College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • Thursday, December 18, 2014
    College football roundup: TCU's Patterson wins another award
    By The Sports Xchange

    Already armed with a new contract, TCU head coach Gary Patterson added some hardware on Thursday.

    • Patterson was named Walter Camp and Sporting News coach of the year after going 12-1 in the regular season. He was also named Eddie Robinson coach of the year in early December.

      Patterson made $4,008,000 this season, and agreed to a new contract which extends through the end of the decade, athletic director Chris Del Conte confirmed this week.

      In 14 seasons at the school, Patterson has a 131-45 record with seven titles in four conferences. Before becoming the head coach, he served three years as TCU's defensive coordinator.

      ---Memphis extended the contract of coach Justin Fuente on Thursday after he led the Tigers to a share of the American Athletic Conference championship this season.

      The conference title was Memphis' first in more than 40 years and Fuente was named AAC coach of the year for his efforts.

      The 38-year-old Fuente came to Memphis in 2012 after the Tigers had gone 3-21 the previous two seasons and rebuilt the program. After four- and three-win seasons under Fuente's leadership, Memphis broke through this year with a 9-3 regular-season record. The Tigers have one game remaining in the Miami Beach Bowl on Dec. 22 against BYU.

      ---Boston College coach Steve Addazio signed a contract extension through the 2020 season.

      Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

      Addazio took over a program that went 2-10 in 2012 and has a 14-11 record overall. The Golden Eagles are preparing for a second consecutive postseason game under Addazio, who worked under Urban Meyer at Florida. Boston College plays in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium next week.

      ---Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu suffered a knee injury during Tuesday's practice that will keep him out of the College Football Playoff. Oregon coach Mark Helfrich did not specify the injury but confirmed Thursday that Ekpre-Olomu will not play during the postseason.

      Ekpre-Olomu, named a first-team All-American this week and a finalist for the Thorpe Award, might have a torn ACL, Comcast SportsNet reported Wednesday.

      The senior has 63 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble for Oregon this season. Ekpre-Olomu is the second-ranked cornerback prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft, according to NFLDraftScout.com.

  • Thursday, December 18, 2014
    BC locks up Addazio through 2020
    By The Sports Xchange

    Boston College coach Steve Addazio signed a contract extension through the 2020 season.

    • Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

      Addazio took over a program that went 2-10 in 2012 and has a 14-11 record overall. The Golden Eagles are preparing for a second consecutive postseason game under Addazio, who worked under Urban Meyer at Florida.

      Boston College plays in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium next week.

      "In just two years, Steve Addazio has done an amazing job with our football program," athletic director Brad Bates said. "To lead a team to 14 wins and two consecutive bowl games during what was supposed to be a rebuilding process is a great accomplishment. Beyond winning, he has worked tirelessly to recruit top-notch student-athletes and develop lasting relationships with former players and the entire University community. He is one of the best motivators I've ever been around, and his enthusiasm is infectious. We are very fortunate to have him as our coach."

  • Thursday, December 18, 2014
    Oregon loses CB Ekpre-Olomu for playoffs
    By The Sports Xchange

    Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu suffered a knee injury during Tuesday's practice that will keep him out of the College Football Playoff.

    • Oregon coach Mark Helfrich did not specify the injury but confirmed that Ekpre-Olomu will not play during the postseason.

      Ekpre-Olomu, named a first-team All-American this week and a finalist for the Thorpe Award, might have a torn ACL, Comcast SportsNet reported Wednesday.

      The second-ranked Ducks (12-1) face third-ranked Florida State (13-0) in a College Football Playoff semifinal in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. The winner advances to the championship game on Jan. 12 against Alabama or Ohio State.

      The senior has 63 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble for Oregon this season. Ekpre-Olomu is the second-ranked cornerback prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft, according to NFLDraftScout.com.

      The three-time All-Pac-12 performer has started 40 consecutive games. He became a full-time starter during his freshman year in 2011.

      The likely replacements for Ekpre-Olomu are senior cornerback Dior Mathis or redshirt freshman Chris Seisay.

  • Thursday, December 18, 2014
    Memphis' Fuente receives contract extension
    By The Sports Xchange

    Memphis extended the contract of coach Justin Fuente on Thursday after he led the Tigers to a share of the American Athletic Conference championship this season.

    • The conference title was Memphis' first in more than 40 years and Fuente was named AAC coach of the year for his efforts.

      "Our football program has enjoyed unprecedented success under Coach Fuente's leadership and we are excited to finalize this process and move forward," Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen said. "The future of Tiger football is very bright and we look forward to the opportunity to build upon our success in the days and years ahead."

      The 38-year-old Fuente came to Memphis in 2012 after the Tigers had gone 3-21 the previous two seasons and rebuilt the program. After four- and three-win seasons under Fuente's leadership, Memphis broke through this year with a 9-3 regular-season record.

      The Tigers have one game remaining in the Miami Beach Bowl on Dec. 22 against BYU.

  • Thursday, December 18, 2014
    TCU's Patterson named Coach of the Year
    By The Sports Xchange

    Already armed with a new contract, TCU head coach Gary Patterson added some hardware on Thursday.

    • Patterson was named Walter Camp and Sporting News coach of the year after going 12-1 in the regular season. He was also named Eddie Robinson coach of the year in early December.

