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College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history

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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 April 13, 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 hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Baylor, Michigan State unveil new uniforms
THE SYNOPSIS: Who doesn’t enjoy and relish a good uniform unveil?  Me, of course.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Minnesota stops spring game to award scholarship to walk-on
THE SYNOPSIS: Who utterly enjoys and relishes a good scholarship reveal?  Me, of course.

2018

THE HEADLINE: NCAA approves kickoff rule change, and other ways to speed up the game
THE SYNOPSIS: One of the most important safety rules the sport has enacted was officially adopted two years ago today.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Suspended by Oklahoma in January, Parrish Cobb arrested again for felony armed robbery
THE SYNOPSIS: In January of 2017, the cornerback was arrested on similar charges.  In June of 2018, the 2016 four-star signee was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Female kicker making college football scholarship history
THE SYNOPSIS: Becca Longo became the first female to sign a college football National Letter of Intent with a NCAA Division I or II program.  After taking a redshirt her true freshman season at Adams State, Longo was sidelined for the entire 2018 season because of an ankle injury.  The Arizona native left the Colorado Div. II after that season without ever having kicked in a game.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Ex-Boise State DT found not guilty of felony after biting off part of teammate’s ear
THE SYNOPSIS: Anytime you can connect Tyson-Holyfield to college football, you do it.  And the biting off of the ear?  A jury accepted the self-defense claim.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Donald Trump asks ‘how’s Joe Paterno?’ at Pittsburgh stop
THE SYNOPSIS: The current POTUS was peaking of the Paterno statue.  Not the disgraced Penn State head coach who died four years earlier.

2016

THE HEADLINE: OTL: Baylor took two years to investigate rape claim against football players
THE SYNOPSIS: If you want to be disgusted anew by the scandal in Waco, click on the link above.

2016

THE HEADLINE: USC names Lynn Swann (!!!) as new athletic director
THE SYNOPSIS: A little over three years later, Swann resigned.  Leaving the athletic department in greater disrepair than when he took over. So there’s that legacy.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Nick Saban talks ‘younger generation that doesn’t always get told no’
THE SYNOPSIS: The Process™ cares not about anyone who doesn’t abide by The Process™.  Young or old.

2014

THE HEADLINE: ‘Canes player lucky to be alive, plans to continue playing football
THE SYNOPSIS: In late February, Hunter Knighton lost consciousness and collapsed during a workout session, sending the Miami offensive lineman straight to the hospital and into intensive care.  He was released from the hospital two weeks later.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Johnny Manziel picks up where he left off in A&M’s spring game
THE SYNOPSIS: So, let’s go back to the Tale of the Statistical Tape to compare the college football Johnny Football.

Heisman-winning 2012 season: 3,706 yards passing, 26 touchdowns, nine interceptions.  1,410 yards rushing, 21 touchdowns.
Heisman-finalist 2013 season: 4,114 yards passing, 37 touchdowns, 13 interceptions.  759 yards rushing, nine touchdowns.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Petrino accepts responsibility, won’t appeal firing
THE SYNOPSIS: For once, Bobby Petrino acted admirably.  For once.

2010

THE HEADLINE: JoePa: ‘I think expansion is coming’
THE SYNOPSIS: One year later, Nebraska became a B1G member.  Three years after that, Maryland and Rutgers joined the conference as well.

2009

THE HEADLINE: DALLAS PURSUING COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME*
THE SYNOPSIS: That pursuit ultimately proved fruitless.  In September of 2009, the College Football Hall of Fame pulled up its South Bend stakes for a move to Atlanta.

(*Yes, back in the day, we used to scream out our headlines at our readers in all-caps. The move to NBC a couple of months later mercifully ended that practice.)

Central Michigan loses one of its highest-rated 2018 signees to the transfer portal

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One of the highest-rated signees for Central Michigan football a couple of years ago is leaving the MAC program.  Or, at least, he is exploring the option of doing as much.

According to 247Sports.com, George Pearson is listed in the NCAA transfer database.  That would be the first step in the redshirt sophomore quarterback’s potential departure from the Central Michigan football team.

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.

