Well, it’s all over but the crying. The college football regular season is over and the only thing left is bowl season. The committee has decided the four teams for the College Football Playoff, and the rest of the bowl matchups have also been decided. Let’s recap all of the important news from championship weekend and look ahead to bowl season.
With Alabama, Clemson, and Notre Dame getting through the season undefeated, the only drama for the CFP involved the fourth and final spot. In the end, the committee gave it to Big 12 champ Oklahoma rather than Georgia, who was so close to knocking off Alabama on Saturday but couldn’t quite finish the job. The Sooners will take on Alabama in the Orange Bowl in Miami while Notre Dame and Clemson will square off in the Cotton Bowl at Jerry World in Arlington. Both games are on Saturday, December 29.
Staying That Way
Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, admitted that the debate among Oklahoma, Georgia, and Ohio State was the fiercest in the five-year history of the playoff. However, Hancock said there are no plans in place to expand the playoff field. That means fans shouldn’t expect the field to grow to eight teams next season or at any point in the near future, which is particularly bad news for schools like Central Florida, who wasn’t seriously considered despite going undefeated for a second straight season.
End of an Era
Amidst all of the excitement on Sunday, longtime Kansas State coach Bill Snyder announced his retirement. The 79-year old coached the Wildcats from 1989 to 2005 and then came out of retirement in 2009. There are no words that could describe the amazing job Snyder has done building the Kansas State program over the last three decades, which is why the football stadium is named after him. Unfortunately, the Wildcats didn’t qualify for a bowl game this year, ending a streak of eight straight seasons with a bowl that Snyder started in his second year back in 2010.
Snyder’s retirement creates another job opening in the college football world. Let’s check out the rest of the news from the coaching carousel from the past week.
Akron fired Terry Bowden on Sunday, one day after the Zips finished a 4-8 season with a loss to South Carolina. Akron made just two bowl games in Bowden’s seven years.
Central Michigan has announced Jim McElwain as their new head coach. McElwain spent three years at Colorado State before being hired at Florida in 2015. However, he was fired midway through the 2017 season. He spent this past season as the wide receivers coach at Michigan.
The vacancy at Texas Tech has been filled by Utah State head coach Matt Wells. He took the Aggies to five bowl games in six seasons, although he won’t coach this year’s bowl game. Utah State was 10-2 this season, tying Boise State atop the Mountain West Mountain division.
As for Utah State, the man who preceded Wells, Gary Andersen, is coming back. Andersen left Utah State after the 2012 season and spent two seasons at Wisconsin before taking off for Oregon State, only to leave midway through the 2017 season after going 7-23.
Last but not least, Mack Brown is back in the coaching world. After a five-year hiatus, Brown is returning to North Carolina, where he was the coach from 1988 to 1997 before his legendary stint at Texas. Needless to say, the 67-year old getting back in the game has been the biggest shock of this year’s coaching carousel.
One More Year
Things were dicey for a while, but the Virginia Tech Hokies have managed to keep the longest current bowl streak alive. After surviving against rival Virginia last weekend, the Hokies were able to schedule a game against Marshall on Saturday to make up for a game that was canceled due to weather in September. Tech won 41-20 to reach 6-6 on the season. The Hokies will now play Cincinnati in the Military Bowl in what will be their 26th consecutive season with a bowl appearance.
Down to Two
Former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant will not be leading the Tigers into the CFP as he did last season. However, he will announce on Tuesday where he will play next year in his final season of eligibility. Bryant will reportedly choose between Missouri and Auburn. He has also visited North Carolina, Arkansas, and Mississippi State. If he chooses Auburn, Bryant would seemingly compete with incumbent Jarrett Stidham, who had a disappointing season. At Missouri, he would be in line to replace outgoing senior Drew Lock.