      Patterson made $4,008,000 this season, and agreed to a new contract which extends through the end of the decade, athletic director Chris Del Conte confirmed this week.

      In 14 seasons at the school, Patterson has a 131-45 record with seven titles in four conferences. Before becoming the head coach, he served three years as TCU's defensive coordinator.

      Patterson was named the Eddie Robinson coach of the year in college football in early December.

      The Horned Frogs, who shared the Big 12 title with Baylor, are preparing to face Mississippi in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 31. They just missed a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff, finishing fifth in the final rankings.

  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014
    Pelini, introduced at Youngstown, ripped Nebraska
    By The Sports Xchange

    Bo Pelini was introduced as Youngstown State coach on Wednesday, but his departure from Nebraska made bigger headlines.

    • The Omaha World-Herald reported that Pelini ripped Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst during a profanity-laced meeting with his former players at a Lincoln high school several days after he was fired on Nov. 30 .

      "A guy like him, who has no integrity, he doesn't even understand what a core value is," Pelini said, according to a tape of the meeting with the players. "He hasn't understood it from the day he got here. I saw it when I first met with the guy.

      "To have core values means you have to be about something, you have to represent something that is important to you. He's a f------ lawyer who makes policies. That's all he's done since he's been here: hire people and make policies to cover his own ---."

      Pelini led Nebraska to a 67-27 record in seven years and won nine games each season. The Cornhuskers are 9-3 this season with one game to play in a bowl.

      "Look who (Eichorst) circles himself with," Pelini continued. "Look at his team of people. C'mon, man. I'd rather f------ work at McDonald's than work with some of those guys. Not that there's anything bad about working at McDonald's."

      Pelini went on to say that he was affected by his dealings with the administration.

      "You can't let this place eat you up because if you let it, it will eat you up," Pelini told the players. "I have been at LSU, I have been at Oklahoma, I have been to these other places. The scrutiny, negativity, it ain't like that everywhere. But it is what it is and you gotta be strong as hell and you gotta stick together to deal with it. You have to. Because it's real."

      Nebraska responded later Wednesday after reviewing a transcript of Pelini's remarks to the players.

      "If these comments were, indeed, spoken by Mr. Pelini, we are extremely disappointed, but it only reaffirms the decision that he should no longer be a leader of young men at Nebraska," the university said in a statement. "His habitual use of inappropriate language, and his personal and professional attacks on administrators, are antithetical to the values of our university. His behavior is consistent with a pattern of unprofessional, disrespectful behavior directed by Mr. Pelini toward the passionate fans of Nebraska, employees of the university and, most concerning, our student-athletes."

      The 47-year-old Pelini is moving on to his native Youngstown, where he played high school football before going on to Ohio State. Former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel is Youngstown State's president.

      "I believe that I have a great situation here, have a tremendous athletic director, have a president who understands football, who's going to support me, something that I don't know if I've ever had," Pelini said.

  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014
    College football roundup: Wisconsin confirms Chryst hiring
    By The Sports Xchange

    Paul Chryst, a former Wisconsin Badgers assistant, was hired Wednesday as head coach, replacing Gary Andersen.

    • The school made an official announcement after 5:30 p.m. local time. University policy prohibited Wisconsin from officially hiring a coach before then.

      Andersen announced last week that he was leaving Madison after two seasons to take the Oregon State vacancy created when Mike Riley left to take the Nebraska job.

      Chryst, born in Madison in 1965, won a high school state championship at Platteville in 1983 and lettered three times as a quarterback for the Badgers. He left Wisconsin's football program in the 2011 season as its offensive coordinator to take the Pitt job. He has a 19-19 record at Pitt in three years.

      ---Michigan offered San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh a six-year, $48 million deal to return to his alma mater, according to reports Wednesday.

      The deal would make Harbaugh the highest-paid coach in college football. According to USA Today salary data, Alabama's Nick Saban makes approximately $7.16 million per year.

      Michigan is looking to replace Brady Hoke, who was fired Dec. 2 after four seasons.

      ---West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck will resign to take a second-in-command position under NCAA president Mark Emmert.

      Luck, the father of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, was named to the newly created position of executive vice president of regulatory affairs on Wednesday. He will report directly to Emmert.

      Luck, 54, will oversee the day-to-day operations as he brings academic and membership affairs, the eligibility center and enforcement under one umbrella.

      Luck also was a member of the inaugural College Football Playoff selection committee as the Big 12 representative. Executive director Bill Hancock said Luck will be replaced by a Big 12 athletic director on next year's selection committee by spring.

      ---Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu suffered a knee injury during Tuesday's practice that will keep him out of the College Football Playoff, according to reports.

      Ekpre-Olomu, named a first-team All-American this week and a finalist for the Thorpe Award, might have a torn ACL, Comcast SportsNet reported Wednesday. The senior has 63 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble for Oregon this season. Ekpre-Olomu is the second-ranked cornerback prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft, according to NFLDraftScout.com.

      The second-ranked Ducks (12-1) face third-ranked Florida State (13-0) in a College Football Playoff semifinal in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. The winner advances to the championship game on Jan. 12 against Alabama or Ohio State.

  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014
    Chryst named Badgers coach
    By The Sports Xchange

    Paul Chryst, a former Wisconsin Badgers assistant, was hired Wednesday as head coach, replacing Gary Andersen.

