A year after being upset by eventual national champion Ohio State in the College Football Playoff, Alabama dismantled Big Ten champion Michigan State in this year’s playoff en route to a national championship victory over Clemson. Alabama’s 38-0 blowout of Michigan State sent a rather loud message confirming Alabama was still a mighty force to reckon with. It also suggested Alabama had grown and improved from their initial playoff experience a year ago. There were some who felt Michigan State may have been deserving of a spot in the College Football Playoff based off overall body of work, but even some of those people would suggest the Spartans were not the best team in the Big Ten.
Despite losing at home to Michigan State late in the season, an argument could have been made Ohio State was the best team in the conference in 2015. The Buckeyes suffered a last-second loss in Columbus to Michigan State, opening the door for the Spartans to advance to the Big Ten Championship game, where it put together a masterful late touchdown drive to edge previously unbeaten Iowa in a defensive battle. Ohio State had to settle for knocking around rival Michigan in the first meeting between Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh. The Buckeyes went on to the Fiesta Bowl to face Notre Dame in the New Years Six line-up, but not without regrets for not defending its national title belt in the fatal four-way of the playoff. As Michigan State was blown away by Alabama, some Buckeyes could not help but think they would have had a better shot at giving Alabama a good fight once again.
“I think we would have definitely done a better job,” Ohio State defensive back Tyvis Powell said this week during Senior Bowl preparations in Mobile, Alabama (via Al.com). “I was shocked [Michigan State] didn’t score a point. It is what it is. It was very disappointing. But, Alabama, it was their year. I guess everybody has their year and it was their time to win.”
So what would have happened if the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide would have squared off one more time in this season’s playoff?
“I didn’t get to watch much film on them, but I know it would have been a hell of a game,” Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett said. “(Alabama) might have done a little better this year than they were last year. And I think the way we played in the last couple of games, we could have played against any team in the country. I know it would have been another war like it was the year before. So it would have been interesting to see.”
It sure would have been interesting to see. Maybe next year?
UTSA is now the home for a one-time, big-time football recruit. Unofficially, the Roadrunners are his new home we should say.
On his personal Twitter account this week, Ron Tatum Jr., announced that he has committed to the UTSA football team. The defensive lineman spent the 2019 season at Northeast Oklahoma A&M.
Tatum would be eligible to play for the Conference USA school in 2020, although 247Sports.com lists his class as 2021.
“I want to start out by saying God is great and he steady showing me he has a plan,” the lineman wrote. “I want to Thank my entire family, my siblings and especially my dad and mom for staying with me and believing in me through this challenging journey. I also want to Thank NEO Football and the University, especially Coach Allen and Coach Crissup for always pushing me and believing me when things got tough.
“With that being said I’ll be committing to the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)! Thanks you Coach Traylor and Coach Wright for giving me another opportunity.”
Tatum was a four-star member of Oklahoma’s Class of 2018. The Oklahoma City native was rated as the No. 3 player regardless of position in the Sooner State. He was also the No. 5 strongside defensive end in the country.
Tatum took a redshirt as a true freshman for the Sooners. In February of 2019, the 6-5, 270-pound end entered his name into the NCAA transfer database.
UTSA is coming off a 4-8 2019 football campaign. The Roadrunners are now 19-29 under head coach Frank Wilson. The C-USA school is scheduled to open the 2020 season against defending national champ LSU. In Baton Rouge.
It’s been a rough last few weeks for the Kent State football program
It’s starting punter the past three years, Derek Adams, transferred to Northwestern. Duke linebacker Jacob Morgenstern, who had committed to Kent State football in March, opted late last month to transfer to Texas Tech instead.
Now, 247Sports.com has reported, quarterback Marquez Glover has entered his name into the NCAA transfer database. As he’ll be just a redshirt sophomore entering 2020, Glover will very likely have to sit out the 202 season. That would leave him with two years of eligibility moving forward in 2021.
