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Teams prepare for scheduled Bowl matchups

The bowl schedule is all set and Joe Burrow ran away with the Heisman, as expected.

There was little doubt Burrow would run away with the coveted trophy, especially after his performance against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.

Burrow received the highest percentage of first-place votes at 90.7%, beating the previous record of 86.7% held by Troy Smith in 2006. He surpassed Smith on the highest percentage of possible points at 93.8%. He also beat O.J. Simpson in the largest margin of victory and Marcus Mariota on the percentage of ballots received (95.5%).

His #1-ranked LSU Tigers take on #4 Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl, a College Football Playoff Semifinal. The winner of that game will play either #2 Ohio State or #3 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl, also scheduled for Dec. 28.

Our next issue of The Kickoff will be released on January 15, 2020.

The following is a schedule of upcoming bowl games with kickoff times and channels included:

  • DEC. 20 – 2 P.M. – BAHAMAS BOWL (ESPN) CHARLOTTE (7-5) vs BUFFALO (7-5)
  • DEC. 20 – 7:30 P.M. – FRISCO BOWL (ESPN2) UTAH STATE (7-5) vs KENT STATE (6-6)
  • DEC. 21 – 2:30 P.M. – CURE BOWL (CBSSN) GA SOUTHERN (7-5) vs LIBERTY (7-5)
  • DEC. 21 – 3:30 P.M. – BOCA RATON BOWL (ABC) SMU (10-2) vs FAU (10-3)
  • DEC. 21 – 5:30 P.M. CAMELLIA BOWL (ESPN) ARK STATE (7-5) vs FIU (6-6)
  • DEC. 21 – 7:30 P.M. LAS VEGAS BOWL (ABC) WASHINGTON (7-5) vs BOISE STATE (12-1)
  • DEC. 21 – 9 P.M. NEW ORLEANS BOWL (ESPN) APP STATE (12-1) vs UAB (9-4)
  • DEC. 23 – 2:30 P.M. – GASPARILLA BOWL (ESPN) UCF (9-3) vs MARSHALL (8-4)
  • DEC. 24 – 8 P.M. – HAWAII BOWL (ESPN) BYU (7-5) vs HAWAII (9-5)
  • DEC. 26 – 4 P.M. – INDEPENDENCE BOWL (ESPN) LA TECH (9-3) vs MIAMI, FL (6-6)
  • DEC. 26 – 8 P.M. – QUICK LANE BOWL (ESPN) PITTSBURGH (7-5) vs EASTERN MI (6-6)
  • DEC. 27 – 12 P.M. – MILITARY BOWL (ESPN) NORTH CAROLINA (6-6) vs TEMPLE (8-4)
  • DEC. 27 – 3:20 P.M. – PINSTRIPE BOWL (ESPN) WAKE FOREST (8-4) vs MI STATE (6-6)
  • DEC. 27 – 6:45 P.M. – TEXAS BOWL (ESPN) OK STATE (8-4) vs TEXAS A&M (7-5)
  • DEC. 27 – 8 P.M. – HOLIDAY BOWL (FS1) IOWA (9-3) vs SOUTHERN CAL (8-4)
  • DEC. 27 – 10:15 P.M. – CHEEZ-IT BOWL (ESPN) AIR FORCE (10-2) vs WA STATE (6-6)
  • DEC. 28 – 12 P.M. – CAMPING WORLD BOWL (ABC) NOTRE DAME (10-2) vs IA STATE (7-5)
  • DEC. 28 – 12 P.M. – COTTON BOWL (ESPN) MEMPHIS (12-1) vs PENN STATE (10-2)
  • DEC. 28 – 4 P.M. – PEACH BOWL (SEMI) (ESPN) #1 LSU (13-0) vs #4 OKLAHOMA (12-1)
  • DEC. 28 – 8 P.M.- FIESTA BOWL (SEMI) (ESPN) #2 OHIO STATE (13-0) vs #3 CLEMSON (13-0)
  • DEC. 30 – 12:30 P.M. – FIRST RESPONDER BOWL (ESPN) WESTERN KY (8-4) vs WESTERN MI (7-5)
  • DEC. 30 – 4 P.M. – MUSIC CITY BOWL (ESPN) MISS STATE (6-6) vs LOUISVILLE (7-5)
  • DEC. 30 – 4 P.M. – REDBOX BOWL (FOX) ILLINOIS (6-6) vs CALIFORNIA (7-5)
  • DEC. 30 – 8 P.M. – ORANGE BOWL (ESPN) FLORIDA (10-2) vs VIRGINIA (9-4)
  • DEC. 31 – 12 P.M. – BELK BOWL (ESPN) KENTUCKY (7-5) vs VA TECH (8-4)
  • DEC. 31 – 2 P.M. – SUN BOWL (CBS) FSU (6-6) vs AZ STATE (7-5)
  • DEC. 31 – 3:45 P.M. LIBERTY BOWL (ESPN) NAVY (9-2) vs KANSAS STATE (8-4)
  • DEC. 31 – 4:30 P.M. ARIZONA BOWL (CBSSN) GA STATE (7-5) vs WYOMING (7-5)
  • DEC. 31 – 7:30 P.M. – ALAMO BOWL (ESPN) UTAH (11-2) vs TEXAS (7-5)
  • JAN. 1 – 1 P.M. – CITRUS BOWL (ABC) ALABAMA (10-2) vs MICHIGAN (9-3)
  • JAN. 1 – 1 P.M. – OUTBACK BOWL (ESPN) AUBURN (9-3) vs MINNESOTA (10-2)
  • JAN. 1 – 5 P.M. – ROSE BOWL (ESPN) OREGON (11-2) vs WISCONSIN (10-3)
  • JAN. 1 – 8:45 P.M. – SUGAR BOWL (ESPN) GEORGIA (11-2) vs BAYLOR (11-2)
  • JAN. 2 – 3 P.M. – BIRMINGHAM BOWL (ESPN) BCU (6-6) vs CINCINNATI (10-3)
  • JAN. 2 – 7 P.M. – GATOR BOWL (ESPN) TENNESSEE (7-5) vs INDIANA (8-4)
  • JAN. 3 – 3:30 P.M. – IDAHO POTATO BOWL (ESPN) OHIO (6-6) vs NEVADA (7-5)
  • JAN. 4 – 11:30 A.M. – ARMED FORCES BOWL (ESPN) TULANE (6-6) vs SOUTHERN MISS (7-5)
  • JAN. 6 – 7:30 P.M. – LENDING TREE BOWL (ESPN) LA-LAFAYETTE (10-3) vs MIAMI, OH (8-5)
  • JAN. 13 – TBA – NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (ESPN) Winner of the Peach Bowl (LSU or Oklahoma) vs Winner of the Fiesta Bowl (Ohio State or Clemson).

