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Big Ten commish, Ohio State AD decidedly pessimistic on B1G having a 2020 college football season


The Big Ten toppled the first significant domino earlier in the day.  Now, two of the most powerful men in the conference are expounding on the development.  And, if you’re a fan of the sport, you might want to close your eyes when reading the next few paragraphs.  Or take several shots of an adult beverage before proceeding.

Thursday afternoon, the Big Ten confirmed reports that it will be going with a conference-only football schedule for the 2020 season.  All other fall sports are impacted in the same way.

In television appearances following the announcement, the B1G’s commissioner didn’t put a positive spin on football’s immediate future.

“One thing we have to realize is that this is not a fait accompli that we’re going to have sports in the fall,” Kevin Warren flatly stated. “We may not have sports in the fall, we may not have a college football season in the Big Ten. …

“We made a vow early on that, first and foremost, we would put the health, the safety and the wellness of our student-athletes at the center of all of our decisions.

Gene Smith was equally pessimistic.

“I can’t reiterate enough the fact that we might not play,” the Ohio State athletic director said in discussing football in 2020. “We just might not, and I think people need to understand that.”

It’s expected that other Power Five conferences will follow the lead of the Big Ten.  In the coming days, both the ACC and Pac-12 will most likely announce a conference-only football schedule.  The lone exception will be the ACC including Notre Dame, which already has six games against the conference on its 2020 slate, in any revamped schedule.

The Big 12 and SEC are widely expected to kick the scheduling can down the road a bit longer, perhaps as late as the end of July.  In the end, however, both of those Power Fives are likely to come to the same scheduling conclusion.

Big Ten confirms it will go with a conference-only football schedule in 2020

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The first big domino, by way of the Big Ten, has unofficially fallen.  Check that: massive domino.

When the Ivy League announced Wednesday that all fall sports, including football, had been postponed until at last the end of the fall semester, it felt like the optimism for a normal 2020 schedule was waning.  The most noteworthy program thus far, Ohio State, halting workouts because of a COVID-19 spike just added to the pessimism.

Thursday afternoon, OSU’s league, the Big Ten, is confirmed reports that it will be going with a conference-only football schedule for the 2020 season.

“By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic,” the league stated.

“This decision was made following many thoughtful conversations over several months between the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Directors of Athletics, Conference Office staff, and medical experts including the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.”

At this point, it’s unclear what impact this move would have on the College Football Playoffs and bowl games.

Suffice to say, this edict, which will more than likely be followed by other Power Five conferences, will have a significant effect on the schedule.  Below are just some of the Power Five games that will be impacted by the Big Ten nixing non-conference games:

  • Iowa-Iowa State
  • Maryland-West Virginia
  • Michigan-Washington
  • Michigan State-Miami
  • Ohio State-Oregon
  • Penn State-Virginia Tech
  • Purdue-Boston College
  • Rutgers-Syracuse
  • Wisconsin-Notre Dame (at Lambeau Field)

BYU, meanwhile, has two games scheduled against B1G opponents, at Michigan State and at Minnesota.

Below are the non-conference schedules for each of the schools in the Big Ten conference:

09/04 – Illinois State
09/12 – UConn
09/19 – Bowling Green

09/12 – WKU
09/19 – Ball State
09/26 – at UConn

09/05 – Northern Iowa
09/12 – Iowa State
09/26 – Northern Illinois

09/05 – Towson
09/12 – Northern Illinois
09/19 – at West Virginia

09/05 – at Washington
09/12 – Ball State
09/19 – Arkansas State

09/12 – at BYU
09/19 – Toledo
09/26 – Miami (FL)

09/03 – Florida Atlantic
09/12 – Tennessee Tech
09/26 – BYU

09/12 – Central Michigan
09/19 – South Dakota State
09/26 – Cincinnati

09/12 – Tulane
09/19 – Central Michigan
11/14 – Morgan State

09/05 – Bowling Green
09/12 – at Oregon
09/19 – Buffalo

09/05 – Kent State
09/12 – at Virginia Tech
09/19 – San Jose State

09/12 – Memphis
09/19 – Air Force
09/26 – at Boston College

09/05 – Monmouth
09/12 – Syracuse
09/19 – at Temple

09/12 – Southern Illinois
09/19 – Appalachian State
10/03 – vs Notre Dame (in Green Bay, WI)

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Navy officially shedding 135 years of football independence

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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, 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 1, 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 hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)


THE HEADLINE: Army announces 76-man signing class


THE HEADLINE: It’s July 1, so Liberty is now officially college football’s newest FBS program; Idaho drops to FCS
THE SYNOPSIS: Two years later, Liberty won its first bowl game. And saw attrition from players citing “racial insensitivity.”


THE HEADLINE: It’s July 1, which means UAB and Coastal Carolina are official FBS members now
THE SYNOPSIS: UAB went 8-5 in its second first FBS season.  Coastal Carolina went 3-9.


THE HEADLINE: BYU still wants to join a Power 5 conference
THE SYNOPSIS: Four years later, the want is still there. So that’s something?


THE HEADLINE: Dependence Day: Navy officially joins AAC
THE SYNOPSIS: From our post that day:

For the first 135 years of its existence, Navy played as a football independent.  With Independence Day just three days away, the Midshipmen have officially shed that football independence for its first-ever conference home.


THE HEADLINE: It’s officially conference moving day for myriad FBS programs
THE SYNOPSIS: Are you sensing a theme with this First of July date?  Pitt and Syracuse officially joined the ACC. And the WAC ceased to exist as a football conference.


