Ohio hits ULM with a heavy dose of MACtion in Independence Bowl

5 Comments

Ohio entered the 2012 as one of the preseason favorite BCS busters and the Bobcats only gained more attention when they knocked off Penn State in Week 1. But, thanks to a late season slide that saw Frank Solich‘s team lose four of its final five games, Ohio had to settle for an Independence Bowl invite.

As fate would have it, Ohio took the invitation because of a communication SNAFU with Louisiana Tech, another one of the early season picks to potentially crash the BCS party.

It seems Ohio was determined to honor LaTech, the top scoring team in the country, in the Independence Bowl by hanging up 45 points against Louisiana Monroe, a team with its own statement win against Arkansas. Bobcats quarterback Tyler Tettleton passed for over 300 yards for the first time in four games on just 13 completions.

The deep ball was there for Ohio from the very beginning when Tettleton led the offense 80 yards down the field on just three plays. The Bobcats jumped out to a quick 14-o lead thanks to a pair of Kolton Browning interceptions and took a 24-7 lead into the half. Two more scores in the third quarter put the game away for good.  Ohio would go on to win 45-14 to give the school its second straight bowl win.

But it wasn’t just Ohio’s offense that was impressive. The Bobcats’ defense held ULM’s to 21 points below its season average and 313 total yards.

In other words, hello, Ohio Bobcats from September.

Of course, it’s not about looking back, but looking ahead. Both Tettleton and Browning should be returning for another year, giving Ohio and ULM another good chance to capture respective conference titles in 2013.

North Carolina hits pause button on football workouts after outbreak of positive COVID-19 tests

North Carolina football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

We can officially add North Carolina to the growing list of football programs hitting the workout pause button.

Last month, North Carolina began a phased return of student-athletes, including football players, to campus for voluntary workouts.  Wednesday, the university announced that all workouts have been temporarily halted.  The decision came after 37 COVID-19 positives came back after 429 student-athletes, coaches and staffers connected to the sports that returned were tested.  The Orange County Health Department determined the situation at UNC to be a cluster, which triggered the pause.

The breakdown for individual sports — football, men’s and women’s basketball — was not given.

From the school‘s release:

Student-athletes who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate for up to 14 days in a campus residence hall specified by the University or at their permanent residence. Coaches and staff members will isolate at home up to 14 days as well. Those identified as close contacts, using the CDC definition for contact tracing, also will self-quarantine for 14 days. These close contacts will be provided instructions regarding quarantine and self-monitoring for potential symptoms and may be tested if they become symptomatic. All students-athletes are monitored closely by Campus Health Sports Medicine.

North Carolina football is the latest but certainly not the first impacted by the pandemic.  Or the last, more than likely.

Just today, Ohio State announced it was putting a temporary halt to voluntary workouts because of the results of recent COVID-19 testing among its student-athletes. July 3, Kansas was the latest FBS program to pause voluntary workouts after 12 players tested positive for COVID-19.  Earlier in that same week, Arizona announced that it was pausing its phased return of student-athletes to campus.  Prior to that, eight individuals connected to the Boise State football program tested positive, forcing the school to temporarily scuttle workouts.  June 20, K-State announced that it is pausing all voluntary workouts as well.  The reason?  “[A] total of 14 student-athletes have tested positive for active COVID-19 following PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing of more than 130 student-athletes.” The weekend before that, Houston decided to put a halt to voluntary on-campus workouts after six symptomatic UH student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19.

Other programs have seen a high number of players test positive but continue workouts.  Among those are Clemson (37 players tested positive), LSU (30 players quarantined), Texas (13 confirmed positives for football players) and Texas Tech (23 positives for players/staffers).

Ohio State announces it has halted voluntary workouts because of the results of recent COVID-19 testing

Ohio State football
Getty Images
1 Comment

Thanks to Ohio State, there’s yet another sign that starting the 2020 college football season on time may be a pipe dream.

As with other schools in the Big Ten, Ohio State welcomed back student-athletes, including football players, to campus for voluntary workouts last month.  Wednesday, those workouts for Buckeyes across several sports have come to a halt.

Below is a release from OSU addressing the development:

The Ohio State Department of Athletics has paused all voluntary workouts on campus following the results of its most recent COVID-19 testing of student-athletes. Seven teams’ workouts are affected by this pause: men’s and women’s basketball, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

The university is not sharing cumulative COVID-19 information publicly as it could lead to the identification of specific individuals and compromise their medical privacy.

If a student-athlete tests positive for COVID-19, he/she will self-isolate for at least 14 days and receive daily check-ups from the Department of Athletics medical staff. Student-athletes living alone will isolate in their residence. If they have roommates, they will self-isolate in a designated room on campus.

The health and safety of our student-athletes is always our top priority.

