The College Football Playoff participants are well represented on The Associated Press All-America team.
Florida State leads the way with three first-team All-Americans: tight end Nick O’Leary, guard Tré Jackson and kicker Roberto Aguayo, who is an All-American for the second straight season.
Oregon and Alabama each have two, including a couple of Heisman Trophy finalists.
Heisman winner Marcus Mariota is the first Ducks quarterback to be an All-American. He is joined by Ducks cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.
The second-seeded Ducks will play third-seeded Florida State on Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl.
Crimson Tide receiver Amari Cooper, third in the Heisman voting, made the first team along with his teammate, safety Landon Collins. The top-ranked Tide will face fourth-seeded Ohio State and All-America defensive end Joey Bosa on New Year’s Day in the Sugar Bowl.
Florida State also had the most players on the three All-America teams with six. Receiver Rashad Greene and safety Jalen Ramsey made the second team and defensive tackle Eddie Goldman was a third-team selection.
McELWAIN HIRES COORDINATOR: New Florida coach Jim McElwain has made his first official hire Tuesday, naming Mississippi State’s Geoff Collins his defensive coordinator. Collins replaces D.J. Durkin, who will serve as Florida’s interim head coach for the Birmingham Bowl.
Collins turned Mississippi State into one of the nation’s top defenses. The Bulldogs rank 10th in scoring defense, allowing 19.4 points a game.
CHRYST INCHES CLOSER TO JOB: Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst is moving closer to taking the coaching job at Wisconsin.
Chryst traveled to Madison, Wisconsin on Tuesday to meet with university officials about replacing Gary Andersen, a person with direct knowledge of situation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the meeting had not been announced.
Andersen abruptly left the Badgers for Oregon State last week after just two seasons on the job, leaving the same day Heisman Trophy finalist Melvin Gordon said he would skip his senior year to enter the NFL draft.
Chryst, a former player and offensive coordinator at Wisconsin, is 19-19 in three seasons with the Panthers.
HORNETS HIRE JENKINS FROM BETHUNE-COOKMAN: Brian Jenkins has agreed to become Alabama State’s new coach following a successful run at Bethune-Cookman.
Interim Athletic Director Melvin Hines announced the Jenkins’ hiring on Tuesday. Jenkins posted a 46-14 record in five seasons with the Wildcats.
He led Bethune-Cookman to at least a share of four Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles, along with three FCS playoff berths and a pair of 10-win seasons. The 43-year-old Jenkins was the MEAC coach of the year three times. In 2012, he as a leading candidate for the Southern job, which eventually went to Dawson Odums.
He replaces Reggie Barlow, who was fired after going 7-5 in his eighth season at Alabama State.
COUGARS HIRE OHIO STATE COORDINATOR: Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman is Houston’s new coach.
Herman takes over for Tony Levine, who was fired last week.
Herman agreed to a five-year, $6.75 million deal to take over the Cougars, who went 7-5 this season.
He has been quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for Ohio State teams that have gone 36-3 the past three seasons. He will remain with the Buckeyes throughout the team’s playoff run.
Herman won the Broyles Award as the top college assistant coach last week.