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College Football has been dominated by a dynasty for the last decade. Then, in January 2017, they were finally dethroned by a new contender. No, we’re not talking about Clemson Alabama. We’re talking about North Dakota state, who has won the FCS championship 8 times since 2010, finally being dethroned by the James Madison Dukes.
But, the Dukes are making headlines once again with conference realignment. First, the SEC snatched Texas and Oklahoma in a stunning news break that took just a week to come to fruition. Then, the Big 12 bounced back by raiding the American Conference for Cincinnati, UCF, Houston and then plucking independent BYU. The ripples keep going – the American has now announced they’ll be taking 6 teams from Conference USA, and it appears more movements are to come with Marshall and potentially Southern Miss looking to join the Sun Belt.
James Madison has frequently had their name thrown into these conference realignment conversations. But, it takes a lot to make the jump from FCS to FBS. Only a few schools have done it recently (namely Coastal Carolina and Liberty), but both have obviously managed enormous success since then. However, they have something JMU doesn’t have as much of – a willingness to throw money into their athletic department.
Liberty has their Christian boosters and Coastal has baseball money. While JMU has been quite successful since that 2016 championship, they don’t exactly have the athletic budget to pour into the upgrade. But, would they sustain success if they made it? And where would they even go?
One things for sure – CUSA is not the answer. If CUSA even manages to survive this raid on their conference, they will have almost no contenders. WKU would probably be the best school remaining. So, why would JMU, who is doing just fine and succeeding in the contentious DC recruitment area, make this suicide jump?
The only valid place for them to go is the Sun Belt. The Sun Belt has quickly positioned themselves as the premiere G5 conference, or at least on equal footing with the American. Louisiana has been great as of late. Coastal is putting up massively winning records in back to back years and getting a lot of attention. Troy has had recent success, and will likely bring it back soon. If Southern Miss gets added, who knows how soon they could return to glory?
But, James Madison has a lot of advantages over these sunbelt teams. They’re arguably in the third best recruiting area in the country. They have a history of success, and a very meaningful trophy to show for it. They have a decently active alumni base who would get on board fast. And they’re stadium – it’s one of the most beautiful stadiums in CFB (though we did not include it on our FBS list).
So, what happens next for the James Madison Dukes? Do they stay in FCS? Do they make the jump? We expect we’ll be seeing them in the “Fun Belt” soon, but CFB is messy – don’t hold your breath.
We look at the 5 Best Iowa Hawkeyes Football Uniforms of all time, including throwbacks, alternates, classics and more.
Some people (actually, many people) find the Iowa Hawkeye Football Uniforms boring. Most say they are a rip off of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But, here at CFB Select, we pride ourselves in enjoying the best of EVERYTHING college football – and that includes these black and gold classic. Below we look at some of the best Hawkeye Football uniforms of all time.
#5 2017 Blackout Uniforms
Ohio State fans, look away. These blackout uniforms were used for the 2017 Night Game at Kinnick, in which the unranked Hawkeyes beat down #5 Ohio State 55-24. Never invade Russia in the Winter, and never play Iowa in Kinnick at night. The grauy details on the helmet really make the Iowa gold pop, and give the Hawkeyes an almost futuristic look.
#4 2019 Gold Alternates
Some disliked these bright gold uniforms, but you can’t deny they made a statement. These iconic uniforms paid homage to Iowa’s “banana peel” uniforms of yesteryear. Perhaps these vibrant uniforms are most remembered for the live eagle featured in the announcement photo shoot.
#3 1939 “Ironmen”
Alright, you can’t complain about the quality of the photo when this game happened over 80 years ago. Perhaps the Iowa “Ironmen” team was best known for quarterback Nike Kinnick, who literally won every major award in the country. But, we also remember this team for a uniform that made them literally look like men of steel, striking fear in even the burliest men of the ’30s.
#2 1977 Script Iowa Helmets
The helmet definitely carries these uniforms. Iowa didn’t do amazingly well this season, which was perhaps the reason for ditching the short lived script logo. This is certainly a shame, as this logo would be one of the best script logos in college football. Bring it back as an alternate!
