Notes on a few potential coaching staff hires

As you might know, many newly-hired head coaches are putting together staffs.. Here are some notes and insights on the staffs being formed.

Boston College- The rumor mill has it that Steve Addazio is targeting Al Golden, which would be a great hire. He didn’t do well at Miami, but he has succeeded everywhere else. He deserves a shot at redemption, and BC could be just the place where he does it. Plus he could bring Mark D’Onofrio with him, another good ball coach. Other names floated around include Randy Esdall and Dan McCarney, both of which would be adequate yet uninspiring hires. Teryl Austin was also suggested, but don’t see him leaving the pros for this job. My guess is McCarney ends up with the job.

Central Florida- Scott Frost will likely give himself the playcalling duties, and give the offensive coordinator title to Troy Walters, who left from a Power 5 school in Colorado. I’d expect Erik Chinander to be the team’s defensive coordinator, mainly because they have tons of experience coaching together at Oregon and Northern Iowa.

Cincinnati- Eddie Gran and Darin Hinshaw left for Kentucky, which leaves two open vacancies on the staff. In terms of having ties to Tuberville, the “home run” hire would be Sonny Cumbie, who has experience coaching under him at Tech. Eric Morris would also be an intriguing option with ties to Tech. Tony Franklin coached under him at Auburn, and might be discontent with Dykes looking to leave Cal. Todd Sturdy could also be in the running, due to his recent tenure as playcaller under Paul Rhoads, who coached under Tuberville for several years.

Colorado State- Bobo could look to hire Kirk Olivadotti and Scott Lakatos to fill his vacant DC role, he coached with both at Georgia.

Duke- I was told by someone with extensive knowledge to expect Cutcliffe to promote from within his staff. With that insight, Zac Roper seems like the obvious candidate to be promoted. Don’t know who they hire as new QB or TE coach, though.

East Carolina- Not sure what first-time head coach Scottie Montgomery is looking for, but I’m aware that Arizona co-OC Rod Smith turned down the job last week.

Iowa State- Matt Campbell is waiting on Jon Heacock to decide if he will follow him to Ames, or if he’ll stay as defensive coordinator at Toledo. Other than the impending defensive coordinator hire, his staff is mostly finished.

Memphis- Mike Norvell added Paul Randolph to his staff, which was a great move. I’m expecting him to have some form of coordinator duties. In terms of the vacant OC job, I’m expecting it to just be a title and that Norvell will call the plays himself.

Miami- Expect Mark Richt to hire his son Jon, a quality control coach in the pros, to become the next QB coach and give himself playcalling duties. Even though he reportedly turned down an offer, it is still likely that John Lilly joins the coaching staff in some shape or form. Rumors have it that Corey Raymond (LSU DB’s Coach) is in talks to join the staff in a coordinator role, which already includes Craig Kuligowski (fmr. Missouri DL Coach). From research, it wouldn’t surprise me if Curtis Johnson (fmr. Tulane HC) and Jeff Stoutland (Eagles OL Coach) were hired to join him.

Nevada- Reports have it that Brian Polian is locking up Tim Cramsey to be his next offensive coordinator, which would be a great hire. He has ties to former Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

Oregon- Marc Lubick will likely get the offensive coordinator job. Oregon has somewhat of a tradition of promoting from within, and he’s widely respected in the locker room.

Pittsburgh- Pat Narduzzi is keeping this hire close to the chest. Jim Chaney left after one year, which clearly pissed him off. I’m guessing he’s going to look for assistant loyalty in this hire. My first guess would be that Tim Salem will be promoted. If they go external, expect him to pursue Frank Cignetti, Jr. (fmr. Rams OC) and G.A. Mangus (South Carolina OC), for they coach a similar offensive style to what we’ve seen from Pitt in the last year. James Coley (Miami OC) wouldn’t be a shocking hire either, given strong Florida recruiting ties.