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.
Grover was a member of the Kent State football Class of 2018. The Florida prospect didn’t see the field in the regular season during his time with the MAC school. He did, though, show flashes of talent during the 2019 spring game.
Kent State is coming off just its fifth bowl-eligible football season in the past four decades. The Golden Flashes also captured their first-ever bowl win following the 2019 regular season.
Count Nebraska as the latest football domino to fall.
Last week, the NCAA announced that it would allow schools to bring its student-athletes back to campus for voluntary workouts starting June 1. The SEC subsequently confirmed its players would be returning June 8. Both Ohio State and Illinois from the Big Ten will be doing the same on the same date. And, as far as that goes, so are Clemson and Louisville.
Friday, Nebraska announced that it will be getting a one-week jump on its Bi1G counterpart by allowing student-athletes, including football players, to return to campus starting June 1. Not surprisingly, the university has constructed a detailed plan with protocols that will allow Nebraska football players and others to return safely as they prepare for the upcoming seasons.
From the school’s release outlining testing measures and safety procedures:
- The first step in the plan for student-athletes who are outside of Lincoln is the gathering of pre-travel information and education, followed by guidelines for traveling back to Lincoln.
- All student-athletes returning to Lincoln from an outside location will quarantine for a minimum of 48 hours when arriving in Lincoln. Student-athletes living by themselves off campus may quarantine at their home, while those living on campus will quarantine in a designated on-campus dormitory.
- Following the completion of the quarantine period, the student-athlete will be required to be tested for COVID-19 and return a confirmed negative result before being allowed to access athletic department facilities.
- Any student-athlete returning a positive test will be required to remain at their residence and self-isolate and follow positive test guidelines. A student-athlete who tests positive will be required to secure two negative tests before completing the self-isolation period.
- Once a student-athlete is cleared to access athletic facilities for a voluntary workout, they will follow a series of guidelines to help ensure the safest and cleanest workout environment possible:
- Workouts will be conducted in small groups and must be in accordance with all local and state guidelines.
- Student-athletes will have daily symptom checks and receive instant-read temperature checks prior to entering the facility.
- Once cleared to enter the facility, student-athletes will be required to wear a daily wrist band to exhibit medical clearance.
- Student-athlete access in the athletic facilities will be limited only to areas that are related to participating in voluntary workouts. Locker room access will not be allowed at this time.
- Protocols are also in place for handwashing, distancing during workouts, disinfecting equipment between lifts and workouts, and laundry services.
“The plan we have developed is done with the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and community as our top priority,” Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos said in a statement. “We have strict protocol that will involve quarantines, testing and detailed cleaning and safety measures. The guidelines we have in place will be strictly followed as our student-athletes return to prepare for their upcoming seasons.”
Kentucky may not immediately have a Power Five football transfer at its disposal. Or, it may. Depends.
Joey Gatewood decided in late October of last year to transfer from Auburn. On the Tigers quarterback’s transfer to-do list were Florida, Kentucky, LSU and Mississippi State, among others. In early December, Gatewood opted to transfer to Kentucky.
Normally, Gatewood would have to sit out the 2020 season for the Wildcats. However, the player and the Kentucky football program will seek a waiver that would allow Gatewood to play this upcoming campaign. That process began in the spring.
The basis for which a waiver is being sought is unclear.
A four-star 2018 signee, Gatewood was rated as the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Florida and the No. 49 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. The Jacksonville product was the highest-rated signee in the Tigers’ class that year.
After redshirting as a true freshman — and after losing out on the starting job to Bo Nix — Gatewood threw for 54 yards and two touchdowns prior to his decision to transfer. He also added another 148 yards and three scores on the ground.
Terry Wilson Will Likely head into summer camp as QB1 for UK. Wilson began 2019 as the starter before a knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. His replacement, Sawyer Smith, also suffered a season-ending injury. And will also return for 2020.