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Wisconsin Badgers Name Chryst Head Coach

Wisconsin Badgers Name Chryst Head Coach

David Stluka/Get​ty Images(MADISON, Wi.) -- The Wisconsin Badgers have found their replacement for the surprising departure of Gary Andersen.

The Badgers football team announced Wednesday that Paul Chryst will take over as head coach, who leaves the University of Pittsburgh to return to the University of Wisconsin. Chryst was formerly the offensive coordinator of the Badgers from 2005 to 2011. 

Chryst is also a Wisconsin native who graduated from the University in 1988.

"To be able to do this and come back home, to Wisconsin, it truly is special," Chryst said.

Athletic director and former head coach Barry Alvarez said that finding a candidate with Wisconsin ties wasn't a requirement, but it did help.

"To continue to grow and learn, and then leave and be able to come back ... Coach, I appreciate that, more than you know," said Chryst, while turning toward Alvarez.

During his three-year tenure at Pittsburgh, Chryst was 19-19. His best record was 7-6 in 2013, where the Panthers capped their season with a 30-27 win over the Bowling Green Falcons in the Little Ceasar's Pizza Bowl.

 

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Navy Makes It 13 Straight Over Army, 17-10

Navy Makes It 13 Straight Over Army, 17-10

American Football Field Yard Lines IStockPhoto/ Thinkstock(BALTMORE) -- Keenan Reynolds led his team to a 17-10 victory over Army for the Midshipmen's 13th straight victory over the Black Knights on Saturday.

Reynolds tossed a touchdown pass to Jamir Tillman in the first quarter to go along with a one-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to give them the lead for good.

Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo picked up his seventh win in the rivalry and became the winningest coach in the program's history [56 wins], breaking a tie with George Welsh.

Army scored on an early punt block that was returned by Xavier Moss and had a chance when a field goal made it 17-10 with 1:51 remaining, but Navy recovered the on-side kick.

The Black Knights finished the season 4-8 under first year head coach Jeff Monken, who is a former Navy assistant.

Navy will now play on Dec. 23 in the Poinsettia Bowl against San Diego State.

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Muschamp Rejoins Auburn as Defensive Coordinator

Muschamp Rejoins Auburn as Defensive Coordinator

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Will Muschamp didn't have to wait too long to find employment. The former Florida football coach has reached a deal to become the new defensive coordinator at Auburn, the school announced late Friday night.

The three-year deal is reportedly worth between $1.6 million and $1.8 million annually, making Muschamp the highest paid defensive coordinator in major college football.

"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," Muschamp said in the statement.

Muschamp, who was 28-21 in four seasons with the Gators, will be making his third stint with the Tigers. He was the defensive coordinator in 2006 and 2007 for Tommy Tuberville and was also a graduate assistant in 1995 and '96. 

Despite a disappointing end to his tenure at Florida, Muschamp was named the SEC Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading the Gators to an 11-2 record. During his time, the Florida defense was among the nation's best in multiple categories, including opponents yards per game and third-down percentage.

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Alvarez Will Coach Wisconsin in Outback Bowl

Alvarez Will Coach Wisconsin in Outback Bowl

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Current Wisconsin director of athletics and former head coach Barry Alvarez will coach the football team when it takes on Auburn in the Outback Bowl Jan. 1, the school announced Thursday.Wisconsin was left without a coach for the Bowl game when head coach Gary Andersen decided Wednesday to leave the school and become Oregon State's head coach.Alvarez coached the Badgers from 1990-2005 during which he became the winningest coach in school history (118-74-4).“A number of the seniors met with me on Wednesday after our team meeting and asked if I would consider coaching the team,” Alvarez said. “I told them I would have to sleep on it. After thinking it over and meeting with some of the seniors again this morning I have decided to coach. I feel this gives our assistants an opportunity to concentrate on getting the team ready for a very good opponent in Auburn. My goal is to make sure our players, especially the seniors playing their last game, have a memorable experience and we do everything we can to prepare to win the game.”This isn't the first time Alvarez coached a Bowl game while serving as A.D. In 2013, he coached the Badgers in the Rose Bowl after former head coach Bret Bielema left to coach Arkansas. Alvarez and the Badgers lost that game to Stanford, 20-14.

