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College Football amidst Coronavirus Pandemic: On this day in CFT history, including a reputed gambler (Tay Bang!) reportedly giving Florida Gator football players discounts on rental cars

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The sports world, including college football, had essentially screeched to a halt in the spring as countries around the world battled the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there was a dearth of college football news as the sport went into a COVID-induced hibernation.  Slowly, though, the game is coming back to life.  Hopefully.

That being said, 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 31, 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 down-time, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2018

THE HEADLINE: Reputed gambler reportedly gave Florida Gator football players discounts on rental cars
THE SYNOPSIS: This bizarre situation involved the gambler, nicknamed “Tay Bang,” who was also an employee at Enterprise Rent-A-Car.  No NCAA issues arose from the allegations.

2017

THE HEADLINE: UCF K Donald De La Haye leaves team after refusing to demonetize YouTube channel
THE SYNOPSIS: Kudos, NCAA!  You continue to rock!!! In the coming months, what De La Haye should’ve been allowed to then will be permissible.

2016

THE HEADLINE: BAC for arrested Alabama OL Alphonse Taylor was a Blutarsky
THE SYNOPSIS: The reason this headline is included? It allows me to post this classic scene, of course.

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” “Mr. Blutarsky.  Zero.  Point.  Zero.

2015

THE HEADLINE: New Big Ten scheduling mandates Power 5 opponents, no FCS foes
THE SYNOPSIS: The move was made to strengthen the conference’s strength of schedule when it came to the College Football Playoff.  The Power Five requirement brought the B1G in-line with the ACC and SEC.

2015

THE HEADLINE: No name games for Jim Harbaugh. Ohio State is “Ohio State” for Michigan coach
THE SYNOPSIS: This came on the heels of Brady Hoke annoyingly referring to its rival as “Ohio.” He is, though, the last Wolverines head coach to beat the Buckeyes. So he’s got that going for him.  Which is nice.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Kirk Ferentz says 10-game conference schedules are coming
THE SYNOPSIS: Nine games?  Yep.  10 games? Nope.  Not yet.  And likely never.

2012

THE HEADLINE: As expected, Silas Redd transferring to USC
THE SYNOPSIS: The running back was the first big-name player to flee the Nittany Lions in the wake of historic NCAA sanctions.

2009

THE HEADLINE: 30-day suspension for slurring Hawaii coach
THE SYNOPSIS: Greg McMackin drew a suspension for directing a homosexual slur at a Notre Dame bowl dance.  Yes, you read that correctly.

Manning Award releases its 30-player preseason watch list, including North Dakota State’s Trey Lance

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Count the Manning Award among the latest to release its preseason grouping of players to watch this season.  Provided there is a season, of course.

Thursday, the Manning Award, named in honor of the quarterbacking Mannings — ArchiePeyton and Eli — and sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its 30-player preseason watch list.  The Manning, incidentally, goes to the nation’s top quarterback and is the only major trophy to take into account postseason performance.

Five of last year’s Manning Award finalists are included on this year’s watch list: Justin Fields (Ohio State), Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Tanner Morgan (Minnesota), Kyle Trask (Florida) and Brady White (Memphis).

From the award’s release:

This year’s Watch List includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The AAC, Big 12 and Big Ten lead the way with four selections, while the ACC, C-USA, the Pac-12 and the SEC each have three selections. There are 13 seniors on the list while the junior class is represented by 11 quarterbacks and the sophomore class has six.

Also included in the list is Trey Lance of FCS North Dakota State.

“It sure has been a unique offseason, but we’re still looking forward to the prospect of seeing a great group of quarterbacks compete this year,” Archie Manning said in a statement. “Our Watch List is once again an exceptional group of candidates, but every year is a new year and we’ll be watching closely to add the best newcomers to the list after we get things rolling. I’d also like to thank the Allstate Sugar Bowl for sponsoring this award; it means a lot to the entire Manning family that they include our name in recognizing the best quarterbacks in the country.”

Last year’s winner of the award was LSU’s Joe Burrow.

Below is the complete preseason watch list for this year’s Manning Award.

SEC joins Big Ten, Pac-12 in going with a 10-game, conference-only football schedule for 2020

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The SEC has decided on the direction its football season will take.  If there is a college football season, that is.

Following a meeting of the league’s presidents and chancellors, the SEC announced Thursday that it will go with a 10-game, conference-only schedule for the 2020 college football season.  Originally scheduled to start the weekend of Sept. 5, the SEC has now pushed back the season’s kick-off back to Sept. 26.  Additionally, the conference championship game will be played Dec. 19.

John Talty of al.com was the first to report the development.  In confirming the report, the SEC added that each team will have two bye weekends during the regular season: one mid-season (different dates for different schools) as well as a league-wide bye the weekend of Dec. 12.  That, of course, is the weekend prior to the league title game.

“This new plan for a football schedule is consistent with the educational goals of our universities to allow for the safe and orderly return to campus of their student populations and to provide a healthy learning environment during these unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 virus,” commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “This new schedule supports the safety measures that are being taken by each of our institutions to ensure the health of our campus communities.”

It had been expected that the SEC would follow the ACC’s lead and add a plus-one to the schedule, a non-conference matchup that was previously on the schedule.  Instead, the move means games such as LSU-Texas, South Carolina-Clemson, Florida-Florida State and Georgia-Georgia Tech are officially off the schedule for the 2020 season.

