We’ve previously noted that ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper has questioned whether Florida quarterback Tim Tebow can play quarterback in the NFL, or whether he’d be better off moving to tight end at the next level.On an appearance on ESPN Radio, Tebow questioned why Kiper was questioning him.”You tell me this,” Tebow said to Kiper during the radio exchange. “What do you think I need to do to be an NFL quarterback? You tell me that.”Unfortunately, Kiper didn’t give Tebow a direct answer to his direct question.”You’re just too good with the ball in your hands not to think, Could he be Frank Wycheck? Could he be Chris Cooley? That’s why,” Kiper said. “You’re too good, doing what you do, Tim, running with the football.”Sorry, but that’s ridiculous. Kiper knows full well that there’s no such thing as “too good with the ball in your hands” to be an NFL quarterback. The truth is, Kiper thinks (and I know there are NFL scouts who agree with him) that Tebow’s delivery is too slow to work in the NFL, and that Urban Meyer’s offense doesn’t adequately prepare quarterbacks for a pro passing game.But Kiper didn’t want to tell Tebow that, so he told Tebow that the problem is, “You’re just too good with the ball in your hands.”To which Tebow replied, “The quarterback has the ball in his hands every play.”ESPN’s Joe Schad reported that he had a conversation with Tebow in which Tebow said he was mad that people don’t think he’ll be a great NFL quarterback and mad that he didn’t win the Heisman Trophy, and that his anger might motivate him to leave Florida early.UPDATE: Joe Schad sent the following, via e-mail:Thanks for mentioning me on your site. I just wanted to clarify something. I did say that Tebow is mad that some people say he can’t play at QB in the NFL. I did say that he’s mad that some people say he didn’t deserve to win the Heisman. But its false to say I stated he is strongly considering the NFL draft because “his anger might motivate him to leave.” What I did say was: “He told me it would be very fair to say once again that he is strongly considering the NFL draft. The new factor here is that his offensive coordinator Dan Mullen has taken the head coaching position at Mississippi State.” So, to clarify, its not “anger” that would push him to the NFL. My only point about anger is that it will motivate him against Oklahoma. Happy Holidays… Joe
Virginia Tech doesn’t speak for all of college football but a key figure at the school opened up about massive potential changes coming to the sport as a result of the coronavirus.
Speaking on a conference call Wednesday, athletic director Walt Babcock told reporters that the entire calendar for CFB could be moved back just to get a full season in.
“Everyone wants to try to play a football season if it’s safe,” Babcock said, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Mike Barber. “We would be open to shifting the season, even if it overlapped with other sports.”
That comment isn’t just some AD speaking either. Babcock is a member of the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee, a key decision-making body. While he doesn’t speak for the committee as a whole, the fact that he is even bringing up the topic is notable.
It goes without saying that nobody knows just how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will play out over the coming months. Some, like Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, have advocated for bringing players back to campus as early as May. Most others are far more pessimistic.
Babcock also noted that he would rather wait to make things are safe enough for fans to return to stadiums as well. That is in line with other AD’s, with Texas A&M’s Ross Bjork noting the financial impact of playing in empty stadiums to go along with the eerie feeling.
Hokies head coach Justin Fuente was also on the call and was asked for his thoughts on a potential return to the gridiron. He seemed to indicate that while it’s not ideal, he may need as little as a month of camp prior to taking the field for a live game:
#Hokies coach Justin Fuente on how quickly a football team could get ready to play in the fall: "If we had to do it in a month, and the alternative was not doing it all, I think we could find a way to make it work."
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) April 8, 2020
That is a bit of a contrast to USC’s Clay Helton, who indicated he would need four weeks just to get ready for fall camp — so roughly two months before the season starts. Such conflicting views should underscore how difficult it will be for everybody to gather in support for one unified start date to the 2020 season.
Leaders in college athletics will have plenty of time to work through all that in the coming days, weeks and months. The good news, at least, is that there are far fewer questions about if college football gets played again and far more comments about when it gets played again going forward.
The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.
In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.
So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on April 8, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.
(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section. Mailbag, maybe?)
THE HEADLINE: Who will be the next first-time college football national championship coach?
THE SYNOPSIS: As it turned out, we didn’t have to wait long for that answer. Ed Orgeron claimed his first national championship as a head coach as LSU dropped Clemson in the 2019 College Football Playoff title game.
THE HEADLINE: UCLA’s Jaelan Phillips vows ‘MAJOR comeback’ after ‘minor setback’ in recovery from scooter accident
THE SYNOPSIS: In a twist, Phillips’ comeback will happen at Miami. The nation’s top 2017 recruit transferred to the Hurricanes in July of last year. After sitting out the 2019 season, he has two years of eligibility remaining.
