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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.

Oklahoma legend, College Football Hall of Famer Rickey Dixon, 53, loses battle with ALS

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One of the greatest players in the storied history of Oklahoma football is finally at peace.

In 2013, Rickey Dixon was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  Nearly seven years later, the standout former Oklahoma football player lost his battle with the insidious disease.  Dixon, 53, is survived by his wife, Lorraine, and four children.

Dixon played his college football for the Sooners from 1984-87.  As a junior and senior, Dixon earned first-team All-Big Eight honors.  As a senior, Dixon was a consensus All-American and winner of the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive back.

In January of last year, it was announced that Dixon would be inducted as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019.  Because of his disease, Dixon, confined to a wheelchair, wasn’t able to make it into his former stadium for a ceremony honoring him at a Sooners game last fall.  He was, though, able to make it to Norman to watch it.

OU, in conjunction with the NFF and College Hall of Fame, honored Dixon at halftime of the Sooners’ 2019 season-opening game vs. Houston. Dixon, who was able to travel to Norman from his home in DeSoto, Texas, that weekend, watched the game at the house of his collegiate head coach, Barry Switzer.

Switzer was the first to confirm the passing of one of his former players.

“Ever since he left OU, Rickey has been regarded as one of the finest football players in school history,” said OU Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione in a statement, “and his enshrinement last year into the College Football Hall of Fame is certainly validation of that. As much as any of his accomplishments on the field, however, he should be remembered for his extreme courage and spirit of perseverance. Overcoming the daily physical struggles he faced the last several years is a testament to his determination, to his resolve and to his fighter’s mentality, as well as to those closest to him who provided so much loving support. When we think of Rickey we will reminisce about everything he achieved during and after his playing career, and we extend our sincerest condolences to his wife Lorraine, their children and the entire Dixon family.”

Big 12 announces its Virtual Football Media Day has been canceled

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This is certainly an interesting development coming out of the Big 12.

The Big 12 was the first Power Five conference to cancel its in-person Football Media Days.  Now, the same league will become the first to cancel its virtual one as well.  Which it just unveiled plans for a day ago, it should be noted.  That event had been scheduled for this coming Monday.

Below is the content of the release confirming the development.

The Big 12 Conference is cancelling its Virtual Football Media Day presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors. It is yet to be determined if the event will be rescheduled. The Conference’s annual media preview was slated for Monday, August 3, after being moved from its originally scheduled July 20-21 dates.

“There continues to be a lot more questions than answers about what the football season will look like,” said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “A media day is intended to talk football and the prospects for the season. Part of that discussion is who you will be playing and when. With the on-going consideration of scheduling models by our Board of Directors, this is the best course of action at this time. “

A media briefing with Commissioner Bowlsby will be scheduled in the near-term to update on the State of the Conference.

Big 12 announces it will hold its Virtual Football Media Day Aug. 3

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The Big 12 was the first Power Five conference to cancel its in-person Football Media Days.  Now, the same league will become the first to hold a virtual one.

Wednesday, the Big 12 confirmed it will hold its virtual event Monday, Aug. 3, this year.  Below is the conference’s press release on the development:

Big 12 Virtual Football Media Day presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors will be carried by Big 12 Now on ESPN+ on Monday, August 3. Live coverage is scheduled from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. CT.

The presentation will include head coaches’ media sessions, videos from league spirit groups and a fan question for each coach. There will be two concurrent streams available on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. One stream will be of each head coaches’ media Q&A session, and the other will feature each coach on the Big 12 Now set with ESPN reporters Anish Shroff, Rod Gilmore and Dusty Dvoracek in exclusive 1-on-1 interviews, as well as player interviews conducted by Big 12 Digital Correspondent Morgan Uber. Content will also be posted on the conference’s official social media platforms throughout the event.

Followers of the Conference can also listen to live coaches interviews from Virtual Media Day on the Big 12’s exclusive 24/7 SiriusXM channel, 375, and on its ESPNU channel, 84.

Commissioner Bob Bowlsby will kick-off the event at 9 a.m. CT. Head coaches’ interview sessions commence at 10 a.m. CT with the morning session featuring West Virginia, Baylor, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

Greg Burks, liaison to officials, begins the afternoon session at 12:30 p.m. CT and will be followed by the Oklahoma State, Kansas, TCU, Kansas State and Texas head coaches.

Oklahoma approves two-year contract extension, future raises for Lincoln Riley

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Earlier this month, Oklahoma announced that head football coach Lincoln Riley would be taking a 10-percent cut in pay.  A couple of weeks later, Riley has himself a reworked contract.  One that will include future raises.  And no doubt raise questions about the timing.

Tuesday, the Oklahoma Board of Regents formally approved a contract extension for Riley.  The new deal adds two years onto his old one, a move that would keep with the Oklahoma football program through the 2025 season.

It should be noted that the contract was agreed to in principle in February, prior to the coronavirus pandemic enveloping the sport.  Athletic director Joe Castiglione stated he thought it was important the agreement was honored.

That agreement came on the heels of intense speculation of Riley potentially leaving the Sooners for the NFL.

Last year, Riley was paid nearly $6.4 million, a figure that was second in the Big 12 and ninth nationally.  Because of the pay cut, Riley will make “just” $6.15 million in 2020.  Over the next five years, though, his salary would, with today’s figures, make him the highest-paid coach in the Big 12.  His 2023 salary (see below) would’ve been the third-highest in college football this past season.

  • 2020: $6.15 million
  • 2021: $8.05 million
  • 2022: $7.565 million
  • 2023: $8.275 million
  • 2024: $7.585 million
  • 2025: $7.585 million

In addition to the guaranteed compensation, Riley would be in line for a pair of retention bonuses as well.  If he is still the Oklahoma head football coach on April 1, 2021, he would receiver another $500,000.  On Jan. 31, 2024, he would receive another $750,000 as a stay benefit.

In three seasons with the Sooners, the 36-year-old Riley — he’ll turn 37 Sept. 5 — has gone 36-6 overall and 24-3 in Big 12 play.  In fact, they’ve gone an identical 12-2 in back-to-back-to-back seasons.  OU has won the conference each of those seasons and has played in the College Football Playoff/New Year’s Six Bowl all three years as well.