- In case you haven't heard yet, the Presidents of the Big Ten universities voted to restore the football season, at least, kind of/sort of. They will play an 8 game schedule starting on October 24, with the Big Ten title game on December 19.
- USC is reportedly putting heavy pressure on California Governor Gavin Newsom to ease restrictions to make it easier for the Pac-12 can resume football as well. Now that the Big Ten is back in, I wouldn't be shocked at all to see the Pac-12 try to follow them.
- LSU HC Ed Oregeron says most of the LSU football team has contracted COVID. Per SEC protocols, once you test positive, the SEC doesn't have to test you again for 90 days...which would be mid December...after the regular season has finished. How convenient.
- Lastly, as a personal decision, I am not going to post the weekly college football schedules this year, like I have in years past. Given the confusion surrounding the season, the length each conference's schedules will be, the variance in when those schedules are being played etc, it's already totally unbalanced.
I think we all kind of suspected this was going to happen. But, According to Dan Patrick on his radio show, the decision has already been made. Per DP, tomorrow, both the Big Ten and Pac-12 will announce the cancellation of their entire fall sports schedule, including football.
Dan also is reporting that the ACC and Big XII are on the fence about making that call, and that the SEC is being somewhat stubborn in thinking they can still play...but let's be honest. They are all going to cancel their seasons too, not just because it's the right thing to do (as much as I will miss the hell out of college football), but for more pragmatic and cynical reasons too. How does the CFP work if at least 2 of the 5 Power Five conferences don't even play? Even assuming that "National Championship" game occurs, it would be illegitimate, an asterisk placed next to it...because everyone would know that it was "won" without a good chunk of the competition even playing. It would be worthless.
Further, there is the public relations aspect to think about. What kind of damage would it do to a conference that decides to play, as far as recruiting goes? The moms and dads of potential recruits are paying attention...teams in conferences that cancel their season? They can make the claim that they were looking out for the best interests and the health of all of their students, that student welfare, NOT money, is their driving interest...That's a damn good selling point to concerned parents. Any conference that decides to still play, would then have to try to counter-argue that...that somehow playing football wasn't just about the money (even though we all know it is). Basically, they have to know that whether they play football or not is going to be used as part of recruiting pitches for years to come. Better to look like a conference concerned about its students health and welfare, than one whose primary concern is making money from sports...You want to look compassionate, not greedy.
SImilarly, I think the networks, the newspapers, would absolutely crush any conference that chose to play, if other Power Five conference chose to back out, for similar reasons as the recruiting rationale. "As the country quarantines itself to deal with COVID-19, the SEC is rejecting the advice of medical professionals...blahblahblah."
I think we all kind of expected the college football season to be cancelled, but if what Dan Patrick is reporting is true, it's already been cancelled, and they just haven't announced it yet.
SO...assuming that we have a full year off from college football, anyone have any ideas about what we can do with this board to keep it interesting until the 2021 season? Because it might be awhile before we get to actually talk about real college football again...
At least we still have the NFL season...maybe.
Middle aged man rant ahead:
This should seem obvious, but if there are no NCAA Division II or III fall sport Championships, it's only a matter of time before all Division II or III fall sports will be cancelled too...what's the point of playing football in September, October and November, if nobody gets to play for the National Championship in December?
But, therein lies the sheer hypocrisy of the NCAA, as an organization. It's not safe for Division II or III schools to play fall sports, but apparently, it's perfectly safe, as long as certain precautions are taken, for D1 level schools to play fall sports...especially football. It's almost like the NCAA recognizes that there is an incredible amount of money at stake in D1 football, that isn't at stake for D2 or D3 athletes...
I mean, D2 and D3 schools play fall sports...but they aren't big business to those schools in quite the same way it's a big business for schools like Michigan, USC, Alabama, Texas, etc. What is considered "safe" depends entirely on how much money you are talking about...D3 schools can shut down fall sports entirely in the name of safety, but a D1 school? It's perfectly safe! We'll just play without fans! Don't want to mess with our TV deals, after all!
Either playing college football can be played safely with precautions taken, or it can't be played safely. It shouldn't depend on which Division you are in. I am not arguing that the NCAA should shut the football season down for Division I/FBS teams. I am only pointing out the difference in position the NCAA takes, depending on which Division is being handled, and that the most likely reason for that difference in position, is based on the amount of money that is in play, that it's not out of concern that athletes in any of the NCAA's divisions are more susceptible to COVID than athletes in the other divisions. Either football is safe, or it isn't. All 3 divisions should play by the same logic coming from the NCAA.