Purdue- Given Darrell Hazell’s shaky coaching status, I’m not expecting there to be much interest in the defensive coordinator vacancy. My first guess might be Paul Haynes, who has ties to the coach and might be itching to leave Kent State after these last few rough seasons. Luke Fickell (Ohio State co-DC) could also be interested in having a role as defensive playcaller.

Rutgers- Chris Ash has put together a great staff so far. In terms of the next hires, expect him to go after Mike Vrabel (Texans LB Coach) and Luke Fickell (Ohio State co-DC) to be his primary defensive coordinator. Has strong ties with both.

UTEP- Heard Brian Wright associated with the offensive coordinator opening. Would be a strong hire. Reports say the hires are in place, meaning that Kugler could be hiring internally.

USC- I’ve heard that Joe Barry and Clancy Pendergast are the frontrunners for the DC vacancy. Ed Orgeron could also be in the mix. Tim McDonald has been associated with the DB vacancy.

 

CFB Hire Grades

Here are my hiring grades for the 2015-16 college football offseason, which will be updated if/when more hires are made.

 

Hiring Grades

Barry Odom (Missouri)– C

Bill Cubit (Illinois)– B

Bronco Mendenhall (BYU)– A-

Chris Ash (Rutgers)– B

Clay Helton (Southern Cal)– C-

Dino Babers (Syracuse)– C-

D.J. Durkin (Maryland)– C+

Jason Candle (Toledo)– B+

Justin Fuente (Virginia Tech)– A

Kalani Sitake (BYU)– C-

Kirby Smart (Georgia)– A-

Mark Richt (Miami)– A+

Matt Campbell (Iowa State)– C+

Matt Viator (ULM)– A-

Mike Jinks (Bowling Green)– B

Mike Norvell (Memphis)– B-

Nick Rolovich (Hawaii)– B+

Scott Frost (UCF)– B+

Scottie Montgomery (East Carolina)– C

Seth Littrell (North Texas)– B-

Tracy Claeys (Minnesota)– B+

Tyson Summers (Georgia Southern)– C

Will Muschamp (South Carolina)–  B+

Willie Fritz (Tulane)– A

CFB Hire Prediction Radar

Here is my prediction radar for coaching hires, which will be updated periodically as more hires are officially made (Ball State & TSU as of now).

 

(CORRECT)

Georgia– Kirby Smart, Alabama Defensive Coordinator

Illinois– Bill Cubit, Internet Head Coach

Miami– Mark Richt, former Georgia Head Coach

Minnesota– Tracy Claeys, Interim Head Coach

North Texas– Seth Littrell, North Carolina Asst. Head Coach for Offense

Syracuse– Dino Babers,  Bowling Green Head Coach

ULM– Matt Viator, McNeese State Head Coach

USC– Clay Helton, Interim Head Coach

Virginia Tech– Justin Fuente, Memphis Head Coach

 

(INCORRECT)

Ball State– Joey Lynch, Offensive Coordinator

-> Hired Mike Neu, New Orleans Saints Quarterbacks Coach

Bowling Green– Brock Spack, Illinois State Head Coach

-> Hired Mike Jinks, Texas Tech Running Backs Coach

BYU– Lance Anderson, Stanford Defensive Coordinator

-> Hired Kalani Sitake, Oregon State Defensive Coordinator

East Carolina– Brady Hoke, former Michigan ahead Coach

-> Hired Scottie Montgomery, Duke Offensive Coordinator

Georgia Southern– Brent Pry, Penn State Co-Defensive Coordinator

-> Hired Tyson Summers, Colorado State Defensive Coordinator

Hawaii– June Jones, former SMU Head Coach

-> Hired Nick Rolovich, Nevada Offensive Coordinator

Iowa State– Wille Fritz, Georgia Southern Head Coach

-> Hired Matt Campbell, Toledo Head Coach

Maryland– Mark Richt, former Georgia Head Coach

-> Hired DJ Durkin, Michigan Defensive Coordinator

Memphis– Barry Odom, Missouri Defensive Coordinator

-> Hired Mike Norvell, Arizona State Offensive Coordinator

Missouri– Sonny Dykes, California Head Coach

-> Promoted Barry Odom, Defensive Coordinator

Rutgers– Al Golden, former Miami Head Coach

-> Hired Chris Ash, Ohio State Co-Defensive Coordinator

Texas State– Claude Mathis, SMU Running Backs Coach

-> Hired Everett Withers, James Madison Head Coach

Toledo– Jon Heacock, Interim Head Coach

-> Hired Jason Candle, Offensive Coordinator

Tulane– Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State Offensive Coordinator