THE HEADLINE: Jimbo Fisher on Deondre Francois: He is a big-time player, he can lead
THE SYNOPSIS: Eight months later, the head coach left Florida State to take the same job at Texas A&M. A little over a year after that, the quarterback was dismissed by FSU amidst an off-field imbroglio.
THE HEADLINE: NCAA shuts down satellite camps for good
THE SYNOPSIS: Remember this storyline? Remember how it engulfed the sport of college football for a year? Yeah, that was awesome. Or not.
THE HEADLINE: LSU’s most-improved offensive player? It’s (gulp) Leonard Fournette
THE SYNOPSIS: “You’d be hard-pressed to have me tell you anybody other than Leonard is the most-improved player on our offense,” then-offensive coordinator Cam Cameron stated at the time. So, how did it play out on the field? Let’s go to the Tale of the Statistical Tape:
Freshman Fournette: 1,034 yards, 5.5 yards per carry, 10 touchdowns in 13 games
Sophomore Fournette: 1,953 yards, 6.5 ypc, 22 touchdowns in 12 games
THE HEADLINE: Notre Dame, Georgia talking future series
THE SYNOPSIS: Nearly three months later, a home-and-home between the college football bluebloods was formally announced. The Bulldogs won both of those matchups, in 2017 and 2019. UGA athletic director Greg McGarity said in September of last year that he’s open to adding games to the series.
THE HEADLINE: Bobby Petrino support group planning Monday rally
THE SYNOPSIS: This headline makes me laugh every time I see. Every. Single. Time.
THE HEADLINE: Lacerated kidney latest setback for ‘Cocks’ LeCorn
THE SYNOPSIS: “‘Cocks.” The 12-year-old in me still giggles. As does the current-day me, actually.
The sport may have hit the pause button, but The Process for the Alabama football program continues.
According to Matt Zenitz of al.com, Nick Saban is expected to add Shiloh Keo to his extended Alabama football staff. No specific job description for Keo was given, with Zenitz writing that he will work “in a support staff capacity.”
Thus far, Alabama has not addressed any new additions to Saban’s football staff.
The 32-year-old Keo played his college football at Idaho from 2006-10. The Idaho native earned first-team Freshman All-American honors that first season with the Vandals. A four-year starter — he took a redshirt in 2008 because of injury — the defensive back was first-team All-WAC (remember that conference?) as a redshirt junior and second-team honors as a fifth-year senior.
The Houston Texans selected Keo in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Keo played six seasons for four different teams. In addition to the Texans, Keo spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints.
Alabama is set to open the 2020 college football season against USC Sept. 5 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. It will be the 14th season under Saban. The Crimson Tide will also be coming off missing the College Football Playoff for the first time since the system to determine a national champion was instituted for the 2014 season.
Ad Ohio State sports luminaries to the growing list of individuals doing what they can financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tuesday, Ohio State announced that three current OSU athletics families — second-year head football coach Ryan Day and his wife, Nina; men’s head basketball coach Chris Holtmann and his wife, Lori; and athletic director Gene Smith and his wife, Sheila — are teaming up to donate a combined $35,000 a month between April and August to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Between the three families, a total of $175,000 will be donated over the next six months.
From the school’s release:
The fund will help the food bank acquire and distribute food and supplies to existing families in need while also addressing the increased demand from families recently impacted by the health crisis.
For every dollar donated, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank is able to secure $9 worth of groceries. That means the $175,000 donation from the Smiths, Days and Holtmanns will result in more than $1.5 million worth of groceries for Ohioans in need. The three families are hoping their donation inspires other members of Buckeye Nation to contribute, as well.
“So many people in our community are struggling to feed their families right now,” Smith said. “Our families wanted to do something to support those who need help. By contributing to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, we know we can make a significant impact.”
Matt Habash, president and CEO of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, says the donation will go a long way in helping the food bank meet the surging need for assistance.
“We understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and that it will take months for many of our struggling neighbors to recover,” Habash said. “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of these amazing families to be on this journey with us.”
The amount of food the Mid-Ohio Foodbank has distributed since March 23 is 14% more than the same period last year, a difference that will climb even higher in the coming weeks, Habash said. The food bank provides enough food for 150,000 meals a day across its 20-county service area, but that number has increased significantly in just the past three weeks.
“We keep reading about the thousands of central Ohioans who are losing their jobs, and it’s just devastating,” Nina Day said. “Ryan and I hope that our family can help ease the burden a bit for other families in our community. We hope, too, that by our example other members of Buckeye Nation might join us in making donations to feed others.