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2019 finalist Chuba Hubbard, 2018 finalist Travis Etienne two of the 76 Doak Walker Award watch listers

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If you’re a starting running back at the FBS level, there’s a fairly good chance you are part of the Doak Walker Award watch list.

Monday, it was the Bednarik Award kicking off watch list season.  Tuesday, the Davey O’Brien Award joined in.  A day later, the Doak Walker Award joined the burgeoning list of honors releasing their preseason watch lists.

This award, given annually to the nation’s top running back, features a whopping 76 preseason candidates.  Included in that are 2019 finalist Chuba Hubbard of Oklahoma State and 2018 finalist Travis Etienne of Clemson.  Last year’s winner was Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor.

Every FBS conference is represented on the list.  The Big Ten and Pac-12 lead the way with 10 apiece, followed by the ACC and SEC with nine each.  The other Power Five, the Big 12, landed five. Wih seven apiece, the Mountain West and Sun Belt led all Group of Five conferences.

Of the more than six dozen watch listers, 30 of them are seniors.  Another 28 are juniors while the other 18 are sophomores.

Below are all 76 running backs who make up this year’s Doak Walker Award preseason watch list.

Drake Anderson (So.), Northwestern
David Bailey (Jr.), Boston College
Max Borghi (Jr.), Washington State
Rakeem Boyd (Sr.), Arkansas
Gary Brightwell (Sr.), Arizona
Kennedy Brooks (Jr.), Oklahoma
Shamari Brooks (Sr.), Tulsa
Christopher Brown, Jr. (Jr.), Cal
Journey Brown (Jr.), Penn State
Spencer Brown (Sr.), UAB
Noah Cain (So.), Penn State
Jamale Carothers (Jr.), Navy
Stephen Carr (Sr.), USC
Michael Carter (Sr.), North Carolina
Andrew Clair (Jr.), Bowling Green
Elijah Collins (So.), Michigan State
James Cook (Jr.), Georgia
Jashaun Corbin (So.), Florida State
ReMahn Davis (So.), Temple
Travis Etienne (Sr.), Clemson
Demetric Felton (Sr.), UCLA
Alex Fontenot (Jr.), Colorado
Kenneth Gainwell (So.), Memphis
Tyler Goodson (So.), Iowa
Eric Gray (So.), Tennessee
Breece Hall (So.), Iowa State
Najee Harris (Sr.), Alabama
Javian Hawkins (So.), Louisville
Justin Henderson (Sr.), Louisiana Tech
Kylin Hill (Sr.), Mississippi State
George Holani (So.), Boise State
Chuba Hubbard (Jr.), Oklahoma State
Caleb Huntley (Sr.), Ball State
Mohamed Ibrahim (Jr.), Minnesota
Keaontay Ingram (Jr.), Texas
Deon Jackson (Sr.), Duke
Jermar Jefferson (Jr.), Oregon State
Josh Johnson (Sr.), ULM
Amare Jones (Jr.), Tulane
Lopini Katoa (Jr.), BYU
Wesley Kennedy III (Sr.), Georgia Southern
JD King (Sr.), Georgia Southern
Brenden Knox (Jr.), Marshall
Bryant Koback (Jr.), Toledo
Kobe Lewis (Jr.), Central Michigan
Vavae Malepeai (Sr.), USC
Kevin Marks (Jr.), Buffalo
Jordan Mason (Jr.), Georgia Tech
Kevin Mensah (Sr.), Connecticut
Dedrick Mills (Sr.), Nebraska
Elijah Mitchell (Sr.), Louisiana-Lafayette
Marcel Murray (Jr.), Arkansas State
Richard Newton (So.), Washington
Jaret Patterson (Jr.), Buffalo
Trey Ragas (Sr.), Louisiana-Lafayette
Miles Reed (Jr.), Hawaii
Ronnie Rivers (Sr.), Fresno State
Larry Rountree III (Sr.), Missouri
Mekhi Sargent (Sr.), Iowa
Stevie Scott III (Jr.), Indiana
B.J. Smith (Sr.), Troy
Isaiah Spiller (So.), Texas A&M
SaRodorick Thompson (So.), Texas Tech
Toa Taua (Jr.), Nevada
Corey Taylor II (Sr.), Tulsa
Xazavian Valladay (Jr.), Wyoming
CJ Verdell (Jr.), Oregon
Quardraiz Wadley (Sr.), UTEP
Gaej Walker (Sr.), Western Kentucky
Kenneth Walker III (So.), Wake Forest
Jaylen Warren (Sr.), Utah State
Nakia Watson (So.), Wisconsin
Zamir White (So.), Georgia
Charles Williams (Sr.), UNLV
Javonte Williams (Jr.), North Carolina
D.J. Williams (So.), Auburn

