NWADG College Football


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42 Arkansas Football Sunday, August 26, 2018 last three playoffs], Ohio State, Georgia, Okla- homa, Washington, Wisconsin, Miami, Penn State and Auburn. SPEAKING OF PLAYOFFS, IS JEFF LONG STILL ON THE SELECTION COMMITTEE? Nope. Long, the University of Arkansas ath- letic director the previous 10 years who now holds the same position at Kansas, served his four-year term from 2014-17 and no longer is a committee member. The committee still has an Arkansas tie with Ken Hatfield. The former Razorbacks star defensive back and punt returner and head coach who now lives in Northwest Arkansas was added to the committee this season. Also on the committee are Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens, who is the chairman; former college coaches Frank Beamer, Jeff Bower, Bobby Johnson and Herb Deromedi; Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin; Okla- homa Athletic Director Joe Castiglione; Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith; Georgia Tech Athletic Director Todd Stansbury; Ronnie Lott, a former star defensive back at USC and in the NFL; Robert Morris University President Chris Howard; and Paola Boivin, a professor at Arizona State who is a former reporter and columnist at the Arizona Republic newspaper. She is the only female member of the com- mittee. WHERE ARE THE PLAYOFF GAMES THIS SEASON? AND THEY'RE NOT ON NEW YEAR'S EVE ARE THEY? Thankfully, no. The semifinals will be played on Dec. 29 in the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, and Orange Bowl in Miami. The win- ners will advance to play for the national championship on Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, Ca- lif., in the San Francisco 49ers' home stadium. DOES CENTRAL FLORIDA HAVE A CHANCE TO RUN THE TABLE AGAIN? AND IF SO, WOULD AN UNDEFEATED RECORD GET THE KNIGHTS INTO THE PLAYOFFS? Yes, and probably not. Central Florida doesn't play a team this sea- son that is likely to be ranked. The two Power 5 non-conference opponents on schedule are North Carolina on the road and Pittsburgh at home. Beating the Tar Heels and Panthers likely won't impress playoff selection committee members too much. But what's perceived as a fairly week sched- ule should give Central Florida a good shot to go undefeated again, which if it happened should land the Knights in another major bowl game after they beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl last season. Central Florida returns 14 starters, but also has a new coach in Josh Heupel, who was Missouri's offensive coordinator the last two seasons. It will be interesting to see if Heupel, the former star quarterback at Oklahoma, can build on the momentum Scott Frost created last season before he left to be the coach at Nebraska, his alma mater. IS NICK SABAN FINALLY GOING TO LOSE TO ONE OF HIS FORMER ASSISTANT COACHES? No. WHICH RETURNING PLAYER RANKED HIGHEST NATIONALLY IN TOTAL OFFENSE LAST SEASON? It's Arkansas State University senior quarter- back Justice Hansen, who averaged 365.8 yards in total offense in 2017 to rank third behind Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson [404.7 yards] and Oklahoma State quarter- back Mason Rudolph [379.9]. Jackson left Louisville after this junior season to enter the NFL Draft and Rudolph was a senior. WHO ARE SOME OF THE BIGGER-NAME COACHING FACES IN NEW PLACES THIS SEASON? We already mentioned Frost going to Nebras- ka, where Husker fans are counting on their former quarterback to bring back the glory days. Jimbo Fisher, who won a national title in 2013 at Florida State, was hired at Texas A&M. Wil- lie Taggett left Oregon after just one season to replace Fisher at Florida State. Chip Kelly, who led Oregon to the national title game in 2010 when the Ducks lost to Auburn, is back in the college game at UCLA after a seven-year stint in the NFL with Philadelphia and San Francisco. Dan Mullen left Mississippi State after nine seasons to return to Florida, where he was part of two national championships as the of- fensive coordinator for Urban Meyer. Arizona and Arizona State have new head coaches with Kevin Sumlin leading the Wild- cats after six seasons at Texas A&M and Herm Edwards, the former NFL coach with the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, landing his first college head coaching job to lead the Sun Devils. This will be the first season Edwards has coached since his last season with Kansas City in 2008 and his first time to coach in college in 30 years since the final of three seasons as San Jose State's defensive backs coach in 1989. WHAT COACHES ARE ON THE HOT SEAT? According to Dennis Dodds of CBS Sports, the Power 5 coaches on the hottest seats are David Beaty at Kansas, Lovie Smith at Illi- nois, Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech, Chris Ash at Rutgers and Mike MacIntyre at Colorado. Ash was Arkansas' defensive coordinator for Bret Bielema in 2013 before going to Ohio State as co-defensive coordinator. WHO WILL BE THE HIGHEST PAID ASSISTANT COACH THIS SEASON? LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda tops the list at $2.5 million as a result of a raise he received after being pursued by Texas A&M. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Ven- ables is a close second at $2.3 million. HOW MANY ACTIVE HEAD COACHES HAVE WON NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS? It's a short list. Just four believe it or not, and that's assuming Urban Meyer hangs onto his job at Ohio State. As of this writing, Meyer was still on paid administrative leave at Ohio State. The other active coaches with national titles are Alabama's Nick Saban, Clemson's Dabo Swinney and Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher. Saban has won six national titles (2003 at LSU and 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017 at Alabama). Swinney beat Saban in 2016 for the Tigers' first national championship since 1981 when Danny Ford was Clemson's coach. Fisher won his title at Florida State in 2013 when the Seminoles beat Auburn and Coach Gus Malzahn. Meyer has won three national titles: two at Florida in 2006 and 2008 and at Ohio State in 2014. Coaches who won national titles but in the last 25 years either were fired, resigned or retired include Danny Ford (Clemson), Lou Holtz (Notre Dame) Joe Paterno (Penn State), Dennis Erickson (Miami), Tom Osborne (Ne- braska), Steve Spurrier (Florida), Phillip Ful- mer (Tennessee), Bobby Bowden (Florida State), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Larry Coker (Miami), Jim Tressel (Ohio State), Pete Carroll (USC), Mack Brown (Texas), Les Miles (LSU) and Gene Chizik (Auburn). Holtz and Ford were both head coaches at Arkansas. Carroll was a Razorbacks graduate assistant. FAQ v Continued from Page 41 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette File Photo Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen (left) is college football's returning player who ranked highest in total offense nationally last season.

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