NOTE: Edited to add Division II schools, as the NCAA has just cancelled their fall sports championship events as well.
...the NCAA will have a massive problem on its hands in 2021.
First, let me state that for the record, I ABSOLUTELY want to see college football this year. College football in an empty stadium, is still much better than a world without college football at all.
However, if I am being honest with myself, I don't think I am going to get what I want. I don't believe there will be a college football season at all, for one simple reason: College football requires students to actually be on campus. Unlike pro sports, college sports are dependant on the students actually you know...being there. Because of COVID, I don't think colleges are going to start out with students on campus, they will be limited to online/video conferencing...And as a result, no football.
So...working on the assumption that there will be no 2020 college football, that presents a bit of a problem for college football teams, and the NCAA in general.
Problem #1: What do you do with eligibility requirements? This should be obvious. If a football player can't play football because of COVID, they didn't play...and if they didn't play, they didn't really use up a year of their eligibility, now did they?
Problem #2: If 4th year Seniors don't use a year of eligibility, but remain enrolled at their school, and pass their online/virtual classes to the point they can graduate, you are going to see a LOT more graduate-level transfer players enter the system, because there are going to be a lot more players who still have a year of eligibility left...because they didn't use it in 2020.
Problem #3: Too many underclassmen. Without college football in 2020, while all of the recruits can still take college classes to become sophomores, they haven't actually played a down of football yet...and you will also have to deal with the incoming 2021 recruits simultaneously. They can't all get scholarships.
Now, when add Problems #1-3 together, you get one MASSIVE problem.
There simply aren't enough football scholarships to go around. Because of COVID, a lot of universities will have to cut the number of athletic scholarships they hand out, at the same time, next year they will have record numbers of D1-quality athletes on campus, because of two recruiting classes starting at the same time, having more eligible graduate transfer players, etc. Something will have to give. Either the NCAA expands roster sizes and the number of scholarships each team gets in 2021, (assuming the schools foot the bill for the scholarships, despite the huge loss of revenue this year), or they don't. If they don't, those schools are going to have to revoke scholarships and cut lots of players, because of a shortage of space on the team.
What happens to those players though? Well...there are a lot of smaller schools out there. If there is suddenly a surplus of D1 level players, with no D1 school to go to, D2 teams like Grand Valley, Ferris State, Valdosta State, North Dakota State, etc are going to find themselves with the most stacked rosters they have ever had, because they will absolutely grab as many of those D1 FBS level players as they can. They will dump their D2 level athletes in exchange for the D1 leftovers...
It also means in a few years, there will be a thread in NFL chatters about the NFL draft, and how there are so many players coming from the FCS or lower divisions...
First, a brief explanation, stolen entirely from Wikipedia:
Sam McGuffie starred as a high school running back for Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas, where he rushed for a total of 5,847 yards in 699 total carries and scored 83 touchdowns. Those numbers include a junior season in which he carried the ball 358 times for 3,121 yards and also scored 44 touchdowns. Sam was known to “hurdle his opponents” when they tried to tackle him. He was very elusive when he ran with the football.
McGuffie's stellar career at high school garnered a lot of attention from college football scouts. He was voted the tenth-best running back in the country by Scout.com. McGuffie was also rated a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, who also ranked him as the ninth-best running back in the nation.
He was heavily recruited by USC, Notre Dame, Cal, Michigan, and Texas A&M. He decided to go to Michigan, and Michigan fans were STOKED. Somewhere out there in the depths of YouTube, there is a highlight video for Sam McGuffie, and watching him in high school, you'd think the dude was a combination of Walter Payton and Barry Sanders. Michigan fans like myself thought we had a freaking STUD, a guaranteed future Heisman winner, I mean this dude was just incredible...
But, unless you live in either the state of Michigan or Texas, chances are, you never heard of him. During his freshman year with the Wolverines, he suffered 3 concussions. He opted to transfer to Rice, and while he had some moderate success, he ended up undrafted. His entire NFL experience consisted of training camps for the Raiders, Cardinals and Patriots, and in 2014, he was a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL, but never got off the bench...4 professional teams, and he never stepped on to the field for any of them in a game that counted.
Now, it isn't all doom and gloom, McGuffie is a very talented track and field star, and was a member of the Team USA Bobsled team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyongyang, South Korea...