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Heisman Finalists Announced

Heisman Finalists Announced

Kelly Kline/Heisman Trophy Trust via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Three of college football's top players will soon travel to New York as part of the Heisman Trophy ceremony.

Alabama's Amari Cooper, Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and Oregon's Marcus Mariota were named finalists Monday for college football's top honor. 

Mariota is considered the favorite to win the award after leading a Ducks team to a 12-1 record and a Pac 12 title. He has completed 68.7% of his passes for 3,783 yards with 38 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions. Mariota also has run for 14 touchdowns.

Gordon, who broke the single-game rushing record against Nebraska with 408 yards, has totaled 2,336 yards on the ground and 26 touchdowns. The record was broken the following week by Oklahoma's Samaje Perine, who ran for 427 yards. If Gordon is able to run for 293 yards against Auburn in the Outback Bowl, he will eclipse Barry Sander's single-season record of 2,628 yards, set in 1988.  

Cooper led a rejuvenated Crimson Tide passing attack with 115 catches for 1,656 yards and 14 touchdowns, as Alabama captured the No.1 seed in college football's playoff.

The Heisman Trophy will be presented on December 13.

 

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Tennessee Extends Butch Jones

Tennessee Extends Butch Jones

American Football Field Yard Lines IStockPhoto/ Thinkstock(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) -- The Tennessee Vols rewarded head coach Butch Jones with a contract extension through the 2020 season on Monday.

Jones will get $3.6 million per season after being targeted by Michigan, according to reports.

"It is my belief that you should reward people for performance, not whether you think others are coming after him," Athletic Director Dave Hart said.

Jones is 61-40 as a head coach and has the Vols in their first bowl game since Lane Kiffin in 2009.

"I am very honored and grateful to be the head football coach at the University of Tennessee, and I understand what this program represents," said Jones. "This has been a complete team effort as we continue to rebuild and restore the Tennessee football program to the standards and expectations that we all have. I'm extremely appreciative to Dave Hart, Chancellor Cheek, and our entire administration for all the support they have given us, and I am also thankful for the loyal support from the best and most passionate fan base in the nation."

"Butch Jones is our coach and going to be our coach for a long time," Hart said. "When building a program, you have plenty of challenges in changing a culture. We have the right man in Butch Jones. He possesses a very unique skill set. I value our relationship personally and professionally."

Tennessee will play Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl on Jan. 2 in Jacksonville, Florida.

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Baylor Ends Regular Season with Win Over Kansas State

Baylor Ends Regular Season with Win Over Kansas State

ThinkStock(WACO, Texas) -- The Baylor Bears earned a share of their second straight Big 12 Championship with a 38-27 win over ninth-ranked Kansas State on Saturday. The win also keeps number six Baylor (11-1) in the running for a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff.

The Bears opened the game with a pair of rushing touchdowns from Bryce Petty and Shock Linwood respectively, that immediately gave them the upper hand. The Wildcats (9-3) got on the board in the second quarter as Charles Jones scored from 1-yard out, but the defense was unable to stop Baylor's high-octane attack. Baylor answered every Kansas State score with a scoring drive of their own, holding a 24-14 lead at halftime.

Baylor added two more touchdowns in the third and went up 38-20 before the Wildcats made a run in the fourth quarter. Jake Waters hit Tyler Lockett for an 8-yard touchdown pass to get Kansas State within 11 put they were unable to get any closer. 

The Bears now hope they are part of the four-team playoff, which currently has TCU in ahead of Baylor, when the final rankings are announced Sunday at noon. Baylor defeated the Horned Frogs in their only head-to-head meeting while TCU clinched a share of the conference crown with a blowout win over Illinois State on Saturday.

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Ohio State Routs Wisconsin, 59-0, for Big Ten Title

Ohio State Routs Wisconsin, 59-0, for Big Ten Title

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.) -- As if the inaugural College Football Playoff didn't need any more potential controversy, fifth-ranked Ohio State throttled number 13 Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten title game on Saturday, only adding to the list of teams vying for a top-four spot. 

I don't think there's any doubt we're one of the top four teams in America," said coach Urban Meyer, who has led the Buckeyes (10-3) to 11 consecutive wins, nine of which have been by double digits.

