Howard Schnellenberger
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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.

Starting Miami OL Navaughn Donaldson announces he has ‘decided to redshirt and focus on me this season’

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The Miami football team has lost a player for the entire 2020 season.  Not, though, for the reason some might expect

On his Twitter account Wednesday, Navaughn Donaldson indicated that he will not play at all in 2020.  Why? “After talking to family and the coaching staff I decided to redshirt and focus on me this season,” the offensive lineman wrote.

No further explanation was given.  Nor is it needed, actually.

It should be noted that Donaldson’s 2019 season came to a premature end when he suffered a serious knee injury in the regular-season finale against Duke.  It’s unclear if that played a role in his decision to sideline himself for the upcoming season.

Donaldson had not previously used his redshirt.  That will allow the lineman to sit out 2020, then play in 2021.  That season will serve as his last at the collegiate level.

Donaldson was a four-star member of the Miami football Class of 2017.  The Miami native was rated as the No. 11 offensive tackle in the country.  He was also the No. 13 player regardless of position in the state of Florida.  Only one signee in The U’s class that year, wide receiver Jeff Thomas, was rated higher.

His true freshman season, Donaldson started 10 of 13 games at right guard.  He missed two games because of a lower-extremity injury.  In 2017, he earned honorable mention All-ACC honors

The next two seasons, Donaldson started 24 of the 25 games in which he played.  All 12 of the 6-6, 363-pound lineman’s starts in 2018 came at right tackle, while all 12 of his 2019 starts were at left guard.

Prior to his decision to redshirt, Donaldson would’ve entered the 2020 campaign as the most experienced lineman for the Hurricanes.

John Swofford announces plans to step down as ACC commissioner after 2020-21 athletic year

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The ACC is losing one of the most powerful men in collegiate sports.  Eventually.

Thursday morning, the ACC announced that commissioner John Swofford will step down from his post at the end of the 2020-21 athletic year.  The fourth commissioner in ACC history, the 71-year-old Swofford will assist with the transition and will continue his duties as commissioner until a successor is identified and in place.

This will mark Swofford’s 24th and final year as commissioner of the conference.

“It has been a privilege to be a part of the ACC for over five decades and my respect and appreciation for those associated with the league throughout its history is immeasurable,” said Swofford in a statement. “Having been an ACC student-athlete, athletics director and commissioner has been an absolute honor. There are immediate challenges that face not only college athletics, but our entire country, and I will continue to do my very best to help guide the conference in these unprecedented times through the remainder of my tenure. Nora and I have been planning for this to be my last year for some time and I look forward to enjoying the remarkable friendships and memories I’ve been blessed with long after I leave this chair.”

When Swofford took over in 1997, the league was comprised of nine members.  Over the next two decades or so, six new football members were added — Boston College, Louisville, Miami, Pitt, Syracuse and Virginia Tech.  Maryland, of course, left for the Big Ten in 2014.  Notre Dame also became a non-football member in some varsity sports, although they do have a football scheduling relationship with the league.

Last year, Swofford also oversaw the creation of the ACC Network with partner ESPN.  That network launched in August of last year.

Former Miami QB Jarren Williams headed to Kansas JUCO

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One former Miami football player will attempt to restart his playing career at a lower level of the sport.

In late January, rumors were swirling that Jarren Williams was looking to leave The U.  On Instagram Jan. 23, Williams confirmed his intent to leave the Miami football program by entering the transfer portal.

Late Sunday night, it was confirmed that Williams will transfer to Garden City Community College in Kansas.  The quarterback Will Likely spend a season at the JUCO before moving back up to the FBS level.

It was previously thought that Williams would move on to Western KentuckyLast month, though, Maryland quarterback Tyrell Pigrome transferred to the Hilltoppers.

History had suggested there was the slightest of possibilities that Williams could return to the Miami football team. In December of 2018, the then-true freshman quarterback was set to transfer before being talked out of it by then-head coach Mark Richt.

That reversal was the first of many ups and downs for Williams at the ACC school.

Following a much-discussed quarterback competition, Williams began the 2019 season as Miami’s starting quarterback.  After starting the first five games, a shoulder injury knocked the redshirt freshman out for the next two; a non-football issue sidelined him for another.

Williams regained the job in the week leading into the Florida State game, helping the Hurricanes to its most lopsided win over its rival since 2001 and triggering the firing of FSU’s head football coach.  A week later, Williams led Miami, 2-3 at one point in the season, to its third straight win and fourth in five games as The U overwhelmed Louisville 52-27.

It was a historic performance for Williams personally in the win over the UofL as he threw six touchdown passes in just 21 attempts.  The half-dozen scoring tosses set the football program’s single-game record.

For the season, Williams threw for 2,187 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions.  The Hurricanes went 4-6 in games he started.

Duke’s Mayo Bowl is now a postseason thing, replaces Belk Bowl

Duke's Mayo Bowl
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Exit Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, enter Duke’s Mayo Bowl?  Yep, 2020 has been quite the year.  And we’re not halfway through it yet.

To the chagrin of many, it was announced last November that the Belk Bowl would cease to exist after the playing of its 2019 game.  Thursday, it was announced that Duke’s Mayonaisse will replace Belk as the title sponsor of the Charlotte postseason game.

Hence, the Duke’s Mayo Bowl.  Has a nice drinking-a-PBR-while-getting-my-mullet-trimmed vibe to it, doesn’t it?

As was the case with its predecessor, the Duke’s Mayo Bowl will feature an ACC team versus a team from either the Big Ten or SEC.

“We’re excited about partnering with Duke’s Mayonnaise,” Charlotte Sports Foundation executive director Danny Morrison said in a statement. “Duke’s Mayonnaise is an iconic Southern brand that has been in business for 103 years. Their core is in the mid-South and Southeast, but they’re also a national brand. This will create incredible visibility for them.”

In addition to the bowl game, Duke’s Mayo will also sponsor a regular-season college football game as well.  This year, that matchup will feature Notre Dame and Wake Forest squaring off in the aptly-named Duke’s Mayo Classic.

That game will be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.  That, of course, will also serve as the home of the bowl game as well.

All I know is, I can’t wait for the winning team to dump a giant bucket of mayo on the winning head coach’s head.  Hey, if they can do it with french fries they can do it with a condiment as well.