But, as college football fans, we all have that one guy, who we just knew was going to be the best damn player in the nation coming in, and for some reason or another, things just didn't work out. Maybe they got hurt, maybe they just weren't as good as advertised, maybe they got into legal trouble, whatever...
Who is your Sam McGuffie?
Friday, those protests passed the College Football Hall of Fame, where people proceeded to damage the building.
Windows were reportedly smashed with a variety of large objects that apparently included trash cans, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. After the windows were broken, some proceeded to grab stuff from inside before cops showed up to stop things. As video from the aftermath demonstrates, it seems that the portion of the facility that was broken into was the gift shop.
Also damaged was a Chick-fil-A restaurant next door to the museum. Chick-fil-A is the buildings sponsor.
The hall was opened in 2014 to much fanfare, as its remodeling resulted in a $68 million building that sits at 94,256 square feet in size. Other amenities inside the building include about 50,000 square feet of space meant for events and exhibits, interactive displays and a miniature interactive football field that is 45 yards long.
The company that operates the College Football Hall of Fame is Atlanta Hall Management, Inc, which reported over $41 million in net assets through the fiscal year ending on March 18.
NCAA President Mark Emmert announces the NCAA Tournaments will be played with only essential personnel and limited family members in attendance...
I am putting this here, because while this site is primarily about NCAA Football, this news seems better here than if I were to put in the Garbage-Time site.
SO, basically what this says, is that the NCAA Tournaments, both the Men's and the Women's, will go on, as scheduled. However, you won't be able to see it at the arenas. Both Tournaments will be played completely without fans, in an effort to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19, aka, the Coronavirus.
As you have probably seen already, NBA teams, and NCAA conferences have already started moving in this direction...Shit, The entire country of Italy basically shut down fans attending any sporting event held in that country, period.
Now, in addition to the NCAA Tournament, obviously we have the last few weeks of the NBA regular season and playoffs, the end of the NHL season and playoffs, the start of the MLB season, and other sporting events that could all be affected by Coronavirus. Obviously, as it spreads, none of these leagues want to be held liable for possibly endangering fans health by having these events without taking precautions to protect them against Coronavirus.
Which brings me to my next point: On April 5th, at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the WWE is hosting their Wrestlemania PPV event. This is the biggest PPV of the year each year, they treat it as their own Super Bowl. Raymond James Stadium holds 65k for football, and can be expanded to over 75k for special events...What would happen if even a few Wrestlemania attendees had Coronavirus without knowing it? How many cities, states, or even countries could that effect? So far, the WWE has indicated it plans to carry on with Wrestlemania, as planned, but that could change as more sports start barring fans, and the public pressure mounts...
These sporting authorities basically have 3 choices:
1. Carry on as normal, let the fans in, and let what happens, happen.
2. Hold the events, but bar fans from attending, to avoid possible exposure.
3. Cancel the events.
If you were Mark Emmert, Vince McMahon, Adam Silver, Gary Bettman, Rob Manfred, or anyone else in their positions, which option would you choose?
Michigan State's Mark Dantonio announced Tuesday that he's stepping down from his role as the Spartans' head coach.
Dantonio coached Michigan State for 13 seasons, leading the program to three Big Ten championships, a Rose Bowl victory and a College Football Playoff berth. He won more games than any coach in program history. His last few years have been marked by controversy.
"After much reflection and discussion with my family, I feel that it is now time for a change as we enter into a new decade of Michigan State Football," Dantonio said in a statement. "...I will miss it all but feel the sacrifices that I have made away from my family must now become my priority at this time in my life."
Dantonio -- along with Michigan State's athletic director and university president -- said he expected to stay with the team at the conclusion of the 2019 football season. He collected a $4.3 million retention bonus in the middle of January.
Defensive coordinator Mike Tressel has been named the Spartans' acting head coach as the school searches for a permanent replacement.
Dantonio's retirement announcement came one day after his former recruiting director, Curtis Blackwell, filed claims that Dantonio committed NCAA recruiting violations as part of an ongoing lawsuit. The new filing alleges that Dantonio helped arrange employment for the parents of two high-profile recruits. Blackwell also says that Dantonio took him on recruiting trips to a high-profile recruit's home, which is an NCAA violation.
Blackwell claimed in earlier filings for the same lawsuit that Dantonio ignored warning signs from his assistants in order to bring another recruit with a history of sexual violence to campus. That player, former defensive end Auston Robertson, was charged with sexually assaulting a teammate's girlfriend less than a year after he arrived on campus and is serving time in state prison.
