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College Football amidst Coronavirus Pandemic: On this day in CFT history, including Notre Dame coaching legend Ara Parseghian dies at 94

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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 August 2, 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?)


THE HEADLINE: Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle remains highest-paid in the country with pay bump to $800K
THE SYNOPSIS: Less than a year later, amidst controversy, Doyle and the Hawkeyes “parted ways.”


THE HEADLINE: Four-star Nebraska signee Maurice Washington cleared academically
THE SYNOPSIS: If only this was the end of his off-field journey.  Yeah, not even close.


THE HEADLINE: Notre Dame mourns the passing of Ara Parseghian
THE SYNOPSIS: In 11 seasons with Parseghian as head coach, the Fighting Irish went 95-17-4 and won two national championships, 1966 and 1973.  The College Football Hall of Famer was 94 at the time of his passing.


THE HEADLINE: Ohio State sits atop AP’s Top 100 poll of all-time college football programs
THE SYNOPSIS: The Associated Press put together a list that was based on total poll appearances, number of times ranked No. 1 and bonuses for AP national championships.  The Top Five, outside of OSU? Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Alabama and USC at Nos. 2-5.


THE HEADLINE: Big House sets U.S. soccer attendance mark
THE SYNOPSIS: For some reason, this post eclipsed the century mark in the comments section.  And, if I remember correctly, it would’ve been twice the century mark if not for the myriad comments I had to delete.


THE HEADLINE: Nebraska still has 1,000 student tickets for a lousy home schedule
THE SYNOPSIS: Of course, all of those tickets were ultimately gobbled up.  The Cornhuskers currently hold the record for the longest sellout streak in college football history at 375.  That streak dates all the way back to 1962.  NU, though, might have to play loose with numbers if that streak is to continue amidst the pandemic.


THE HEADLINE: Applebee’s serves as neighborhood bar and battle ground for UT-OU knife fight
THE SYNOPSIS: The Red River Shootout’s slogan?  “Fightin’ Good in the Neighborhood.”


THE HEADLINE: Vandy drops ‘interim’ from HC Robbie Caldwell’s title
THE SYNOPSIS: Cladwell earned just for introducing “turkey inseminating crew” into the college football lexicon.

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.

NCAA announces it will allow players to wear social justice messages on their uniforms

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The ever-evolving NCAA is set to allow football players and others to do a social justice version of “He Hate Me” on their uniforms.

Thursday, the NCAA announced that its Playing Rules Oversight Panel has approved a measure that will expand opportunities for players to place social justice statements on their uniforms this season.  Additionally, to help mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19, the team areas on sidelines will be expanded from between the 25-yard lines to between the 15-yard lines.  On top of that, the pregame coin toss will be limited to two officials and one captain from each team.

Below is the full NCAA release on the developments:

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved rules to allow student-athletes in all sports to wear patches on their uniforms for commemorative and memorial purposes, as well as to support social justice issues.

Current rules in some sports do not allow patches, while the rules books for several other sports do not address the topic.

Panel members, who met by videoconference last week, reaffirmed and expanded existing rules, which will now allow student-athletes two places on the uniform, one on the front and one on the back, to express support and voice their opinions.

The patch on the front, which most sports already allowed, as authorized by the school or conference, may be a commemorative/memorial patch (names, mascots, nicknames, logos and marks) intended to celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes.

The patch must not exceed 2¼ square inches and must be placed on the front or sleeve of the uniform. While not all team members are required to wear the patch, they must be identical for those who choose to wear them.

The second location is on the back of the uniform where the player name is traditionally located and, as authorized by the school or conference, will allow names/words intended to celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes. The names or words may vary by team member.

Fall playing rule waivers

Due to challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the panel approved changing or waiving playing rules for the 2020-21 year that may help to mitigate risk of contamination and enhance a safer return to play for all participants without affecting competitive equity.