Third-string quarterback Cardale Jones, starting his first ever college game, showed no jitters and threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns in the blowout. Jones also earned MVP honors, helping Ohio State put up 38 points in the first half alone. Running back Ezekiel Elliott had a strong contribution to the championship, racking up 220 yards on the ground and scoring twice.

What may have been most impressive was the play of the Buckeyes defense. Wisconsin (10-3) running back, and Heisman hopeful, Melvin Gordon was held to just 76 yards on 26 carries and no touchdowns. It was the second lowest rushing total this year for the nation's top back.

It was the first shutout loss for the Bdagers since 1997, and worst since a 59-0 defeat by Ohio State in 1979. Meanwhile, the win was Ohio State's largest over a ranked team in school history.

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Florida State Repeats as ACC Champions

Florida State Repeats as ACC Champions

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- For the third straight year, the Florida State Seminoles won the Atlantic Coast Conference crown, beating Georgia Tech 37-35 on Saturday. The fourth-ranked Seminoles (13-0) completed another perfect regular season, winning their 29th straight game.

It was not an easy romp for Florida State, who actually trailed multiple times in the contest. The Yellow Jackets (10-3) used their impressive running attack to slow the game down and take an early 7-0 lead after their defense forced a punt on the Seminoles opening drive. However, Florida State scored on their next seven possessions and 28-21 lead at halftime.

Number 11 Georgia Tech tied things up with another touchdown run from Synjyn Davis, his third of the game, but three straight field goals from Roberto Aguayo put the game out of reach. Yellow Jackets quarterback Justin Thomas rushed for 104 yards and threw for 177 more, but a costly fourth-quarter interception helped give Florida State the win.

Jameis Winston tossed three touchdowns, while throwing for 309 yards, hoping for a spot in the first ever College Football Playoff to have a chance to defend their national championship. 

"We can't control what other people think," Winston said.

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No. 1 Alabama Rocks No. 16 Missouri, Wins SEC Title

No. 1 Alabama Rocks No. 16 Missouri, Wins SEC TitleAmerican Football Field Yard Lines IStockPhoto/ Thinkstock(ATLANTA, Ga) -- The Crimson Tide rolled over the Missouri Tigers to cinch another SEC Title. Saturday, No. 1 Alabama (12-1) was led by their ground game as T.J. Yeldon and Derick Henry pounded ...

TCU Throttles Iowa State

TCU Throttles Iowa State

iStockphoto(FORT WORTH, Tx.) -- TCU made its final case why it should be involved in the inaugural college football playoff.

Trevone Boykin pushed the needle as he tossed four more touchdowns in TCU's 55-3 beat down of Iowa State, Saturday. Boykin finished the day completing 30 of 41 passes with 460 yards through the air.  He also caught a 55 yard touchdown pass from David Porter to give the Horned Frogs their first score of the game.

TCU finishes the season with an 11-1 record and is currently ranked third in the college football playoff selection committee’s poll.  The dominating win should solidify their position as they compete for a national title.

Barring any changes or upsets in the top four, the Horned Frogs will likely face the Oregon Ducks, who are coming off a 51-13 victory over Arizona in the Pac-12 title game.

With an 8-1 record in the Big 12, TCU will at least own a share of the conference title.

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(2) Oregon Wins Pac-12 Championship

(2) Oregon Wins Pac-12 Championship

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) -- Marcus Mariota scored five total touchdowns while the Oregon defense held Arizona scoreless in the first half, helping the second-ranked Ducks (12-1) to a 51-13 win in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday. The win avenges a regular-season loss to the Wildcats (10-3) which continues to be the only blemish on Oregon's record.

"There are a bunch of big smiles, and I'm proud of that," Ducks coach Mark Helfrich said. It was the first conference title for Oregon since 2011.

The Ducks were forced to settle for a pair of field goals in the first quarter before the offense began to open up. Mariota rushed for one of his three touchdowns on the ground, giving Oregon a 13-0 lead. The Heisman hopeful ran in from 4-yards out six minutes later for another score as the Ducks led 23-0 at halftime.

"This is a huge accomplishment for us," Mariota said. "Now we need to continue to improve and get better for whoever comes next."

Mariota opened the second half with a passing touchdown, connecting with Devon Allen for a 4-yard score before the Wildcats finally got on the board. A 69-yard pass from Jesse Scroggins to Cayleb Jones helped Arizona avoid a shutout, trimming the lead to 30-7, but Oregon answered with 14 straight points. 