-> Hired Willie Fritz, Tulane Head Coach

UCF– Geoff Collins, Florida Defensive Coordinator

-> Hired Scott Frost, Oregon Offensive Coordinator

Virginia– Sonny Dykes, California Head Coach

-> Hired Bronco Mendenhall, BYU Head Coach

Bowl Picks 2015

(By Confidence)

(41) Arkansas over Kansas State

Arkansas is just the better team overall, and I’m very confident of this. They have an explosive offensive attack led by QB Brandon Allen that will overwhelm Kansas State, who arguably shouldn’t even be in a bowl game given their lucky win against West Virginia. This is my most confident pick.

(40) Virginia Tech over Tulsa

Outside of being the more talented team, Virginia Tech will be playing withs tons of heart for Frank Beamer’s last game as a college head coach. They are stronger on both sides of the ball as well, respectively led by QB Michael Brewer and LB Dadi Nicolas.

(39) Stanford over Iowa

Iowa has gotten lucky all year long, and their genuine ineptitude showed in the B10 Championship loss to Michigan State. RB Christian McCaffrey will single-handedly prove too much for Iowa’s defense.

(38) Alabama over Michigan State

Alabama might be the most complete team in the nation, and Heisman Trophy winner RB Derrick Henry will destroy Michigan State’s front seven. They have impressive in-conference wins, so Nick Saban will likely best his protege Mark Dantonio in this playoff game.

(37) Tennessee over Northwestern

The Big Ten Conference is overrated, and they will likely get shellacked this bowl season. Tennessee’s rushing attack led by RB Alvin Kamara and RB Jalen Hurd will be too much for an overrated Northwestern defense.

(36) Western Kentucky over South Florida

I got this one right, and I’m not surprised. QB Brandon Doughty had a big game to end his collegiate career, and his team played with more heart than former coach Willie Taggart’s team.

(35) Louisiana State over Texas Tech

Texas Tech has a terrible defense. Even if they put up a good fight offensively, their gaping defensive holes will be exposed by RB Leonard Fournette, who was arguably the most dominant player in football this year, especially during the first half of the season.

(34) California over Air Force

Cal is by no means perfect. But this will likely be QB Jared Goff’s final game of his collegiate career, and the talented quarterback will have extra fight to come out on top. Their passing attack will be too much for Air Force’s secondary.

(33) USC over Wisconsin

Two very good teams, but USC is superior on both sides of the depth chart. QB Cody Kessler should fare well against Wisconsin’s subpar secondary, and their defensive backs led by CB Adoree Jackson shouldn’t have too much trouble against Wisconsin’s passing attack.

(32) Memphis over Auburn

This is an upset on the Vegas betting lines, and this is a high level of confidence. However, QB Paxton Lynch has been dominant all year long. Auburn has played spotty (at best) all year long on defense, and those issues should only be mired by Will Muschamp’s departure. Memphis should pull through by a fair margin.

(31) Marshall over Connecticut

Bob Diaco’s teams play with heart. But Marshall’s rushing attack led by RB Devon Johnson will be too much for their defense. Marshall has played better all year long, their resume grants them the right to be favorites here. This game could be closer than people expect though.

(30) Ohio State over Notre Dame

Ohio State could be the best team in college football. The messed-up playoff system didn’t pull in their favor this year. Ohio State is better on both sides of the ball, so I’m expecting them to win by a significant margin.