As we close on our 69th season in publication, we would once again like to thank all of our corporate and individual subscribers for continuing to support The Kickoff.

It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to be a part of your fall game day traditions. College football is not only a game; it’s a passion that we are truly blessed to share with you.

We look forward to seeing you in 2020. Our next issue will be released on January 15, 2020. We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and safe and happy holidays!

Who should really be #1… LSU or Ohio State?

2019 college football playoff

In what is sure to be the watercooler topic this week, the College Football Playoff committee on Tuesday moved Ohio State to the top spot over LSU despite both teams being 11-0. LSU remains the #1 team in the country on the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll.

One possible explanation: While the Tigers beat Arkansas 56-20 last weekend, the Buckeyes defeated a ranked opponent, #9 Penn State 28-17, and faces another this weekend, #11 Michigan. Clinching the Big Ten’s East division and ensuring a spot in the Big Ten championship game gives Ohio State’s victory added weight.

Join in the discussion on our Facebook Page to let us know what you think of the CFP committee’s move.

Clemson (11-0) and Georgia (10-1) come in third and fourth on the AP and College Football Playoff rankings.

On the Kickoff Top 25 this week, we kept LSU in the top spot but agreed that Ohio State should immediately follow, moving Clemson to the #3 spot. Last week we had Alabama in the #4 spot, but we moved Georgia ahead, shifting the Crimson Tide to the #5 position. Beating Western Carolina 66-3 couldn’t contend with the Bulldogs’ 19-13 victory over #24 Texas A&M.

This puts Tide fans in an unfamiliar where they must not only beat #15 Auburn with their backup quarterback but will also be rooting for either Texas A&M, Michigan, South Carolina, or Georgia Tech to win an upset to have any hope of securing one of the top 4 playoff spots. Georgia controls its own destiny with regard to its playoff chances.

With Tua out of the picture with his season-ending injury and the Auburn home crowd fired up to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Iron Bowl coming to Jordan-Hare, Nick Saban and the team may face more pressure to step up than they are accustomed to experiencing. But this team still has enough talent to be lethal if they enter the stadium prepared to play.

A loss to the Tide under these circumstances may put Gus Malzahn squarely in the hot seat with a combined 4-10 record against Georgia and Bama since 2013 — and that Arkansas head coaching job remaining vacant. If Malzahn jumps ship, he would owe Auburn about $7 million, but if fired, Auburn would have to pay him $27 million remaining on his contract. While teams like the 6-5 Tennessee (third place in the SEC East) will be thrilled just to make it to a bowl game, in the brutal SEC West, going 8-4 to finish third behind LSU and Alabama puts a coach at risk of losing his job.

Rutgers and FSU are also looking for quality coaches, with more vacancies sure to happen after Saturday’s games.

Rivalry Week as the 2019 Regular Season comes to a close

It’s rivalry week as we enter the final week of the regular season for most teams. Our Kickoff Games of the Week include Alabama at Auburn, Ohio State at Michigan, and Cincinnati at Memphis.

There were two games played Tuesday night, Ohio vs Akron and WMU vs NIU. Several games are scheduled for Friday as well. Other big rivalries that are always a blast to watch: Texas Tech at Texas, #17 Iowa at Nebraska, Missouri at Arkansas, Washington State at Washington, USF at UCF, #16 Notre Dame at Stanford, Oregon State at Oregon, Northwestern at Illinois, Louisville at Kentucky, FIU at Marshall, and Wake Forest at Syracuse.

