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Jordan Cooper enters portal a few months after transferring to Houston

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Jordan Cooper‘s winding journey, as it turns out, won’t include playing for the Houston football team.

Cooper began his collegiate career at Navy in 2018,  After one year at the service academy, Cooper spent the 2019 season at Langston University, an NAIA school in Oklahoma.  In January, the wide receiver announced that he would be transferring into the Houston football program.

Six months later, however, 247Sports.com reported that Cooper is now listed in the NCAA transfer database.  A Houston football official confirmed that the receiver is indeed in the portal.

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Cooper joined the Midshipmen as a three-star 2018 signee.  The 5-10, 185-pound athlete played his high school football in New Caney, Texas.  It had been expected Cooper would’ve competed as a quarterback for the Cougars.  At least, that was his expectation.

“Right now my film that they’ve watched is quarterback and that’s how I got here,” Cooper said. “So, right now my role is just to go in and play quarterback and see where it goes from there. I know it’s going to be a battle. I know D'Eriq King is still there as of now. I know he’s the guy, a flat-out player and all I can do is go in there and battle it out with some other great QBs that I know are there.”

King, of course, transferred to Miami.  This week, he was formally named as the Hurricanes’ starting quarterback.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze resigning after calls to an escort service were found on his school-issued phone

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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 20, 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: Big Ten could realign divisions yet again, according to PJ Fleck
THE SYNOPSIS: One year later, there’s been zero movement on any such change.

2018

THE HEADLINE: After inheriting only 38 scholarship players, David Beaty hopeful Kansas is up to 70 in 2018
THE SYNOPSIS: That is still an astonishing number.  38.  When the scholarship maximum at the FBS level is 85.  Beaty, though, was fired four months later by the Jayhawks.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze resigns after discovery of phone calls to escort service
THE SYNOPSIS: Two words: Burner.  Phone.  Freeze bounced back, though, as he was named as the head coach at Liberty in December of 2018.

2016

THE HEADLINE: With Big 12 expansion oncoming, AAC commish Mike Aresco bracing for the inevitable
THE SYNOPSIS: The American braced for nothing as the expected poaching never transpired.  Houston, Memphis and UCF were the AAC schools most connected to an expanded Big 12.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff? Not in Gary Pinkel’s world
THE SYNOPSIS: The then-Missouri head coach kicked up quite the kerfuffle over the football independent. “They don’t have independents in NFL,” Pinkel stated.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Jameis Winston on paying players: ‘free education… enough for me’
THE SYNOPSIS: Suffice to say, most college football players don’t share the former Florida State quarterback’s opinion on the subject.

2011

THE HEADLINE: Bobby Petrino feels the pieces are in place for SEC, BCS title run in 2011
THE SYNOPSIS: The Razorbacks did tie a school record with 11 wins that season, so Petrino wasn’t far off.

Army, Navy ADs: ‘If there’s only one game we’re going to play, it’s the Army-Navy game’

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Pound for pound, the Army-Navy game stacks up with any rivalry in college football.  As is the case across the sport, though, the coronavirus pandemic has cast doubt on the possibility of this year’s game being played.

This year’s Army-Navy game is scheduled to be played Dec. 12 at lincoln Finacial Field in Philadelphia.  And, it seems, Navy’s athletic director seems prepared to move heaven and earth to ensure the rivalry goes off as planned.

“If there’s only one game we’re going to play,” Chet Gladchuk told ESPN.com this week, “It’s the Army-Navy game. Unless the pandemic is such at the time that we’re precluded by the city of Philadelphia to play that game, we have every intention of playing Army-Navy.

“The game is already virtually sold out. Can we accommodate that number? I don’t know. We always look at it this way — including Notre Dame on Labor Day weekend — we’re preparing for scenarios and we can always back down if we have to. Good old-fashioned ticket refund. Everybody does it. If we have to give money back, we give money back, but at least we’re prepared, right now on the front side.”

Gladchuk’s Army counterpart sang a very familiar refrain.

The Army-Navy game has been played every season for more than a century.  Yes, even amidst World War II, the rivalry still managed to be played.  The last time it wasn’t?  1918, in the middle of the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Navy, of course, has already seen scheduling issues because of the current pandemic.

In early June, it was confirmed that this year’s opener against Notre Dame would be moving from Dublin, Ireland, to Annapolis. Then, earlier this month, Navy’s game against FCS Lafayette College was canceled as well.

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

ACC, Pitt headline Bednarik Award preseason watch list

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The Bednarik Award is the first major honor to release its watch list for the upcoming season.  But it certainly won’t be the last.  Far from it, actually.

In a release Monday, the Bednarik Award announced a 90-player strong watch list that represents every FBS conference in the country.  The Bednarik Award has been presented annually since 1996 to the nation’s top player on the defensive side of the ball.

The ACC leads all conferences with 18 watch listers, with the Pac- 12 (13), SEC (11) and Big 12 (10) the only others in double digits.  The Big Ten, the remaining Power Five, placed nine players.

Wit eight, Conference USA led all Group of Five leagues.  Next up was the AAC’s six, followed by the Mountain West Conference and Sun Belt Conference with five each and four for the MAC.

School-wise, reigning national champion LSU, Pitt and USC placed three players apiece.  A handful of other schools put two players each on the watch list:

  • Alabama
  • Appalachian State
  • Cal
  • Duke
  • Florida State
  • Georgia
  • Miami
  • Michigan
  • Notre Dame
  • Oregon
  • San Diego State
  • TCU
  • Texas
  • UAB
  • Virginia
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington

No finalists from a year ago remain as both the winner (Ohio State’s Chase Young) and the two runners-up (Auburn’s Derrick Brown, Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons) have since moved on to the NFL.  There are, though, three semifinalists for last year’s award that are back this season — Penn State’s Micah Parson, LSU’s Derek Stingley and Florida State’s Marvin Wilson.

For the complete Bednarik Award watch list, click HERE.