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COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTES

Eastern Washington reaches FCS title game

Bo Levi Mitchell leads Eagles past defending champions Villanova.

December 17, 2010|Staff and wire reports

Bo Levi Mitchell threw four touchdown passes as Eastern Washington defeated error-prone Villanova, 41-31, on Friday night at Cheney, Wash., in the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

The Eagles (12-2) advance to their first national championship game, where they will play the winner of Saturday's contest between Georgia Southern (10-4) and Delaware (11-2) on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas.

Villanova (9-5), the defending national champions, lost four fumbles, each leading to Eastern Washington scores.

The Eagles improved to 8-0 on their unique red turf.

Fangupo to BYU

USC Coach Lane Kiffin said reserve defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo made a "family decision" to transfer to Brigham Young, where he will try to play as a walk-on. Fangupo, a 25-year-old senior who is married, made four tackles in seven games last season.

— Gary Klein

Franklin takes Vanderbilt job

James Franklin, the offensive coordinator who was in line to succeed Coach Ralph Friedgen at Maryland, was introduced as Vanderbilt's third head coach this season.

"It was obvious to me right away that this place could be something really special," Franklin said. "It was really about the people. I was blown away by the people. Really, I was in a situation where I didn't really have to take a job. I had a pretty good situation. It was going to take something really special to get me to jump on board."

Franklin replaces Robbie Caldwell, who took over July 14 when Bobby Johnson unexpectedly retired. Caldwell resigned Nov. 27.

This will be the first head coaching job for Franklin, who turns 39 in February.

Etc.

Big Ten Conference Commissioner Jim Delany said during an interview with WGN radio in Chicago that the names of the Big Ten's new divisions, Legends and Leaders, were picked to highlight the conference's rich history, and that "to a great extent it's fallen on deaf ears." Many fans have instead mocked the names and asked officials to reconsider, which Delany said could happen after the first of the year. "I think we have enough experience with names, and expansion and development of divisions, to know that you never, rarely, get 90% approval rating," Delany said during the interview. "But to get a 90% non-approval rating was, you know, really surprising." … Mark Cuban acknowledged that any attempt to fund a college football playoff would be a "long and difficult and expensive process," but he said he is committed to examining the idea. The Dallas Mavericks' owner said this week that he was in the exploratory stages of trying to bankroll a 12- or 16-team playoff to replace the Bowl Championship Series. His idea was met with derision from some, including BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock, who said he doubted that "financial inducements" would lead to an overhaul of the postseason system.

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