In the fourth quarter, Kenny Bassett scored on a 19-yard run before the Ducks gave up a touchdown run as time expired. Royce Freeman dominated on the ground for Oregon, rushing for 114 yards on 21 carries despite not reaching the end zone.

Oregon has all but guaranteed themselves a berth in the inaugural College Football Playoff, with the final rankings being announced on Sunday.

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Mountain West Championship Preview

Mountain West Championship Preview

iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- No. 22 Boise State (10-2) will host Fresno State (6-6) on Saturday for the Mountain West Championship.

The Broncos can clinch a major bowl berth as well and head coach Bryan Harsin said his team knows what a victory will do for the program.

"We're aware of it," Harsin said. "But the only thing we know for a fact is that we get to play on Saturday night for a championship. All the speculation of where we could go for a bowl game, that doesn't really matter right now."

"We've done a good job of focusing on our opponent. Guys would be nuts if they're not focused on [Fresno State]," he added.

The Bulldogs are 5-3 in their Mountain West matchups this year.

"The only people that believed we were going to be here were our players and our coaching staff," Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter said this week.  

DeRuyter admit he's concerned about playing at Boise State.

"Boise's field has some kind of mystique and I think our guys realize it's about their players executing and our players executing," DeRuyter said.  "I'm sure it's going to be loud, it just makes it that much more fun when you get a chance to win on the road."

Defense will be key in this game if Fresno State will be able to pull off the upset; the Broncos are averaging 40.8 points per game this year.

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SEC Championship Game Preview

SEC Championship Game Preview

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(TUSCALOOSA, Al.) -- Top-ranked Alabama will take on the Missouri Tigers in the SEC Championship game on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide remain in the top spot in the College Football Playoff rankings, and head coach Nick Saban wants his team to remain focused.

"This is a new season," Saban said on Monday. "We look forward to the challenges of the future, what we need to do to get ready to play a very good team in the SEC Championship game."

"The SEC Championship game is a great opportunity for our players," Saban continued.  "It's a great competitive venue, one of the most exciting games that I've had the opportunity to compete in."

The Tigers are averaging 28.6 points per game and Alabama is only giving up 16.9.

Head coach Gary Pinkel knows it'll be a challenge against the Crimson Tide offense, especially since Missouri is 7-1 in their SEC games this year.

"Alabama's got a very good football team," Pinkel said. "Nick's done a great job with that program and we're going to play a very potent offensive team and obviously a very good defensive team."

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Helfrich on Arizona: ‘They’re Very Well Coached’

Helfrich on Arizona: ‘They’re Very Well Coached’

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images(EUGENE, Ore.) -- Second-ranked Oregon will go up against seventh-ranked Arizona on Friday in the Pac-12 championship game.

Oregon leads the all-time series 24-16 and has won 16 of the last 21 meetings. Meanwhile, Arizona’s current two-game winning streak in the series is its longest since back-to-back victories in 2006-07.

"They're very well coached up front in terms of the d-line recognizing blocks and scheme," Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich said on Tuesday.

Arizona running back Nick Wilson has 15 touchdowns this season and rushed for 1,263 yards.

"They've got a little bit of a two-headed monster at tail-back as well, very productive," Helfrich said of the Wildcats running game that includes Terris Jones-Grigsby.

The Heisman Trophy finalists will be announced next week and Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota could be one of the favorites to win it.

"I wouldn't be in this position without my teammates," Mariota said on Tuesday.  "Hopefully in the end whatever the outcome is the invitation itself is just an honor."

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TCU Joins the Top 4 in New CFB Rankings

TCU Joins the Top 4 in New CFB Rankings

ThinkStock(NEW YORK) -- TCU moved into the top four of the new College Football Playoff rankings that were announced Tuesday night.TCU, which routed Texas 48-10 on Thursday, was vaulted into the three spot while undefeated Florida State dropped to No. 4.Alabama and Oregon remained No. 1 and 2 respectively.Baylor, which beat TCU earlier in the season, came in sixth while Ohio State finished fifth.All of the top-six teams will play either Friday or Saturday before the final CFB rankings are revealed. Alabama and No. 16 Missouri play in the SEC championship game. Oregon and No. 7 Arizona square off in the Pac-12 championship Friday. TCU will take on Iowa State (2-9). Florida State gets No. 11 Georgia Tech in the ACC championship. Ohio State plays No. 13 Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship and Baylor hosts No. 9 Kansas State (9-2).