(29) Mississippi over Oklahoma State

Mississippi has an incredible team led by WR Laquon Treadwell and S Tony Conner. Their talent supersedes their opponent’s talent, not to mention Oklahoma State entirely fell apart in November.

(28) Missisippi State over N.C. State

Mississippi State has played consistent through the fall. They have more talent, are led by a good quarterback in QB Dak Prescott, and should pull through here against a weak N.C. State team.

(27) Navy over Pittsburgh

QB Keenan Reynolds is dominant, and broke several records this season. This team will find a way to pull through against a Pittsburgh team with a very strong defense but inept offense, hurt even more by Jim Chaney’s departure to Georgia.

(26) Boise State over Northern Illinois

This is the battle of two underwhelming teams. Don’t love either team, but I’d be very hard-pressed to pick against Boise State, who is favored by eight points and has played better this year against stronger competition.

(25) Temple over Toledo

Temple has one of the country’s best defenses, and have quite a talent in QB P.J. Walker. Toledo is also a very good team, they have a great passing attack, but Temple will be too much for them on both sides of the ball.

(24) Bowling Green over Georgia Southern

Both of these teams will be hindered by departures of head coaches, making this an unexciting event. However, BGSU QB Matt Johnson will have a lot to fight for in the last game of his collegiate career. His team, favored by 7.5 points, will likely pull through and get the dub.

(23) Utah State over Akron

Utah State has a strong offensive attack, speared by two good quarterbacks, that should overwhelm an Akron team that shouldn’t have qualified for bowl season (lucky wins).

(22) Arizona over New Mexico

I got this one right, and I’m not surprised. Anu Solomon had a good game and the Wildcats got the dub to start off bowl season.

(21) Western Michigan over Middle Tennessee State

Western Michigan WR Corey Davis a game-separater that will likely help carry his team to a victory over MTSU. They’re also 5-point favorites, which doesn’t hurt.

(20) Colorado State over Nevada

Colorado State WR Rashard Higgins is another stud receiver that should have a field day against Nevada’s secondary. It doesn’t hurt that the three-point favorites will face a Nevada without their offensive coordinator. Should be a win.

(19) North Carolina over Baylor

I have tons of respect for Baylor when they’re at full strength. However, this is a team that is on its fourth-string quarterback and lost to 4-8 Texas at home last week. UNC played incredibly against Clemson, arguably the best team in the country, and should have a field-day against this Bears team that’s depleted with injuries.

(18) Appalachian State over Ohio

I got this one right as well. They won a tight one at the end on a field goal. I’ll take the win, but it certainly wasn’t pretty.

(17) Arizona State over West Virginia

West Virginia just lost to a weak Kansas State team, and their head coach has faced a public “hot seat” over the past week, which must hurt their preparation for their upcoming bowl game. Arizona State is the better and more consistent team, and has a game-differentiating player in APB D.J. Foster.

(16) Texas A&M over Louisville

The A&M team has gone through a lot over the past few weeks with QB’s Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray transferring. However, I think the team has a ton of confidence behind JUCO transfer Jake Hubenak, and I’m expecting them to pull through in a team-effort, because they are better at almost every other position on the field. Surprised A&M are five-point underdogs on the Vegas betting lines.

(15) Washington State over Miami

Miami has gone through tons of change this offseason, which must hurt their psyche headed into this game. Washington State certainly has the better offense led by WR’s River Cracraft, Gabe Marks and Dom Williams. Washington State should win this in a shootout.

(14) Washington over Southern Miss

Washington is an eight-point favorite, and is balanced on both sides of the ball. However this should be a close game, for Southern Miss has a very potent offense. Washington should win in a close game, mainly because their defense should hold up better especially in the secondary. This also among the best teams Southern Miss has played this season.

(13) Cincinnati over San Diego State

Cincinnati did relatively well against a tough schedule, and have a great offense led by QB Gunner Kiel and WR Shaq Washington. They should do well against a weak SDSU team that will have no one to rely on in the crunch time.

