>>Nebraska Names Riley New Head Coach
(Lincoln, NE) -- Mike Riley is the new head football coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The 61-year-old leaves Oregon State to replace Bo Pelini, who was fired last Sunday after seven seasons. Riley coached the Beavers for 14 seasons, with a four-year stint in the NFL sandwiched in between from 1999 to 2002. Oregon State finished last in the Pac-12 North this season with a 5-and-7 record, including 2-and-7 in conference games, but Riley has long been considered a top-tier coach. He will be formally introduced at a press conference on Friday, but current Huskers assistant Barney Cotton will coach Nebraska in its bowl game.
>>Florida Names McElwain New Football Coach
(Gainesville, FL) -- Jim McElwain is the new head football coach of the Florida Gators. The announcement comes after previous reports that a 7.5-million-dollar buyout at Colorado State was holding up negotiations. McElwain replaces Will Muschamp, who was fired after going just 10-and-13 over the last two seasons. McElwain was named Mountain West Coach of the Year on Tuesday. The 52-year-old was in his third year with the Rams, improving each year from 4-and-8 to 8-and-6 and then 10-and-2 this season. McElwain was previously the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Alabama.
>>Wisonsin, Ohio State Meet For Big Ten Title
The Amos Alonzo Stagg Trophy is up for grabs, as the 11th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers take on the sixth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2014 Big Ten Conference Championship Game.
Wisconsin earned its way to the title tilt, its third appearance in the four years the game has been in existence, by winning the Big Ten's West Division after knocking off Minnesota last Saturday, 34-24. As a result, the Badgers finished the regular season at 10-2 overall, which included a 7-1 league ledger, and they are seeking their first Big Ten crown since winning back-to- back titles in 2011-12.
The Badgers are currently riding a seven-game win streak, and they earned their first outright division title in four years.
Ohio State is in the conference championship game for the second straight year after losing to Michigan State in 2013, 34-24. The Buckeyes have won 10 straight games, finishing the regular season at 11-1, 8-0 in conference. They have now won three straight division titles, and they have won a Big Ten- record 24 consecutive conference games during the regular season.
>>Arizona, Oregon Meet For Pac-12 Title
The third-ranked Oregon Ducks will have revenge on their minds when they take on the eighth-ranked Arizona Wildcats in the Pac-12 Conference Championship game at Levi's Stadium on Friday night.
On Oct. 2, the then unranked Wildcats stunned the second-ranked Ducks, 31-24, in Autzen Stadium. The win was the second straight for Arizona over Oregon, with the Wildcats also logging a 42-16 triumph last season. Oregon still leads the all-time series, 24-16. It will be even more desperate to capture the 25th all-time win against the Wildcats this week
This contest promises to be quite the offensive exhibition, as both squads have had their fair share of success on that side of the ball this season. The Wildcats finished the regular season ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in both total offense (481.3 ypg) and scoring (36.7 ppg). The success of the team in that area, as well as in the standings, earned Rich Rodriguez Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors.
>>Florida State, Georgia Tech Meet For ACC Title
The second-ranked Florida State Seminoles and 12th-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will collide at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday evening, with the Atlantic Coast Conference championship on the line.
Jimbo Fisher's Seminoles have staved off defeat more than a few times this season but have come through the battles unscathed, as they have now won 28 straight games. The defending national champions knocked off rival Florida last weekend, 24-19 to finish the regular season at 12-0. The team won the ACC's Atlantic Division a couple of weeks ago and is eyeing up its 15th ACC championship since joining the league in 1992. FSU is playing in its fifth ACC Title Game and fourth in the last five seasons.
Paul Johnson's Yellow Jackets are a formidable obstacle in the way. Georgia Tech earned the Coastal Division title and will be playing in its third ACC Championship Game in the last six years. The Yellow Jackets moved to 10-2 on the season with a thrilling 30-24 overtime victory over archrival Georgia last weekend. Earlier this week, Johnson was named the ACC Coach of the Year for the third time.