Less than a week after Jimbo Fisher resigned from Florida State to take the head coaching position at Texas AM, the Seminoles hired former Oregon coach Willie Taggart as their new coach, the school announced on its website Tuesday.
Taggart, 41, replaced Mark Helfrich at Oregon last season and guided the Ducks to a 7-5 record and an upcoming trip to the Las Vegas Bowl to face 25th-ranked Boise State.
A Florida native, Taggart spent four seasons as the coach at South Florida from 2013-16, going 24-25, and was the coach at Western Kentucky (16-20) for three seasons prior to that.
Oregon made an attempt to retain Taggart even before the Florida State job opened up, offering a one-year extension on his contract that runs through the 2020 season to boost the value of his five-year deal to $18 million, former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy reports.
McMurphy also cited sources saying returning to his home state of Florida was a factor in Taggart's decision.
--Florida State safety Derwin James has declared for the NFL draft and will not play in the Seminoles' upcoming Independence Bowl matchup against Southern Mississippi, the redshirt sophomore announced.
James is projected as a first-round pick by NFLDraftScout.com.
--Central Florida hired Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel as its head coach.
The 39-year-old Heupel, who is finishing his second season at Missouri, replaces Scott Frost at the position. Frost, a former Nebraska quarterback who coached UCF to a 12-0 record and an American Athletic Conference championship, was named the Cornhuskers' coach last weekend.
The Knights are expected to have Frost and his staff on the sideline for the team's game in the Peach Bowl against Auburn on Jan. 1.
--Rice is finalizing a deal to hire Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren as its next head coach, multiple outlets reported.
Bloomgren has coached the offensive line for the Cardinal since 2011 and been the team's offensive coordinator since 2013. Before coming to Stanford, Bloomgren, 40, spent four seasons coaching with the New York Jets.
Rice finished 1-11 overall and 1-7 in Conference USA this season.
--Memphis coach Mike Norvell agreed to a five-year, $13 million extension, the university announced.
The new deal runs through the 2022 campaign. According to USA Today, the $2.6 million average salary will make Norvell the highest-paid coach of the non-power conference programs.
Norvell, 36, is 18-7 in two seasons with the Tigers, including 10-2 this year.
--An emergency protective order was issued against Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson on Monday in Cleveland County (Okla.) District Court, accusing him of rape.
No charges had been filed as of Tuesday morning, but a hearing was scheduled for Dec. 18.
Anderson, through a statement issued by his attorney, said the allegation is "patently false."
According to The Oklahoman, the accuser, who wrote in her statement that she is "scared" for her safety because Anderson knows where she lives, is a University of Oklahoma employee.
Anderson, a redshirt sophomore, has a team-leading 960 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Mel Gibson's Braveheart is a violent, passionate epic about the real-life Scottish hero William Wallace, who, from 1297 to 1305 A.D., led a revolt against the ruling English that eventually led to the independence of Scotland. Until Braveheart came out, ...