Entering Week 12, Utah was needing to win its last two games; have Colorado lose twice; and have USC lose its conference finale in order to claim the Pac-12 North. Unfortunately for the Utes, they forgot to take care of their own business right out of the gate.
Up on Oregon 28-24 with less than 10 seconds to play, all Utah needed to do was keep the Ducks from the end zone from the Utes’ 17-yard line to keep their division title hopes from going on life support. Justin Herbert and Darren Carrington, though, had other ideas.
That stunning touchdown with two seconds left gave the Ducks a 30-28 win and dropped the Utes to 5-3 in conference play with one game remaining. Depending on how the Colorado-Washington State game plays out — Buffs are up 28-24 at the end of the third as of this posting — Utah’s North hopes may officially be over.
If CU beats Wazzu, that would push the Buffs to 7-1 in the conference and officially eliminate the Utes from contention. Even if the Buffs lose, the Utes would need to beat them in Week 13 and hope that USC (6-2) loses to UCLA tonight. A Trojans win would also eliminate the Utes, regardless of what happens in the Utes-Buffs game.
A three-way tiebreaker is the only way the Utes can make it to the conference championship game. In that scenario, Utah would have the edge based on a 2-0 record against the other two teams.
Ole Miss has looked to a service academy to significantly bolster its football roster. Officially.
Back in mid-March, Jake Springer signaled his intention to transfer from Navy by entering the NCAA transfer database. A little over three months later, the striker utilized Instagram to announce that he had committed to the Ole Miss football team.
Two weeks after that social media revelation, Ole Miss confirmed that Springer has signed and been added to the Rebels football roster. It was initially thought that Springer would be headed to the Rebels as a graduate transfer. Instead, the school confirmed he’ll have to sit out the 2020 season. The 2021 season will be his final year of eligibility.
Springer was a two-star member of the Class of 2017 for the Midshipmen. His recruiting pedigree, though, belies the potential for production he brings to Ole Miss football.
After playing in six games as a true freshman, Springer saw action in a dozen in 2018. He started four of those contests, intercepting a pair of passes in that action. The Missouri product had a breakout season in 2019, starting 10 games for the Midshipmen. He led the team in both tackles for loss (16) and sacks (eight). The latter total is tied for third-most in academy history, the former tied for the fifth-most.
Following the regular season, Springer was accorded second-team All-AAC honors.
While he played a hybrid linebacker/safety (striker) position at Navy, Springer is expected to make his mark in the secondary for the SEC school.
Illinois has been on the right side of the football portal throughout the offseason. Now, Lovie Smith‘s crew finds themselves on the wrong end.
First reported by Rivals.com, Joseph Thompson has entered his name into the NCAA transfer database. 247Sports.com subsequently confirmed that the defensive back is intent on leaving the Illinois football program.
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.
Thompson was a three-star member of the Illinois football Class of 2019. The Chicago native was rated as the No. 27 recruit regardless of position in the state of Illinois. As a true freshman, Thompson didn’t appear in any games and took a redshirt.
On the positive side for the Illini? Illinois has added seven transfers to its football roster this offseason. Five of those have come from Power Five programs.
In mid-March, ex-Alabama linebacker Christian Bell tweeted that he was moving on to the Illini. Shortly thereafter, we noted that an FCS All-American offensive lineman had opted to transfer into the Illinois football program. New Mexico State wide receiver Desmond Dan did the same. As did Miami wide receiver Brian Hightower. And Mississippi State offensive lineman Brevyn Jones as well in early May And Louisville defensive back TreSean Smith last week mid-May. And Cal defensive tackle Chinedu Udeogu that same month.
While seemingly everyone in the sport is looking to push games back, Oklahoma is actually looking to move its football opener up.
Oklahoma is currently scheduled to open the 2020 college football season at home in Norman against FCS Missouri State Sept. 5. According to The Oklahoman, however, OU is looking to move that matchup up a week, to Aug. 29. Reportedly, the FCS school is amenable to such a move.
The reasoning behind such a waiver?
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione’s rationale in this pandemic-stricken year is that moving the opener would give OU an off week after each of its first two games, which could be valuable with the testing of players for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
With constant testing and the subsequent contact tracing for those exposed, teams face a season with frequent quarantines and isolation of players who either have the virus or have been exposed to it.
At the moment, Oklahoma is scheduled to face Tennessee at Memorial Stadium Sept. 12. Then coming off a bye, OU would travel
All of this, of course, is contingent on there actually being non-conference games in the sport. The Big Ten was the first conference-only scheduling domino to fall. The ACC and Pac-12 are expected to follow suit. The Sooners’ conference, the Big 12, likely won’t make a decision on that front until the end of this month. The same goes for the SEC as well.
There’s a health concern involving one of the crown jewels of the Georgia football Class of 2020.
With Auburn in hot pursuit, Broderick Jones confirmed back in February that he had signed with Georgia football. The offensive lineman stated on National Signing Day he is “a Georgia boy” and “wanted to be close to home so my family could support me.“
Now, though, 247Sports.com is confirming that Jones suffered “a lower leg injury related to an accident involving a motor bike.” No details surrounding the accident have been revealed, although the website noted that it didn’t happen in the last couple of days.
It’s expected that Jones will be recovering for multiple weeks, perhaps up to two months. As of yet, the Georgia football program has not commented on the development.
The No. 3 recruit regardless of position in the state of Georgia, the 6-5, 298-pound Jones is the No. 2 offensive tackle in the country. On the 247Sports.com composite, he’s listed as the No. 11 prospect overall in the Class of 2020. Only one signee in this year’s class for the Bulldogs, cornerback Kelee Ringo, was rated higher.
While Jones verbally committed to UGA in April of 2018, the departure of line coach Sam Pittman for the head job at Arkansas in December caused some concern. In January, Jones took an official visit to Arkansas. He took another to Illinois that same month.
With the Bulldogs, the expectation is that Jones will slide into a starting job as a true freshman. Provided there is a season, of course.