Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) vs. Tulane (7-5)
Dec. 21, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
• Reason to watch: Louisiana-Lafayette’s offense has been mostly effective to date, averaging 34.6 points per game. Tulane ranks tied for 19th nationally in scoring defense, allowing only 21.2 points. When the teams collide in New Orleans, something has to give. The Green Wave also boast a turnover margin of 1.0, tied for ninth in the FBS. That opportunistic mindset is a major reason why coach Curtis Johnson’s program secured a bowl berth for the first time since 2002.
Half the fun of college football recruiting comes from the out of the box approaches certain coaching staffs take towards their prospects and recruits. Whether it’s Joker Phillips’ ridiculous Photoshops (#ComePlayWRForTheJoker) or Georgia Tech’s foreboding #themigration, recruits notice. But there’s still something to be said for the handwritten note.
NC State is famous for its YOU=BALLER technique. Now it seems Virginia has taken it a step further into obscurity. Three-star recruit and Virginia commit Jeffery Farrar received a note from Cavaliers coach Mike London, and on the inside (shown in a picture Farrar initially tweeted out) it merely read “YOU” and was underlined. Then signed by London.
UPDATE: Farrar took down the photo and added two tweets for clarification. SB Nation has the original photo.
At a press conference Tuesday, Florida Atlantic officially announced the hiring of Arkansas assistant Charlie Partridge, ending a search that went on for more than six weeks.
“Coach Partridge embodies the characteristics and qualities we profiled for our head football coach,” FAU athletic director Pat Chun said in the school’s release. “First and foremost he is an extraordinary leader. His integrity, commitment to student-athlete wellness and development, family values and passion make him the ideal person to lead our football program.”
The College Football Playoff announced Monday that Glendale, Ariz., and Tampa, Fla., will host the college football National Championship game in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The news was first reported by ESPN’s Brett McMurphy.
The 2016 title game, which follows the 2015 season, will take place at University of Phoenix Stadium, while the 2017 title game will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The first title game under the four-team playoff model will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, after the 2014 season.
For the second season in a row, a redshirt freshman burst onto the national scene en route to capturing the Heisman Trophy. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston followed in the footsteps of Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel to become the second first-year player to hoist college football’s most prestigious individual award. Neither Winston nor Manziel had ever taken a college snap prior to his Heisman-winning campaign, but both outperformed a handful of more established players to ultimately carry the vote.
Perhaps the 2014 season will serve up another Heisman surprise. For that to happen, however, a challenger will have to sneak by the following list of more proven commodities, all of whom should be in position to accomplish big things next fall. As a disclaimer, many of the below players are eligible to leave school early and declare for this spring’s NFL draft. The class affixed next each candidate’s name reflects that player’s would-be eligibility entering the ’14 season.
Another coveted 2014 prospect is off the board. Liberty County (Ga.) High linebacker Raekwon McMillan announced his decision to attend Ohio State on Monday, beating out Auburn, Georgia, Clemson and Alabama. In a ceremony broadcast on NBC Sports Network, McMillan cited early playing time and the Buckeyes’ family vibe as the reasons for his commitment. He fumbled with an Alabama hat before ultimately grabbing an Ohio State cap.
“It was just something special about Ohio State University,” McMillan said on NBCSN. “Every time I visited the school. Every time I talked to coach [Urban] Meyer on the phone. Every time I talked to coach [Luke] Fickell. Every time we sat down to talk. We just had a special bond.”
Alabama (11-1) is a heavy favorite heading into its Sugar Bowl matchup against Oklahoma (10-2) on Jan. 2. However, the Crimson Tide’s chances could dip slightly if senior guard Anthony Steen is unable to play following shoulder surgery to repair a partially torn labrum. The news was first reported by CBS’ Jeremy Fowler.
It’s uncertain when Steen suffered the injury or how much pain he played through, but getting the surgery done now instead of after the bowl game should give him a head start on NFL draft prep.
It’s not enough that colleges have to watch out for other colleges when it comes to poaching coaches, but the ultimate trump card of the NFL is always lying in wait as well. Bill O’Brien resisted suitors from the league in the off-season a year ago, but it looks like they’ll be back in full force to try to pry him away from Penn State once again. Per Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, O’Brien has already been approached by both the Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings.
NEW YORK — Jameis Winston flashed a wide smile as he took the stage at the 2013 Heisman Trophy ceremony at the Best Buy Theater in New York. It was the same smile we’ve seen all season from the talented and gregarious quarterback, a player whose carefree demeanor often conjured up comparisons to Magic Johnson and other athletes well-known for affable personalities. Few players have been as comfortable in front of a camera this season as Florida State’s star. For now, this was Winston’s moment.
Yet with the sport’s most prestigious award in hand, Winston, for once, couldn’t find words. “I was speechless,” the Seminoles’ redshirt freshman quarterback said. “I had to shake everyone’s hand twice. I didn’t know what to do.”
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has won the 79th Heisman Trophy at the award’s ceremony in New York on Saturday night.
Winston claimed 2,205 points — 82 percent of points possible — on ballots received, including 668 first-place votes. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron finished second with 704 total points, with Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch coming in third with 558 total points.
Winston’s 1,501 margin of victory ranks seventh all-time, while his 668 first-place votes mark the ninth largest haul in the history of the award. Of the 900 votes tabulated, Winston was left off of 115 ballots entirely.
Your 2013 Heisman Trophy results:
1. Jameis Winston, Florida State: 2,205 points
2. AJ McCarron, Alabama: 704
3. Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois: 558
4. Andre Williams, Boston College: 470
5. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: 421
6. Tre Mason, Auburn: 404
7. Bryce Petty, Baylor: 127
8. Derek Carr, Fresno State: 107
9. Braxton Miller, Ohio State: 91
10. Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona: 70
Winston, a redshirt freshman, is the headliner of an unbeaten Seminoles squad ranked No. 1 in the country and headed to face No. 2 Auburn in the BCS Championship Game. He is only the second freshman to win the award following Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s Heisman victory in 2012.
Winston completed 237-of-349 passes for 3,820 yards, 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions during the 2013 season. His 38 touchdown passes and 3,820 passing yards set national freshman records, and he finished the year as the nation’s leader in passing efficiency (190.06).