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Boise State coach Bryan Harsin earned contract extension by beating Wyoming

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No. 22 Boise State’s overtime win over Wyoming on Saturday night was not only a big one for the team’s Group of Five hopes, but it was a lucrative one for the head coach too.

According to USA Today’s Steve BerkowitzBryan Harsin earned a one-year extension on his contract thanks to the victory, which was the team’s eighth of the season and triggered a rollover clause for the former BSU quarterback:

The Boise native and Broncos alum is 60-16 at the school and has won or tied for the division title in all but one campaign in charge on the blue turf. The team is currently 5-0 in the Mountain Division this season and sit behind several AAC teams at the moment in the race for the Group of Five bid and a trip to the Cotton Bowl in 2019.

Boise State finishes up their season on the blue turf this coming Saturday against New Mexico and then hit the road for their final two regular season games at Utah State and Colorado State. Harsin can still earn a number of bonuses for wins in those games and their potential postseason implications but for now he’ll be sitting pretty with another year added to his deal as a nice early Christmas present.

 

No. 22 Boise State holds off Wyoming in overtime to keep Group of Five hopes alive

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Chase Cord’s first start did not go as planned for Boise State as they faltered on the road in a puzzling loss at BYU. The quarterback’s second start wasn’t that much crisper but at least the Broncos pulled out a win in the end, surviving a stiff challenge from Wyoming 20-17 in overtime to remain in the hunt for the Mountain West title and the elusive Group of Five bid.

The backup signal-caller, making his second start in place of banged up freshman Hank Bachmeier, led BSU on a scoring drive on their very first series of the ball game but otherwise had to fight and claw for every thing else against one of the league’s best defensive units. Cord finished the night with 190 yards, a touchdown and an interception to do just enough to get the victory. It was pretty much all on the QB too as the team averaged just 3.3 yards per carry and saw none of their tailbacks top 40 yards.

The Cowboys were not any better offensively either with their own backup quarterback in the starting lineup for the first time this season too. Tyler Vander Waal, who went 2-6 in the gig behind center last season, made a number of impressive plays off scrambles but couldn’t bring enough consistently moving the chains when all was said and done. Tailback Xazavian Valladay did find some success on the ground with 124 yards and a touchdown but it wasn’t enough to hold off the home squad and notch the program’s first win on the blue turf over Boise.

Still, one has to admire the resolve for both sides in what amounted to a good ol’ fashioned slugfest between some pretty stout defenses. The Broncos simply had more of it, mounting a game-tying drive with just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter before watching Eric Sachse nail a 28-yarder in the first possession of overtime for what would prove to be the winning points.

As a result, the team further tightens their grip on the MWC Mountain Division race and keeps them alive for the Cotton Bowl berth that goes to the highest ranked Group of Five champion. Though the AAC has by far more ranked teams in the top 25 of the College Football Playoff rankings, Boise State is not too far off the leaders and their lone loss could be easily explained by having their backup QB in.

Whether it’s enough in the end remains to be seen for Bryan Harsin’s team but at least on Saturday night they can celebrate a hard fought win despite a little more adversity than many thought coming in.

Butkus Award whittles hunt for nation’s top linebacker down to 12

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Only 12 linebackers are now in the chase to be named the nation’s top linebacker. The Butkus Award on Monday released its list of 12 semifinalists.

It is the first update since the award released its watch list on July 22.

The semifinalists are:

Joe Bachie, Michigan State
Zack Bruan, Wisconsin
Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech
Tae Crowder, Georgia
Jordan Glasgow, Michigan
Jake Hansen, Illinois
Anfernee Jennings, Alabama
Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
Micah Parsons, Penn State
Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
Evan Weaver, California
Logan Wilson, Wyoming

The selection committee — a panel of 51 coaches, recruiters, scouts and media members — noted Missouri’s Cale Garrett, Alabama’s Dylan Moses and Purdue’s Markus Bailey likely would have been semifinalists if not for injury.

The Butkus Award will announce its finalists on Nov. 25 and its 35th winner “on or before” Dec. 10.

LSU’s Devin White — now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer — won the award in 2018. In fact, SEC ‘backers have won the past three Butkus Awards.

Wyoming assistant Willie Mack Garza, facing DUI charge, resigns

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Thanks to an off-field issue, Craig Bohl has been forced into an in-season retooling of his Wyoming coaching staff.

Earlier this month, safeties coach Willie Mack Garza was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.  A day later, the Cowboys announced that Bohl had indefinitely suspended the assistant.

A little less than two weeks later, the football program announced that Garza has submitted his resignation and is no longer a part of the team.

Garza was Lane Kiffin‘s defensive backs coach at Tennessee in 2009 before following him to USC the following year as secondary coach, only to abruptly resign the next season.  While with the Vols, and what triggered his sudden resignation from the Trojans, Garza committed NCAA recruiting violations that resulted in a show-cause penalty and was out coaching in 2011 and 2012.  From 2013 until earlier this offseason, Garza spent time on coaching staffs at the junior college, FCS and Div. II levels.

In May of this year, it was announced that Garza would be joining Bohl’s staff in Laramie.

With Garza out, it was confirmed that defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will take over as safeties coach, a role he held in 2017-18.  Additionally, Aaron Bohl will take over as interim linebacker coach

Nearly two dozen teams sit at five wins as 2019 bowl pool stands at 23

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Entering Week 8, there were 12 teams — SMU, Clemson, Baylor, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Boise State, Alabama, Florida, LSU — that had reached the requisite six wins to become bowl-eligible. Another 19 sat at five wins coming into last weekend, with the opportunity to join the even dozen as bowl-eligible as well.

Exiting last Saturday’s action, a total of 11 teams — Appalachian State, Auburn, Cincinnati, Georgia, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Oregon, San Diego State, UAB, Utah, Wake Forest — were officially added to a bowl pool population that is now up to 23.

With Week 9 upon us, there are 23 teams that currently sit one win below the bowl-eligibility threshold. Those nearly two dozen schools who can join those listed above are:

  • Air Force
  • Arizona State
  • Central Michigan
  • Georgia State
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Iowa State
  • Liberty
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Navy
  • Notre Dame
  • Pitt
  • Temple
  • Texas
  • Tulane
  • UCF
  • Virginia
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington
  • Western Kentucky
  • Wyoming

Two of those listed, Louisiana and Virginia Tech, can’t hit six wins as they are on a bye this weekend. There are also three games involving six others — Michigan at Notre Dame; Tulane at Navy; and UCF at Temple.

On the upper end, up to 18 schools could become bowl-eligible with a win this weekend.  That means, technically, a little more than half of the postseason openings could be filled with five weeks left in the regular season.

This year, there are 40 bowl games, including the two College Football Playoff semifinal matchups (Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl). That means, of course, that the bowl pool will require 80 of the 130 FBS schools to reach six wins — or five if the bowls have to dredge the below-.500 teams — to fill all of the postseason slots.