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Johnny Manziel leaving Manning Passing Academy and denying his illness was a hangover

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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 14, 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: Conference USA athletic directors have reportedly discussed trading schools with other leagues
THE SYNOPSIS: Most notably, this would’ve involved a realignment that included the Sun Belt Conference.  In the midst of the pandemic, chatter over some sort realignment between the two Group of Fives is still bubbling.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Oregon dismisses star WR Darren Carrington two weeks after DUII arrest
THE SYNOPSIS: This was a significant blow to the Ducks offense.  The year before, Carrington’s 606 yards receiving last year were tops on the team, while his five receiving touchdowns were tied for first.  His 43 catches were second on the team. Carrington subsequently moved on to Utah. After one season with the Utes, Carrington went undrafted.  He signed with Dallas in August of 2018.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Reports of Tom Herman meeting with Baylor labeled ‘completely ridiculous and absolutely false’
THE SYNOPSIS: Then the head coach at Houston, Herman was mentioned as a possible replacement for the disgraced Art Briles.  The Bears job, though, ultimately went to Matt Rhule.  Herman, meanwhile, took the head job at Texas four months later.

2014

THE HEADLINE: CFP unveils new title trophy
THE SYNOPSIS: The College Football Playoff replaced the BCS starting with the 2014 campaign.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Will Muschamp faces hot-seat talk head-on
THE SYNOPSIS: With a 6-5 record at the time, Muschamp was fired by Florida with a game left in the 2014 regular season. A little over a year later, South Carolina hired the Auburn defensive coordinator as its head coach.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Johnny Manziel leaves Manning Academy early; camp denies report of hangover
THE SYNOPSIS: Johnny Football, y’all!

2011

THE HEADLINE: Georgia Tech to vacate ’09 ACC title, placed on four years probation
THE SYNOPSIS: The sanctions revolved around college football players receiving impermissible benefits.

2010

THE HEADLINE: Vandy’s Bobby Johnson retires from coaching; Robbie Caldwell named interim coach
THE SYNOPSIS: That move opened the door for “turkey inseminating crew” to enter the college football lexicon.

2009

THE HEADLINE: Arkansas St. CB Shot, Booted From Team
THE SYNOPSIS: Get shot AND dismissed?  That’s a rough day.  Of course, Paul Stephens was shot while allegedly burglarizing a residence, so there’s that.

ACC, Pitt headline Bednarik Award preseason watch list

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The Bednarik Award is the first major honor to release its watch list for the upcoming season.  But it certainly won’t be the last.  Far from it, actually.

In a release Monday, the Bednarik Award announced a 90-player strong watch list that represents every FBS conference in the country.  The Bednarik Award has been presented annually since 1996 to the nation’s top player on the defensive side of the ball.

The ACC leads all conferences with 18 watch listers, with the Pac- 12 (13), SEC (11) and Big 12 (10) the only others in double digits.  The Big Ten, the remaining Power Five, placed nine players.

Wit eight, Conference USA led all Group of Five leagues.  Next up was the AAC’s six, followed by the Mountain West Conference and Sun Belt Conference with five each and four for the MAC.

School-wise, reigning national champion LSU, Pitt and USC placed three players apiece.  A handful of other schools put two players each on the watch list:

  • Alabama
  • Appalachian State
  • Cal
  • Duke
  • Florida State
  • Georgia
  • Miami
  • Michigan
  • Notre Dame
  • Oregon
  • San Diego State
  • TCU
  • Texas
  • UAB
  • Virginia
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington

No finalists from a year ago remain as both the winner (Ohio State’s Chase Young) and the two runners-up (Auburn’s Derrick Brown, Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons) have since moved on to the NFL.  There are, though, three semifinalists for last year’s award that are back this season — Penn State’s Micah Parson, LSU’s Derek Stingley and Florida State’s Marvin Wilson.