OSU is but the latest FBS program impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

July 3, Kansas was the latest FBS program to pause voluntary workouts after 12 players tested positive for COVID-19.  Earlier in that same week, Arizona announced that it was pausing its phased return of student-athletes to campus.  Prior to that, eight individuals connected to the Boise State football program tested positive, forcing the school to temporarily scuttle workouts.  June 20, K-State announced that it is pausing all voluntary workouts as well.  The reason?  “[A] total of 14 student-athletes have tested positive for active COVID-19 following PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing of more than 130 student-athletes.” The weekend before that, Houston decided to put a halt to voluntary on-campus workouts after six symptomatic UH student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19.

Other programs have seen a high number of players test positive but continue workouts.  Among those are Clemson (37 players tested positive), LSU (30 players quarantined), Texas (13 confirmed positives for football players) and Texas Tech (23 positives for players/staffers).

Ivy League officially postpones 2020 football season, other fall sports

college football
Getty Images
1 Comment

The college football sky is falling! The college football sky is falling!

At least, that’s the case if you follow college football Twitter.

Last week, it was reported that the Ivy League would soon announce its plans for the 2020 college football season.  It has been expected that the conference would push this season to next year.  Wednesday, that officially came to fruition as the Ivy League announced that football and other fall sports have been postponed.  Football could be moved to the spring, although such an issue won’t be taken up until after the end of the fall semester.

The Ivy League does become the first Div. I conference to cancel football for this coming fall.

Below is a statement from the Ivy League Council of Presidents:

As a leadership group, we have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students who attend our institutions, as well as the faculty and staff who work at our schools. These decisions are extremely difficult, particularly when they impact meaningful student-athlete experiences that so many value and cherish.

With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk, consistent with the policies that each of our schools is adopting as part of its reopening plans this fall.

We are entrusted to create and maintain an educational environment that is guided by health and safety considerations. There can be no greater responsibility — and that is the basis for this difficult decision.

It should be noted that the Ivy League’s decision has zero impact on the 2020 FBS season, especially when it comes to the Power Five.  Is it possible that the upcoming college football season at the FBS level moves to the spring of next year?  Absolutely, especially as the number of cases in states such as California, Florida and Texas — and football programs — continue to grow.  But such a decision won’t be made because the Ivy League, and its members with combined endowments in the neighborhood of $150 billion who don’t worry about trifling things like the FCS playoffs, made it.

As one Power Five administrator put it to Brandon Marcello of 247Sports.com, “I don’t think people understand how [the Ivy League’s decision] simply doesn’t affect us.” More from Marcello’s report:

FBS conferences followed the lead of the Ivy League in mid-March, when the league was the first to cancel its postseason basketball tournament. The real-time decision in March amid a new growing threat, however, is much different in circumstance and scope than the impending decision Wednesday concerning football in the Ivy League. Power 5 commissioners have discussed the need to wait and not follow the Ivy League in meetings this week.

This tweet, though, puts everything into perspective. Financial perspective, that is.

One-time starting QB Armani Rogers enters transfer portal

UNLV football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The quarterback room for UNLV football will be less experienced if/when the 2020 season kicks off.

On Twitter this week, Armani Rogers revealed that he is set to transfer out of the UNLV football program.  The quarterback confirmed that he will be entering the NCAA transfer database as a graduate.  That would allow the fifth-year senior to use his final season of eligibility at another FBS program in 2020.

“I want to thank this school and all of the coaches who gave me a chance here at UNLV,” Rogers wrote. “It was a great time I had here being with my teammates who have always [shown] me support and the fans who have also been here along the way.  This school will always have a special place in my heart.

“It was a tough decision for me, but I have decided to enter the transfer portal as a graduate.”

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Rogers was a three-star member of the UNLV football Class of 2016.  The California native was rated as the No. 16 dual-threat quarterback on the 247Sports.com composite.  He was the highest-rated signee for the Rebels that cycle.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Rogers had a breakout 2017 campaign.  In being named as the Mountain West Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year, Rogers ran for 780 yards and eight touchdowns.  he also threw for 1,471 yards and another six scores.

Where Rogers always struggled, though, was accuracy.  In 350 career attempts, he completed just 174 (49.7%).  That 2017 season, Rogers started nine of the 10 games in which he played.  The past two seasons, however, injuries helped limit him to 11 games (five starts).

Rogers is the second Rebels quarterback to hit the portal this offseason.  Earlier this month, Travis Mumphrey took a dip into the database.  With the twin moves, it leaves UNLV football with just 2019 starter Kenyon Oblad and former Cal transfer Max Gilliam at the position.  Oblad threw for 2,081 yards, 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions a year ago.  Gilliam attempted 214 passes in 2018, but none this past season.