Pearson was a three-star member of the Central Michigan football Class of 2018.  Only one offensive signee in that cycle for CMU, wide receiver Keonta Nixon, was rated higher than the New Jersey product.  As a true freshman, Pearson completed 12 of his 24 passes for 94 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Pearson didn’t play a down for the Chips in 2019.

In 2018, Central Michigan lost a school-record 11 games.  In Jim McElwain‘s first season in 2019, CMU won went 8-6.  Included in the losses was a New Mexico Bowl beatdown at the hands of San Diego State.

Ole Miss pulls in second transfer from a university in Canada

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From Oh Canada to Ole Miss football?  I’m thinking one recruit might be in for a little culture shock.  Actually, make that two.

Last month, a Canadian college football player, the University of Guelph’s Tavius Robinson, committed to Ole Miss football.  On Twitter Wednesday, Deane Leonard did the same. The cornerback comes to the SEC school from the University of Calgary.

“First off I’d like to thank my friends, family, and coaches that have supported me through this process,” Leonard wrote. “I can’t thank each and every one of you enough for all that you’ve done for me over the years. Love you guys!

“With the cancellation of the USports season I’ve decided it’s in my best interest to look at my options down south.

“With that being said, I’ll be transferring to Ole Miss to complete my collegiate career.”

During his time at That Country Up North, Leonard appeared in 23 games.  In that action, the defensive back was credited with 47 tackles, 19 passes defensed, six interceptions, two forced fumbles, one tackle for loss, one sack and one block.  He also returned five kicks for 124 yards (24.8 average) and 19 punts for 195 yards (10.3 avg.).  One of those punts was returned for a touchdown.

Both Leonard and Robinson are expected to be immediately eligible for new head coach Lane Kiffin and the Rebels.

SEC commish issues statement in wake of Big Ten’s seismic announcement

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It didn’t take long for the most powerful man in SEC football country to respond to what the B1G wrought.

As you may have heard, the Big Ten confirmed Thursday afternoon that it will be going with a conference-only football schedule for the 2020 season.  That was the first significant Power Five domino to tip, but it certainly won’t be the last.  In the coming days, or perhaps next week, the ACC and Pac-12 are expected to make a similar announcement.  The Big 12 and SEC, though, are widely expected to kick that football scheduling can down the road a bit longer, perhaps as late as the end of July.

Not long after the B1G announcement, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement addressing just where his conference is at decison-wise.

The Southeastern Conference will continue to meet regularly with our campus leaders in the coming weeks, guided by medical advisors, to make the important decisions necessary to determine the best path forward related to SE Fall sports.  We recognize the challenges ahead and know the well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans must remain at the forefront of those decisions.

Again, it’s expected that the SEC will make a decision on the football path it will take later this month.  Barring unforeseen circumstances pushing up that timeline, of course.

Big Ten commish, Ohio State AD decidedly pessimistic on B1G having a 2020 college football season

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The Big Ten toppled the first significant domino earlier in the day.  Now, two of the most powerful men in the conference are expounding on the development.  And, if you’re a fan of the sport, you might want to close your eyes when reading the next few paragraphs.  Or take several shots of an adult beverage before proceeding.

Thursday afternoon, the Big Ten confirmed reports that it will be going with a conference-only football schedule for the 2020 season.  All other fall sports are impacted in the same way.

In television appearances following the announcement, the B1G’s commissioner didn’t put a positive spin on football’s immediate future.

“One thing we have to realize is that this is not a fait accompli that we’re going to have sports in the fall,” Kevin Warren flatly stated. “We may not have sports in the fall, we may not have a college football season in the Big Ten. …

“We made a vow early on that, first and foremost, we would put the health, the safety and the wellness of our student-athletes at the center of all of our decisions.

Gene Smith was equally pessimistic.

“I can’t reiterate enough the fact that we might not play,” the Ohio State athletic director said in discussing football in 2020. “We just might not, and I think people need to understand that.”

It’s expected that other Power Five conferences will follow the lead of the Big Ten.  In the coming days, both the ACC and Pac-12 will most likely announce a conference-only football schedule.  The lone exception will be the ACC including Notre Dame, which already has six games against the conference on its 2020 slate, in any revamped schedule.

The Big 12 and SEC are widely expected to kick the scheduling can down the road a bit longer, perhaps as late as the end of July.  In the end, however, both of those Power Fives are likely to come to the same scheduling conclusion.