(12) Oregon over TCU

In an even-money game, I’m going with Oregon because they are the more experienced team and they are less likely to be exposed for defensive flaws, which both teams certainly have.

(11) Utah over BYU

Got this one right. Put low confidence because I expected BYU to put up a better fight, but got this one correct nonetheless.

(10) Houston over Florida State

Houston’s offense has looked phenomenal in every game I’ve seen, with the one exception being Connecticut. QB Greg Ward Jr. is very dynamic, and is the only QB with 2500 Pass Yards and 1000 Rush Yards. Florida State has underwhelmed this year, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Thus, Houston could very likely pull this one out in a close upset.

(9) Arkansas State over LA Tech

I got this one wrong. In an even-money game, I went with ASU because they did better against better competition. However, LA Tech RB Kenneth Dixon went off and made this wrong. Not too upset about it.

(8) Penn State over Georgia

UGA has gone through a lot of turmoil this season, starting with Mark Richt getting fired and losing both coordinators. Furthermore, QB Faton Bauta is transferring to Colorado State. Needless to say, there will be a ton of distractions for this team headed into the game. Penn State HC James Franklin should take full advantage of this, and I’m betting on QB Christian Hackenberg to take full advantage of this opportunity with NFL scouts watching his likely final collegiate game.

(7) Clemson over Oklahoma

There’s a huge Oklahoma bandwagon going around right now in the press. I understand it. They have a star quarterback in walk-on Baker Mayfield and have a good supporting cast around him and on the defense. However, Clemson is the best team in the country and has played like one all year long. They outlasted UNC and Florida State, and I’m expecting them to do so to Oklahoma as well. QB DeShaun Watson will be a lot to handle, and I think they get an even further advantage by having weeks to study OU’s spread offense.

(6) San Jose State over Georgia State

I got this upset pick right, believe it or not. SJSU had better competition and played against a weak Georgia State team that was fighting for their coach’s job the whole season. Not surprised they won by as much as they did.

(5) Michigan over Florida

Don’t like picking against Florida, because they always seem to be competitive against good teams. However, Michigan’s defense should be too much for them to handle, and should win this game with a comfortable 5-10 point margin.

(4) Central Michigan over Minnesota

Central Michigan has played inspired ball for HC John Bonamego, who has been fighting cancer this entire season. Minnesota has played subpar since Jerry Kill resigned midseason, and I’m sure the players are pissed that new HC Tracy Claeys let go of several staff members. Just a hunch, but I’m going with CMU for non-metric purposes. All metrics would point to Minnesota winning this game.

(3) Duke over Indiana

This will be a nail-biter. I’m picking Duke because they started off the season very strong, then deteriorated towards the end. With a month to prepare, I think they get it back together and beat Indiana in the Pinstripe Bowl if they can handle UAB transfer RB Jordan Howard.

(2) Nebraska over UCLA

Part-bias here, but Nebraska has faced adversity all-year long and has lost many close games. QB Josh Rosen will be tough to maintain, but their strong defensive line should make this a 5-point game. I’m picking Nebraska because they know how to compete in tough games, will have a chip on their shoulders, and were the only team to beat #3 seed Michigan State.

(1) NC A&T over Alcorn State

Didn’t know anything about these two FCS teams. Picked favorite and got lucky.

 

Final Coaching Hires: ECU, ULM, BYU, & Ga. Southern

Here are my reviews and grades for the last four hires of the coaching season.

Scottie Montgomery (East Carolina)– Don’t understand why they moved on from their last coach, Ruffin McNeil, who had a pretty good operation going on in Greenville. Although I think Montgomery has done a pretty solid job as playcaller for Duke, this is too early for him to get a head coaching job at a solid mid-major program like ECU. He’s coached for virtually one team his entire career, which will make it challenging to put together a good staff. It’s not easy either to win at ECU, who definitely could’ve gotten a more seasoned coach. I am certain of one thing: Montgomery has an uphill climb ahead of him. GRADE: C