    • The school made an official announcement after 5:30 p.m. local time. University policy prohibited Wisconsin from officially hiring a coach before then.

      Andersen announced last week that he was leaving Madison after two seasons to take the Oregon State vacancy created when Mike Riley left to take the Nebraska job.

      "I'd like to thank Coach Alvarez for this wonderful opportunity," Chryst said in reference to Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez. "This is obviously a special place not only for me but our whole family. I would also like to thank the players, staff and administration at Pitt for the last three years. I'm proud of what I helped to accomplish there and appreciate the support I've received. Pitt will always have a special place in my heart.

      "It's a bit overwhelming to be able to come back to a place where you grew up, went to school and coached, where you have so many ties personally and professionally. This job has everything that we, as a family, and me, personally, are looking for. The bar has been set at a high level here and it didn't just happen. I look forward to the challenge of continuing that tradition of success."

      Chryst, born in Madison in 1965, won a high school state championship at Platteville in 1983 and lettered three times as a quarterback for the Badgers.

      Chryst left Wisconsin's football program in the 2011 season as its offensive coordinator to take the Pitt job. He has a 19-19 record at Pitt in three year. Chryst interviewed with Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez on Wednesday.

      Chryst told the Pitt players after Tuesday's practice that he was headed for Madison.

      Former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano was also known to have discussed the job with Alvarez.

      Alvarez, a former Wisconsin coach, will return to the sideline for the Outback Bowl game against Auburn on Jan. 1.

  • Wednesday, December 17, 2014
    West Virginia AD Luck to join NCAA
    By The Sports Xchange

    West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck will resign to take a second-in-command position under NCAA president Mark Emmert.

    • Luck, the father of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, was named to the newly created position of executive vice president of regulatory affairs on Wednesday. He will report directly to Emmert.

      "This is a time of fundamental change in intercollegiate athletics that will set the foundation for the years ahead," Luck said in a statement. "The challenges both internal and external to the NCAA present a unique opportunity to help shape the landscape for hundreds of thousands of young men and women. It is an honor to join President Emmert, the NCAA staff, and our member institutions in this journey."

      Luck, 54, will oversee the day-to-day operations as he brings academic and membership affairs, the eligibility center and enforcement under one umbrella.

      "I am very pleased to have Oliver joining our team in the national office," Emmert said in a statement. "He brings to us wide ranging, hands-on experience from across athletic, academic, and business worlds. Most important, his commitment to the success and well-being of our student-athletes is unquestionable. He has demonstrated that commitment on the ground and throughout his life. I'm anxious for him to get started with us."

      A search committee of representatives from NCAA member schools recommended Luck after conducting a national search. Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference, chaired the committee.

      "Oliver is a valued colleague and a good friend," Bowlsby said. "This is an excellent fit for the NCAA and for college athletics. Oliver is smart, analytical, energetic and insightful. While this is a big loss for WVU and the Big 12 it is a tremendous hire for our national association."

      Luck also was a member of the inaugural College Football Playoff selection committee as the Big 12 representative.

      "Oliver has brought a great perspective to the selection committee, and we will miss him," CFP executive director Bill Hancock said. "He was a valued member whose views were wise and always thoughtful. We wish him well and know that he will be successful in his new position. We're glad he will remain in the college athletics family."

      Hancock said Luck will be replaced by a Big 12 athletic director on next year's selection committee by spring.

      Luck had been West Virginia's athletic director since August 2010. He oversaw the school's move from the Big East to the Big 12 and hired Dana Holgorsen as head football coach.

      "It has been a tremendous honor to serve my alma mater as director of athletics for the past 4 1/2 years," Luck said. "As those who have spent time in West Virginia know, this is truly a special place. It's been an incredible experience for me to work with some of the best administrators, faculty, coaches, staff, student-athletes, fans, media, and alumni in the nation. As a member of the Big 12 Conference, the university is well-positioned for future success and I know that great things lie ahead for WVU. My wife Kathy and I will always cherish our time in Morgantown and we will forever be Mountaineers."

      Luck will be working at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, where he would share a city with his famous son. He will begin early next year.

  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014
    Youngstown State to hire Bo Pelini
    By The Sports Xchange

    Bo Pelini, fired by Nebraska after seven seasons, is expected to be introduced as the new head coach at Youngstown State University on Wednesday.

    • "It is with great passion and enthusiasm that I become the head football coach at Youngstown State University." Pelini said Tuesday in a statement. "This is an exciting time for my family and me as we return to the Mahoning Valley.

      "Mary Pat and our children are anxious to get involved in the Youngstown State and local communities. I am looking forward to getting to know a tremendous group of football student-athletes who are currently part of the program. YSU football has a rich championship tradition and a standard of excellence which our staff and players will work to uphold both on and off of the field."

      Reports of the possibility were shot down recently by Pelini, who is known to be bristly with media and labeled the headlines "a complete fabrication."

      Pelini, 47, is a Youngstown native and former Ohio State defensive back. Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is the Youngstown State president.

      Pelini was 67-27 at Nebraska. He will replace Eric Wolford, who was fired after going 7-5 in 2014.

  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014
    QB Cook plans to remain with Spartans for senior year
    By The Sports Xchange

    Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook indicated Tuesday that he will return to college for another season instead of jumping into the NFL Draft.