Robertson was one of four members from Dantonio's 2016 recruiting class who was kicked off the team following charges of sexual assault. Three others -- Donnie Corley, Josh King and Demetric Vance -- pleaded to lesser charges after prosecutors said they assaulted a woman at a party in January 2017.
Dantonio has declined to answer any questions about the vetting process that let Robertson come to campus.
Dantonio said in his announcement Tuesday that he plans to continue to work with the athletic department at Michigan State in a "special projects" role that will help incoming and current players transition to their next challenges.
Former Penn State football player Isaiah Humphries filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the university, coach James Franklin and former teammate Damion Barber.
The suit alleges that Humphries was subject to hazing brought on by Barber, linebacker Micah Parsons, defensive lineman Yetur Gross-Matos and linebacker Jesse Luketa and that the coaching staff was aware of the hazing and did not protect Humphries.
The allegations include instances when the named players collectively orchestrated, directed and facilitated a campaign to harass and haze underclassmen on the Penn State football team. The hazing alleged in the suit includes the participants stating that they intended to make the underclassmen "their b---- because this is a prison."
The participants allegedly referenced former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky -- who is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term for sexually abusing children -- by saying, "I am going to Sandusky you."
The actions included wrestling underclassmen to the ground while maintaining restraint, simulating a "humping" action; wrestling underclassmen to the ground while another participant placed his genitals on the face of underclassmen; and instances of the participants placing their genitals on the buttocks of the alleged victims and stroking their genitalia.
Penn State released a statement later Tuesday, making note of its own investigation into the matter and emphasizing that charges were not filed.
"The university has established processes in place for responding to claims of potential misconduct. In accordance with our processes, the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response and the Office of Student Conduct carried out investigations of the plaintiff's claims independent from Intercollegiate Athletics," the school said. "In addition, Penn State police investigated related allegations and forwarded the results of that investigation to the Office of the Centre County District Attorney. The DA reviewed the case and decided that no charges would be pursued."
Humphries is being represented by Philadelphia attorney Steven Marino, who says the incident is not isolated to just his client.
"Isaiah attended the school during the calendar year of 2018. He leaves Penn State to another school where he's offered a scholarship in December 2018," Marino said. "The events that arise to an investigation conducted by Penn State's office of sexual misconduct and response, that doesn't arise until May 2019. That investigation was triggered by an anonymous tip and the source of that tip was not my client."
The results of the investigation were then submitted to the Penn State University office of student conduct, according to the lawsuit, and the office of student conduct prosecuted charges lodged against Barber. It is not clear, however, what specific student conduct rule violation he was charged with.
Barber was suspended for the first game of the season, against Idaho, for what was termed at the time of the suspension as a violation of team rules, but he played in the second game, against Buffalo.
Marino says the father of his client, Leonard Humphries, notified the Penn State coaches of the hazing and that no action was taken at the time of those complaints. Leonard Humphries is a former Penn State football player and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1992.
"This is a family with a football pedigree," Marino said. "The father knows the coaches and told them what was happening to his son as it was reported to him by his son. No affirmative action was taken to protect this student-athlete at that time."
The lawsuit goes on to allege that the coaching staff knew about the hazing and on multiple occasions "observed the harassment and hazing which the plaintiff and other lower classmen were being subjected to in the football locker room."
Humphries is alleging that the coaching staff overly and unfairly scrutinized his athletic performance after he reported the harassment and that he was scorned and punished by the staff.
Humphries left Penn State in 2018 and enrolled at Cal, where he is now a part of the Bears football program.
We are finally here. Next week Monday marks the end of the college football season. Led by their Heisman trophy winning QB, Joe Burrows, the LSU Tigers have looked like the team of destiny, steamrolling their way through an extremely difficult schedule, including absolutely destroying Oklahoma in the CFP Semi-Finals.
Meanwhile, their opponents, the Clemson Tigers, haven't lost a single football game since January 1, 2018, when they lost to Alabama in the CFP Semi-Finals. Their QB, Trevor Lawrence, has never lost a college football game. Clemson has been accused of playing a weak schedule...and it's a fair complaint. Clemson's regular season didn't challenge them at all, except for one hiccup against North Carolina. However, Clemson came through when it mattered, beating the team that I thought was the best team in the country, the Ohio State Buckeyes, in their Semi-Final game.
LSU has played 2nd fiddle to Alabama in the SEC West for years, and finally slew the crimson beast. Clemson is playing in its 5 consecutive CFP, and its 4th CFP Championship game, having won 2 of their first 3...