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2mMark Schlabach

Rhule leaves Temple to become Baylor coach

Baylor has turned to Temple's Matt Rhule as its new football coach in the wake of the school's sexual assault scandal.

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Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson share the highlight-reel spotlight (1:36)
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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.

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Barrett ready to lead Ohio State in CFP (0:25)
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1 Big Thing: Fournette cherished his time at LSU (2:38)
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Will Watson's Heisman dreams come to fruition? (0:36)
Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
23hRichard Lapchick

Another racial divide among bowl teams

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

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

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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.

ESPN Stats and Information  

This is the first time since 2005 that no player from the SEC will finish in the top 5 of the Heisman Trophy voting, ending a streak of 10 straight years. The longest active streak now belongs to the Big 12, with 2016 marking their 3rd straight year.

David M. Hale ESPN Staff Writer 

Statement from Lamar Jackson on his Heisman invite: "I'm extremely humbled and honored to be a Heisman Trophy finalist. This is a great honor for me, but it's an honor that goes to my teammates too. Without them, I wouldn't have been able to be successful and I share this accomplishment with them."

David M. Hale ESPN Staff Writer 

Statement from Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on Deshaun Watson's second trip to NYC for the Heisman presentation: "This is a great honor for Deshaun and our program. He is our first (two-time finalist), and he's very deserving. I've said it before; I believe he is the best player in the nation and has been a great representative of our university."

David Lombardi ESPN Staff Writer 

It will be interesting to see how many Heisman votes Christian McCaffrey gets. He fell out of the conversation after his October injury, but rallied to again lead the nation in all-purpose yardage. McCaffrey's rushing averages were actually better than last year, when he finished runner-up.

Jake Trotter ESPN Staff Writer 

Teammates who were both Heisman finalists in the same year: 2016: Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma 2005: Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush*, USC 2004: Adrian Peterson and Jason White, Oklahoma 2004: Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, USC 2002: Willis McGahee and Ken Dorsey, Miami 1994: Ki'Jana Carter and Kerry Collins, Penn State Note: The Heisman began inviting finalists to New York in 1982. Before that, only the winners were invited.

Max Olson ESPN Staff Writer 

Texas RB D'Onta Foreman had an incredible season with an FBS-leading 2,028 rushing yards in only 11 games. But Texas didn't play in a single game that mattered from a national perspective, and I think that (and the 5-7 record) explains the Heisman snub.

Kyle Bonagura ESPN Staff Writer 

Neither Washington QB Jake Browning, nor USC CB Adoree' Jackson were invited to the Heisman Trophy ceremony, which means the Pac-12 will not be represented in New York for the first time in three years. Dating back to 2009, the conference has had a player finish second-or-higher every year but two (2012 and 2013).

David M. Hale ESPN Staff Writer 

Oklahoma is the first team with two players finishing in the top 5 of Heisman voting in the same year since Texas Tech in 2008 and just the fifth in the last 20 years. The Sooners also had two finalists in 2004 (Adrian Peterson and Jason White).

Jake Trotter ESPN Staff Writer 

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Dede Westbrook are both headed to New York as Heisman finalists. This marks just the fifth time ever that teammates are finalists for the Heisman in the same year, not including Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart in 2005 (Bush's Heisman was later revoked).