    • The two-year starter is a junior who's projected as the No. 2 quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft by NFLDraftScout.com. If he entered the 2015 draft, Cook could go in the first round, but talent evaluators see him more likely in as second- or third-round selection.

      Cook passed for a Big Ten-leading 2,900 yards and 22 touchdowns with six interceptions this season while leading seventh-ranked Michigan State to a 10-2 record and a Cotton Bowl appearance on Jan. 1 against Big 12 champion Baylor.

      As a sophomore, Cook quarterback the Spartans to a Big Ten championship and victory in the Rose Bowl.

      "I have unfinished business that I want to accomplish next year," Cook said Tuesday. "I think the only way I can do that is if I return."

      Junior defensive end Shilique Calhoun has yet to make a decision on whether to turn pro or remain at Michigan State for his final season.

  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014
    College football roundup: Pelini to Youngstown State
    By The Sports Xchange

    Bo Pelini, fired by Nebraska after seven seasons, will be named head coach at Youngstown State University.

    • Pelini will be introduced on Wednesday at a news conference.

      Reports of the possibility were shot down recently by Pelini, who is known to be bristly with media and labeled the headlines "a complete fabrication."

      Pelini, 47, is a Youngstown native and former Ohio State defensive back. Former Ohio Stae coach Jim Tressel is the president at Youngstown State.

      Pelini was 67-27 at Nebraska. He will replace Eric Wolford, who was fired after going 7-5 in 2014.

      ---Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman will become the new head coach at the University of Houston, but first he plans to finish his job with the Buckeyes in the first College Football Playoff.

      Herman, 39, signed a five-year, $6.75 million contract with Houston to return to the state in which he spent the first 10 years of his coaching career. He replaces Tony Levine, who had coached the Cougars for three seasons after Kevin Sumlin took over at Texas A&M. Levine was fired Dec. 8.

      The Buckeyes, who won the Big Ten championship and will play Alabama in the national semifinals on Jan. 1, rank fourth in the nation in scoring with 45.2 points per game all while surviving three changes at quarterback since the start of fall camp in August.

      ---LSU coach Les Miles wants to hush reports that he is leaving Baton Rouge to return to his alma mater, Michigan.

      Miles said he has not been contacted by Michigan directly or through his Dallas-based agent. The high-profile vacancy at Michigan prompted reports last week that Miles would replace Brady Hoke as head coach in Ann Arbor. Miles was an offensive lineman for the Wolverines and assistant coach from 1987 to 1994.

      He said Monday he wants the Tigers to be able to focus on Notre Dame and the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30.

      ---Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen denies speaking with other schools about head coaching openings.

      In a text message to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger on Tuesday, Mullen said there has been no dialogue about vacancies in other programs. Mississippi State's sixth-year coach has been mentioned in connection with various jobs around the country, including Michigan.

      ---Three Florida State players and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota landed on the 2014 AP All-America team announced Tuesday.

      Seminoles guard Tre Jackson, tight end Nick O'Leary and kicker Roberto Aguayo made the first team. Florida State, which faces Mariota and Oregon in the Rose Bowl in a College Football Playoff semifinal on Jan. 1, placed six players on the first, second or third teams. Aguayo made the first team for the second straight year.

      Oregon and Alabama were represented by two players each on the first team, led by Mariota and Heisman finalist Amari Cooper, a wide receiver for the Crimson Tide.

      Cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu joined Mariota on the first team from Oregon and Alabama safety Landon Collins was named from the nation's No. 1 team along with Cooper.

      ---After leading TCU to a 12-1 regular-season record and its first Big 12 championship, coach Gary Patterson received a contract upgrade.

      Athletic director Chris Del Conte said Tuesday that Patterson and his assistants have new deals but declined to provide details. According to salary data, Patterson made $4,008,000 this season. His new deal extends through the end of the decade, Del Conte acknowledged.

      In 14 seasons at the school, Patterson has a 131-45 record with seven titles in four conferences.

      ---Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst was to meet Tuesday with Wisconsin officials who are expected to hire the former Badgers assistant as a replacement for Gary Andersen.

      Andersen announced last week that he was leaving Madison after two seasons to take the Oregon State vacancy created when Mike Riley left to take the Nebraska job.

      Wisconsin policy prohibits the school from hiring a coach before Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. local time. Chryst is expected to be offered the job and accept at that point.

      Chryst left Wisconsin in the 2011 season as its offensive coordinator to take the Pitt job. He has a 19-19 record at Pitt in three years. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Chryst told the Pitt players after Tuesday's practice that he was headed for Madison but stopped short of saying he was taking the job.

      ---Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook indicated Tuesday that he will return to college for another season instead of jumping into the NFL Draft.

      The two-year starter is a junior who's projected as the No. 2 quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft by NFLDraftScout.com. If he entered the 2015 draft, Cook could go in the first round, but talent evaluators see him more likely in as second- or third-round selection.

      Cook passed for a Big Ten-leading 2,900 yards and 22 touchdowns with six interceptions this season while leading seventh-ranked Michigan State to a 10-2 record and a Cotton Bowl appearance on Jan. 1 against Big 12 champion Baylor.

      Junior defensive end Shilique Calhoun has yet to make a decision on whether to turn pro or remain at Michigan State for his final season.

  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014
    TCU's Patterson rewarded with new contract
    By The Sports Xchange

    After leading TCU to a 12-1 regular-season record and its first Big 12 championship, coach Gary Patterson received a contract upgrade.

