Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports
5hMark Schlabach

Here's to Mike MacIntyre, Lamar Jackson and 2016's best in show

Louisville's Lamar Jackson and Colorado's Mike MacIntyre were standout performers, and The Game lived up to its billing and then some. Here are the best and worst from the 2016 season.

Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson share the highlight-reel spotlight (1:36)
Barrett ready to lead Ohio State in CFP (0:25)
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
1dHeather Dinich

Get used to it, people: There's no surefire CFP path

Expecting year-to-year consistency from the playoff committee is a fool's errand. As it picks the four best teams, it won't always reward conference titles or challenging schedules.

Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
1dRichard Lapchick

Another racial divide among bowl teams

How do we fix the persistent gap in graduation rates between African-American and white student-athletes?

Can Washington dethrone Alabama? (1:08)
Key moments for semifinalists Clemson, OSU (1:24)
Booger says Bama's worst nightmare is Clemson (1:23)
Top five plays of the college football season (2:07)


Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Former Heisman Trophy winner and Bears' first-round pick Rashaan Salaam died at age of 42, per family spokesman. Another gone way too soon.

Jeremy Crabtree RecruitingNation 

Most observers believed Baylor had to hire somebody with deep Lone Star State recruiting roots, something new Bears' coach Matt Rhule doesn't appear to have, but several veteran Texas high school coaches said that might not be such a bad thing. One coach said "Baylor needed a clean slate and now they have it with every high school coach in the state." Another said it would be smart if Rhule has somebody on his staff with Texas ties, but "Texas high school coaches respect other good coaches. He's a good coach."

Sam Khan Jr. ESPN Staff Writer 

Houston interviewed at least four candidates for its head coaching vacancy, sources told ESPN.com: Alabama OC Lane Kiffin, former LSU coach Les Miles, Houston OC Major Applewhite and Houston DC Todd Orlando have all interviewed. Houston expects to make a hire by week's end, according to sources.

Jeremy Crabtree RecruitingNation 

New Baylor coach Matt Rhule inherits the smallest recruiting class of any Power 5 program and has only 57 days to fix it. The Bears have one commitment in the 2017 class with national signing day on Feb. 1, so don't be surprised if Rhule looks at a number of prospects pledged to the Owls to fill Baylor's class. One player to keep an eye on is longtime Owl three-star quarterback commitment Toddy Centeio of Palm Beach (Florida) Dwyer. Centeio is supposed to receive an in-home visit from Temple coaches this evening and make an official visit to Philadelphia this weekend, but both visits are up in the air because of the news. "We are waiting on more information right now, but we would talk to others," Centeio's father, Todd Centeio, said.

Sam Khan Jr. ESPN Staff Writer 

Baylor has the right idea by hiring Matt Rhule. He'll give the Bears a fresh start, which is needed. His 20-7 mark at Temple the last two seasons speaks for itself. The biggest challenge for Rhule will be putting together a staff that can recruit the state of Texas well, since he doesn't have a background there.

Kyle Bonagura ESPN Staff Writer 

The coaching carousel isn't done spinning, but after Baylor announced it hired Temple's Matt Ruhle to be its new head coach, it looks like Sonny Dykes will remain at California. It's the second year in a row Dykes has pursued other jobs only not to be hired, which doesn't bode well for his future in Berkeley. It's hard to see the Dykes-Cal pairing last past the 2017 season.

RodGilmore@espn @RodGilmore

CFB now: Bama loses playoff game, but Committee names Bama national champ. Reasons Head2head doesn't matter--Bama better team. 😉

Adam Rittenberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Matt Rhule has been diverse in his career: offense and defense, college and NFL, different spots around the country. A few weeks ago, I was told how much a certain Pac-12 job could interest him despite his northeast roots. This is another new territory for Rhule, but he's used to it.

Jared Shanker ESPN Staff Writer 

How dynamic is Oklahoma's Dede Westbrook? He's the first Power 5 receiver to average 20 yards per catch in at least eight games in a season since Georgia Tech's Demaryius Thomas did it in 2009. But Georgia Tech throws it downfield more than any other team, and it's not even close. Westbrook is 89th in air yards/target.