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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.

2019 finalist Chuba Hubbard, 2018 finalist Travis Etienne two of the 76 Doak Walker Award watch listers

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If you’re a starting running back at the FBS level, there’s a fairly good chance you are part of the Doak Walker Award watch list.

Monday, it was the Bednarik Award kicking off watch list season.  Tuesday, the Davey O’Brien Award joined in.  A day later, the Doak Walker Award joined the burgeoning list of honors releasing their preseason watch lists.

This award, given annually to the nation’s top running back, features a whopping 76 preseason candidates.  Included in that are 2019 finalist Chuba Hubbard of Oklahoma State and 2018 finalist Travis Etienne of Clemson.  Last year’s winner was Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor.

Every FBS conference is represented on the list.  The Big Ten and Pac-12 lead the way with 10 apiece, followed by the ACC and SEC with nine each.  The other Power Five, the Big 12, landed five. Wih seven apiece, the Mountain West and Sun Belt led all Group of Five conferences.

Of the more than six dozen watch listers, 30 of them are seniors.  Another 28 are juniors while the other 18 are sophomores.

Below are all 76 running backs who make up this year’s Doak Walker Award preseason watch list.

Drake Anderson (So.), Northwestern
David Bailey (Jr.), Boston College
Max Borghi (Jr.), Washington State
Rakeem Boyd (Sr.), Arkansas
Gary Brightwell (Sr.), Arizona
Kennedy Brooks (Jr.), Oklahoma
Shamari Brooks (Sr.), Tulsa
Christopher Brown, Jr. (Jr.), Cal
Journey Brown (Jr.), Penn State
Spencer Brown (Sr.), UAB
Noah Cain (So.), Penn State
Jamale Carothers (Jr.), Navy
Stephen Carr (Sr.), USC
Michael Carter (Sr.), North Carolina
Andrew Clair (Jr.), Bowling Green
Elijah Collins (So.), Michigan State
James Cook (Jr.), Georgia
Jashaun Corbin (So.), Florida State
ReMahn Davis (So.), Temple
Travis Etienne (Sr.), Clemson
Demetric Felton (Sr.), UCLA
Alex Fontenot (Jr.), Colorado
Kenneth Gainwell (So.), Memphis
Tyler Goodson (So.), Iowa
Eric Gray (So.), Tennessee
Breece Hall (So.), Iowa State
Najee Harris (Sr.), Alabama
Javian Hawkins (So.), Louisville
Justin Henderson (Sr.), Louisiana Tech
Kylin Hill (Sr.), Mississippi State
George Holani (So.), Boise State
Chuba Hubbard (Jr.), Oklahoma State
Caleb Huntley (Sr.), Ball State
Mohamed Ibrahim (Jr.), Minnesota
Keaontay Ingram (Jr.), Texas
Deon Jackson (Sr.), Duke
Jermar Jefferson (Jr.), Oregon State
Josh Johnson (Sr.), ULM
Amare Jones (Jr.), Tulane
Lopini Katoa (Jr.), BYU
Wesley Kennedy III (Sr.), Georgia Southern
JD King (Sr.), Georgia Southern
Brenden Knox (Jr.), Marshall
Bryant Koback (Jr.), Toledo
Kobe Lewis (Jr.), Central Michigan
Vavae Malepeai (Sr.), USC
Kevin Marks (Jr.), Buffalo
Jordan Mason (Jr.), Georgia Tech
Kevin Mensah (Sr.), Connecticut
Dedrick Mills (Sr.), Nebraska
Elijah Mitchell (Sr.), Louisiana-Lafayette
Marcel Murray (Jr.), Arkansas State
Richard Newton (So.), Washington
Jaret Patterson (Jr.), Buffalo
Trey Ragas (Sr.), Louisiana-Lafayette
Miles Reed (Jr.), Hawaii
Ronnie Rivers (Sr.), Fresno State
Larry Rountree III (Sr.), Missouri
Mekhi Sargent (Sr.), Iowa
Stevie Scott III (Jr.), Indiana
B.J. Smith (Sr.), Troy
Isaiah Spiller (So.), Texas A&M
SaRodorick Thompson (So.), Texas Tech
Toa Taua (Jr.), Nevada
Corey Taylor II (Sr.), Tulsa
Xazavian Valladay (Jr.), Wyoming
CJ Verdell (Jr.), Oregon
Quardraiz Wadley (Sr.), UTEP
Gaej Walker (Sr.), Western Kentucky
Kenneth Walker III (So.), Wake Forest
Jaylen Warren (Sr.), Utah State
Nakia Watson (So.), Wisconsin
Zamir White (So.), Georgia
Charles Williams (Sr.), UNLV
Javonte Williams (Jr.), North Carolina
D.J. Williams (So.), Auburn

Hawaii adds another grad transfer WR, this one from Rice

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Hawaii football has been busy on the portal front.  Especially when it comes to the receiving corps.