In this week’s issue of The Kickoff

In the latest issue, we examine a conference breakdown and show you the math to argue which conference is most dominant. We list Football Bowl Subdivision standings and select Football Championship Series standings, plus News and Notes, the Kickoff Thermostat, a look back to the Kickoff Top 25 on Dec. 1, 1997, the statistically most improved teams of 2019, overall trends through last week, listings of this week’s games with our Power Ratings assigned, Division 1A FBS expanded standings, 2019 average margin of victory leaders, opening over/under odds and our picks, and listings of kickoff times and television schedules for this week, opening consensus odds and our picks, plus more.

After this weekend’s thrilling games, attention will turn to the final bowl picture as teams accept invitations. We still have three new issues remaining before the off-season.

We’ll look back on the 2019 season to review which teams lived up to the hype and which were disappointing.

And the Heisman race and coaching changes will come to the forefront of college football news.

Stay tuned as The Kickoff continues to cover the universe of college football.

First College Football Playoff Poll Announced

Our Kickoff Games of the Week are #1 LSU at #2 Alabama, #5 Penn State at #13 Minnesota, and #22 Wake Forest at Virginia Tech.

Changes to the AP, Kickoff Top 25 as CFP Poll Announced

On the AP Poll, LSU remains in the top spot, closely followed by Alabama. It’s going to be fun watching these two SEC powerhouses clash this weekend and answer the question of “Who is the best of the West?”

Teams on the rise include #6 Georgia, #8 Utah, #9 Oklahoma, #11 Baylor, #15 Notre Dame, #16 Wisconsin, #18 Iowa, #19 Memphis, #20 Kansas State, #22 Wake Forest, and #24 San Diego State. Florida fell 4 spots to #10 while SMU fell 8 spots to #23. Appalachian State dropped out of the AP Top 25.

Last week’s Kickoff #2, Ohio State, fell to #4 on our poll behind LSU at #2 and Clemson at #3. Florida fell from #6 to #12. To see the other changes, subscribe to get your issues of The Kickoff college football newsletter.

The College Football Playoff Rankings were released Tuesday night. The initial Top 4 teams are #1 Ohio State, #2 LSU, #3 Alabama, and #4 Penn State, with #5 Clemson and #6 Georgia waiting in the wings. Then it is #7 Oregon, #8 Utah, #9 Oklahoma, and #10 Florida filling out the rest of the Top 10. 


Six teams on the poll have not played another team on the Top 25, including Alabama, Boise State, Clemson, Minnesota, Utah, and Wake Forest.

Also in this week’s issue, we list the Single Season D1/FBS Rushing Leaders, the Yearly D1/FBS Rushing Leaders, a Conference breakdown, the Kickoff FBS Strength of Schedule through November 2nd, News and Notes, On this Date in 1994, Trivia, the Kickoff Thermostat, Division 1A FBS Expanded Standings, Average Margin of Victory Leaders, Kickoff times and television schedules, opening over/under odds and our picks, the opening consensus odds and picks, October trends, and our Power Ratings for this weekend’s games.

Willie, We Barely Knew You

The Florida State Seminoles fired Head Coach Willie Taggart after Saturday’s embarrassing 27-10 loss to Miami. He got the axe after coaching just 21 games, finishing 9-12. They weren’t bowl eligible last season. Don’t feel too bad for the coach, who will get a buyout in the $18 million range. Former Florida State athletic director Stan Wilcox, who hired Taggart in December 2017, stepped down eight months later to join the NCAA.

What do you think? Was Taggart given enough time to rebuild? Will other coaches be reluctant to come to FSU? Or will firing Taggart before the end of the season give the Seminoles an edge on other schools who are waiting? Former Tennessee and USC Coach Lane Kiffin has reportedly expressed an interest in the job.

Who will we see cut loose next? Clay Helton at USC? Chad Morris at Arkansas? Mike Bloomgren at Rice? Scott Frost at Nebraska? Joe Moorhead at Mississippi State? Barry Odom at Missouri? Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern? Dana Holgorsen at Houston?

The hot seat is getting very warm as these coaches run out of time to turn things around.

LSU Takes Top Spot in AP Top 25 After Auburn Win

NCAA: College Football Players can Profit From Likeness

Note: As we write this blog, there is breaking news that the NCAA is announcing greater leniency on players receiving compensation for use of their likeness in products like college football video games. And at least one Congressman has Tweeted that if this is the case, the IRS may treat college scholarships as income. We will provide more coverage of this issue as more details are revealed. 

We hope everyone has had a smooth experience with our new experience of receiving the PDF version of The Kickoff college football newsletter. First class mail subscribers of our print edition are not impacted.

If you are a subscriber, you should have received an email from The Kickoff with the subject line “The Kickoff (Vol. 69, Issue #10).”

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Previewing Week 8 of the College Football Season

Michigan and Penn State are two of the most successful college football programs. This weekend, the two schools will face off with College Football Playoff implications.

As the Week 8 marquee matchup, the #16 Wolverines hope to knock off the #7 Nittany Lions. This is a rivalry in which the home team has typically prevailed in recent history, including Michigan winning eight of the last nine home games in the series.

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