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SEC joins Big Ten, Pac-12 in going with a 10-game, conference-only football schedule for 2020

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The SEC has decided on the direction its football season will take.  If there is a college football season, that is.

Following a meeting of the league’s presidents and chancellors, the SEC announced Thursday that it will go with a 10-game, conference-only schedule for the 2020 college football season.  Originally scheduled to start the weekend of Sept. 5, the SEC has now pushed back the season’s kick-off back to Sept. 26.  Additionally, the conference championship game will be played Dec. 19.

John Talty of al.com was the first to report the development.  In confirming the report, the SEC added that each team will have two bye weekends during the regular season: one mid-season (different dates for different schools) as well as a league-wide bye the weekend of Dec. 12.  That, of course, is the weekend prior to the league title game.

“This new plan for a football schedule is consistent with the educational goals of our universities to allow for the safe and orderly return to campus of their student populations and to provide a healthy learning environment during these unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 virus,” commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “This new schedule supports the safety measures that are being taken by each of our institutions to ensure the health of our campus communities.”

It had been expected that the SEC would follow the ACC’s lead and add a plus-one to the schedule, a non-conference matchup that was previously on the schedule.  Instead, the move means games such as LSU-Texas, South Carolina-Clemson, Florida-Florida State and Georgia-Georgia Tech are officially off the schedule for the 2020 season.

The 14-member SEC will play its six division rivals as well as the regularly-scheduled pair of crossover games.  The additional crossover games that will fill out the 10-game conference slate will be announced at a later date.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 as previously announced that those leagues would be going to a conference-only schedule.  That leaves the Big 12 as the only Power Five to have not signaled its scheduling intentions.

Below are all of the non-conference games for each SEC school that will be canceled:

  • Alabama — USC, Georgia State, Kent State, UT-Martin
  • Arkansas — Nevada, Notre Dame, Charleston Southern, Louisiana-Monroe
  • Auburn — Alcorn State, North Carolina, Southern Miss, UMass
  • Florida — Eastern Washington, South Alabama, New Mexico State, Florida State
  • Georgia — Virginia, East Tennessee State, Louisiana-Monroe, Georgia Tech
  • Kentucky — Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Eastern Illinois, Louisville
  • LSU — UTSA, Texas, Rice, Nicholls State
  • Mississippi State — New Mexico, NC State, Tulane, Alabama A&M
  • Missouri — Central Arkansas, Eastern Michigan, BYU, Louisiana
  • Ole Miss — Baylor, Southeast Missouri State, UConn, Georgia Southern
  • South Carolina — Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Wofford, Clemson
  • Tennessee — Charlotte, Oklahoma, Furman, Troy
  • Texas A&M — Abiline Christian, North Texas, Colorado, Fresno State
  • Vanderbilt — Mercer, Kansas State, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech

College Football amidst Coronavirus Pandemic: On this day in CFT history, including Joey Bosa, three other Buckeyes suspended for Ohio State’s 2015 opener AND Carlos Hyde suspended for at least the first three games of the 2013 season

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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 30, 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: Nation’s top 2017 recruit officially admitted to Miami
THE SYNOPSIS: Jaelan Phillips transferred to The U from UCLA the previous February.  The defensive end didn’t see the field at all in 2019 due to NCAA transfer bylaws.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Nation’s No. 1 recruit visits Florida A&M
THE SYNOPSIS: “Every student-athlete needs to visit [an] HBCU,” Kayvon Thibodeaux tweeted.  Visiting is one thing.  Committing is another matter entirely.  In December of 2018, Thibodeaux committed to Oregon.  That same month, the defensive end signed with the Ducks.  Following the 2019 regular season, Thibodeaux was named the Pac-12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Allegations of inappropriate behavior emerge against Hugh Freeze
THE SYNOPSIS: The allegations, dating back to his time at a Memphis high school, were levied against him by females.  Freeze had “resigned” 10 days earlier as the Ole Miss head coach.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Four key Buckeyes, including Joey Bosa, suspended for opener
THE SYNOPSIS: Also suspended were H-back Jalin Marshall, wide receiver Corey Smith and H-back Dontre Wilson.  It was subsequently reported that the suspensions centered on “marijuana and academics.”  OSU, of course, went on to exact revenge on Virginia Tech in the opener.

2015

THE HEADLINE: CFP won’t force Notre Dame, other independents to join a conference
THE SYNOPSIS: Interestingly, just last week it was reported that the Fighting Irish could join the ACC… for one season only.  Because of the pandemic and its effect on the college football schedule, of course.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Auburn, Clemson schedule 2016-17 home-and-home
THE SYNOPSIS: The ACC Tigers beat the SEC Tigers in both games.  By just 14 points, combined, though.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Carlos Hyde suspended for at least first three games of the season
THE SYNOPSIS: The suspension stemmed from an alleged assault for which the star Ohio State running back wasn’t charged.

2012

THE HEADLINE: First player officially bolts from Penn State
THE SYNOPSIS: Safety Tim Buckley had the honor of being the first Nittany Lion to transfer in the wake of historic NCAA sanctions.

2011

THE HEADLINE: Nebraska QB Bubba Starling facing $7.5 million decision — at least
THE SYNOPSIS: Starling was drafted by the Kansas City Royals as the fifth overall pick back in June.  Two weeks later, Starling opted for baseball over college football.  Seven seasons later, the outfielder made his Major League debut.