The 14-member SEC will play its six division rivals as well as the regularly-scheduled pair of crossover games.  The additional crossover games that will fill out the 10-game conference slate will be announced at a later date.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 as previously announced that those leagues would be going to a conference-only schedule.  That leaves the Big 12 as the only Power Five to have not signaled its scheduling intentions.

Below are all of the non-conference games for each SEC school that will be canceled:

  • Alabama — USC, Georgia State, Kent State, UT-Martin
  • Arkansas — Nevada, Notre Dame, Charleston Southern, Louisiana-Monroe
  • Auburn — Alcorn State, North Carolina, Southern Miss, UMass
  • Florida — Eastern Washington, South Alabama, New Mexico State, Florida State
  • Georgia — Virginia, East Tennessee State, Louisiana-Monroe, Georgia Tech
  • Kentucky — Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Eastern Illinois, Louisville
  • LSU — UTSA, Texas, Rice, Nicholls State
  • Mississippi State — New Mexico, NC State, Tulane, Alabama A&M
  • Missouri — Central Arkansas, Eastern Michigan, BYU, Louisiana
  • Ole Miss — Baylor, Southeast Missouri State, UConn, Georgia Southern
  • South Carolina — Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Wofford, Clemson
  • Tennessee — Charlotte, Oklahoma, Furman, Troy
  • Texas A&M — Abiline Christian, North Texas, Colorado, Fresno State
  • Vanderbilt — Mercer, Kansas State, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech

Florida DL Elijah Conliffe takes medical exemption, ends playing career with Gators

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Injury issues have cost Florida football some depth across its defensive line.

Multiple media outlets covering the Gators reported Tuesday that Elijah Conliffe (pictured, No. 93) has taken a medical exemption, which ends the playing portion of his collegiate career.  A Florida football official subsequently confirmed the development.

By taking a medical exemption, Conliffe will remain on scholarship at the university.  However, he will not count against UF’s 85-man scholarship limit.

For those unaware, a medical exemption “ensures that, for their remaining eligibility, they receive all the financial aid they would have received before the medical problem.” Conliffe would’ve been entering his redshirt junior season in Gainesville.

Conliffe was a four-star member of the Florida football Class of 2017.  The Virginia product was the No. 12 recruit regardless of position in his home state.  He was also the No. 18 defensive tackle in the country.

As a true freshman, Conliffe played in eight games.  The following season, the lineman played in 11 games.  He started two of those contests.  An unspecified injury cost Conliffe the entire 2019 season.

During his time with the Gators, Conliffe was credited with 15 tackles, one fumble recovery and one quarterback hurry.  Prior to the injury issues putting a premature end to his career, Conliffe was expected to be a significant contributor for Dan Mullen in 2020.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Alabama announcing a contract extension for Nick Saban through the 2025 season

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The sports world, including college football, had essentially screeched to a halt in the spring as countries around the world battled the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there was a dearth of college football news as the sport went into a COVID-induced hibernation.  Slowly, though, the game is coming back to life.  Hopefully.

That being said, 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 27, 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 down-time, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Florida, Miami, Arizona, Hawaii open practice as college football begins
THE SYNOPSIS: Sigh.  This year, as laid out by the NCAA, summer camps won’t kick off until Aug. 7.  Walk-throughs and meetings, however, began this past Friday.  So college football has that going for it.  Which is nice.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Alabama announces contract extension for Nick Saban through 2025 season
THE SYNOPSIS: The Nicktator would be 74 at the end of this deal.  The new deal, it should be noted, paid the Alabama head coach just over $8.7 million this past year.  Those types of figures would keep anyone young.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Twice-arrested 2018 signee leaves Florida ‘to better my opportunities’
THE SYNOPSIS: I’d say you’d better your opportunities by not getting arrested.  But that’s just me.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Clay Helton: O.J. Simpson not welcome back at USC
THE SYNOPSIS: Why wouldn’t the Trojans want to welcome back an individual who got away with murder?  Allegedly, of course.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Packers already talking another Wisconsin game at Lambeau Field
THE SYNOPSIS: Another matchup on the Frozen Tundra was indeed scheduled.  Notre Dame-Wisconsin.  Oct. 3 of this season.  In primetime.  Unfortunately, with the Big Ten going to a conference-only slate, that game has been nixed.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Five Big 12 schools pondered Big Ten switch during 2010 realignment
THE SYNOPSIS: Those five, according to a report at the time? Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Iowa State. The Cornhuskers, obviously, were the only ones to make the B1G move.  The Aggies, of course, moved to the SEC.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Ohio State AD: B1G expansion ‘is about money’
THE SYNOPSIS: And, in other news, water is indeed wet.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Johnny Manziel makes news again for being Johnny Manziel
THE SYNOPSIS: The reason for this Johnny Football headline? Getting booted from a University of Texas frat party.  And throwing a beer.  And wearing a Tim Tebow New York Jets jersey at a different UT frat party. I miss the college football version of JFF.

2012

THE HEADLINE: SMU players claim they were victims of theft… by a prostitute
THE SYNOPSIS: College football in the offseason, y’all!

2011

THE HEADLINE: Boise State? No blue for you!
THE SYNOPSIS: As part of their agreement to join the Mountain West, the Broncos were forced to give up blue uniforms for conference home games.