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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.

Ex-Michigan State, K-State WR Hunter Rison, son of Andre Rison, moving on to fourth college football program

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Hopefully, Hunter Rison owns stock in U-haul. Or some other moving company.

Rison, the son of former Michigan State star Andre Rison, began his collegiate playing career at MSU before transferring from his dad’s alma mater to Kansas State.  In April of 2019, the younger Rison was arrested for alleged domestic battery and suspended by the K-State football program.  A month later, the wide receiver transferred out of the Big 12 program and ultimately landed at Fullerton College

After one season at the California junior college (36 receptions, 604 yards, seven touchdowns in seven games), Rison is on the move yet again.  On Twitter this past weekend, Hunter Rison announced that he “will be attending Grand Valley State University.” That program plays at the Div. II level of the sport.

“Ready to work. Committed,” the receiver wrote.  At GVSU, Rison will have two years of eligibility with which to use.

Hunter Rison was a four-star 2017 signee, rated as the No. 46 receiver in the country and the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Michigan. As a true freshman, he caught 19 passes for 224 yards. In a September loss to Notre Dame, he set career highs in receptions (four) and receiving yards (73).

At K-State, Rison was forced to sit out the 2019 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.  As for the off-field incident?  Hunter Rison pleaded guilty in June of last year.

Days after quarantining entire team, Michigan State announces 16 players, four staffers tested positive for COVID-19

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There’s yet another virus-related development for the Michigan State football team.

Last Wednesday, Michigan State announced it was suspending football workouts after one staffer tested positive for COVID-19.  Two days later, MSU announced that a second staffer and a player have tested positive as well.  As a result, the program decided to quartine or isolate the entire football team for a period of 14 days.

Monday, MSU revealed that 16 Spartans players and four staffers have tested positive for COVID-19.  Those 20 individuals include the three previously reported.

Below is Michigan State’s statement on the development:

Michigan State conducted COVID-19 testing on 122 student-athletes the week of July 20-24. Among those testing last week, 16 student-athletes tested positive.

In addition, four athletic department staff members tested positive for COVID-19 last week (July 18-24); staff members were tested both on campus and at off-campus locations.

The two staff members and one student-athlete that tested positive for COVID-19, as previously announced, are included in these overall testing numbers from last week.

All members of the football team are currently in isolation or quarantine, while awaiting completion of a requested 14-day quarantine that began on July 22. As part of the athletic department’s return to campus policy, student-athletes have been asked to quarantine when coming into close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19. The university has designated areas available to house individuals in quarantine as needed based upon the living arrangements for student-athletes.

For the individuals who tested positive, daily check-ins with athletic training staff will continue while the individuals remain in isolation, with additional services provided as directed by the medical and administrative staffs. Further testing and physician follow-up will be required prior to returning to any level of workouts.

The Ingham County Health Department will continue to conduct further contact tracing.

Surveillance testing of football student-athletes will be repeated prior to their clearance to return to workouts; the earliest possible return is Aug. 4 based on the 14-day quarantine.

Since the beginning of June, Michigan State Athletics has conducted more than 600 COVID-19 tests on student-athletes and staff members. There have been a total of 524 tests on student-athletes, with 23 positive results. Since June 15, there have been more than 100 tests on staff members, at locations both on and off campus, with five positive results. Per MSU Athletics policy, student-athletes were required to receive two negative test results before getting cleared to take part in workouts.

Michigan State quarantines entire football team after second staffer and a player test positive for COVID-19

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When the 2020 college football season kicks off — if there is a 2020 college football season — Michigan State could find itself lagging behind when it comes to prep work.

Wednesday, Michigan State announced it was suspending football workouts after one staffer tested positive for COVID-19.  Two days later, MSU announced that a second staffer and a player have tested positive as well.  As a result, the program has decided to quartine or isolate the entire football team for a period of 14 days.

Two weeks from today is Aug. 7, the date in which the NCAA is allowing summer camps to kick off.  Today, however, was the date in which The Association allows meetings and walk-throughs to commence.  In this latest phase, coaches are permitted to work directly with their players.

Suffice to say, Michigan State will be behind the other Big Ten football teams when camp opens early next month.

“As part of the athletic department’s return-to-campus policy, student-athletes quarantine when coming into close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19,” the school stated. “The university has designated areas available to house individuals in quarantine as needed base upon the living arrangements for student-athletes.”

Michigan State is the latest football program impacted by the virus.

Two weeks ago, Indiana hit the pause button.  In the span of a week prior to that, Ohio State , Maryland and North Carolina confirmed they were putting a temporary halt to voluntary workouts because of the results of recent COVID-19 testing among its student-athletes. July 3, Kansas became yet another FBS program to pause voluntary workouts after 12 players tested positive for COVID-19.  Earlier in that same week, Arizona announced that it was pausing its phased return of student-athletes to campus.  Prior to that, eight individuals connected to the Boise State football program tested positive, forcing the school to temporarily scuttle workouts.  June 20, K-State announced that it is pausing all voluntary workouts as well.  The reason?  “[A] total of 14 student-athletes have tested positive for active COVID-19 following PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing of more than 130 student-athletes.” The weekend before that, Houston decided to put a halt to voluntary on-campus workouts after six symptomatic UH student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19.

All told, more than a dozen FBS schools have hit the coronavirus-related pause button.

Other programs had seen a high number of players test positive but continued workouts.  Among those are Clemson (37 players tested positive), LSU (30 players quarantined), Texas (13 confirmed positives for football players) and Texas Tech (23 positives for players/staffers).

Oklahoma, meanwhile, is down to zero active cases.