Wyoming Cowboys

DALLAS, TX - SEPTEMBER 23:  A member of the against the Southern Methodist Mustangs marching band kneels during the playing of the national anthem before the Southern Methodist Mustangs take on the TCU Horned Frogs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on September 23, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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Racial graffiti triggers peaceful protest at EMU game; SMU band members kneel during anthem

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An off-campus incident in Ypsilanti earlier in the week prompted an on-field reaction from Eastern Michigan students Friday night.

Wednesday, someone spray painted the letters “KKK” in red, white and blue on a campus building.  Another message that read “Leave N******” was left on a courtyard wall.

During last night’s game, a 27-24 win over Wyoming, EMU students chanted “We stand up! We fight back, when black lives are under attack!” as play went on, with the university’ president talking to the students at one point during the second half of the contest.  After the game, the protest bled onto the field as fans gathered peacefully around midfield to further drive home their message.

The protests weren’t limited to Ypsilanti as several members of the SMU marching band took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem prior to the game against TCU.

Wyoming suspends starting LB/return specialist yet again

LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMBER 10: Wide receiver Gabe Rahn #81 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers scores against linebacker D.J. May #7 of the Wyoming Cowboys at Memorial Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Wyoming 52-14. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
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On Sept. 9 of last year, Wyoming announced that linebacker D.J. May had been suspended.  Exactly one year and four days later, it’s lather, rinse and repeat for both the player and the program.

In a press release, Wyoming confirmed that May will be forced to once again serve a one-game suspension.  The suspension means that the fifth-year senior linebacker will miss this Saturday’s game against FCS UC-Davis.

Other than the standard “unspecified violations of team rules,” no reason for the punishment was given.

Last season, May started 10 of the 11 games in which he played.  He was also the Cowboys’ kick-return specialist, finishing the year fourth in the Mountain West and 24th in the FBS in return yards.

This season, May started the first two games and is second on the team in tackles with 17 and first in tackles for loss with three.  He also has the Cowboys’ only interception of the season, and is once again the team’s primary kick returner (29.8 average on four returns).

He’ll be replaced in the starting lineup by fellow linebacker Tim Kamana.

WATCH: The craziest ending you didn’t see last night

BOISE, ID - OCTOBER 24: Head coach Craig Bohl of the Wyoming Cowboys rallies his team at the start of the fourth quarter of the game against the Boise State Broncos on October 24, 2015 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won the game 34-14. (Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)
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The first college football Saturday of the 2016 season began at 7:30 a.m. Eastern time, in Dublin, Ireland, as Georgia Tech outlasted Boston College in a 17-14 final.

It did not end until nearly a full 24 hours later.

A scheduled 10:30 p.m. ET kickoff between Wyoming and Northern Illinois was pushed back an hour and 50 minutes due to thunderstorms in the Laramie, Wyo., area. Then the game that seemingly would never start simply refused to end.

Northern Illinois pushed the game to overtime with a tying touchdown with 1:13 to play in regulation, and Wyoming missed a game-winning 48-yard field goal try at the buzzer.

The Huskies opened overtime by losing a fumble on their first possession, but again Wyoming missed a would-be game-winning field goal. Each team registered touchdowns in the second overtime, and Wyoming forced a missed field goal of their own at the top of the third extra frame.

Facing a third game-winning opportunity, the Cowboys delivered.

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At roughly 4:30 Sunday morning in the East, a full 21 hours after it began, the first Saturday of college football was finally over.

Mountain West to consider expansion with or without Big 12 poaching

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 05:  The Championship Trophy, with the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Game trophies, sit on a table fieldside prior to the Mountain West Championship game between the San Diego State Aztecs and  the Air Force Falcons at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images)
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Regardless of what happens in one Power Five conference, one Group of Five league could be expanding.

Air Force and Colorado State of the Mountain West have reportedly made the cut as the Big 12 looks to expand by at least two teams and possibly four.  That conference could make their expansion decision as early as the next month.

In the meantime, the MWC won’t be sitting idly by waiting to be poached as commissioner Craig Thompson confirmed Saturday that his conference will look to expand independent of what the Big 12 does.  And, more to the point, Thompson doesn’t hide the fact that the league would like a presence in the state of Texas.

“I can say this — and I said it at our [football] media days. We have a lot of people saying, ‘If there’s an opportunity to be in your league, we’re interested.’ So there are numbers there,” Thompson said, without getting into any specifics. “I’ve challenged our membership to think about expansion — with or without losing [current] members. Do we look east? Do we look at the state of Texas, for example?

“So that’s probably going to be something we have to confront this year.”

The Salt Lake Tribune mentions current Conference USA members North Texas, Rice, UTEP and UT-San Antonio as possibilities from the state of Texas.  The Sun Belt’s Arkansas State is also considered a viable option.

2015 finalists Leonard Fournette, Christian McAffrey part of Walker Award watch list

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Leonard Fournette #7 of the LSU Tigers runs the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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With 2015 winner Derrick Henry of Alabama off to the NFL, there will be a new winner of the Doak Walker Award in 2016.  Based on the projected performances of a couple of other finalists from a year ago, this year’s winner could very well come from the group below.

Thursday, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced a watch list that contains a whopping 76 players.  The Walker Award has ben handed out annually since 1990 to the nation’s top running back and is named in honor of former SMU great Doak Walker.

Two finalists for last year’s award have made the cut this preseason — LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey.

The SEC led all conferences with 13 watch listers, followed by the Big 12 (9), Big 12 (9), Pac-12 (9), ACC (8), Mountain West (6), Sun Belt (6), MAC (5), Conference USA (4) and AAC (3).  There were also four from independents (BYU, Notre Dame).

Those two independents were two of the 13 schools with two running backs listed, the others being Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Cal, Duke, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, USC, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan.

Below is the complete 2016 Doak Walker Award preseason watch list:

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