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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.)

After report emerged that Art Briles would get it, Bobby Petrino named head coach at FCS Missouri State

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In Bobby Petrino, one FCS school has opted for the lesser of two evils.

Overnight, reports had emerged that disgraced former Baylor head coach Art Briles, of all people, was set to be named to the same post at Missouri State.  At the same time, it was reported that Bobby Petrino was set to take the job at the FCS school.

In the end, the latter report came to fruition as Bobby Petrino was confirmed as Missouri State’s next head football coach.  Petrino replaces Dave Steckel, who “parted ways” with the program earlier this month.

The Bears’ next coach will be formally introduced at a press conference Thursday morning.  Given his past, that presser should be fascinating.

Bobby Petrino was fired as the head football coach at Arkansas in the spring of 2012 for hiring his mistress for an athletic department position and lying about her presence during a single-vehicle motorcycle accident involving Petrino.

After the disgraced Petrino’s controversial exit from UA, he landed on his feet months later as the head coach at Western Kentucky for the 2013 season.  Rehired by Louisville the following year, he lasted five seasons in his second stint with the Cardinals before he was fired after a 2-8 start to the 2018 campaign.

Petrino, who also informed Atlanta Falcons football players of his decision to quit the team during the 2007 season with notes left in their lockers, was out of coaching in 2019.

Overall, Petrino 119-56 as a head coach, with four double-digit win seasons in 14 years as a head coach.  And four others with nine wins.  Which is why he continues to get jobs despite a “checkered” past.

As for Briles being connected to the job?  The current high school coach is telling the media he never spoke with Missouri State.  So there’s that.

Conference USA releases 2020 football schedule

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The calendar reads 2020 and now Conference USA is ready to start filling in dates this fall for the upcoming football campaign.

In a release issued on Wednesday, the league announced dates and opponents for their 2020 football schedule. You can find team-by-team schedules here or the overall composite week-by-week schedule here.

CUSA will once again play eight conference games and will essentially see the league slate from last season flip venues from home to road. The divisional alignment is set to remain the same, with 14 teams split evenly across an East and West Division.

There will be plenty of new faces for the upcoming campaign in the conference, including at reigning champion Florida Atlantic after Lane Kiffin’s departure to Ole Miss and the hiring of former Florida State head coach Willie TaggartJeff Traylor also takes over at UTSA and Ricky Rahne will be the new head coach at Old Dominion.

The Conference USA title game is also scheduled for Saturday, December 5 and will mark the quite the anniversary as the league begins its 25th season of play on the gridiron.

College Football Bowl Preview: Your Dec. 30 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 Dec. 30 bowl menu, one that features three Power Five vs. Power Five matchups.

WHO: Western Kentucky (8-4) vs. Western Michigan (7-5)
WHAT: The 10th SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
WHERE: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, Texas
WHEN: 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
BUY TICKETS: Click here

THE SKINNY: Please, allow me to get this out of the way, right away, so that we can all move on: This game will determine which Western is the Best Western, correct? … I sincerely apologize for that.  Simply couldn’t help myself. … The Hilltoppers are looking for their first bowl win since 2016, the Broncos since 2015. Overall, WMU is 1-7 in bowl games… In its first season under Tyson Helton, WKU has jumped from three wins in 2018 to eight thus far in 2019.  Three of those wins came in the last three games of the regular season, including a 26-point shellacking of Arkansas on the road. … WMU’s last three losses have come by a combined 17 points. … WKU averages 25.6 points per game on offense (90th in the country), while WMU gives up 26.2 ppg (57th).  The Broncos are 25th in scoring offense scoring at 34.2 ppg, while the Hilltoppers are 23rd in scoring defense at 20.1 ppg. … One player to watch that you’ve probably never heard of is WKU defensive end DeAngelo Malone.  The junior is tied for fourth nationally in tackles for loss with 21 and 11th in sacks with 11½. … First Responder Bowl fun fact: Last year’s game was the first with SERVPRO as the title sponsor and was ruled a no-contest between Boise State and Boston College due to severe weather that hit in the first quarter. … Six of the previous eight editions of a game that has also gone by the names of TicketCity Bowl and Heart of Dallas Bowl have been decided by 13 or more points.  One of the other two went into overtime (Army over North Texas in 2016).
THE LINE: Western Michigan, +3½
THE PREDICTION: Western Kentucky 27, Western Michigan 24

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WHO: Mississippi State (6-6) vs. Louisville (7-5)
WHAT: The 22nd Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
WHERE: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
WHEN: 4 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Louisville, +4
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Cal (7-5) vs. Illinois (6-6)
WHAT: The 18th Redbox Bowl
WHERE: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
WHEN: 4 p.m. ET on FOX
THE LINE: Illinois, +6½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Florida (10-2) vs. Virginia (9-4)
WHAT: The 85th Capital One Orange Bowl
WHERE: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
WHEN: 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Virginia, +14½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

Marshall posts a league-high eight First Team All-Conference USA selections

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Florida Atlantic won the conference, but Marshall won the All-Conference USA team.

The Thundering Herd, who finished second to FAU in the East Division, placed eight players on the first team to FAU’s five. (However, three of the eight first-team Herd were specialists.)

The conference will not name individual awards until Wednesday, but here’s betting that Florida Atlantic will have the winner there. Sophomore quarterback Chris Robison threw for nearly 3,400 yards and 26 touchdowns, while tight end Harrison Bryant led all FBS tight ends with 61 grabs and 1,004 yards while scoring seven touchdowns.

Western Kentucky came in third with four first-team selections.


OFFENSE

QB- Chris Robison, R-So., Florida Atlantic
QB- J’Mar Smith, R-Sr., Louisiana Tech
RB- Benny LeMay, Sr., Charlotte
RB- Brenden Knox, R-So., Marshall
OL- Cameron Clark, R-Sr., Charlotte
OL- Junior Diaz, Gr., Florida Atlantic
OL- Brandon Walton, Sr., Florida Atlantic
OL- Levi Brown, R-Sr., Marshall
OL- Miles Pate, R-Sr., WKU
TE- Harrison Bryant, Sr., Florida Atlantic
WR- Jaelon Darden, Jr., North Texas
WR- Quez Watkins, R-Jr., Southern Miss
WR- Lucky Jackson, R-Sr., WKU

DEFENSE
DT- Channing Hames, R-Sr., Marshall
DT- Garrett Marino, R-Sr., UAB
DE- Alex Highsmith, R-Sr., Charlotte
DE- DeAngelo Malone, Jr., WKU
LB- Tavante Beckett, R-Jr., Marshall
LB- Blaze Alldredge, Jr., Rice
LB- Kristopher Moll, Jr., UAB
DB- Meiko Dotson, R-Jr., Florida Atlantic
DB- Amik Robertson, Jr., Louisiana Tech
DB- Chris Jackson, Sr., Marshall
DB- DQ Thomas, Sr., Southern Miss

SPECIAL TEAMS
K- Justin Rohrwasser, R-Sr., Marshall
P- John Haggerty, Jr., WKU
KR- Jaylond Adams, R-So., Southern Miss
PR- Talik Keaton, Fr., Marshall
LS – Matt Beardall, Sr., Marshall