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College Football amidst Coronavirus Pandemic: On this day in CFT history, including Urban Meyer being placed on paid administrative leave as Ohio State launches investigation

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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 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 down-time, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Tate Martell (barely) favored to win Miami job (and other QB competition odds)
THE SYNOPSIS: Yeah, that’s not how that turned out.  At all.  A refresher from last year:

Instead of bringing it on and competing with Georgia transfer Justin Fields for the starting quarterback job, Martell hightailed it out of Ohio State this past offseason and ultimately landed at Miami shortly thereafter.  Granted immediate eligibility with the Hurricanes, and seen as a slight favorite to win the starting job, Martell instead saw Williams stake his claim as QB1 as head coach Manny Diaz named the redshirt freshman the Hurricanes’ starter to start the season.

Losing out on the starting job led to Martell bailing on practice for the initial personal leave, even as he ultimately returned.  Not long after, it was reported that Martell had begun working with Miami’s wide receivers; last month, Martell shifted his on-field focus back to the quarterback position.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Urban Meyer placed on paid administrative leave as Ohio State launches investigation
THE SYNOPSIS: The probe stemmed from allegations that Meyer had direct knowledge of domestic abuse allegations involving a now-former assistant coach, knowledge Meyer had vehemently denied at the Big Ten Media Days the month before. Meyer was ultimately suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season.  In December of that same year, Meyer announced he was retiring at season’s end.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Body of Nevada’s Marc Ma found, a year after he was presumed drowned
THE SYNOPSIS: Another one of those headlines you never, ever want to write.  Although, this did offer the family some semblance of closure.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Texas A&M prez ‘dismayed, disappointed, angry’ over sexist presentation
THE SYNOPSIS: It’s still unbelievable how this ever saw the light of day.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Penn State, Pitt ADs will discuss potential future of in-state series
THE SYNOPSIS: Much like the Texas-Texas A&M talk, all I hear is blah blah blah blah blah.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Report: Miami QB Kevin Olsen suspended for at least a game
THE SYNOPSIS: You talk about a Greek football tragedy.  After multiple suspensions, Olsen was dismissed by The U in September of 2014.  After transferring to Towson in December of that same year, Olsen was dismissed by that FCS school before he ever played a down.  He then spent the 2015 season at a California junior college.  Olsen then transferred to Charlotte for the 2016 season.  In February of 2017, the brother of former Hurricanes standout Greg Olsen was arrested on felony rape charges.  A year and a half later, he was found not guilty on all counts.

2012

THE HEADLINE: War vet, Purple Heart recipient officially a Clemson Tiger
THE SYNOPSIS: These are the stories I live for.  Literally.  And, if you’ve never heard Daniel Rodriguez‘s story, make it a point to rectify that.  True.  Hero.

West Virginia’s Jason Edwards enters transfer portal

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The recent comings and goings when it comes to the West Virginia football roster has continued.

Earlier this week, Virginia transfer offensive lineman Ja'Quay Hubbard committed to the West Virginia football team.  WVU is also in the mix for Arizona transfer linebacker Tony Fields, whose teammate, safety Scottie Young Jr., announced his move to the Big 12 school last month. Conversely, the NC State defensive end who committed to West Virginia football, Joseph Boletepeli, flipped to Maryland.

All of that leads to another departure from Neal Brown‘s squad.  According to Mike Casazza of 247Sports.com, Jason “Truck” Edwards is now listed in the NCAA transfer database.

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.

Edwards actually began his collegiate career at Backyard Brawl rival Pitt.  The Bluefield, WV, product did not see the field as a true freshman.  In August of 2019, Edwards transferred into the West Virginia football program.

As was the case at Pitt, Edwards didn’t make an appearance for WVU.  According to Casazza, Edwards was moved to running back this offseason.

ACC confirms Notre Dame will play 10-game conference schedule, be eligible for league title game

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So much for there being no news coming on the ACC and Notre Dame front this week.

July 9, the Big Ten announced that it would be going to a conference-only schedule for football.  The Pac-12 announced a similar format the next day.  In between, ACC commissioner John Swofford indicated in a statement that he anticipated a decision on football by the conference’s Board of Directors in late July.  Tuesday, however, it was reported that a decision isn’t expected when the board meets Wednesday.  Instead, it may wait until after next Tuesday’s rather sizable NCAA meeting.

