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College football roundup: Tennessee names Jones its head coach

The SportsXchange

Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones has agreed to a six-year contract to become Tennessee's head coach.

Jones, 44, leaves Cincinnati after three seasons. He replaced current Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly at Cincinnati and posted a 23-14 record with the Bearcats. Jones' teams tied for first place in the Big East each of the past two seasons.

At a news conference Friday in Knoxville, Tenn., Jones called Tennessee the best college footbal program in the country.

"We'll be working to be champions each and every day," Jones said. "We will be a champion in everything we do. That's not only on the field but off the field."

The task of making a Tennessee contender again in the powerful Southeastern Conference is a daunting one.

Derek Dooley tried and failed with the Vols. He was fired Nov. 18 after posting a 15-21 record in three years. None of his teams finished above .500, the first time that has had happened at Tennessee since 1909-11.

---New Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has his two coordinators in place after announcing the hiring of Rhett Lashlee to handle the offense.

On Thursday, Malzahn named Ellis Johnson as his defensive coordinator.

Lashlee, 29, is accompanying Malzahn from Arkansas State, where both spent one season after Malzahn left Auburn to take a head-coaching job. Lashlee was the offensive coordinator at Samford in 2011.

---Rueben Foster, one of the nation's top high-school football prospects, decommitted from Auburn on Friday.

Foster, ranked the No. 1 inside linebacker in the country by at least one recruiting service, will have a long list of suitors. According to reports, the leading candidates are Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Miami and Washington.

Malzahn, Auburn's new coach, did not retain Auburn receivers coach Trooper Taylor, who recruited Foster.

---Minnesota wide receiver A.J. Barker will transfer to Houston, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Last month, Barker announced he was leaving the team and alleged being mistreated by Gophers head coach Jerry Kill.

Barker was the Gophers leading receiver this season with 30 catches and 566 receiving yards, but was still a walk-on. He will receive a scholarship at Houston.

---Penn State and Pitt have agreed to play two additional games later this decade.

The schools announced Friday that they will meet on the football field on Sept. 8, 2018, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and on Sept. 14, 2019, in State College, Pa.

Last year, Penn State and Pitt scheduled a two-game series in 2016-2017 after the longtime rivals had not played since 2000.

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