Monday, December 11News That Matters

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UT Vols: Phillip Fulmer ushers in 'new era' as AD, heads Tennessee football coaching search

UT Vols: Phillip Fulmer ushers in 'new era' as AD, heads Tennessee football coaching search

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CLOSE News sentinel reporters John Adams, Blake Toppmeyer and Mike Wilson weigh in on the firing of John Currie. Phil Kaplan/News SentinelPhillip Fulmer answers questions during a press conference on Friday, December 1, 2017 as Tennessee's acting athletic director. (Photo: Saul Young/News Sentinel)Phillip Fulmer is back in charge at Tennessee — but on a bigger scale this time around.The former Tennessee football coach now is the athletic director, taking the reins of the athletic department hours after former athletic director John Currie was suspended with pay amid a football coaching search.“We are here today to begin a new era and a new opportunity to move the University of Tennessee forward,” UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport said. “I asked Phillip if he will lead our athletic
Former Football Coach Phillip Fulmer Taking Over as Tennessee Athletic Director

Former Football Coach Phillip Fulmer Taking Over as Tennessee Athletic Director

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Fulmer was a player at Tennessee and joined the coaching staff in 1980. He became head coach in 1992 and remained in that position until 2008. Former longtime Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer will be named the Vols’ new athletic director, the school announced Friday. It is unclear whether Fulmer will be in the position on a permanent basis or only as an interim solution to guide the ongoing football coaching search. Tennessee fired athletic director John Currie Friday morning as the school’s coaching search descended further into madness. SI’s Andy Staples reported Currie was axed after reaching a deal to make Washington State’s Mike Leach the new coach, only to have someone else tied to the program balk at the deal. Currie was then s
Hall of Fame coach Phillip Fulmer to serve as Tennessee athletic director

Hall of Fame coach Phillip Fulmer to serve as Tennessee athletic director

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7:14 PM ETFormer Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer is taking over as the school's athletic director as it seeks a new football coach to stabilize a program thrown into tumult by a challenging search.Tennessee chancellor Beverly Davenport announced Fulmer's appointment as athletic director on Friday. Sources told ESPN that Fulmer will get a two-year contract.Tennessee turned to Fulmer, a Hall of Fame coach, after removing John Currie from the AD role earlier Friday. The Volunteers placed Currie on paid leave after a meeting between him and school officials, including Davenport.The chancellor said at a news conference that Fulmer will be Tennessee's athletic director "for the foreseeable future" and "take the reins of our search." In the meantime, the school is investigating whether...
College football picks: Best 4-team parlay for Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, ACC Championship Games

College football picks: Best 4-team parlay for Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, ACC Championship Games

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The Big Ten, SEC, Big 12 and ACC Championship Games are set, and all of them have national title implications. SportsLine is going all out for conference championship weekend, enlisting top experts to lock in confident picks. And if you parlay all four together, you could celebrate Sunday's College Football Playoff unveiling in style with a huge 10-to-1 payout. Kenny White, a blazing 13-4 in his past 17 college football picks, and Zack Cimini, 13-5 in his past 18 college football picks against the spread, have teamed up to break down the four biggest games on Saturday's championship game slate. One we'll give away: We can tell you White is taking the points for a TCU team looking for revenge on Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. While TCU is playing to win its second Big 12 title, an Ok...
Oklahoma football: Sooners now have to win Big 12 title to get to playoff

Oklahoma football: Sooners now have to win Big 12 title to get to playoff

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Oklahoma could already be playoff bound, except Heisman Trophy front-runner Baker Mayfield and the Sooners have to play in the revived Big 12 championship game — and beat No. 10 TCU for the second time in four weeks. For a league left out of the College Football Playoff twice in the first three years of the system, the timing of its title game return could be less than ideal."We've known it for a while, and we're excited to play," Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. "If they all of a sudden sprung this on us here at the end, you probably wouldn't be real happy about it. It's another chance for us to go play. It's a great thing, I think, for our league to showcase two great football teams going at it."This week, it's for a #ChampU#BeatTCUhttps://t.co/e1vP5aR0RCpic.twitt
A Viewer's Guide to This Weekend's College Football Playoff Drama

