Fenway Park confirmed on Monday that “America’s most beloved ballpark” will indeed host a bowl game this winter, as was reported back in April.
While full details are still forthcoming, the game will pit teams from the ACC and the American.
Fenway Park has hosted a number of games in recent years, but this will be the venue’s first college postseason game. Some might even say Fenway’s entire 107-year history has been building toward the opportunity to host a 7-5 ACC team against an 8-4 American team.
The Red Sox will become the sixth MLB franchise to host a college bowl game in recent years, joining the Yankees (Pinstripe Bowl), Diamondbacks (Cheez-It Bowl), Rays (Gasparilla Bowl), Marlins (the defunct Miami Beach Bowl) and Giants (Redbox Bowl, since moved to Levi’s Stadium).
And, yep, thanks to how college football (asininely) works its statistics, that is not a typo in the headline.
Michigan State came into its opener Friday night as a 24-point favorite over visiting Tulsa. While the Spartans didn’t cover, they did exit with an easy 28-7 win that featured just one offensive touchdown for an offensively-challenged attack a year ago.
The MSU defense, meanwhile, contributed a fumble for a touchdown and a safety. Oh, and they also allowed -73 yards rushing.
Yes, minus-73 on the ground.
In fairness, Golden Hurricane quarterback Zach Smith was sacked six times, which counts against the team’s rushing yardage. But, still, 73 yards to the negative on the ground?
The yardage was the fewest the Spartans have ever allowed in a game, breaking the record of minus-63 they gave up against Pitt way back in 1950. And, for those curious, the FBS single-game record is minus-109 (on 33 carries) Toledo held Northern Illinois to in November of 1967.
But, about that *ahem* revamped MSU offense that scored just one touchdown and barely breached the 300-yard mark in total offense…
The Big 12 is about to have some championship-game company.
One of the expected repercussions of UConn’s decision to leave the American Athletic Conference following the 2019 season would be the league likely moving away from a divisional alignment. Tuesday, commissioner Mike Aresco confirmed that the conference has filed the paperwork with the NCAA seeking a waiver that would allow it to hold a league championship game in football without divisions and without playing a round-robin schedule.
When the waiver receives an expected rubber-stamp, it would likely go into effect following the 2020 regular season.
It’s a similar waiver sought and received by the Big 12 prior to that conference resurrecting its title game a couple of years ago. The difference between the two scenarios is that the Big 12 has 10 schools — making for a true round-robin conference schedule of nine games — while the AAC will dip down to 11 members after UConn’s departure.
Another differentiation is the AAC currently plays an eight-game conference schedule. Aresco confirmed in the same radio interview that the conference has “talked to the Big Ten about how they did it all those years (when it had 11 teams) and we have to figure out the permanent opponents if any, the no-plays if any, how we do byes in November.
“There are a bunch of things to figure out, but we will figure it out.”
The Big Ten stood at 11 teams for two decades following the addition of Penn State in 1990. That conference then added Nebraska (2011), Maryland (2014) and Rutgers (2014) to get to its current 14 schools.
Aresco also acknowledged that his league is not averse to adding a 12th school, but was very emphatic that the league would not ditch a member to get down to 10 and aid in scheduling.
The latest bulletin board material in college football has come courtesy of Tulsa tailback Corey Taylor II.
Ahead of his team’s matchup against Michigan State during Week 1, the Golden Hurricane junior is apparently feeling quite confident considering he thinks his team can top two bills against the Spartans’ stout front seven.
“With the offensive line that we have, those are great guys, so 100 yards apiece (for Taylor and fellow junior tailback Shamari Brooks), at least, and five (yards) per carry is pretty reasonable,” he said, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Yes… “pretty reasonable” to rush for 200 yards against the team that led FBS in rush defense last season. There’s a few new faces on the MSU defense but that’s a tall task to say the least.
Taylor, it should be noted, also topped the century mark only four times last season at Tulsa.
But everybody is 0-0 and feeling confident going into the season opener and that seems especially true for the Golden Hurricane’s tailback room as they get set to kickoff their 2019 campaign. Something says that Mark Dantonio has already informed his team of the comments so it will be fun to track just what the Spartans’ response is come Aug. 30.
The non-conference scheduling wheel in college continues to roll.
It has been a particularly busy month for Arkansas in terms of lining up future opponents. Hot on the heels of confirming another home-and-home series with Oklahoma State deep into the future, the Razorbacks announced on Thursday that they have agreed to a 2-for-1 series with old, old rival Tulsa over the next decade.
The Razorbacks will host the Golden Hurricane in Fayetteville on Nov. 21, 2026 and Sept. 1, 2029. The return trip to Tulsa is set for Sept. 4, 2027.
The regional rivals were old foes back in the day and have met 73 times over the years. Arkansas won 23-0 last season in their most recent meeting and will make their first trip to Northwest Oklahoma since 1952 when that 2027 date rolls around.
The Golden Hurricane also had some additional scheduling news from earlier in the week when they announced a home-and-home with ex-CUSA foe Louisiana Tech. The old conference rivals will meet in Ruston on Sept. 21, 2024 and then play a return game the following year on Sept. 27, 2025 at Tulsa’s H.A. Chapman Stadium.