FORMER Wisconsin Badgers coach and current athletic director Barry Alvarez will be back on the sideline, coaching the team in the Outback Bowl in the wake of Gary Andersen's departure for Oregon State, Wisconsin announced yesterday.
Andersen was named the Beavers coach on Wednesday.
Alvarez, the winningest coach in Badgers history (118-74-4), will coach Wisconsin against Auburn in the bowl game on New Year's Day. He said yesterday that a number of seniors asked him to consider coaching the team during the game.
It's not the first time Alvarez will coach against the Tigers, as he finished out his full-time coaching career with a 24-10 victory against Auburn in the 2006 Capital One Bowl.
Alvarez also returned to the sideline to coach the Badgers in the 2013 Rose Bowl after former coach Bret Bielema announced that he was leaving for Arkansas.
Alvarez, who was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010, coached Wisconsin for 16 seasons from 1990 to 2005. He also served as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee this past season.
* Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota won the Maxwell Award, given to the nation's outstanding player. Mariota was presented with the prize during the 24th College Football Awards Show at Disney in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. It was his third major award of the night. Earlier in the evening he received the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award. He was also selected as the Walter Camp player of the year in a separate announcement.
On Saturday night, Mariota hopes to become the first player to win the Maxwell Award and the Heisman Trophy in the same season since Auburn quarterback Cam Newton in 2010.
Mariota was chosen over Maxwell finalists Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin and Dak Prescott of Mississippi State.
Also, Amari Cooper became the first Alabama player to win the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's outstanding receiver. Melvin Gordon became the third Wisconsin player to win the Doak Walker Award given to the top running back in the country.
Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright won the Bednarik Award for defensive player of the year.
* UNLV is taking a gamble on its next football coach, hiring Tony Sanchez, of nearby Bishop Gorman High School, to replace Bobby Hauck. In making the move, UNLV joined a small group of Division I schools to hire a head coach directly from the high school ranks.
Bishop Gorman won a Nevada state championship in each of Sanchez's six seasons there and he finished 85-5, with no losses to another Nevada school. Sanchez, 40, also coached 25 players who went on to play Division I football.
* Penn State said freshman quarterback Michael O'Connor will transfer. O'Connor, from Ottawa, Ontario, did not play during the 2014 season.