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Nebraska Fires Bo Pelini

Nebraska Fires Bo Pelini

Football Texture/iStockphoto(LINCOLN, Neb.) -- Nebraska fired head coach Bo Pelini on Sunday after seven seasons.

The Cornhuskers are coming off a 37-34 win over Iowa and have a 9-3 record this season.

"Earlier this morning, I informed coach Bo Pelini of our decision to move forward in a new direction," athletic director Shawn Eichorst said in a statement released Sunday. "Coach Pelini served our University admirably for seven years and led our football program's transition to the Big Ten Conference. We wish Coach Pelini and his wonderful family all the best and thank him for his dedicated service to the University."

Pelini has seen his teams win at least nine games every year since 2008.

"I am confident that Shawn will find the best coach, teacher and fit for this University and for our football program," Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman said.

Nebraska is now seeking it's fourth coach since 1997 when Tom Osborne retired.

"Biggest mistake you ever made.... Bo was the best coach I've ever had and I'll always appreciate the things you taught me," Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. tweeted following the news.

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Florida State Remains Undefeated With Win Over Florida

Florida State Remains Undefeated With Win Over Florida

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(TALLAHASSEE, Fl.) -- With a 24-19 victory over their in-state rival Florida Gators, the Florida State Seminoles remained the only undefeated team in college football.

Quarterback Jameis Winston struggled Saturday afternoon, throwing four interceptions while completing 12 of 24 passes. He did throw two touchdowns to tight end Nick O'Leary to lead the Seminoles to their 28th straight victory.

"He goes out there and something good happens, he lets it go," O'Leary said. "Something bad happens, he lets it go. Just does everything the same and moves on and keeps playing his best."

Florida State's defense carried the team, holding Florida to 282 total yards and interception Gators quarterback Treon Harris twice. One key interception came when Terrance Smith picked off an errant pass from Harris inside the Seminoles 10 yard line.  Smith found a convoy of blockers and raced 94 yards for a touchdown. The Gators were leading 9-0.

"Our defense was tremendous tonight," said Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. "They just keep fighting and finding ways."

The Seminoles (12-0) head to the ACC title game to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-2) on December 6 in Charlotte.  

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Oregon Flies High In The Civil War

Oregon Flies High In The Civil War

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(CORVALLIS, Or.) -- Marcus Mariota took the Ducks to new heights Saturday as he led Oregon to a 47-19 victory over Oregon State. 

Mariota proved once again why he is one of the top quarterbacks in the country by passing for 367 yards and four touchdowns. The Heisman hopeful also ran for a pair of touchdowns. 

"All week we prepared, just picking up the tempo," Mariota said. "We wanted to play fast and played well tonight."

The Ducks racked up 565 yards of offense on the Beavers as they captured a seventh straight victory in the Civil War rivalry. 

Oregon now heads to the Pac-12 championship to face the Arizona Wildcats. The Wildcats are the only team to defeat the Ducks, handing them a 31-24 loss in Eugene back on October 2. 

"We're just going to continue to approach it just like any other game," Mariota said. 

 

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Alabama Wins Highest Scoring Iron Bowl

Alabama Wins Highest Scoring Iron Bowl

iStockphoto(TUSCALOOSA, Al.) -- Alabama survived a barnburner against hated rival Auburn with a 55-44 victory in the Iron Bowl.

Amari Cooper stole the show as he caught three touchdown passes Saturday night to a comeback win for No. 1 ranked Alabama. Cooper also tied his own school record by racking up 224 yards receiving on 13 catches.

"He's done a great job all year," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said about his star wide receiver. "He's made a lot of big plays when we needed them."

Crimson Tide quarterback Blake Sims struggled early, throwing three interceptions, but Saban maintained his faith in the senior signal caller who finished the night passing for 312 yards and four touchdowns. 

"The guy's been a great competitor for us all year," Saban said. "Blake did a fantastic job."

Alabama (11-1) will face Missouri (10-2) on December 6 in the Georgia Dome for the SEC title. 

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