2010

THE HEADLINE: Matt Barkley guarantees USC win over crosstown rival
THE SYNOPSIS: The quarterback proved correct as the Trojans dropped the Bruins 28-14.  Despite Barkley’s two interceptions.

Ole Miss LB Sam Williams arrested for felony sexual battery, suspended

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One member of the Ole Miss football team has found himself a significant legal issue with which to deal.

According to the Oxford Eagle, Sam Williams was arrested Friday morning on one count of sexual battery.  That charge is a felony.  No details surrounding the arrest and charge have been released.

As a result of the off-field incident, though, Ole Miss confirmed in a statement that the linebacker has been suspended from the football team.

“We have suspended Sam Williams indefinitely from all team activities,” the program stated. “We take these charges very seriously and will allow the legal system to run its course before making further determinations on his status in our program.”

Williams spent the first two seasons of his collegiate career as a Mississippi junior college.  He joined the Rebels as a four-star member of their 2019 recruiting class.  On the 247Sports.com composite, the Alabama product was rated as the No. 8 junior college recruit in the nation.

In his first season with the Ole Miss football team, Williams started eight of the 12 games in which he played.  His six sacks led the team, while his 9½ tackles for loss were good for second.

The Rebels are headed into their first season under new head coach Lane Kiffin.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including a headline that read ‘Florida football players involved in confrontation with gambler named Tay Bang that involved airsoft guns, frying pan, rocks’

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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 26, 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: UConn will pay $17 million to leave AAC after 2019 season, be FBS independent
THE SYNOPSIS: The Huskies officially became a football independent July 1 of this year. They had spent the previous 16 seasons as members of the AAC/Big East.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Florida football players involved in confrontation with gambler named Tay Bang that involved airsoft guns, frying pan, rocks
THE SYNOPSIS: Now that is an offseason headline.  College football, y’all!  A couple of those involved were eventually suspended for the 2018 opener.  Against FCS Charleston Southern.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Hugh Freeze makes first public comments since exiting Ole Miss in disgrace
THE SYNOPSIS: “God is good, even in difficult times. Wonderful wife and family, and that’s my priority.” My ongoing comment continues to contain just two words.  Burner.  Phone.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Jim Harbaugh, on rap video criticisms: ‘It’s only uptight white people that didn’t like it’
THE SYNOPSIS: The only proper synopsis for this headline?  A photo, of course.

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2014

THE HEADLINE: Ohio State AD: ‘Rutgers will bring a lot to the table’
THE SYNOPSIS: The only proper synopsis for this headline?  A video clip, of course.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Pat Haden: Lane Kiffin not on any coaching ‘hot seat’
THE SYNOPSIS: Two months later, after a 3-2 start to the season, Kiffin was canned as USC’s head coach.  In an LAX parking lot.

2011

THE HEADLINE: Ohio State bans Terrelle Pryor from program; hello, supplemental draft
THE SYNOPSIS: The Tat-gate character was disassociated from the university for five years.  Four years later, he was allowed to return to Ohio Stadium — as a member of the Cleveland Browns.

2010

THE HEADLINE: Maurice Clarett comes ‘home’ to Ohio State
THE SYNOPSIS: The running back’s road to redemption featured many stops, including returning to Columbus as a student.

2009

THE HEADLINE: Kirk Ferentz gives the OK to whack him with a Louisville Slugger
THE SYNOPSIS: This in reference to the Iowa head coach ever having a Twitter account.  He actually does have one.  Created in April of 2015.  And is private.  And has zero followers and zero accounts he’s following.  So, we’re gonna need a ruling on this whole baseball bat thing.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Nebraska’s Sam Foltz, Michigan State’s Mike Sadler killed in a car accident

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1 Comment

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 24, 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: Utah (narrowly) the preseason pick to win Pac-12
THE SYNOPSIS: How’d the media fare in these selections?  Fairly well, actually.  Utah was the pick to win the South, Oregon the North.  And those two schools did meet in the Pac-12 championship game.  It was the Ducks, though, that won the title.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Urban Meyer: Firing of Zach Smith ‘very tough call,’ in best interests of team
THE SYNOPSIS: With three domestic incidents hanging over the assistant, I wouldn’t think it was that tough of a call.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Fire up the Les Miles rumor mill at Ole Miss, even if just for fun
THE SYNOPSIS: A year and a half later, the Mad Hatter was back on the sidelines… at Kansas.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Nebraska P Sam Foltz, former Michigan State P Mike Sadler killed in car accident
THE SYNOPSIS: One of the saddest days in the annals of CFT, with two college football players taken the same day.  In the same accident.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Injured in shooting last year, NIU LB wounded in stabbing Sunday
THE SYNOPSIS: If it weren’t for bad off-field luck, Devon Butler wouldn’t have had any luck at all.

2011

THE HEADLINE: Alabama’s cease and desist letter to store owner made public
THE SYNOPSIS: Remember Tom Albetar? T-Town Menswear? Ah, those were the good ol’ days in college football.  Or something.

2009

THE HEADLINE: Ol’ Ball Coach mans up, takes blame for Tebow snub
THE SYNOPSIS: One SEC head coach failed to make Tim Tebow a preseason first-team all-conference selection.  It turned out to be Steve Spurrier.  Or, more specifically, one of the OBC’s minions.