    • Athletic director Chris Del Conte said Tuesday that Patterson and his assistants have new deals but declined to provide details. According to salary data, Patterson made $4,008,000 this season.

      Patterson's contract extends through the end of the decade, Del Conte acknowledged.

      In 14 seasons at the school, Patterson has a 131-45 record with seven titles in four conferences. Before becoming the head coach, he served three years as TCU's defensive coordinator.

      Patterson was named the Eddie Robinson coach of the year in college football in early December.

      The Horned Frogs, who shared the Big 12 title with Baylor, are preparing to face Mississippi in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 31. They just missed a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff, finishing fifth in the final rankings.

  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014
    Mariota, Florida State players highlight AP All-America team
    By The Sports Xchange

    Three Florida State players and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota landed on the 2014 AP All-America team announced Tuesday.

    • Seminoles guard Tre Jackson, tight end Nick O'Leary and kicker Roberto Aguayo made the first team. Florida State, which faces Mariota and Oregon in the Rose Bowl in a College Football Playoff semifinal on Jan. 1, placed six players on the first, second or third teams.

      Aguayo made the first team for the second straight year.

      Oregon and Alabama were represented by two players each on the first team, led by Mariota and Heisman finalist Amari Cooper, a wide receiver for the Crimson Tide.

      Cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu joined Mariota on the first team from Oregon and Alabama safety Landon Collins was named from the nation's No. 1 team along with Cooper.

      Quarterback Jameis Winston, the 2013 Heisman winner, was not one of the six Florida State players on the first three teams. Seminoles wide receiver Rashad Greene and safety Jalen Ramsey made the second team and defensive tackle Eddie Goldman was on the third team.

      Washington also put three players on the first team with all-purpose Shaq Thompson, defensive tackle Danny Shelton and linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha.

      Heisman finalist Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin was joined on the first-team offense by fellow Big Ten running back Tevin Coleman of Indiana.

      The Pac-12 led all conferences with seven first-teamers. The ACC was next with six, and the SEC and Big Ten each had four.

  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014
    Herman hired as Houston coach
    By The Sports Xchange

    Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman will become the new head coach at the University of Houston, but first he plans to finish his job with the Buckeyes in the first College Football Playoff.

    • Herman, who was hired by Ohio State in December 2011, last week received the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach.

      Herman, 39, signed a five-year, $6.75 million contract with Houston to return to the state in which he spent the first 10 years of his coaching career.

      "This is a tremendous opportunity for my family and I to come back to Houston and lead one of the top programs in the country," Herman said. "I am looking forward to working with one of the top athletic directors in the country as well as Chancellor Khator in a partnership that will make the city of Houston and the great state of Texas proud."

      The Buckeyes, who won the Big Ten championship and will play Alabama in the national semifinals on Jan. 1, rank fourth in the nation in scoring with 45.2 points per game all while surviving three changes at quarterback since the start of fall camp in August.

      "Tom has done an excellent job for us. Our staff and I have enjoyed working with him," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. "We wish him all the best in his new position as head coach at the University of Houston. He has been great for our program.

      "He came in and meshed immediately with the coaches and the players. Houston is not only getting an excellent coach but an excellent person and family man. I wish him all the best."

      Herman was the offensive coordinator at Rice in 2007-08. Herman also was a graduate assistant at the University of Texas, the receivers coach at Sam Houston State and the offensive coordinator at Texas State and Iowa State.

      Houston is coming off a 7-5 regular season. Herman replaces Tony Levine, who had coached the Cougars for three seasons after Kevin Sumlin took over at Texas A&M. Levine was fired Dec. 8.

      Houston will play in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl against Pittsburgh on Jan. 2 in Fort Worth, Texas. Defensive coordinator David Gibbs is the interim coach for the bowl game.

  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014
    Report: Mullen says no contact about other jobs
    By The Sports Xchange

    Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen denies speaking with other schools about head coaching openings.

    • In a text message to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger on Tuesday, Mullen said there has been no dialogue about vacancies in other programs. Mississippi State's sixth-year coach has been mentioned in connection with various jobs around the country.

      With the Bulldogs reaching No. 1 in the nation earlier this year, Mullen is considered a viable candidate for several openings.

      Mullen was mentioned in connection with jobs at Florida and Nebraska before they were filled. His name also has emerged at Michigan, which fired Brady Hoke on Dec. 2.

      Mullen is making about $3 million per year and could be headed for a significant raise if an agreement on a contract extension is reached with Mississippi State.

  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014
    LSU's Miles: No contact with Michigan
    By The Sports Xchange

    LSU head coach Les Miles wants to hush reports that he is leaving Baton Rouge to return to his alma mater, Michigan.

    • Miles said he has not been contacted by Michigan directly or through his Dallas-based agent.

      The high-profile vacancy at Michigan prompted reports last week that Miles would replace Brady Hoke as head coach in Ann Arbor. Miles was an offensive lineman for the Wolverines and assistant coach from 1987 to 1994.

      He said Monday he wants the Tigers to be able to focus on Notre Dame and the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30.

  • Monday, December 15, 2014
    Louisville safety Holliman sets sights on NFL
    By The Sports Xchange

    Louisville safety Gerod Holliman has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.