#1 2010 “Evy Era” 1958 Throwbacks
Simple is often better with football uniforms – the 2010 Evy Era Iowa Throwbacks are a perfect example of this. These uniforms feature bold numbers on both the helmet and chest, and crisp gold pants with a single black stripe that make the gold helmet pop even more, and the perfect absence of that pesky Hawkeye logo. Not only are these uniforms absolute classics that I wouldn’t mind becoming Iowa’s home uniform, they hearken back to the most successful era of Iowa Football. Iowa won the Big Ten, the Rose Bowl and ended the season ranked No. 1 in 1958. Though these uniforms appear simple at first, they would instantly become one of the most iconic uniforms in college football if made permanent.
Which uniforms do you want us to rank next? Let us know in the replies.
It’s officially official. BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston have accepted their invites to the Big 12. They’re slated to join the conference in 2023, which means they’ll have 2 years of overlap with Texas and Oklahoma unless those schools make a deal to leave early (which is expected). So, in this new college football landscape, what great rivalries will emerge?
Houston vs Texas Tech
Nothing like college football in Texas, right? Texas Tech and Houston have faced off a number of times before (33 times to be exact – with Houston leading 18-14-1), so this rivalry has precedent even beyond the in state factor. One might even argue this is already a rivalry, but we’re very excited to see the hatred truly blossom now that they’ll be conference rivals. As a bonus, the winner can get a Texas recruiting edge.
Cincinnati vs West Virginia
This was a Big East conference game from 2005-2012, as our older readers will remember. WVU has wanted a more local conference member ever since they joined the Big 12, so they’re surely one of the most excited to hear about the addition of Cincinnati. WVU has a commanding lead of the all time series, 16-3-1.Here’s hoping the hatred is still alive between these two teams and we’ll get some exciting Coal Country matchups.
BYU vs UCF
Forget Catholics vs Convicts – UCF vs BYU is the new party boys vs church goers. These teams have only played 3 times (BYU leads 2-1), but the previous matchup in the 2020 Boca Raton bowl showed how electric it can be when these two schools face off. They’re not even close geographically, but we think what will make this rivalry great is just how different these schools are.
What other rivalries do you think will blossom in the new Big 12? Let us know in the replies or on Twitter @CFBSelect.
Here’s this week’s top college football news. We’ll post the top CFB headlines and happenings in this format at the start of the work week.
The Big 12’s Expansion Choices Are Submitting Their Official Applications
Both Cincinnati and UCF have confirmed submitted their applications to join the Big XII. It is expected that the other two rumored expansion selections, BYU and Houston, will also submit theirs by the end of the week. Additional rumors suggest that the new members could be approved as soon as the weekend. BYU would be able to join as early as next year due to being an independent, but the other three schools would have to complete negotiations with the American conference as they are under contract through 2025.
Michigan State Football Players to Receive $500 Stipend from United Wholesale Mortgage
We’ve seen some wild Name, Image and Likeness (NLI) contracts now that players are allowed to receive money for their brands. But, in a wild new deal, every Michigan State football player will now receive a $500 monthly stipend (including during the offseason) from United Wholesale Mortgage, owned by an MSU alum. Who wouldn’t want to play for that kind of deal? We expect to see more of the biggest NLI deals come from P5 teams in the coming months.
Iowa State to Wear Black Uniforms vs Iowa
Normally a uniform announcement wouldn’t make our top headlines, but this reveal has stirred up the bad blood between Cyclones and Hawks. The Iowa Hawkeyes are one of a few schools to use black as a primary color, and they have a history of getting ticked off when other schools wear black jerseys against them for this reason. So, having their biggest rival in the Iowa State Cyclones wearing all black has made some Hawkeyes blood boil. We’ll see it settled on the field this weekend in the first Top 25 match up (and both Top 10 nonetheless) of the CyHawk rivalry.
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The “Uniform Round Up” is a new series on our site. In these posts, we’ll show you some of the best college football uniforms teams have released. These will often be alternate uniforms, but we may do historical uniform recaps as well. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that CFB uniforms are one of the coolest aspects of the sport, and a huge part in each school’s identity. Without further ado, here’s our favorites for the last week.
Kansas “Hail To Old KU” Homecoming Uniforms
These confirms hearken back to the days when Gale Sayers was still torching opponents’ defenses, a player fittingly known as the “Kansas Comet”. The light blue tops and dark blue helmets create a striking contrast while still looking traditional (especially thanks to the number style). Throwback “bowtie Kansas” and retro Jayhawk logos also adorn the fantastic uniform. This is one of the coolest CFB uniforms we’ve seen announced for the upcoming season.