In football, team areas will be expanded to the 15-yard lines. Under the current rule, the team area was between the 25-yard lines.

Also, the coin toss participants will be limited to two officials and one captain from each team. The current rule allowed up to four game captains and additional people such as media members or ceremonial captains to be in proximity of the coin toss.

In men’s and women’s soccer, players ejected for spitting at an opponent will have to serve a two-game penalty. The current rule called for an ejection and a one-game suspension.

In women’s volleyball, the teams will remain on the same bench during the entire match rather than switch benches after each set.

Additional details will be sent to the membership this week.

Georgia Tech’s game this season vs. Notre Dame will be played at Bobby Dodd Stadium, not Mercedes-Benz Stadium

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The ACC’s announcement Wednesday isn’t the only adjustment to the Georgia Tech schedule for the 2020 college football season.

In February of last year, Georgia Tech announced that it would play five future games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in nearby Atlanta.  The first of those “home” football games for Tech was scheduled to be against Notre Dame at the home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

Thursday, Georgia Tech announced that its 2020 football game against Notre Dame will now be played at Bobby Dodd Stadium.  The date of that game is to be determined.

Additionally, Tech announced that its agreement with AMB Sports + Entertainment (AMBSE) has been extended out six seasons instead of the original five.  That means the Yellow Jackets will play one game per season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium from 2021-26.

“I’m saddened for this year’s team that they won’t have the opportunity to open our annual series at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but I’m appreciative of our administration and the leaders at AMB Sports + Entertainment for being so flexible given the unique circumstances of this season,” Georgia Tech head football coach Geoff Collins said in a statement. “The great news is that instead of a five-year series, we now have a six-year series to host one game each season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium from 2021 through 2026. It’s a great honor for our program to be the only team in college football that is guaranteed to play at least one game every season in the premier football facility in the world, which just happens to be located less than one mile from our campus. It’s an opportunity that our current and future student-athletes are excited about.”

Two of the six future opponents for Georgia Tech at Mercedes-Benz Stadium have been determined.  Tech will face Clemson on Sept. 5 of 2022 in one of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games.  Then, Oct. 19, 2024, they will square off with Notre Dame.

It’s projected that Tech will take home an additional $10 million by moving the games away from Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Utah State confirms addition of former Utah and BYU RB Devonta’e Henry-Cole

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Utah State is officially the beneficiary of one football player’s wild trek through the Beehive State.

In late January, Utah’s Devonta’e Henry-Cole officially entered his name into the NCAA transfer database. In early February, the running back took to his personal Twitter account — “RUN DHC,” which. Is. Awesome. — to announce that he had committed to continuing his collegiate playing career with the BYU Cougars football team.  He even signed with the football independent to cement his move to the other side of the Holy War.

However, earlier this month, it was reported that Henry-Cole was seeking a release from BYU.  So he can again transfer. This time, to Utah State.  To where his one-time Utes teammate, quarterback Jason Shelleytransferred earlier this month.

Wednesday, Utah State confirmed Henry-Cole’s addition to its football roster. Henry-Cole, a graduate transfer, (probably) has one year of eligibility and is cleared to play for USU this fall.

A three-star 2016 signee, Henry-Cole played in one game as a true freshman. He took a redshirt for the 2018 season because of injury. It’s entirely possible Henry-Cole could petition the NCAA for a sixth season. That, though, hasn’t been determined.

When healthy, Henry-Cole ran for 469 yards and four touchdowns on 90 carries during his time with the Utes. He also caught a touchdown pass among his three receptions.

At this time, Utah State and BYU are scheduled to play Oct. 2 of this season.  In Provo.  So there’s that.

The Aggies are coming off a 7-6 record in their second first season under Gary Andersen.  Anderson also served as the USU head coach from 2009-12.  In his final season in Logan, Andersen led Utah State to a school-record 11 wins. That mark was matched six years later by Matt Wells.  That season helped Wells land the Texas Tech job.  And led Andersen back to USU.