For the complete Bednarik Award watch list, click HERE.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Navy officially shedding 135 years of football independence

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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, 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 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 hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Army announces 76-man signing class
THE SYNOPSIS: USA! USA! USA!

2018

THE HEADLINE: It’s July 1, so Liberty is now officially college football’s newest FBS program; Idaho drops to FCS
THE SYNOPSIS: Two years later, Liberty won its first bowl game. And saw attrition from players citing “racial insensitivity.”

2017

THE HEADLINE: It’s July 1, which means UAB and Coastal Carolina are official FBS members now
THE SYNOPSIS: UAB went 8-5 in its second first FBS season.  Coastal Carolina went 3-9.

2016

THE HEADLINE: BYU still wants to join a Power 5 conference
THE SYNOPSIS: Four years later, the want is still there. So that’s something?

2015

THE HEADLINE: Dependence Day: Navy officially joins AAC
THE SYNOPSIS: From our post that day:

For the first 135 years of its existence, Navy played as a football independent.  With Independence Day just three days away, the Midshipmen have officially shed that football independence for its first-ever conference home.

2013

THE HEADLINE: It’s officially conference moving day for myriad FBS programs
THE SYNOPSIS: Are you sensing a theme with this First of July date?  Pitt and Syracuse officially joined the ACC. And the WAC ceased to exist as a football conference.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Boise State officially leaving for the Big East
THE SYNOPSIS: Boise State is still a member of the Mountain West Conference.  So there’s that.

2011

THE HEADLINE: Dawn of new conference era brings yawns, shoulder shrugs from some coaches
THE SYNOPSIS: From our post that day.  Again:

The Pac-10 has officially became the Pac-12 with the additions of Colorado (Big 12) and Utah (Mountain West). The Big Ten officially became the, well, Big Ten despite the addition of Nebraska (Big 12) as its 12th member. Boise State will now be a full-fledged voting member of the Mountain West after bolting the depleted and beleaguered WAC, while BYU (Mountain West) has shed its conference clothes and exchanged them for football independence.

2010

THE HEADLINE: UGA AD Damon Evans busted for DUI
THE SYNOPSIS: After the red panties scandal, Evans rehabbed his image.  And resurfaced as the athletic director at Maryland.

UAB, South Alabama agree to future home-and-home

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UAB has been on a football scheduling tear of late.

In early May, UAB announced a future home-and-home with in-state rival Troy.  Just this week, UAB announced yet another future football home-and-home with the same Sun Belt Conference school.  In between, UAB unveiled future one-off games vs. LSU and Georgia.

Tuesday, South Alabama confirmed that it has come to an agreement with UAB on a future two-game football series.  The Jaguars and Blazers will meet at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile on Sept. 14, 2030, with the second contest coming at Protective Stadium in Birmingham on Sept. 6 the next year. It’s the second two-game contract between the two schools, as South and UAB met in Birmingham last September and are scheduled to play in Mobile on Sept. 26 this fall.

“We’re excited about the series with UAB, they have been an outstanding program winning at a high level since starting up again,” said Jaguars head coach Steve Campbell in a statement. “It’s always great to play an in-state school, we recruit the Birmingham area so we are competing for a lot of the same kids since we are in such close proximity. It’s just a natural rivalry, I think it’s great that we will play this series.”

The schools have faced each other just once as FBS programs.  That came in 2019, a 35-3 win for the Blazers.

UAB is coming off a 9-5 football campaign in 2019.  The Blazers have played in a bowl game each of the past three seasons, the first time that’s happened in program history.  The 28 wins over that same stretch is easily the best run for the school.  The previous high for a team not coached by Bill Clark is 18 from 1999-2001.

South Alabama, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back from a 2-10 season in the second year under Campbell.  The Jaguars have never finished above .500 since making the move to the FBS level in 2012.  The closest they came was a 6-6 record in 2013.