    • Ranked as the 30th best player by NFLDraftScout.com, Holliman is projected to be selected in the first two rounds.

      Holliman recorded 14 interceptions this past season, which tied the NCAA single-season record. His stellar season earned him the Jim Thorpe Award as the top defensive back.

      He also was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award, which is given to the top defensive player in the country. Arizona's Scooby Wright won that honor.

      The redshirt sophomore compiled 37 tackles and 17 passes defended this season.

  • Monday, December 15, 2014
    Auburn WR Coates decides to enter draft
    By The Sports Xchange

    Auburn wide receiver Sammie Coates said Monday that he will forgo his senior season with the Tigers and enter the 2015 NFL Draft.

    • The junior has compiled 1,733 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns during his career at Auburn. In this year's Iron Bowl against Alabama, Coates set a school record with 206 yards.

      Coates is the No. 40 overall prospect and the No. 7-ranked wide receiver. Despite inconsistencies in catching the ball and route running, Coates has shown flashes that certainly will attract a number of teams.

      A physical specimen, Coates has the size (6-2, 201) and speed (expected to run in the 4.3 range) to be a mismatch against defensive backs. He was named second team All-SEC after his 717 yards and four touchdowns this season, despite being plagued with a leg injury. His 21.5 yards per catch ranks third nationally.

      Coates has accepted an invitation to participate in the 2015 Senior Bowl.

      Redshirt juniors who earn their degree and declare early for the NFL Draft are eligible to participate in the Senior Bowl.

      Teammate D'haquille Williams, Auburn's top wideout and another top-10 receiver also is contemplating forgoing his senior season for a chance to play in the NFL.

      Dane Brugler is a senior analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, a property of The Sports Xchange distributed in partnership with CBSSports.com. NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst

  • Sunday, December 14, 2014
    Arrest made in murder of Auburn's Mitchell
    By The Sports Xchange

    Auburn freshman Jakell Mitchell was shot and killed at an apartment complex near the school Sunday morning.

    • Markale Deandra Hart, 22, of Camp Hill, Ala., was taken into custody Sunday and charged with murder.

      "I'm devastated and saddened by the passing of Jakell Mitchell," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement. "My thoughts and prayers are with Jakell's family and friends, who are suffering through this senseless tragedy. I know the Auburn family is hurting, especially our players and coaches, and we are going to love and support them through this difficult time. We have lost a member of our family too young, too soon."

      Auburn police responded to a call that shots were fired at about 12:25 a.m.

      Mitchell, 18, was a passenger in a vehicle leaving the Tiger Lodge apartment complex. He was found with multiple gunshot wounds, according to police. He was taken to East Alabama Medical Center and died after arriving, according to the Lee County Coroner's Office.

      Brian Blackmon, Mitchell's high school coach at nearby Opelika High School, told USA Today: "It's a really sad place and a lot of hurt. A lot of unanswered questions. I think any time you lose a kid that's got such a bright future, it's just unimaginable, the grief that you go through."

      Mitchell, a tight end, redshirted this season but was expected to play a significant role next season with C.J. Uzomah and Brandon Fulse leaving.

      The shooting occurred at the same apartment complex that three men, including Auburn players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips, were shot and killed by Desmonte Leonard in June 2012. Leonard was convicted of capital murder, attempted murder and assault in October. He will be sentenced in January.

  • Sunday, December 14, 2014
    Oregon's Mariota wins Heisman Trophy in runaway
    By The Sports Xchange

    NEW YORK -- In Hawaii, "Ohana" means family.

    • After becoming the first Hawaiian to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota made sure to focus on that concept.

      The soft-spoken Mariota credited his family and friends in his native Hawaii that watched him develop into a high school quarterback who did not start until his senior season and also cited his teammates that helped him make history on Saturday night.

      "Ohana means family," Mariota said in his press conference at the Marriott Marquis. "That's it right there. In Hawaii, if one person is successful, then the entire state is successful. To be a part of that, it's something special."

      It seemed like many Hawaiians were outside on Broadway and West 45th Street as Mariota walked from the Best Buy Theater to the hotel. Many teachers from St. Louis High School in Honolulu made the trip and provided him Hawaiian and Samoan leis that he wore at the press conference.

      "That's a huge part of who he is and in a lot of ways it's the basis for all of what he is," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. "His family, his culture, proud people, a very loyal people, hard-working. All the things that he's exposed about himself comes from that background. It was a great tribute of the culture."

      Mariota said, "For them to come here and give me so many leis, that's special. It meant a lot that they were here to support me."

      Not only did Mariota become the first Ducks player to win the award, he also won in one of the most lopsided votes in the 80-year history.

      Mariota accumulated 2,534 points, which was the third most in Heisman history behind Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith in 2006 and Texas running back Ricky Williams in 1998.

      "I am honored to be standing here," Mariota said immediately after winning the award. "This award belong to my teammates. The amount of sacrifice they have made is not unnoticed."

      Mariota received 90.9 percent of the votes, second only to Smith in 2006. He also became the fifth straight quarterback and the 32nd player at that position to win the award.

      "It's hard to not get emotional because it's been a long journey," Mariota said. "For all those people to help me out and to support me and believe in me just means the world."

      Saturday also was the culmination of a journey that started when Helfrich, then an assistant to coach Chip Kelly, first noticed Mariota on film while recruiting a wide receiver from the same school.

