File this under things you don’t want to go through with, but have to explore just because.
Per the Daily Press‘ David Teel, Virginia Tech is exploring their options to play a makeup game on December 1st if the Hokies miss the ACC Championship Game. This contest will replace their game against East Carolina that was cancelled last month as a result of Hurricane Florence.
The Hokies (3-1, 2-0 ACC) hope to qualify for that day’s league title game but are pondering contingencies. Other Football Bowl Subdivision teams that lost games due to Florence include Central Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia, Southern Mississippi, Appalachian State, Marshall and South Carolina.
Like Virginia Tech, five of those seven — North Carolina and South Carolina are the exceptions — have realistic aspirations of playing in their conference championship game.
What is a bit eyebrow-raising to some is the fact that East Carolina also had a potential open date on Dec. 1 but instead of linking up with Tech to possibly get their game in, the Pirates turned around and entered into an agreement to play at N.C. State that week (provided neither makes the conference title game). Spurning the Hokies to play the Wolfpack will probably not be something that’s forgotten by those in Blacksburg.
As for the remaining options that Justin Fuente’s team could play in early December, the most attractive option to fans in college football would probably be UCF but it seems like a sure bet to pencil in the Knights for the AAC title game that week. South Carolina probably wouldn’t want to travel a week after playing Clemson and all the others are at or near the top of their respective division (and UNC is a division foe) standings. Southern Miss seems like the most realistic possibility for Virginia Tech but who knows if they would want to possibly take a potential extra loss that would impact bowl eligibility.
Based on Teel’s discussion with AD Whit Babcock, it seems as though an FCS makeup game is off the table and it’s possible no agreement is even reached to play another game and Virginia Tech simply plays 11 in the regular season.
The easiest solution to everything? The Hokies simply beat Miami in November and win the division. Easier said than done at this point but it sure would simplify the schedule and the upcoming process that the administration is about to embark on to get another game in.
When Dominic Livingston announced in mid-February that he would be transferring from LSU, the defensive tackle indicated that the move was being made so as to be closer to his home in Texas because of unspecified family issues. Monday, Livingston followed through on that plan of attack.
Speaking to 247Sports.com, Livingston confirmed that his collegiate playing career will continue at Kilgore College. A community college in Kilgore, Texas, Livingston’s new college football home is roughly 200 miles from his hometown of Houston; his old home of Baton Rouge is roughly 270 miles from that same hometown.
Not surprisingly, Kilgore told the same website that he “will play a semester at Kilgore and go from there,” an obvious indication that he expects to be back at the FBS level in 2020.
If that is indeed the case, Kilgore would have three years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2020 season.
A three-star member of the Tigers’ 2018 recruiting class, Livingston was rated as the No. 38 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 74 player at any position in the state of Texas. As a true freshman, Livingston appeared in exactly one more game than I did.
There is some positive news when it comes to a distressing situation that developed over the weekend.
Illinois true junior defensive end Bobby Roundtree sustained what was described as a severe spinal cord injury in a swimming accident Saturday and underwent surgery a day later. According to the Associated Press, Roundtree is progressing well following the surgery and, while he remains hospitalized, is speaking, eating and sitting up.
Several members of the Illini football program, including Lovie Smith, traveled to Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor, Fla., to be with the injured player.
“Bobby Roundtree is exactly what you want in a student-athlete,” a statement from the head coach began. “He is a hard worker, dependable, a dedicated student and a leader.
“This is devastating to his teammates, the entire Fighting Illini family and his family and friends. We will give Bobby all the support possible as he battles through his recovery. Please keep Bobby and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Roundtree, who played his high school football in Largo, Fla., has started 20 games the past two seasons since coming to the Illini as a three-star member of their 2017 recruiting class. This past season, the 6-5, 245-pound end led the Illini in tackles for loss with 12.5 and pass breakups, and was second in sacks with 7.5 and quarterback hits with four.
For that, the media named Roundtree honorable mention All-Big Ten for the 2018 season.
Matt Campbell has officially added an experienced and productive piece to his Iowa State passing attack.
La'Michael Pettway revealed via Twitter in mid-January that he would be transferring from Arkansas; nearly four months later, he used the same social media vehicle to deliver the message that he would be continuing his collegiate playing career at Iowa State. Monday, it was confirmed by the football program that the wide receiver has officially enrolled in classes at the university.
As a graduate transfer, Pettway will be eligible to play immediately for the Cyclones in 2019.
“I think the biggest thing he brings is he gives a veteran presence to this receiver group,” the head coach said according to the Des Moines Register. “[T]he opportunity to get a guy that’s done it at a very high level against really high-end competition can just add some veteran-ness to a group where there’s a lot of youth.”
This past season, Pettway led the Razorbacks in receiving yards with 499 and receptions with 30. His four receiving touchdowns were good for second on the team.
Prior to 2018, Pettway had totaled 102 yards and a touchdown on seven catches.
The NFL Network and Conference USA struck a deal that will see the league air 10 C-USA games, starting this fall.
“While exploring new media options for football, NFL Network stood out as an excellent opportunity for national exposure,” C-USA commissioner Judy MacLeod said. “We look forward to showcasing our conference through their tremendous platform and reach.”
The contract runs for four years, and will see NFL Network air one game a week for 10 weeks.
“We are excited to showcase the next generation of NFL athletes to our fans on a weekly basis,” said Hans Schroeder, Chief Operating Officer of NFL Media. “Our fans crave live football, and partnering with Conference USA – a conference which boasts several Hall of Fame players – provides us with an excellent opportunity to do so.”
Specific game announcements will be named at a later date. It’s an important move for C-USA, who has seen more and more of its games moved off of TV and onto streaming platforms, such as ESPN Plus, Stadium and Facebook. The league also has a TV deal with CBS Sports Network.