SAN JOSE, Calif. — Will Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game be the last game for Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts?
If it is, he isn’t saying.
Hurts, who lost the starting job to Heisman Trophy runner-up Tua Tagovailoa this season, is widely expected to transfer, though according to a story on AL.com he has not submitted his name into the NCAA transfer portal. Hurts’ father last spring proclaimed his son the “biggest free agent in college football history” during the battle with Tagovailoa to be Alabama’s starting quarterback.
Asked at Saturday’s College Football Playoff media day by Sports Illustrated about possibly leaving Bama, Hurts said: “That doesn’t have anything to do with Clemson, so I don’t know what to say.” Asked a similar question later by another reporter, Hurts smiled and walked away.
Hurts, 26-2 as a starter, came off the bench in December for an injured Tagovailoa in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, throwing and running for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns in the Crimson Tide’s 35-28 comeback victory over Georgia.
Sankey OK with CFP choice
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said Sunday he believed Georgia deserved a shot at the CFP semifinals even after the loss to Alabama but could live with the Bulldogs being left out.
“I felt they merited consideration as a top-four team,” Sankey said. “But I respect the committee’s decision.”
Georgia went to the Sugar Bowl instead and lost 28-21 to Texas.
Sankey, the other FBS commissioners and Notre Dame are set to meet here Monday to discuss how to possibly make the CFP better. However, Sankey was clear to point out, that doesn’t mean a precursor to playoff expansion.
Sankey is in favor of the four-team status quo.
“There was a set of principles set down when the playoff was created, and I don’t see where those principles are now wrong,” he said. “But you will always have disagreement.”
CBSSports.com reported Sunday that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany requested a review of CFP selection protocol at a meeting at last year's championship game in Atlanta. Delany was reportedly concerned about conferences playing a different number of league games and wanted clarity on the importance of winning a conference title.
College HOF announcement set
Former LSU All-American running back Kevin Faulk and ex-New Orleans Saints Jahri Evans, Vaughn Dunbar and Craig “Ironhead” Heyward are among the list of candidates for the 2019 class for the College Football Hall of Fame.
The class will be announced at 9 a.m. CST Monday on “SportsCenter” on ESPN2.
Faulk, a Carencro native now LSU football’s director of player development, played for the Tigers from 1995-98, leaving as the SEC’s all-time leader with 6,833 all-purpose yards.
Evans was an offensive lineman at Bloomsburg State, Dunbar played running back at Indiana and Heyward was a running back at Pittsburgh.
Others with Louisiana ties receiving consideration are former Louisiana Tech coach Maxie Lambright; New Orleans native and former Saints player Ashley Ambrose (Mississippi Valley State); and former Saints Larry Burton (Purdue), Jim Otis (Ohio State), John Hill (Lehigh) and Terry Schmidt (Ball State).
The return of ESPN ‘Megacast’
Bored with regular TV game coverage?
You’ve come to the right event.
ESPN’s “Megacast” blanket coverage of the CFP championship game provides fans with 17 ways to take in the action. The network will use 250 cameras, including PylonCam, RefCam (cameras mounted on four officials’ hats) and a full-field angle called AllCam.
Here’s a look at what you can see, and hear, Monday night:
• ESPN: Traditional game coverage, with play-by-play man Chris Fowler, analyst Kirk Herbstreit and sideline reporters Maria Taylor (Alabama) and Tom Rinaldi (Clemson).
• ESPN2: “Field Pass” coverage with free-flowing commentary from field level with Adam Amin and Steve Levy.
• ESPNews: “Monday Night Film Room” with the MNF crew, including former LSU All-American Booger McFarland, Joe Tessitore and Jason Witten plus Todd McShay.
• SEC Network: The “Thinking Out Loud” duo of former LSU All-American Marcus Spears and ex-Bama quarterback Greg McElroy is joined by Alyssa Lang. ESPN promises “hijinks, highlights and hilarity.”
• ESPN3: This streaming channel gives you “Goodyear BlimpCast” with “SportsCenter” hosts Matt Barrie and Elle Duncan. Also on ESPN 3: TechCast, SkyCam, High SkyCam, DataCenter (also on ESPN Goal Line), AllCam and radio calls from both team’s networks.
• ESPNU: “Command Center” with simultaneous multiple views and enhanced stats.
• ESPN Classic: “Sounds of the Game.” Pregame festivities, bands and the telecast sans announcers.
• ESPN Radio: Sean McDonough calls the game with analyst Todd Blackledge and sideline reporters Holly Rowe and Ian Fitzsimmons.
• ESPN Deportes: Spanish language call of the game. Also on ESPNDeportes Radio.
All of ESPN’s “MegaCast” coverage is available via the WatchESPN app.
New Orleans rapper Lil’ Wayne will perform at halftime with the group Imagine Dragons. … Game officials are from the Big Ten Conference. … Alabama leads the Clemson series, which began in 1901, 14-4. The Tigers’ win in the 2017 CFP title game was their first victory over the Crimson Tide since 1905.