THE HEADLINE: Boise State officially leaving for the Big East
THE SYNOPSIS: Boise State is still a member of the Mountain West Conference.  So there’s that.


THE HEADLINE: Dawn of new conference era brings yawns, shoulder shrugs from some coaches
THE SYNOPSIS: From our post that day.  Again:

The Pac-10 has officially became the Pac-12 with the additions of Colorado (Big 12) and Utah (Mountain West). The Big Ten officially became the, well, Big Ten despite the addition of Nebraska (Big 12) as its 12th member. Boise State will now be a full-fledged voting member of the Mountain West after bolting the depleted and beleaguered WAC, while BYU (Mountain West) has shed its conference clothes and exchanged them for football independence.


THE HEADLINE: UGA AD Damon Evans busted for DUI
THE SYNOPSIS: After the red panties scandal, Evans rehabbed his image.  And resurfaced as the athletic director at Maryland.

Nebraska new home for Iowa transfer Ezra Miller

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A loss for Iowa will turn into a win for Nebraska football.

In May, and after battling personal struggles (more on that in a bit), Ezra Miller announced he was entering into the NCAA transfer database.  Wednesday, the offensive lineman confirmed on Twitter that he will continue his collegiate career with Nebraska football.

Miller made the announcement on his personal Twitter account.

Miller’s story, though, isn’t one of simply the portal and a new team.  In January, Miller announced that he was leaving the sport because of back issues.  That, however, wasn’t the case.  As he detailed in a lengthy Twitter statement, Miler acknowledged that he temporarily left football due to what he described as “major depression.”

“To start off, I must commend Iowa, the coaching/medical staff, and my teammates as being amazing mentors and caring people,” the lineman wrote. “I have nothing but the utmost praise for every single one of them.

“It was not due to back issues that I left the program, Iowa simply worked with me to make that the public statement. I left on my own accord due to major depression and. anxiety amplified by a series of events.  A close friend and mentor passed away from cancer… Shortly after, my father was diagnosed with cancer, and is now thankfully recovering.  My brother was in a nasty car accident as well.

“These events combined with the stress provided by school and football led to some very poor self-treatment and mental health struggles. After two long hiatuses and intense therapy, I believed the best solution was to leave football, as I did not think I could be a good teammate with all this going on.

“Now I believe, along with my support system, that I am in a state where I can play ball again.”

Miller was a four-star member of the Iowa football Class of 2019.  The Holstein, Iowa, product was the No. 2 player regardless of position in the Hawkeye State.  No signee on the offensive side of the ball that year for the Hawkeyes was rated higher than Miller.

The lineman didn’t appear in any games as a true freshman.  At this point, it’s unclear if the lineman will have to sit out the 2020 campaign.

Ex-Nebraska RB Maurice Washington found ‘safe and sound’ after missing person report filed

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A scary situation played out Tuesday involving a former member of the Nebraska football program.

Friday, June 19, a missing person report was filed to the Lincoln Police Department regarding Maurice Washington.  According to police, an out-of-state family member reported the 20-year-old former Nebraska football player missing that day.

Tuesday evening, the LPD confirmed that Washington had been found “safe and sound.” No further details were released.

The drama over the past few days was just the latest involving the talented but troubled running back.

Appearing in a Santa Clara County (Calif.) courtroom in April of last year, Washington was arraigned on a pair of charges, one a felony and the other a misdemeanor, in connection to a situation whose genesis was nearly two years ago.  In mid-February of 2019, a Santa Clara County judge signed a warrant filed a couple of days earlier that sought the arrest of the then-Nebraska running back for alleged violation of that state’s revenge-porn law. It’s alleged that Washington sent a sexually-explicit 10-second video, recorded two years prior by someone other than Washington, involving a then-15-year-old female and two other boys, neither of whom was Washington, to that same female in early March of 2018. The female has claimed she is being sexually assaulted in the video, which allegedly shows the teenager performing oral sex on one boy while another masturbates.

Washington was facing a felony count of possessing a video or photograph of a person under 18 who is engaging in or simulating sexual conduct and a misdemeanor count of posting a video or photograph of a person engaging in or simulating sexual conduct without consent, leading to the person suffering emotional distress. Washington had dated the alleged victim prior to the video being recorded.

In late July, Washington’s preliminary court appearance was pushed back to the morning of Sept. 3, after Nebraska’s opener.  That appearance had originally been scheduled for mid-June before it too was pushed back.  The September appearance was canceled and rescheduled, as was the one in mid-October.  Yet another rescheduled appearance, scheduled for Dec. 12, was pushed back to Jan. 12.

After some academic uncertainty throughout the offseason, Washington was cleared to join the Cornhuskers football team in early August of 2018. As a true freshman, and despite the off-field cloud hanging over him from the start of the season, Washington rushed for 455 yards and three touchdowns, numbers that were both good for third on the team. His 24 receptions were also third-best, while his 221 receiving yards were fourth.

In the midst of his California legal issues, Washington was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia in June of last year.

In the first seven games this past season, which included a pair of half-game suspensions unrelated to the California court case, Washington ran for 298 yards and a touchdown on 50 carries. He also had 12 catches for another 162 yards and two more touchdowns.

Those would be the only stats he would record on the season as, on Oct. 21, Scott Frost announced Washington was not a part of the Cornhuskers’ plans “in the immediate future.” A couple of days later, though, the head coach left the door open for Washington’s return.  In early January of this year, however, Washington was dismissed from the Nebraska football team.

In early March, Washington please no contest to violating California revenge-porn law.  He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and, after backdating the start of that sentence, was released March 20.