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Report: 2020 Michigan-Ohio State game will ‘probably’ be moved to Sept. or Oct.

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If the Big Ten plays football this fall — whispers suggest the conference is bracing members for no season — the annual Michigan-Ohio State could very well have a decidedly different feel to it.  Temperature-wise in particular.

Every year for nearly eight decades, you could set your watch to the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry grudge match. When The Game was on, you knew it was November and the last game of the regular season.  However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Bill Rabinowitz of Columbus Dispatch is reporting that this year’s matchup will probably be played earlier in the season “as a hedge against the COVID-19 pandemic causing a cancellation in late November.”

From the Dispatch:

If the game is scheduled in September or October and the coronavirus situation forces a postponement, it could then played at a later date.

The source stressed that no final decisions about scheduling have been made, and that the situation is fluid, but that moving the game is the most likely scenario at this point.

If that happens, it is unlikely that Ohio State would play Michigan in the season opener.

The last time Michigan and Ohio State didn’t end the regular season against one another?  Way back in 1942.

July 9, the Big Ten announced that it will be going to a conference-only schedule for the 2020 college football season.  It’s expected that the conference will announce its schedule at some point in early August.

In a letter sent to membership Thursday, elevenwarriors.com reported, the conference stressed that, if it feels fall sports, including football, can’t be safely contested, they could still be canceled.

“If we determine as a Conference that it is not prudent to compete in the fall of 2020, we will not do so, much like our decision in March 2020 to cancel the Men’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis,” the letter states. “Our final decision will be rooted in guidance from medical experts and in consultation with institutional leadership, student-athletes, coaches and appropriate federal, state, and local authorities.”

College Football amidst Coronavirus Pandemic: On this day in CFT history, including a reputed gambler (Tay Bang!) reportedly giving Florida Gator football players discounts on rental cars

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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 31, 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?)

2018

THE HEADLINE: Reputed gambler reportedly gave Florida Gator football players discounts on rental cars
THE SYNOPSIS: This bizarre situation involved the gambler, nicknamed “Tay Bang,” who was also an employee at Enterprise Rent-A-Car.  No NCAA issues arose from the allegations.

2017

THE HEADLINE: UCF K Donald De La Haye leaves team after refusing to demonetize YouTube channel
THE SYNOPSIS: Kudos, NCAA!  You continue to rock!!! In the coming months, what De La Haye should’ve been allowed to then will be permissible.

2016

THE HEADLINE: BAC for arrested Alabama OL Alphonse Taylor was a Blutarsky
THE SYNOPSIS: The reason this headline is included? It allows me to post this classic scene, of course.

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” “Mr. Blutarsky.  Zero.  Point.  Zero.

2015

THE HEADLINE: New Big Ten scheduling mandates Power 5 opponents, no FCS foes
THE SYNOPSIS: The move was made to strengthen the conference’s strength of schedule when it came to the College Football Playoff.  The Power Five requirement brought the B1G in-line with the ACC and SEC.

2015

THE HEADLINE: No name games for Jim Harbaugh. Ohio State is “Ohio State” for Michigan coach
THE SYNOPSIS: This came on the heels of Brady Hoke annoyingly referring to its rival as “Ohio.” He is, though, the last Wolverines head coach to beat the Buckeyes. So he’s got that going for him.  Which is nice.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Kirk Ferentz says 10-game conference schedules are coming
THE SYNOPSIS: Nine games?  Yep.  10 games? Nope.  Not yet.  And likely never.

2012

THE HEADLINE: As expected, Silas Redd transferring to USC
THE SYNOPSIS: The running back was the first big-name player to flee the Nittany Lions in the wake of historic NCAA sanctions.

2009

THE HEADLINE: 30-day suspension for slurring Hawaii coach
THE SYNOPSIS: Greg McMackin drew a suspension for directing a homosexual slur at a Notre Dame bowl dance.  Yes, you read that correctly.

Rutgers COVID-19 outbreak reportedly tied to party attended by several football players

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And now we know a little bit more of the rest of the story when it comes to Rutgers football.  And Exhibit A as to why it will be nearly impossible to have any semblance of even a truncated college football season.

Over the weekend, RU announced that it was quarantining the entire Scarlet Knights football team after six additional players tested positive for COVID-19. All told, the team acknowledged that 10 players had tested positive.

RU became the second Big Ten program to quarantine the entire squad, joining Michigan State.

Wednesday, nj.com, citing two people with knowledge of the situation, reported that “[a]thletes from various Rutgers sports programs, including the football team, gathered for a recent on-campus party.” That party has been connected to the outbreak on the Rutgers football team.

From the report:

But New Jersey’s top health official appeared to acknowledge the Rutgers football team’s outbreak stemmed from a gathering of some kind.

Judith Persichilli, the state health commissioner, said during Gov. Phil Murphy’s news briefing in Trenton there have been “several circumstances where indoor and outdoor gatherings in our state have led to community clusters of COVID-19′’ and listed Rutgers among a series of other known parties in the state, including graduation parties in Westfield and Cape May County, a Father’s Day celebration in Essex County and parties in Long Beach Island and Middletown.

“There’s been an outbreak of Rutgers football players, with 15 of them currently testing positive,’’ she said while grouping together the list of indoor and outdoor gatherings. “These examples that we shared today account for 125 new cases of COVID-19 in our state. Every single one of those cases has the potential to infect other people. Their grandparents, parents, siblings, friends, love ones, and if any of one of them have underlying conditions … the result could be fatal.

Thus far, the Rutgers football program has not commented on the report.

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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2 Comments

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.

college football

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.

Rutgers becomes second Big Ten team to quarantine entire football team

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Rutgers is the latest to give pause when it comes to Big Ten football.

Wednesday, Michigan State announced it was suspending football workouts after one staffer tested positive for COVID-19.  Two days later, MSU announced that a second staffer and a player have tested positive as well.  As a result, the program has decided to quartine or isolate the entire football team for a period of 14 days.

Prior to today, and since Rutgers returned for on-campus workouts June 15, the football program had reported four positive tests for COVID-19.  Late Saturday afternoon, however, the school said in a press release, that “we learned of six additional positive COVID-19 results in our latest weekly testing cycle.”

“As a result, we have paused all in-person team activities, quarantined our entire program and will work diligently with Rutgers medical experts, and state and local officials to determine next steps,” the release ended.

Exactly how long the quarantine will last wasn’t detailed by the school.

The two B1G schools, though, are far from the only ones impacted by the virus.

Two weeks ago, Indiana hit the pause button.  In the span of a week prior to that, Ohio State , Maryland and North Carolina confirmed they were putting a temporary halt to voluntary workouts because of the results of recent COVID-19 testing among its student-athletes. July 3, Kansas became yet another FBS program to pause voluntary workouts after 12 players tested positive for COVID-19.  Earlier in that same week, Arizona announced that it was pausing its phased return of student-athletes to campus.  Prior to that, eight individuals connected to the Boise State football program tested positive, forcing the school to temporarily scuttle workouts.  June 20, K-State announced that it is pausing all voluntary workouts as well.  The reason?  “[A] total of 14 student-athletes have tested positive for active COVID-19 following PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing of more than 130 student-athletes.” The weekend before that, Houston decided to put a halt to voluntary on-campus workouts after six symptomatic UH student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19.

All told, more than a dozen FBS schools have hit the coronavirus-related pause button.

Other programs had seen a high number of players test positive but continued workouts.  Among those are Clemson (37 players tested positive), LSU (30 players quarantined), Texas (13 confirmed positives for football players) and Texas Tech (23 positives for players/staffers).

Oklahoma, meanwhile, is down to zero active cases.