Matt Viator (ULM)– This is a great hire to get the ULM football program back on track. I liked Todd Berry, but it was becoming evident that he couldn’t get the job done year in and year out. Viator is a very highly regarded coach, with experience at the high school and collegiate levels in the state of Louisiana. He’ll be able to recruit the state better than the last coaching staff, and I’m betting he will have a solid operation coming at ULM for the next few years, at least. It helps that he’s already put together a good coaching staff. GRADE: A-

Kalani Sitake (BYU)– This was certainly an embarrassing offseason for the BYU athletics department. First, longtime coach Bronco Mendenhall leaves for a lesser coaching job in Virginia, and ends his career with a stomping by in-state rival Utah in a bowl game. Next, they go after Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo publicly, and gets turned down AFTER he visits the campus and starts negotiating terms. Then they turn to their second tier candidates and land the least qualified one. Sitake ran decent defenses at Utah, and had a very subpar season at Oregon State this fall. He will have a challenge recruiting at such a religious institution, and will need to put together a good offensive staff to make up for his lack of knowledge on that side of the ball. GRADE: C-

Tyson Summers (Georgia Southern)– I’m not a fan of this hire and here’s why. First, I do feel bad for GSU losing Willie Fritz after he brought the program to new heights in just two short seasons. So, I was one of those who thought they should go after a up-tempo, spread head or assistant coach with experience coaching in the state of Georgia, where’s it’s a struggle to recruit against in-state powers. Instead they hire Tyson Summers, a bright defensive mind who has little experience coaching in the state of Georgia and doesn’t coach on the offensive side of the ball. He’s a good coach. But I’m expecting this team to regress quickly from where they were. GRADE: C

 

 

 

 

Wille Fritz hired at Tulane

Willie+Fritz+Kee4CxUXOO-m.jpg

New Tulane AD Troy Dannen announced that Willie Fritz will become the program’s next head football coach. Fritz comes from Georgia Southern, where he was head coach for the past two season. He also has previous stints as head coach at Sam Houston State, Central Missouri, and Blinn JC.

There probably wasn’t a better possible hire for Tulane. Fritz has won at every level he’s coached at, and has an outstanding overall record of 154-69. He runs an exciting offense that will attract recruits, and he will now get to showcase his coaching acumen to a wider audience. Tulane really needed someone to come in and make their football program more exciting, and ended up striking gold with this hire. GRADE: A

BGSU hires Mike Jinks to replace the departed Dino Babers

Mike Jinks 12-10.png

Mike Jinks was introduced as Bowling Green’s next head football coach. Jinks replaces Dino Babers, who left after two seasons for Syracuse. Before becoming head coach, Jinks spent three seasons at Texas Tech as running backs coach. Previously, Jinks spent sixteen seasons as a Texas high school football coach.

At this moment, Mike Jinks is the right coach for BGSU. They were looking for someone to replace Dino Babers, who ran an intense version of the spread offense. Jinks will run a similar offensive system, which had success at BGSU for Babers’ tenure as head coach. Similarly, Jinks has a Texas-oriented background. However, Jinks lacks head coaching experience, and will have to put together a staff that has more experience recruiting in the Ohio area. Despite that, I think he’ll be able to do this quite well actually, he’s highly regarded by folks down in Lubbock and has been a head coach at the high school level before. BGSU could’ve done a lot worse, so I like this hire. GRADE: B

UNT goes with Seth Littrell

maxresdefault.jpgSeth Littrell, UNC’s Assistant Head Coach for Offense, was named the next head coach at North Texas. He replaces Dan McCarney, who spent the past five seasons as head coach before getting let go this past October.

UNT made the wrong choice for head coach. They were down to Doug Meacham and Seth Littrell, and unwittingly picked the latter. Littrell has had a few solid seasons as a senior offensive assistant and play-caller at UNC and Indiana, but he’s done nothing more than that to prove that he should be head coach of a competitive D-1 football program. There were better candidates with more experience coaching in the state of Texas. It’s vital to recruit in-state to succeed at this job, and I have serious doubt that Littrell will be able to do this well. GRADE: B-

South Carolina hires Will Muschamp

os-photo-will-muschamp-georgia-loss.jpgAD Ray Tanner announced that Will Muschamp will become the program’s next head coach. Muschamp served the last year as Auburn’s defensive coordinator, and was Florida’s head coach for the previous four seasons.