      "The first throw that I remember is he threw a flag route, a corner route, and his body language, his mannerisms," Helfich said before the ceremony. "It reminded me a ton of Jake Plummer on film. He threw this kind of flattened-out corner route and that was the first one that kind of perked you up in your chair."

      The multitalented junior completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 3,783 yards while throwing for 38 touchdowns and only two interceptions this season as Oregon went 12-1.

      Mariota also ran for 14 touchdowns while compiling 669 rushing yards on 117 carries, helping the Ducks to No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings and a meeting with No. 3 Florida State on Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl in a playoff semifinal that will pit him against 2013 Heisman winner Jameis Winston.

      After redshirting in 2011, Mariota won 35 of 39 games and has thrown 101 touchdown passes and only 12 interceptions while accumulating 10,125 passing yards. He is expected to be the top pick in the 2015 NFL draft if he forgos his senior season.

      Mariota also became the first Heisman winner from a Pac-12 school since USC running back Reggie Bush won in 2005 before forfeiting the award. He also was the first player from a Pac-12 school other than USC to win since Stanford's Jim Plunkett in 1970.

      Saturday completed a sweep of major awards for Mariota. He won the Maxwell Award as college football's most outstanding player after getting the Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year and the Davey O'Brien Award for being the nation's best quarterback.

      That meant a fourth speech for the reserved Mariota, who wrote down his comments on paper to avoid forgetting anybody.

      "It's tough," Mariota said. "This is something you dream of as a little kid. To stand up on a podium and try to make a speech after all that is tough because you're feeling you're so excited. That's why I had emotions."

      Gordon, recipient of the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top runner, received 1,250 points, highlighted by 432 second-place votes. Gordon has rushed for 2,336 yards this season -- the fourth-best season total in FBS history and leads the nation in average rushing yards at 179.7 per game.

      Gordon was bidding to be the Badgers' first Heisman winner since running back Ron Dayne in 1999 and trying to join Alan Ameche as the third winner in school history.

      Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper, who won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver, finished with 1,023 points. He was the first member of the Crimson Tide to win that award after leading the nation with 115 receptions and 1,656 receiving yards.

      Had Cooper won, he would have joined running back Mark Ingram Jr. (2009) as the second Alabama player to claim the award. He also would have been the first wide receiver to win since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991.

      Winston finished sixth with 51 total points.

  • Saturday, December 13, 2014
    Report: Missouri DC will coach Missouri State
    By The Sports Xchange

    Dave Steckel, the mastermind behind Missouri's defense, reportedly will leave to become the new coach at Missouri State.

    • The announcement is expected Sunday, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

      Steckel, 57, has been the defensive coordinator under coach Gary Pinkel for the past six seasons and has been an assistant at Missouri since Pinkel arrived in 2001.

      Steckel's unit has produced the SEC defensive player of the year in each of the past two seasons: Michael Sam in 2013 and Shane Ray this year.

      This year, Steckel was the only defensive coordinator among the five finalists for the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach.

      The Tigers ranked 23rd in the nation in total defense.

      Missouri State, an FCS school, went 4-8 this season and finished 1-7 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

      The school declined to renew coach Terry Allen's contract. He went 37-64 in nine seasons.

  • Saturday, December 13, 2014
    Navy has Amry's number and now it's 13
    By The Sports Xchange

    BALTIMORE -- After the Corps of Cadets paraded onto the field more than two hours before the 115th playing of the Army and Navy game, the Brigade of Midshipmen, which paraded on first and had taken their seats in the stands, shouted "13 more years" in anticipation of extending the longest streak in the series’ storied history.

    • Navy can start thinking about making it 14 straight.

      Keenan Reynolds ran for one touchdown and threw for another in leading Navy to a 17-10 victory over Army, the 13th straight win for the Midshipmen in the series, in front of 70,935 at M&T Bank Stadium.

      Reynolds' one-yard plunge for a touchdown, which was upheld by review, gave Navy a 17-7 lead with 12:07 remaining in the game. The score capped a 15-play, 69-yard drive that milked 7:49 off the clock.

      After the teams traded turnovers, the Black Knights got a career-long 52-yard field goal from Dan Grochowski to cut the deficit to 17-10 with 1:51 remaining.

      The ensuing onside kick by Mitchell Howard bounced twice before it was corralled by Navy's Thomas Wilson.

      "It is a heck of a run and you have to give credit to a lot of players and coaches," emotional Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said in referring to the streak.

      "It is hard to do. We don't talk about the streak and our approach has always been about the game."

      Reynolds rushed for 100 yards, reaching the century mark for the 14th time in his career, and his rushing touchdown was his 62nd, extending his NCAA record for a quarterback.

      "We understand the streak is there and we know the magnitude of the game," Reynolds said. "But it is still a football game and how we prepare for it is much like the 11 previous games. The difference is all the external factors."

      Austin Grebe drilled a career-long 45-yard field goal with 9:43 remaining in the third quarter give to Navy (7-5) its first lead of the game, 10-7.

      Ryan Williams-Jenkins set up the score when he returned the second half kickoff 41 yards to the 50-yard line.

      Army (4-8) had a chance to pull even on the ensuing possession, but Grochowski was wide left on a 49-yard field goal attempt with 4:56 remaining in the quarter.

