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Florida Gators hire Brent Pease from Boise State as offensive coordinator

GAINESVILLE — The month-long search to replace Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis has ended with former Boise State offensive coordinator Brent Pease.

Florida coach Will Muschamp is expected to announce today the hiring of Pease, who leaves Boise State after six seasons, the past season as offensive coordinator.

Pease will receive a three-year contract worth approximately $500,000 annually. Weis earned about $800,000 per year.

Pease interviewed Friday for the job, which was left vacant when Weis abruptly left to take the head coaching job at Kansas. Pease was also sought by Alabama coach Nick Saban. The Tide's offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is the new head coach at Colorado State.

Pease, who will also serve as quarterback coach, takes over an anemic offense that struggled this season. The Gators were ranked No. 105 nationally in total offense (328.69) and 71st in scoring (25.46).

At Boise State, Pease led an offense that tied for 10th nationally at 481.31 yards per game. The Broncos finished No. 6 in the USA Today coaches poll, No. 8 in the AP poll. For five seasons Pease was wide receivers coach and for the past four served as assistant head coach to Chris Petersen on the Broncos' staff.

Also, former Florida quarterback John Brantley was named to the East-West Shrine game on Jan. 21, at Tropicana Field. Shawn Powell of Florida State and Jeremiah Warren and Jerrell Young of USF also are on the East roster. See tampabay.com for complete rosters.

Alabama celebrates

The Alabama Crimson Tide returned to Tuscaloosa, a day after a 21-0 victory over LSU in the BCS national championship game in New Orleans.

The BCS victory had special meaning after last year's deadly tornado outbreak.

Hundreds cheered at the city's airport as the team arrived on two charter jets. Fans stood with umbrellas and red-and-white shakers in a steady rain just a few miles from neighborhoods devastated by a tornado that killed more than 50 people in the city, including several students.

"This is icing on the cake," fan Mary Strong said. "It's been such a great distraction."

There was talk of a possible split national championship if Oklahoma State beat Stanford soundly in last week's Fiesta Bowl and Alabama barely beat LSU. Neither of those things happened, and Alabama received 55 of 60 votes in the final AP poll.

LSU was second and received one first-place vote; Oklahoma State, which needed overtime to defeat Stanford, was third and was first on the remaining four nationwide ballots.

Griffin going pro

Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III decided to enter the NFL draft. The dual-threat quarterback is bypassing his senior season at Baylor and is projected to be one of the top picks in April. Baylor officials had indicated this week the possibility of a news conference on campus as early as today.

UCF LOSES COORDINATOR: Ted Roof, hired as UCF defensive coordinator on Dec. 8, is leaving for the same job at Penn State, the Orlando Sentinel reported. When hired from Auburn, Roof had said he was excited about coaching the Knights defense and was committed to helping with recruiting leading up to signing day Feb. 1. New Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and Roof worked together at Georgia Tech and Duke, and remain close friends. UCF has made no official announcement about Roof.

In other Penn State coaching news, Jay Paterno is leaving the staff after spending 17 years as an assistant under his father, Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno. Jay Paterno worked the last 12 seasons as the quarterbacks coach. His departure was expected after O'Brien was named coach last week.

BCS TALKS: College football leaders, including Big Ten commissioner and staunch playoff opponent Jim Delany, are open to considering the idea of turning the Bowl Championship Series into a four-team playoff. The commissioners from the 11 Division I-A conferences met in New Orleans to exchange ideas about the system for crowning a champion starting in the 2014 season.

ARKANSAS: Running back Knile Davis, who missed the season after fracturing his left ankle, said he will return to school, bypassing the NFL draft.

IOWA: Marcus Coker asked for and was granted a release from his scholarship. The school didn't disclose any details or reasons.

NOTRE DAME: Second-year coach Brian Kelly got a two-year contract extension through the 2016 season.

WISCONSIN: Center Peter Konz plans to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

OBITUARY: Vince Gibson, who played at Florida State in the early years of the program and later was an assistant coach there, died Tuesday in Kenner, La. He was 78. He later was head coach at Kansas State, Louisville and Tulane.

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com. Information from Times wires was used in this report.

AP Top 25

Team W-L Votes
1. Alabama (55) 12-1 1,495
2. LSU (1) 13-1 1,425
3. Okla. State (4) 12-1 1,399
4. Oregon 12-2 1,250
5. Arkansas 11-2 1,198
6. USC 10-2 1,181
7. Stanford 11-2 1,167
8. Boise State 12-1 1,127
9. South Carolina 11-2 1,013
10. Wisconsin 11-3 905
11. Mich. State 11-3 873
12. Michigan 11-2 839
13. Baylor 10-3 780
14. TCU 11-2 653
15. Kansas State 10-3 621
16. Oklahoma 10-3 572
17. West Virginia 10-3 547
18. Houston 13-1 518
19. Georgia 10-4 439
20. S. Miss 12-2 411
21. Virginia Tech 11-3 329
22. Clemson 10-4 188
23. Florida State 9-4 154
24. Nebraska 9-4 143
25. Cincinnati 10-3 103

Others receiving votes: Brigham Young 51, Auburn 40, Northern Illinois 33, Missouri 23, Texas 15, Rutgers 3, Penn State 2, North Dakota State 2, Virginia 1

USA Today Top 25

Team W-L Votes
1. Alabama (59) 12-1 1,475
2. LSU 13-1 1,404
3. Okla. State 12-1 1,367
4. Oregon 12-2 1,290
5. Arkansas 11-2 1,188
6. Boise State 12-1 1,162
7. Stanford 11-2 1,106
8. South Carolina 11-2 1,084
9. Michigan 11-2 925
10. Mich. State 11-3 912
11. Wisconsin 11-3 911
12. Baylor 10-3 775
13. TCU 11-2 710
14. Houston 13-1 673
15. Oklahoma 10-3 610
16. Kansas State 10-3 602
17. Virginia Tech 11-3 574
18. West Virginia 10-3 554
19. S. Miss 12-2 429
20. Georgia 10-4 345
21. Cincinnati 10-3 248
22. Clemson 10-4 237
23. Florida State 9-4 205
24. Nebraska 9-4 144
25. BYU 10-3 79

Others receiving votes: Northern Illinois 36; Missouri 33; Texas 29; Auburn 28; Rutgers 11; Penn State 10; Texas A&M 5; Virginia 4; Temple 2; Washington 2; Arkansas State 1; Florida 1; Louisiana-Lafayette 1; Mississippi State 1; Notre Dame 1; Ohio 1.

Florida Gators hire Brent Pease from Boise State as offensive coordinator 01/10/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 1:32am]

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