A Viewer's Guide to This Weekend's College Football Playoff Drama

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Marc TracyON COLLEGE FOOTBALLEntering this weekend’s major-conference, neutral-site championship games, only 10 teams have any kind of shot at the four-team College Football Playoff.The playoff selection committee will announce its final rankings at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, setting up the national semifinals on New Year’s Day at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.But given the timing of this weekend’s games, we should have a much clearer picture of the likely contenders as early as 4 p.m. on Saturday.The candidates can be grouped into three categories:The Shoo-InsThese teams are probably guaranteed berths if they win their conference championship games. The group includes the top four teams in the current playoff rankings, who are all playing in title game
College football schedule, championship week: Games to watch, TV, kickoff times

College football schedule, championship week: Games to watch, TV, kickoff times

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It's not biggest Saturday slate of the college football season, but it's far-and-away the most important. There are huge games throughout the day. The kind of games that will decide playoff spots or a possible trip to a New Year's Six Bowl game.I'm talking, of course, about the final games of the Sun Belt regular season.No, I'm kidding. I'm talking about the conference championship games. Let's map out your Saturday.All times EasternMake-Or-Break GamesNo. 20 Memphis at No. 14 UCF, ABC, Noon: There are some out there who would tell you that UCF should be playing for a playoff berth here as a team that could finish the regular season undefeated. I'm not one of them, even if I do respect the opinion. Still, while a playoff berth isn't on the line here, there's still plenty to play for. Not...
Bold predictions for Week 14 in college football

Bold predictions for Week 14 in college football

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CLOSE USA TODAY Sports' George Schroeder, Paul Myerberg and FOX Sports host Joel Klatt preview the biggest games this weekend in college football. USA TODAY SportsWisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook (12) hands off to running back Jonathan Taylor.(Photo: Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports)The USA TODAY Sports college football staff — Paul Myerberg, Lindsay Schnell, George Schroeder, Erick Smith, Eddie Timanus and Dan Wolken — weigh in with their expertise and offer up some bold predictions ahead of Week 14 of the college football season:Dan WolkenMemphis will turn the tables on Central Floridain the AAC title game and end Scott Frost's unbeaten season, sending the formerly downtrodden Tigers to a New Year's Six bowl. Though UCF dominated the first
Championship weekend: College Football Playoff chase all comes down to this

Championship weekend: College Football Playoff chase all comes down to this

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CLOSE USA TODAY Sports' George Schroeder, Paul Myerberg and FOX Sports host Joel Klatt preview the biggest games this weekend in college football. USA TODAY SportsMiami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier.(Photo: Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports)Conference championship weekend has arrived, and with it the potential for a whole lot of chaos — or none at all.In reality, we’ll probably wind up somewhere in between, with at least one unexpected result providing a little suspense when the final College Football Playoff foursome is revealed Sunday.With all that out of the way, here are the games with the most impact, four that will affect the field directly and a couple more to watch just in case.ACC championship in CharlotteNo. 1 Clemson vs. No. 7 Miami (Fla.), Saturday, 8 p.m. ET,
Wisconsin football: 3 keys, prediction for Ohio State game

Wisconsin football: 3 keys, prediction for Ohio State game

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No. 4 Wisconsin (12-0, 9-0) plays No. 8 Ohio State (10-2, 8-1) in the Big Ten Championship Game Saturday (at 7:17 p.m. CT , FOX) in Indianapolis. With a victory, the Badgers are assured of a spot in the College Football Playoff and can vie for a national title for the first time.As football games go, there is little disagreement this is one of the most significant in the history of Wisconsin’s program, given what is at stake. While Wisconsin has routinely competed for league championships and January bowl games, a strong performance Saturday could elevate the Badgers to new heights. No pressure, right?Here are three keys to the Ohio State game for Wisconsin, as well as a final score prediction.1. Contain Ohio State QB J.T. BarrettJ.T. Barrett has been special throughout his Ohio State c