In the past couple of weeks, there have been rumors percolating just below the surface that Miami would self-impose a bowl ban ahead of the NCAA handing down penalties connected to the Nevin Shapiro impermissible benefits imbroglio.
Sunday afternoon, those rumors came to fruition.
In a press release, Miami announced that the university “has made the decision to withhold the UM football team from bowl consideration following the 2011 regular season.” The release went on to state that the decision to ban itself from a bowl game was made “in response to the ongoing NCAA inquiry and [UM has] informed both the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference of its decision.”
The players were informed of the school’s decision earlier today. Miami, which is bowl eligible at 6-5, will play their final game of the 2011 season at home Friday against Boston College.
“We understand and share the disappointment that our student-athletes, coaches, staff, supporters and fans are feeling,” the release read, “but after lengthy discussions among University leaders, athletic administrators and outside counsel, it is a necessary step for our University. The University of Miami has not self-imposed any other penalties.”
For the time being, this is the only self-imposed sanction the university has levied on its football program.
The NCAA began an investigation into allegations that Shapiro, a former UM athletics booster, had provided millions of dollars in impermissible benefits to current and former Hurricanes football and basketball players, benefits that would constitute major violations. Shapiro has been convicted of running a $930 million Ponzi scheme and was sentenced to 20 years in a federal prison this past June.
In late August, eight Hurricane football players were suspended for a varying amount of games this season after the NCAA found they had received impermissible benefits.
If this is the last game Randy Edsall coaches at Maryland, at least he is making it count. Maryland may be down at the half, but the overmatched Terrapins are giving No. 1 Ohio State all it can handle it would seem. Ohio State holds a 21-14 lead on Maryland at the half, with big plays being the key.
Maryland struck first when Perry Hills connected to an open D.J. Moore down the middle of the field for a 52-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Ohio State would battle back, switching up the quarterbacks between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett along the way. The Buckeyes ripped off three touchdowns, with Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott each running for one and Jones throwing for the third, to Braxton Miller. Up 21-7, all seemed to return to normal for the Buckeyes, but Maryland cut the lead to seven late in the first half.
Hills broke free for a 75-yard run from the Maryland 22-yard line all the way down to the Ohio State three, and he finsihed off the quick touchdown on the next play with a short touchdown run. So Maryland continues to linger, which appears to be a theme with Ohio State’s opponents this season.
Jones has completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State. Barrett attempted just one pass, which was good for a 20-yard gain. Elliott has just 25 rushing yards on 11 attempts at the half.
Nobody could have seen this coming, even after throwing out the records. A week after being ambushed by TCU, Charlie Strong and his Texas Longhorns looked like a completely different team in the first quarter against No. 10 Oklahoma in the old Cotton Bowl. Texas holds a surprising 14-3 lead at the half.
Jerrod Heard completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Johnson midway through the first quarter. The Longhorns made it 14-0 when a break went their way. Lorenzo Joe recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score to make it 14-0 after Oklahoma had fumbled away the ensuing kickoff after the first score.
Texas outgained Oklahoma in the first quarter, 133 yards to just 15, and at the half (169 yards to just 85). Oklahoma went three-and-out on each of its two drives, and the Sooners had to punt four times before being able to put a dent on the scoreboard with a short 21-yard field goal by Austin Seibert after a 12-play drive stalled at the Texas four-yard line. Meanwhile, Texas was building a double-digit lead.
Without a doubt, the first half of this game was the best half we have seen from Texas in a while. Can they keep it going and score what would be a significant upset to get our day started?