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Ole Miss, Charlotte announce future home-and-home series

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Ole Miss has been quite busy on the football scheduling front over the past could of months.

Most noteworthy, Ole Miss and USC announced a future home-and-home series in football in the middle of last month.  The SEC West school also announced a future home-and-home with South Alabama (HERE) and a one-off game with Alcorn State (HERE).  That latter game marks its first-ever against a historically black college and university.  Additionally, this year’s opener against Baylor was moved from Saturday, Sept. 5, to Sunday, Sept. 6.

Tuesday, the scheduling cornucopia for Ole Miss continued as a football home-and-home series with Charlotte was confirmed by both schools.  The Rebels will travel to Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson Stadium, Sept. 12, 2026. Then the 49ers will make the trek to Oxford, Miss., on Sept. 4, 2027, at Vaught Hemingway Stadium.

Ole Miss will become the first-ever SEC team to play the 49ers at home.  The 2026 game will also mark the first-ever meeting between the programs.

“What an incredible opportunity for Niner Nation to enjoy an SEC opponent on our campus, and then make a return trip to one of the most legendary settings in college football — The Grove,” a statement from Charlotte athletic director Mike Hill read. “As our program continues its competitive ascent, expect to see more exciting match-ups of this caliber.”

Charlotte has previously played road games against SEC members Kentucky (2015) and Tennessee (2018).  The 49ers will also travel to the Vols this season. Future road matchups against that conference that have already been announced include South Carolina (2022), Florida (2023) and Georgia (2025).

Per the school, ACC member Duke will become the first Power Five school to play at Charlotte in 2021. The Conference USA school will also host the Big Ten’s Maryland in 2022 and the ACC’s North Carolina in 2025.

“Anytime you’re competing against the Southeastern Conference, you’re obviously talking about the big time,” said 49ers head coach Will Healy. “It’s huge for our student-athlete experience to play in those types of ACC and SEC atmospheres, but also great to get those programs to our place. It’s a priority for us to continue to build the fan experience here, and having Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and now Ole Miss coming to our place is a great way to do that.”

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Navy officially shedding 135 years of football independence

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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 July 1, 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: Army announces 76-man signing class
THE SYNOPSIS: USA! USA! USA!

2018

THE HEADLINE: It’s July 1, so Liberty is now officially college football’s newest FBS program; Idaho drops to FCS
THE SYNOPSIS: Two years later, Liberty won its first bowl game. And saw attrition from players citing “racial insensitivity.”

2017

THE HEADLINE: It’s July 1, which means UAB and Coastal Carolina are official FBS members now
THE SYNOPSIS: UAB went 8-5 in its second first FBS season.  Coastal Carolina went 3-9.

2016

THE HEADLINE: BYU still wants to join a Power 5 conference
THE SYNOPSIS: Four years later, the want is still there. So that’s something?

2015

THE HEADLINE: Dependence Day: Navy officially joins AAC
THE SYNOPSIS: From our post that day:

For the first 135 years of its existence, Navy played as a football independent.  With Independence Day just three days away, the Midshipmen have officially shed that football independence for its first-ever conference home.

2013

THE HEADLINE: It’s officially conference moving day for myriad FBS programs
THE SYNOPSIS: Are you sensing a theme with this First of July date?  Pitt and Syracuse officially joined the ACC. And the WAC ceased to exist as a football conference.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Boise State officially leaving for the Big East
THE SYNOPSIS: Boise State is still a member of the Mountain West Conference.  So there’s that.

2011

THE HEADLINE: Dawn of new conference era brings yawns, shoulder shrugs from some coaches
THE SYNOPSIS: From our post that day.  Again:

The Pac-10 has officially became the Pac-12 with the additions of Colorado (Big 12) and Utah (Mountain West). The Big Ten officially became the, well, Big Ten despite the addition of Nebraska (Big 12) as its 12th member. Boise State will now be a full-fledged voting member of the Mountain West after bolting the depleted and beleaguered WAC, while BYU (Mountain West) has shed its conference clothes and exchanged them for football independence.

2010

THE HEADLINE: UGA AD Damon Evans busted for DUI
THE SYNOPSIS: After the red panties scandal, Evans rehabbed his image.  And resurfaced as the athletic director at Maryland.

FAU plucks another linebacker transfer from a lower level of the sport

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In looking to shore up its depleted linebacking corps, FAU has turned to the lower level of the football transfer portal.