Louisville “All Red” Uniforms
The “Color Rush” style of uniform is often tried, and while the simplicity always creates a pleasingly bold image on the field, few schools have hit the mark quite like this. These all red Louisville uniforms are one of the crispest single color uniforms we’ve seen, up there with the all black Iowa State uniforms that won our best CFB uniform competition in 2019 (back when we were Grid Lines Blog). The black shadow on the numbers and matte red helmets complete the look – will we see a red rush across the field that brings back memories of Lamar Jackson?
NC State “Light It Up Red” Uniforms
Tuffy is one of the coolest mascots in sports. The only thing better – retro Tuffy. Not only do the”Light It Up Red” Uniforms give us exactly that on a really neat brick wall helmet (three little pigs vibes, anyone?), they also bring the contrast of bright red numbers standing out on a black pinstripe background. These uniforms pay homage to Memorial Belltower on NC State’s campus, which is lit up red for the university’s biggest achievements and occasions (as well as for holidays honoring veterans). A very cool uniform for a very cool tradition – after all, aren’t traditions what college football is all about?
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With today’s announcement from the Pac 12 that they do not intend to expand, every Big 12 team besides Texas and Oklahoma (who, in case you’re living under a rock, are moving to the SEC) are now in a state of limbo. The Big 12 conference won’t survive past 2025 – unless of course they add some serious College Football schools through expansion. Here’s our list of the best schools for the Big 12 to target to have a chance to stay afloat.
Lets get this obvious candidate out of the way. Following their undefeated National Championship season (you can debate that one in the comments), UCF became the de facto leader of the G5. It’s a no-brainer that they offer the most in terms of geography (the Big 12 has already tried to break into Florida via FSU), talent (yes, we remember the winless year, but they’ve won big across decades) and brand. If the Big 12 expands and doesn’t add UCF, people will be scratching their heads.
Yes, BYU carries some baggage. The Utah school’s close mormon ties are off putting to some, but they have an extremely loyal and large fan base. Plus, they’re continuously a powerful performer viewed more in lie with the current Big 12 schools in terms of history and on field product. One interesting angle – BYU has a TV station, BYU.tv. The Big 12 is losing their resident TV station with the eventual departure of the Longhorn Network.
Boise is one thing – entertaining. Who doesn’t remember the Statue of Liberty play in which they beat soon-to-be Big 12 ex Oklahoma. Even more recently, the Chris Petersen and Bryan Harsin led offenses terrorized defenses all around the Mountain West. Boise’s play style and personality would fit perfectly in the Big 12 – the roadblock issues are the school’s academics, facilities, size of fan base and budget.
Did we mention facilities? Yes, Colorado State may not be the first school you thought of for Big 12 candidacy. However, they have one hell of a negotiation point, and that’s their stadium. Colorado State’s Canvas Stadium seats 41,000, less than 5,000 behind the smallest Big 12 stadium, TCU. Few other schools on this list can compete with CSU in terms of the facilities they already have. More seats = more ticket revenue (if filled), which will definitely catch the Big 12’s eye.
While the Big 12 already has a few schools in Texas beyond the Longhorns (TCU, Baylor and Texas Tech), adding Houston helps the Big 12 keep 4 teams in its central state. Plus, the local rivalries are certainly intriguing. Houston also has fielded some extremely competitive teams (including a few almost-playoff invaders). The program has been sliding a bit recently with some unsuccessful head coaching searches, but Houston is one of those G5 programs you can rely on to consistently play well enough to glue eyes to the screen. This is the most important thing to the Big 12 right now.
Cincinnati is up there with UCF for no brainers on this list. While Cincy hasn’t quite caught the spotlight like UCF did recently, they’ve continuously put a winning product on the field. Cincinnati would be an instant contender in the Big 12, at least finishing in the upper half based on previous performance. Provided Head Coach Luke Fickell sticks around, Cincinnati is probably the most P5 ready school on this list. Plus, they (along with the final school on this list) will ease WVU’s travel burden.
Memphis has had some ups and downs, but they land on this list for a few reasons. They expand the Big 12’s footprint to an important football state they don’t occupy (Tennessee), they play winning football, and their program is trending upwards. A smaller fan base presents an issue, but Memphis will be more appealing to sell tickets for than say, Marshall, who is comparable in terms of performance.