      "I am certainly disappointed to play as hard as we did and for our guys not to be rewarded," said first-year Army coach Jeff Monken, who along with Niumatalolo was an assistant at Navy from 2002-07 under current Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson.

      "I especially feel for our seniors. I thought we fought tremendously hard and I am real proud of our effort."

      For the first time since 2009, Army opened the scoring when Josh Jenkins blocked Pablo Beltran's punt. Xavier Moss scooped up the loose ball and returned it seven yards for a touchdown with 9:36 remaining in the opening quarter.

      "You don't win too many games when you give up a blocked punt for a touchdown," Niumatalolo said. "It goes to show you how resilient we are. We had some missed assignments, but we settled down."

      That blocked punt produced the only score of a first quarter that saw Navy go three-and-out on each of its three possessions while totaling only 15 yards.

      "We kept shooting ourselves in the foot," Reynolds said with respect to the slow start. "We knew what we had to do, but we did a poor job of executing."

      Army chewed up a good part of the second quarter with a 10-play drive that took six minutes off the clock. The Black Knights stalled at the Navy 30-yard line when quarterback Angel Santiago was stuffed by end Paul Quessenberry on fourth-and-1 with 2:11 remaining.

      That stop by Navy proved critical.

      On the ensuing possession the Midshipmen drove 70 yards on six plays and tied the game when Keenan Reynolds connected with Jamir Tillman for a nine-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds remaining in the half.

      "That was something we had to have," Reynolds said. "We needed to get some points there at the end of the half."

      NOTES: Navy leads the all-time series 59-49-7. ... Coach Ken Niumatalolo passed George Welsh in becoming the Naval Academy's all-time winningest coach with 56 victories. ... The blocked punt by Army's Josh Jenkins marked consecutive games (Fordham, Nov. 22) in which he blocked a punt that resulted in a touchdown. Pablo Beltran, a senior, had gone the first 150 punt attempts of his Navy career without having one blocked. ... The game was the fifth played in Baltimore and third at M&T Bank Stadium. ... Jeff Monken is the sixth Army coach to suffer a loss during the 13-game streak. ... Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel performed the coin toss.

  • Saturday, December 13, 2014
    Oklahoma QB Knight cleared to play
    By The Sports Xchange

    Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight was cleared to play in the Russell Athletic Bowl, the school announced Saturday.

    • Knight was carted off the field with a neck injury in Oklahoma's 48-14 loss to Baylor on Nov. 8.

      Specifically, Knight was diagnosed with transient quadriplegia, a condition that causes a person to have painful burning sensations, numbness, tingling or a loss of sensation on both sides of the body.

      Knight missed three games: Oklahoma's wins over Texas Tech and Kansas and last Saturday's loss to Oklahoma State. Cody Thomas completed 24 of 52 passes for 294 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in place of Knight.

      Knight has completed 162 of 279 passes for 2,197 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions this season. He has also rushed for 340 yards with five TDs.

      Oklahoma plays No. 17 Clemson on Dec. 29 in Orlando.

  • Saturday, December 13, 2014
    Auburn introduces Muschamp as DC
    By The Sports Xchange

    In his introductory press conference Saturday, new Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said he had no other job offers.

    • The former Florida coach was linked to several coaching jobs, including Houston, but Muschamp said Auburn was the only school that made him an offer.

      "At the end of the day, this is the only job I've been offered," he said.

      Muschamp will become one of college football's highest paid assistants. According to the Associated Press, Muschamp will make $1.6 million per year.

      "Very exciting day for Auburn football," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "Two weeks ago, we set out to find one of the best minds in college football, and we definitely feel like we did that."

      Reports of Muschamp's hire surfaced Friday after 247Sports reported that he withdrew his name from consideration for the Houston coaching job. He was also linked to other openings, including the Texas A&M defensive coordinator position.

      Muschamp joked at the press conference about how difficult it has been recruiting against Auburn in the SEC.

      "It will be nice to be on the other side," he said.

      Malzahn said that Muschamp will not coach in the Outback Bowl against Wisconsin. Instead, defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison will serve as the interim defensive coordinator.

      Muschamp will be with the team during practice for the bowl game and said he hopes to start recruiting right away.

      Auburn ousted defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson on Nov. 30 after the Tigers were beaten 55-44 by Alabama. Auburn (8-4) finished 59th in the country in scoring defense (26.1 points per game) and total defense (388.7 yards) during the regular season.

      Muschamp, 43, considered a defensive specialist, was fired by Florida in November after posting a 28-21 record in four seasons. He previously served two stints at Auburn as a graduate assistant in 1995 and 1996 and the defensive coordinator in 2006 and 2007.

      The school announced the hiring earlier Saturday.

      "I'm excited to welcome Will back to Auburn as our new defensive coordinator," Malzahn said in a statement. "Will is a one of the top defensive minds in college football who has great passion and energy for the game. He is a tremendous addition to our staff."

      Muschamp also said earlier that "my family, Carol, Jackson, Whit, and I are excited about coming back to Auburn and I look forward to working with Coach Malzahn to win championships."

      Houston is looking for a coach to replace Tony Levine, who was fired after three seasons. The Houston Chronicle reported that the school recently interviewed Muschamp.

      Houston fired Levine after he went 7-5 this season and 21-17 in three years. The school also reportedly is interested in Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman and TCU co-offensive coordinator Doug Meachem.