This past week, Hosea Barnwell, the Owls’ leading returning tackler, entered the NCAA transfer database.  Also, as noted by the Sun-Sentinel, senior linebacker Akileis Leroy is not currently listed on FAU’s online 2020 roster.

Conversely, FAU added a starting linebacker in the middle of last month from a shuttered Div. II program. Over the weekend, Antonio Andrews committed to the Owls as well.  The transfer made the commitment via Twitter.

The linebacker will come to FAU from Football Championship Subdivision member Stetson.  A graduate transfer, this will serve as his last season at the collegiate level.

This past season, Andrews led the Hatters with 3½ sacks and eight quarterback hits, while his 5½ tackles for loss were fifth.  He was also credited with 34 total tackles and a fumble recovery.

During his time at Stetson, the 6-3, 248-pound Andrews appeared in 25 games.

FAU is coming off a 2019 football campaign in which the Owls tied a school record with 11 wins.  Included in that was a first-ever win in the Conference USA championship game.  And the program’s fourth straight win in a bowl game, a streak that stretches back to 2007.

Almost immediately after the win in the Boca Raton BowlLane Kiffin left to take over as the head coach at Ole Miss.  Kiffin was replaced shortly thereafter by former Florida State and Oregon head coach Willie Taggart.

UTSA is the landing spot for Houston transfer WR Julon Williams, the highest-rated Cougar signee in 2018

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The UTSA football has been very adept at using the transfer portal to bolster its roster the past couple of months.

In early May, UMass wide receiver Brennon Dingle officially signed with the UTSA football team.  Late last month, Oklahoma defensive end Ron Taum Jr. committed to the Conference USA school.

A month after Tatum’s commitment, Julon Williams did the same via Twitter.  The Houston wide receiver had entered the NCAA transfer database earlier this month.

Williams won’t be coming to UTSA football as a graduate transfer.  As a result, he’ll have to sit out the 2020 season for the Roadrunners.  Barring an unlikely waiver, of course.  That will leave the receiver two years of eligibility starting in 2021.

Williams was a three-star member of the Houston football Class of 2018.  He was also the highest-rated signee for the Cougars that cycle.

The production on the field, however, failed to match that recruiting pedigree.  In two seasons, the Converse, Texas, native played in just two games.  Both of those appearances came as a true freshman.

In that limited action, Williams caught three passes for 61 yards.

UTSA is coming off a 4-8 2019 football campaign.  That led to Frank Wilson being fired in December and Jeff Traylor being hired a week later.

Howard Schnellenberger named recipient of the 2021 Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award

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It’s not the Hall of Fame where he absolutely belongs, but it’s still a solid honor for the legendary Howard Schnellenberger.

Friday, it was announced that Schnellenberger has been named as the recipient of the 2021 Paul “Bear” Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award.  Schnellenberger will accept the award, named in honor of the Hall of Fame Alabama head coach, at an annual awards dinner on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, in Houston, Texas.

Schnellenberger had served as Bryant’s offensive coordinator at Alabama from 1961-65.

“I am truly honored to receive the Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Howard Schnellenberger in a statement. “It is an even greater honor to be placed with past honorees, most of whom have been friends and colleagues at one time or another. I am reflecting on the five years we were with Coach Bryant at Alabama and the three national championships. Coach Bryant was always a mentor and friend, and one of my favorite memories is being tasked by Coach Bryant to recruit Joe Namath. We look forward to celebrating this Lifetime Achievement Award with everyone.”

Other winners of the award, first handed out in 2000, include Lou Holtz (2005), Bo Schembechler (2007), Tom Osborne (2008), Barry Switzer (2009), Bobby Bowden (2011), Jimmy Johnson (2015), Mack Brown (2016) and Steve Spurrier (2018).  Last year’s honoree was Bill Snyder.

Schnellenberger took over a Louisville program that won a combined five games in the two years prior to his arrival, leading the Cardinals’ to their first-ever 10-win season in school history in 1990.  Five years after taking over a Miami program that finished above .500 just twice in a decade before his arrival, Schnellenberger guided the Hurricanes to a national title.  At Florida Atlantic, Schnellenberger literally built an FCS program from the ground up and turned it into one that thrived enough to move to the FBS level.

As a head coach and assistant, Schnellenberger was part of four national championship teams.

It’s long past time that Howard Schnellenberger takes his rightful spot in the College Football Hall of Fame.  Do the right thing already.