Who do you think should go to the Big 12, should they expand? What do you think happens next? Let us know in the replies or on Twitter @CFBSelect.
Last year’s Coastal Carolina season was electric, and most would call it their best yet. The Chanticleers went 11-1 in D1 FBS Football, with marquee wins over Louisiana Lafayette and BYU. They finished the season ranked 22. However, this wasn’t just one great season – much more is to come out of this growing program. Below, we outline some reasons why:
In only his first season, freshman QB Grayson McCall emerged into a superstar. His signature swag, a perfect match for Coastal, may have helped, but it was his on field talent that made him must watch TV. He racked up 2,488 and 26 TDs. Though the Sun Belt is an easier conference, Grayson McCall’s stats would have been impressive anywhere. He’s had even more time to develop and, barring complete collapse of the O Line or an out-of-nowhere set back, he’ll be one of the best QBs in the G5 along with Malik Willis and Desmond Ridder.
The Receiving Corps
Coastal Carolina isn’t just a QB – after all, what’s a QB without his weapons? The most stand out returner is senior Jaivon Heiligh, who had 998 yards on 65 receptions last season, including 10 TDs. He’s joined by Isaiah Likely who got 5 TDs (second most on team) out of just 30 receptions. Kameron Brown, Sam Denmark and Greg Latushko round out the roster, three WRs who each had over 15 receptions and averaged over 15 yds per reception. That’s a deep room!
While we hate to pick on programs for factors outside their control (ie what conference they were accepted into when exiting FCS football), let’s just say the Chanticleers strength of schedule isn’t particularly high. The most immediate threats on Coastal Carolina’s schedule are App State and Troy, with UMass and Kansas being their only P5 opponents. App State always brings a strong program, and last year was no different, but if the ‘Cleers get past them they have a very good chance at going undefeated. All we’ll say is, bet the over.
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We’re finally almost through the long, dark offseason. With football right around the corner, many of us are on the edge of our seats waiting for the first match ups. To get you ready for the return of college football, here are our top stories:
2023 5 Star Brandon Inniss Commits to Oklahoma
Brandon Inniss is the #1 ranked Wide Receiver for the 2023 class, and the #16 ranked overall player. On August 22nd, he committed to the University of Oklahoma. This is a tremendously big deal, as Oklahoma already has the #1 ranked class for 2023 (followed by Georgia and Texas A&M). Inniss went to American Heritage for High School, where his team clashed against legendary IMG Acadamy. 24/7 lists his NFL comparison as Amon Ra St. Brown.
Bryan Harsin’s Lack Of Push for the Vaccination Effort Still Has Many Concerned
With player unavailability due to COVID protocol a major concern going into the 2021 season, many coaches are making a large push for their players to get vaccinated. Bryan Harsin has not, and has been notably quiet about the issue. An AL.com article published this week stirred up more concern for Tigers fans, pointing out that forfeits could be on the table if COVID became an issue for the Auburn football team.
Big 10, Pac 12, ACC Alliance Rumors Intensify
This week, The Athletic reported that a Big Ten, Pac 12 and ACC Alliance is expected to be announced soon. This alliance is seen as a counter measure against the SEC’s power increase following the announcement that Texas and Oklahoma will join. UNC Head Coach Mack Brown has also expressed concern that power conferences are coming, stating “I do think we’ll see a group of super conferences in our lifetime and I worry about some of those teams that won’t be included in that group.” (Source: 24/7) Fans of teams in these three conferences can hope that this alliance will prevent the SEC from completely taking the reigns of college football, and use the pact to strengthen their negotiations regarding the College Football Playoff.
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I’ve seen more and more people asking “What does CFB mean?”, probably because the abbreviation was only popularized more recently.
On ESPN tickers and newspaper segments, college football was traditionally represented by “NCAAFB”, standing for NCAA Football. However, in the mid 2000’s, the shorter “CFB” became more popularized.
CFB simply stands for College Football. The shorter abbreviation now adorns referees official patches, and is used far more often than the old NCAAFB counterpart. A large reason this was popularized is likely the reddit forum “r/CFB”, one of the first (and fastest growing) forums to use the new abbreviation.
CFB means much more than college football to us, though; it’s a way of life. That’s why we are CFB Select, bringing you the best CFB content on the internet. Check out our CFB home page to see what we’re up to.