In mid-June, Hawaii confirmed the addition of North Texas wide receiver transfer Rico Bussey Jr. to its football roster.  Roughly a month later, Aaron Cephus made his commitment to Hawaii football over the weekend.  The receiver, who began his collegiate career at Rice, made the announcement on his personal Twitter account.

As will be the case with Bussey, Cephus is coming to the Rainbow Warriors as a graduate transfer.  This coming season will serve as his final year of eligibility.

Coming out of high school in Texas, Cephus was a two-star member of the Class of 2016 for the Owls. His first season at the Conference USA school, Cephus took a redshirt.  The next two, though, the receiver put up impressive numbers.

In 2017, Cephus earned third-team All-Conference USA honors after setting a school record for freshmen with 622 yards.   The following season he led the Owls with five touchdown receptions.  He was also second on the team with 565 yards and third with 40 receptions despite missing the final two games with an injury.

A suspension, however, cost Cephus the entire 2019 season.

All told, Cephus has totaled 1,187 yards and 10 touchdowns on 65 receptions.  The 6-4, 200-pound also averaged 18.3 yards per catch.

Hawaii football is coming off its best season since 2010. Included in a 10-win season was the program’s first appearance in the Mountain West Conference championship game.  Of course, that appearance ended in a loss to Boise State.

Patriot League the latest to postpone football, other fall sports

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Thanks to the Patriot League, the Ivy League has some FCS company.

Earlier this month, the Ivy League confirmed that football and other fall sports have been postponed.  Football could be moved to the spring, although such an issue won’t be taken up until after the end of the fall semester.

Less than a week later, the Patriot League announced that it too has shutdown fall sports in the conference.  That, of course, includes football. “Decisions surrounding winter and spring sport competition will be made at a later date,” the release from the FCS conference stated.

The league added that “[t]he opportunity for conditioning, strength training and other practice opportunities in all sports will be permitted provided health and safety conditions support such activities.”

“The collegiate athletics experience at all Patriot League institutions is valuable to fulfilling our educational and developmental missions, and the League recognizes that any degree of non-competition this fall is deeply disappointing to our student-athletes, coaches, and fans,” the Patriot League stated. “However, the health and safety of our campuses and communities must be our highest priority.

“The League is committed to exploring creative approaches and alternatives to providing future competitive experiences to our fall sport student-athletes, including the possibility of conducting fall sport competition and championships in the second semester.”

The move is far from a surprise.  Over the past couple of weeks, it was confirmed that at least three football games pitting teams from that conference against FBS foes had been canceled — Western Michigan-Colgate (HERE), Navy-Lafayette College (HERE), Hawaii-Fordham (HERE).  The reason for the cancelations? The Patriot League mandated late last month that all of its member schools are not permitted to travel by air or stay overnight in another locale.

Syracuse will also be looking for a Sept. 19 game as the ACC school was scheduled to open its home slate against Colgate that date.  That, of course, will depend on the decision the Orange’s conference makes later this month, though.

Hawaii the latest to see 2020 game vs. Patriot League foe canceled

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Hawaii has joined a growing list of schools on the football scheduling front in a club in which none want membership.

It was confirmed earlier this month that Western Michigan’s Sept. 4 game against Colgate had been canceledDitto Navy’s Week 2 tilt with Lafayette College.  Both of those FCS schools are members of the Patriot League.

Hawaii, meanwhile, was scheduled to play Fordham Sept. 12 in Honolulu.  The keyword there is “was” as Fordham confirmed that its game against the Mountain West Conference school has been canceled.  As are Colgate and Lafayette College, Fordham is a member of the Patriot League.

The reasoning behind the spate of cancellations?  The Patriot League mandated late last month that all of its member schools are not permitted to travel by air or stay overnight in another locale.  As the distance between the Bronx and Honolulu is nearly 5,000 miles — and a bus trip isn’t possible — it was a foregone conclusion that the Hawaii football game with Fordham would be nixed.

The Rainbow Warriors are currently looking to find a new opponent for that date.

It should be noted that Syracuse is also supposed to open its home schedule Sept. 19 against Colgate.  It’s unclear if that game will be played, although distance certainly isn’t as much of an issue as it was for Western Michigan.