NCAA Football News and Notes: December 2, 2018
Let’s take a look at the biggest news from around college football entering bowl season.
College Football Playoffs Field Set
The College Football Playoff Committee unveiled the top four teams that have qualified for a shot to win the College Football Championship. The four teams were Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma. Alabama was named the top overall seed after finishing off a perfect regular season with a victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. The Crimson Tide will look to repeat as champions. Alabama will take on the University of Oklahoma, who earned the top spot after winning the Big 12 Championship Game. Oklahoma avenged their only regular season loss with a victory over Texas in that game. The Clemson Tigers were given the second seed after rolling through a perfect season and winning the ACC Championship Game. Clemson will take on the University of Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish were idle on Saturday but finished off of a perfect regular season to earn a spot in the playoffs.
Tagovailoa To Undergo MRI
The Alabama Crimson Tide were able to win the SEC Championship Game, but they have some questions to answer heading into the College Football Playoffs. Star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had to leave the game in the fourth quarter after injuring his right ankle. Tagovailoa was not able to return to the game and is set to undergo an MRI on Sunday to reveal the severity of the injury. Alabama coach Nick Saban told the media that he expects Tagovailoa to be OK in time for their next game. Former starter Jalen Hurts entered the game for the Crimson Tide and led his team to a comeback victory. Hurts went 7-9 for 82 yards and touchdown in the game. He also had five carries for 28 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
Virginia Tech Keeps Bowl Streak Alive
The Virginia Tech Hokies beat the Marshall Thundering Herd 41-20 on Saturday to earn bowl eligibility with their sixth win. With the win, Virginia Tech became bowl-eligible for the 26th straight season. It is the longest such streak in college football after Florida State saw their string of 36 straight seasons of bowl eligibility ended this season. Virginia Tech paid Marshall (8-4) $300,000 to play the game, and the Thundering Herd will also receive future scheduling considerations as part of the deal.
Texas Tech Unveils New Coach
Matt Wells was introduced as the new head coach at Texas Tech during a live press conference on Saturday afternoon. Wells will replace Kliff Kingsbury, who was fired after posting three consecutive losing seasons. Kingsbury went 35-40 during his six seasons as the head coach of the Red Raiders. Wells spent the past six seasons as the head coach of Utah State after several other coaching stops along the way. He posted a career record of 44-34 at Utah State, and his team finished with a 10-2 record this season. Wells led his Utah State team to a scoring average of over 47.2 points per game this season, which was the third-highest scoring average in FBS.
McElwain Hired at Central Michigan
Central Michigan will introduce Jim McElwain as their new head coach during a press conference on Monday afternoon. McElwain spent this season on Jim Harbaugh’s staff at Michigan, working with the offense. He was fired from the University of Florida during last season after the Gators got off to a 3-4 start. McElwain led the Gators to two SEC East Division titles during his time with Florida and has a career record of 44-28. He also spent time as the head coach at Colorado State. McElwain replaces John Bonamego, who was fired by the school in November after finishing off a 1-11 season.
UCF Continues To Win
The University of Central Florida needed a big second half to continue their long unbeaten streak. The Golden Knights beat Memphis, 56-41, to win their 25th consecutive game. UCF was playing without star quarterback McKenzie Milton who suffered a gruesome leg injury and is out for the season. The victory also gave UCF it’s second straight American Athletic Conference title. The Golden Knights once again failed to crack into the top four of the College Football Playoffs, but will play in a New Year’s Six game for the second straight season.