Report: Big East reaching out to Central Florida

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Hey, better late than never, right?

And by late, I mean the Big East lost three members — one of which never even officially joined — within a matter of weeks because the commissioner (John Marinatto) failed to see the writing on the walls last summer by not hiking up exit fees and screwing around with Villanova when better options were clearly available.

Now that the league is down to six football members, four of which have wandering eyes, the league is doing what it should have done at least a year ago.

Well, reportedly.

Sources have told CBS Sports’ Brett McMurphy, the man on the forefront of the departures of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC, that the Big East reached out to Central Florida on Monday, likely setting the stage for a potential invite now that the conference has decided it will attempt to expand to 12 teams.

As of a few weeks ago, Central Florida did not appear to be on the Big East’s immediate radar even after the departures of Pitt and Syracuse because the conference was not looking to immediately expand into states where current members reside.

“What is happening is the league, or the conference, now is looking at schools and they have looked very much at schools that are not in any of the states that are represented by the Big East schools right now,” said University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft last month. “The ones that they’re looking at right now, they do not sit in any state that the Big East schools currently are in.”

Frankly, that attitude, that lack of urgency, is a big part of why the Big East is in the position it’s in right now. If the Big East decides to extend an invitation to Central Florida — Air Force, Boise State, East Carolina, Navy and Temple have also been mentioned as candidates — it’ll be a good move.

It will also be one that makes you wonder what took so long?

Alabama’s Anderson repeats as Bronko Nagurski award winner

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. has become the second two-time winner of the Bronko Nagurski Award given to the nation’s top collegiate defensive player.

Anderson was presented the award on Monday night by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

The 6-foot-4, 243-pound Anderson had 10 sacks for the No. 5-ranked Crimson Tide this season. He also won the award last year after recording 17 1/2 sacks.

Anderson, a junior, had two sacks in Alabama’s regular-season win finale against rival Auburn and had his first touchdown when he returned an interception 25 yards against Louisiana-Monroe.

Anderson joins former Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald as the only two-time winner of the award. Fitzgerald won the award in 1995 and 1996 and later went on to become the head coach at Northwestern.

It’s unclear if Anderson will enter the NFL draft or return to Alabama next season.

FSU standout QB Jordan Travis returning for senior season

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, the fourth player in school history to account for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in a single season, is staying in school for his senior year.

Travis made the announcement Monday, the same day hundreds of players across the nation entered the NCAA transfer portal or declared for the NFL draft. Travis chose a different path and could be an early favorite in next year’s Heisman Trophy race.

“So many memories have been made on this field and we’re not done yet,” Travis said in a highlight video posted on social media. “See y’all in 2023.”

A fourth-year junior, Travis has 22 touchdown passes to go along with seven rushing scores, one receiving and just four interceptions. He has led the 13th-ranked Seminoles (9-3) to five consecutive wins as they prepare to play Oklahoma (6-6) in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 29 in Orlando.

Travis joined FSU’s three Heisman Trophy winners – Charlie Ward in 1993, Chris Weinke in 2000 and Jameis Winston in 2013 – to account for 3,000 yards and 30 TDs in a season. He is one of six QBs in Power Five conferences with at least 20 TD passes and four or fewer interceptions.