Tanner struck out on a ton of candidates, including Tom Herman, Rich Rodriguez, and Kirby Smart. But that doesn’t mean that Will Muschamp was a bad hire. Muschamp had awfully high expectations on his shoulders at Florida, higher than what is expected at South Carolina. He is known for being a prolific recruiter and strong defensive mind, two pluses that helped him get the job. My final thought is that this fit is much better than his fit as Urban Meyer’s successor at Florida five years ago, so I’m expecting him to have more success at South Carolina. GRADE: B+

Final Bowl Projections

Bowl Games Projections:

College Football Playoff

Orange Bowl– Clemson (#1) vs. Oklahoma (#4)

Cotton Bowl– Alabama (#2) vs. Michigan State (#3)

Selection Committee Bowl Games

Peach Bowl– Florida State (At-Large) vs. Houston (Group of 5)

Fiesta Bowl– Ohio State (At-Large) vs. Notre Dame (At-Large)

Rose Bowl– Iowa (B1G) vs. Stanford (Pac-12)

Sugar Bowl– Oklahoma State (Big 12) vs. Ole Miss (SEC)

Bowl Games

Cure– Tulsa (American) vs. Georgia State (Sun Belt)

New Mexico– Arizona State**** vs. New Mexico (MWC)

Las Vegas– BYU (Ind.) vs. Utah (Pac-12)

Camellia– Appalachian State (Sun Belt) vs. Ohio (MAC)

New Orleans– Arkansas State (Sun Belt) vs. Louisiana Tech (C-USA)

Miami Beach– USF (American) vs. Western Kentucky (C-USA)

Idaho Potato– Akron (MAC) vs. Utah State (MWC)

Boca Raton– Connecticut (American) vs. Northern Illinois (MAC)

Poinsettia– Toledo (MAC) vs. Boise State (MWC)

GoDaddy.com– Georgia Southern (Sun Belt) vs. Bowling Green (MAC)

Bahamas– MTSU (C-USA) vs. Western Michigan (MAC)

Hawaii– Cincinnati (American) vs. San Diego State (MWC)

St. Petersburg– Temple (American) vs. Marshall (C-USA)

Sun– Miami (ACC) vs. Washington State (Pac-12)

Heart of Dallas– Southern Miss (C-USA) vs. Nevada****

Pinstripe– Duke (ACC) vs. Indiana (B1G)

Independence– N.C. State (ACC) vs. San Jose State****

Foster Farms– Nebraska (B1G) vs. UCLA (Pac-12)

Military– Navy (American) vs. Pittsburgh (ACC)

Quick Lane– Minnesota (B1G) vs. Central Michigan****

Arizona– Colorado State (MWC) vs. Arizona****

Armed Forces– Air Force (MWC) vs. Washington****

Russell Athletic– North Carolina (ACC) vs. Baylor (Big 12)

Texas– Texas Tech (Big 12) vs. Louisiana State (SEC)

Birmingham– Memphis (American) vs. Auburn (SEC)

Belk– Virginia Tech (ACC) vs. Mississippi State (SEC)

Music City– Louisville (ACC) vs. Texas A&M (SEC)

Holiday– Wisconsin (B1G) vs. USC (Pac-12)

Outback– Northwestern (B1G) vs. Tennessee (SEC)

Citrus– Michigan (B1G) vs. Florida (SEC)

TaxSlayer– Penn State (B1G) vs. Georgia (SEC)

Liberty– West Virginia (Big 12) vs. Arkansas (SEC)

Alamo– TCU (Big 12) vs. Oregon (Pac-12)

Cactus– Kansas State (Big 12) vs. California (Pac-12)