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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?)

2019

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.”

2018

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.

2017

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.

2016

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.

2014

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.

2014

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.

2011

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.”

2010

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.

Report: 2020 Michigan-Ohio State game will ‘probably’ be moved to Sept. or Oct.

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If the Big Ten plays football this fall — whispers suggest the conference is bracing members for no season — the annual Michigan-Ohio State could very well have a decidedly different feel to it.  Temperature-wise in particular.

Every year for nearly eight decades, you could set your watch to the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry grudge match. When The Game was on, you knew it was November and the last game of the regular season.  However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Bill Rabinowitz of Columbus Dispatch is reporting that this year’s matchup will probably be played earlier in the season “as a hedge against the COVID-19 pandemic causing a cancellation in late November.”

From the Dispatch:

If the game is scheduled in September or October and the coronavirus situation forces a postponement, it could then played at a later date.

The source stressed that no final decisions about scheduling have been made, and that the situation is fluid, but that moving the game is the most likely scenario at this point.

If that happens, it is unlikely that Ohio State would play Michigan in the season opener.

The last time Michigan and Ohio State didn’t end the regular season against one another?  Way back in 1942.

July 9, the Big Ten announced that it will be going to a conference-only schedule for the 2020 college football season.  It’s expected that the conference will announce its schedule at some point in early August.

In a letter sent to membership Thursday, elevenwarriors.com reported, the conference stressed that, if it feels fall sports, including football, can’t be safely contested, they could still be canceled.

“If we determine as a Conference that it is not prudent to compete in the fall of 2020, we will not do so, much like our decision in March 2020 to cancel the Men’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis,” the letter states. “Our final decision will be rooted in guidance from medical experts and in consultation with institutional leadership, student-athletes, coaches and appropriate federal, state, and local authorities.”

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.

Investigation into Iowa football found ‘the program’s rules perpetuated racial or cultural biases and diminished the value of cultural diversity’

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The Iowa football program’s culture has suffered from racial bias against Black players and bullying by a small number of current and former coaches, according to an investigation report released Thursday.  University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld said the report by an outside law firm shows that the “climate and culture must and will change within our football program.”

“Our student-athletes must have the ability to be true to themselves, and we cannot and will not tolerate a systemic process that inhibits authenticity,” Harreld said in a statement.

Coach Kirk Ferentz, the longest-tenured head coach in college football, appears likely to keep his job, however. The report found that many players believe he has already made several positive changes in recent weeks.

Ferentz and athletic director Gary Barta were scheduled to hold a news conference later Thursday.

The university hired the Husch Blackwell law firm in June to review the program after dozens of former players, most of them Black, spoke out on social media to allege racial disparities and mistreatment.

In addition to a public report summarizing the findings, the firm provided the university with four confidential personnel reports on current and former staff who were accused of mistreating players. Harreld said the university will address the allegations against those coaches, who were not publicly identified.

Last month, the university cut ties with longtime strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, awarding him a $1.1 million severance agreement. Several players had cited Doyle as the major source of their mistreatment, an allegation he has denied.

But the review found the cultural problems went well beyond Doyle.

Investigators found that many current and former Black players felt unhappy and unwelcome in the program, where the ideal player “was built around the stereotype of a clean-cut, white athlete from a midwestern background.” They described an environment in “which a small number of coaches felt empowered to bully and demean athletes, especially Black athletes,” the report found.

“In sum, the program’s rules perpetuated racial or cultural biases and diminished the value of cultural diversity,” the report concludes. “The program over-monitored players to the point that they experienced heightened anxiety and maintained a culture that allowed a small group of coaches to demean players.”

For the complete report, click HERE.

Iowa State replaces 2020 Iowa game with one vs. Ball State

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Iowa State is getting about the business of revamping its 2020 football schedule.

Earlier this month, the Big Ten announced that it would be going to a conference-only slate this fall.  That meant that, among others, the Iowa-Iowa State football game would not be played as scheduled.  That Cy-Hawk rivalry game would’ve been played at Kinnick Stadium.

Tuesday, the Cyclones announced it has plugged that particular hole in its schedule.  In twin press releases, both Iowa State and Ball State confirmed that the programs have agreed to a Sept. 12 football game this season.  It will be played at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, with a time to be determined.

The addition of the MAC school means ISU would open the 2020 season with four straight home games.

“I am excited for our players and fans to have eight opportunities to play in Jack Trice Stadium this fall,” ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard said in a statement. “Playing our first four games and six of the opening eight at home should give our team a significant competitive advantage.”

The only previous meeting between the two schools came in 1998, a 17-13 win for ISU.

Ball State was available, incidentally, because of the Big Ten’s scheduling decision as well.  The game against Iowa State replaced one scheduled at Michigan.  They also must find replacements for games against Indiana and Maine.

“Our position in this rapidly-evolving environment has been, and will be, to proactively work to provide student-athletes the best opportunities to compete as we monitor the landscape,” athletic director Beth Goetz said in her statement. “This game fits the bill as a great opportunity. The safety and well-being of our student-athletes remain the priority, however, we want to be strategic in the event that all variables align and football is played.”