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Sam Darnold becoming runaway favorite to win 2017 Heisman Trophy

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The 2017 college football season is a long way off, but that hasn’t stopped people from betting on who will win the 2017 Heisman Trophy.

Bovada released an updated odds sheet on Monday, and USC quarterback Sam Darnold has stepped away as the clear favorite to win the honor.

2016 winner Lamar Jackson and 2016 finalist Baker Mayfield are tied for second at 13/2 odds, followed by Alabama running back Bo Scarborough and Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Darnold finished the ’16 campaign ranked ninth nationally in passing efficiency, hitting 67.2 percent of his throws for 3,086 yards with 31 touchdowns against nine interceptions in 13 appearances (10 starts). He closed the year with a scintillating Rose Bowl performance, hitting 33-of-53 throws for 453 yards with five touchdowns against one interception in a 52-49 overtime win over Penn State.

One historical bullet point Darnold will have in his favor is that the clearest path to winning a Heisman comes from playing at a school with former Heisman winners. USC’s six previous winners trails only Notre Dame and Ohio State — the Trojans are tied if you count Reggie Bush‘s 2005 win — including Carson Palmer in 2002 and Matt Leinart in ’04.

Kansas settles David Beaty lawsuit for $2.55 million when they could’ve just paid his $3 million buyout two years ago

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Our long national nightmare when it comes to a former Kansas football coach is over.  Or something like that.

In early November of 2018, Kansas announced that David Beaty would be fired as head football coach upon the conclusion of that regular season.  At the time, athletic director Jeff Long stated that the university would honor the terms of Beaty’s contract, which included a $3 million buyout payable over a six-month period.  That never actually happened.  And led to a contentious lawsuit.  One that involved the school needing to euphemistically find “a dead hooker” in Beaty’s past.  Because of minor NCAA violations.

Friday, the university announced that it has reached a settlement with Beaty.  For $2.55 million.  Which means, after nearly two years worth of lawyers fees and such are factored in, the university likely ended up… costing itself money they could’ve saved if they had just paid Beaty the money he was contractually owed in the first place.

Kudos, KU.  Below is the university’s attempt at a face-saving statement:

Today, Kansas athletics entered into a $2.55 million financial settlement with former head football coach David Beaty, ending all litigation and disputes. Despite the settlement, the University maintains that the facts and principles behind its position remain intact.  For the betterment of KU, and driven by a willingness to move forward during a time of uncertainty in college athletics, the University has now put this matter behind us.  All funds to be paid as part of the settlement will come from the original amount placed in escrow during the 2018-2019 fiscal year following Beaty’s separation from KU.

In four seasons as the Jayhawks head coach, Beaty went 6-42 overall and 2-34 in Big 12 play.  In mid-November of 2018, Kansas confirmed that former LSU head coach Les Miles would be taking over for Beaty.

Former North Carolina standout Tommy Davis killed in motorcycle accident

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A North Carolina football program running on an offseason high is now mourning the loss of one of its own.

According to multiple media outlets, Tommy Smith died Thursday from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.  Details surrounding the accident are not known.

The Goldsboro, North Carolina, native was 37 years old.

From 2002-05, Smith was a standout defensive lineman for the Tar Heels.  In a statement, the North Carolina football program addressed his passing.

We are shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of one of our Tar Heel brothers, Tommy Davis. The Carolina Football Family extends its deepest condolences to Tommy’s family and friends.

His first two seasons in Chapel Hill, Smith was a part-time starter.  In his last two seasons, Smith started every game for the ACC school.  Smith combined for 18 tackles for loss and 11½ sacks his junior and senior seasons.

The 6-2, 257 Smith went undrafted in 2016.  Over the next three years, he spent time on practice squads with New Orleans Saints, New York Giants and Washington.

In 2011, he returned to North Carolina as a graduate assistant.  He spent the 2012 season in that capacity as well.  In 2013, Smith served as the defensive line coach at Saint Joseph’s, a Div. II program in Indiana.

Iowa confirms addition of Northern Illinois grad transfer Jack Heflin

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Iowa has officially added a talented and experienced Group of Five player to its roster.

In May, Jack Heflin was one of three Northern Illinois starters to enter the NCAA transfer database the same day.  A little over a week later, the defensive tackle announced on Twitter that he’s headed to Iowa football.

Friday, Iowa football confirmed Heflin’s addition to the Hawkeyes as the lineman signed with the program.  As a graduate transfer, Heflin is eligible to play immediately for the Big Ten school.  The upcoming season, though, will serve as his final year of eligibility.

Based on his resume, Heflin should contribute immediately to the Hawkeyes.

Heflin was a two-star member of the 2016 recruiting class for the Huskies.  NIU was his only FBS offer coming out of high school in Indiana.

In leading NIU in tackles for loss with 8½, sacks with three and forced fumbles with three, Heflin started all 11 games in which he played in 2019. MAC coaches named him second-team all-conference this past season.  He was also third-team All-MAC the previous season.  All told, Heflin started 28 of the 38 games in which he played.

In those appearances, Heflin was credited with 72 tackles, 17½ tackles for loss, nine sacks, three forced fumbles and one blocked kick.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including USC officially being stripped of its 2004 BCS championship

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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 June 6, 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 college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Three West Virginia safeties now in transfer portal
THE SYNOPSIS: And two of those were starters.  Even for the portal, this is a bit of overkill.

2017

THE HEADLINE: USC QB Sam Darnold remains prohibitive Heisman favorite according to latest odds
THE SYNOPSIS: This is exactly why, while fun, preseason Heisman odds are utterly useless.  In 2017, Darnold didn’t even finish in the Top 10 in the voting.  The voting, incidentally, that earned Baker Mayfield the stiff-armed trophy that year.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Jeff Gordon to drive Penn State car at Pocono
THE SYNOPSIS: This post had a surprisingly healthy number of comments.  For whatever reason.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Incoming Tar Heel charged for stealing $53,000 in watches and jewelry
THE SYNOPSIS: Just gotta get this off my chest.  It’s charged “with.” Not charged “for.” You’re arrested “for.” And as “for” the player?  Tight end Avery Edwards ended up catching 19 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns.  At Maryland.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Bobby Bowden would serve on playoff selection committee
THE SYNOPSIS: The former Florida State head coach and College Football Hall of Famer never did serve.  Because he wasn’t asked.  Dadgummit, though, they should’ve asked the coaching legend.

2011

THE HEADLINE: USC stripped of ’04 BcS title
THE SYNOPSIS: This headline won’t pick any Trojan Nation scabs, will it?