchdowns. Perry running the triple-option has been as effective as ever for Navy, but the Wildcats will bring a pretty solid defense that will brace for Navy’s style of play.

Kansas State enjoyed the first season under new head coach Chris Klieman, who will coach in his first postseason bowl game. Of course, Klieman is no stranger to success in the postseason given his success at North Dakota State. But now he will channel a full playoff effort and preparation into one game. Needless to say, Kansas State should be prepared as well as it can possibly be. Finding a way to get quarterback Skyler Thompson in a groove should be the key, although the Wildcats may be able to handle their own weight on the offensive line with the running game too. Thompson will work the ground after rushing for 10 touchdowns and rushing for 402 yards, but handing off to James Gilbert will be the first option on the ground.

Expect plenty of rushing yards in this one, which could make for a pretty brisk pace with the clock always moving. But Navy’s option may be more of a drain on the Wildcats.

THE PICK: Navy 26, Kansas State 23

Army, Navy probe determined hand gestures weren’t racist

Army Navy gestures racist
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Separate investigations conducted by the Army and Navy have determined that hand gestures prior to the Army-Navy game weren’t racist, the military academies announced Friday.

Last Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia, Navy rode a record-breaking performance from Malcolm Perry to roll over Army.  The 31-7 romp snapped a three-game losing streak for the Naval Academy in the rivalry.

However, prior to the game during ESPN‘s College GameDay pregame show, a trio of individuals — two West Point cadets and one Naval Academy midshipman — were seen making a hand sign on the broadcast that some stated had become associated with “white power” or white supremacy groups.

Following the game, officials from both military academies confirmed that they were looking into the situation. In twin press releases Friday, the academies stated that their investigations had determined that there was no racism involved at all; rather, the cadets and midshipman involved were playing “the circle game.

“We are confident the hand gestures used were not intended to be racist in any way,” a statement from Naval Academy superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck began. “However, we are disappointed by the immature behavior of the two Fourth Class Midshipmen, and their actions will be appropriately addressed.”

“We had reason to believe these actions were an innocent game and not linked to extremism, but we must take allegations such as these very seriously,” West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams said in a separate statement. “We are disappointed by the immature behavior of the cadets.”

As far as any type of discipline, the cadets at West Point will receive unspecified “appropriate administrative” measures.  The midshipmen at Annapolis will receive further training as to how “our behavior must be professional at all times and not give cause for others to question our core values of honor, courage and commitment.”