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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.)

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.