In the end, that report turned out to be inaccurate.  Very inaccurate, actually.  Late Wednesday afternoon, the ACC announced that its football schedule will consist of 11 games — 10 conference matchups and one non-conference tilt.  The season will commence over a span of several days, from Sept. 7-12.

Each conference school will have two bye weekends in a season that, if played, would be stretched out over 13 weeks.  Additionally, the non-conference game must be played in the ACC school’s home state.  That stipulation means that all three Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games will not be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta as previously scheduled.  That trio of games includes Florida State-West Virginia, Georgia-Virginia and North Carolina-Auburn.  Notre Dame at Navy, Boston College at Kansas and Florida State at Boise State are affected as well, along with a handful of other games.

The kicker?  The ACC confirms that, for this season, Notre Dame will play a 10-game conference schedule.  And would be eligible to play in the league championship game.  That title game, incidentally, will be played in Charlotte either the weekend of Dec. 12 or 19.  It had been scheduled for Dec. 5.  The ACC also confirmed that the title game participants will be determined by the teams with the highest winning percentage in conference play.

The Fighting Irish would also be eligible to claim the ACC’s Orange Bowl berth, if it’s not in the College Football Playoff.

For both the ACC and Notre Dame, this is certainly a monumental development.

Notre Dame has never played in a conference championship game since it began playing the sport way back in 1887.  Why?  Because the Fighting Irish have been a football independent for every one of those 133 seasons.

The ACC becomes the first Power Five conference to formally release a 2020 schedule.  Below is said slate.  And, if that’s too hard to read, click HERE.

ACC reportedly won’t make a decision on football schedule this week

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It was anticipated that some significant news would be coming out of the ACC regarding football this week.  Instead, that scheduling can will be kicked down the road.  Again.

July 9, the Big Ten announced that it would be going to a conference-only schedule for football.  The Pac-12 announced a similar format the next day.  In between, ACC commissioner John Swofford indicated in a statement that he anticipated a decision on football by the conference’s Board of Directors in late July.

Thus, it was expected that an announcement from the ACC on its football schedule would be in the offing in the coming days.  Brett McMurphy, however, is reporting that a decision isn’t expected when the board meets Wednesday.  Instead, it may wait until after next Tuesday’s rather sizable NCAA meeting.

When the ACC ultimately decides on a football scheduling format, it’s expected to include 10 conference games and one out-of-conference matchup.  Additionally, there’s a chance that Notre Dame could be considered a member of the conference for one season, making the football independent eligible for the league championship game.  The Pac-12 will also reportedly play 10 conference games, albeit without one out of conference.

As for the SEC?  They too have been expected to make an announcement at some point this week.  Whether they follow the ACC’s lead remains to be seen.

The Big 12, meanwhile, could wait another two weeks or more before it makes a decision.

Four-star 2021 nephew of Pitt legend Aaron Donald commits to Panthers

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If this commit puts in half the collegiate career Aaron Donald did, Pitt would be ecstatic.  To say the least.

A senior at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Elliot Donald is a four-star 2021 prospect.  Late this past week, the defensive lineman opted to stay close to home as Donald announced on Twitter that he has committed to the Pitt Panthers.

And, yes, Donald is related to Aaron Donald.  Specifically, the former Pitt All-American is the recruit’s uncle.

The younger Donald is rated as the No. 9 defensive tackle in the country.  He’s also the No. 6 prospect in the state of Pennsylvania regardless of position.  Of the 17 that currently make up Pitt’s class, Donald is the highest-rated 2021 commit for the Panthers thus far.

Donald opted for Pitt from a Top Eight that included LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M and West Virginia.

As for Donald’s uncle?  I think people tend to forget just how dominating Donald was at the collegiate level.  In his last three seasons, Donald was credited with 63 tackles for loss (63!!!).  A two-time unanimous All-American, Donald won Outland, Lombardi, Bednarik and Nagurski Awards in the same season.  Last year, he was a unanimous selection on CFT‘s All-Decade team.

At the NFL level, Donald has been just as dominant.  In six seasons with the Los Angeles (nee St. Louis) Rams, Donald has been named first-team All-Pro the past five years.  In 2017 and 2018, he was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.