College football world reacts to Jaylen Waddle’s season-ending injury

Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Grey Papke | Last updated 10/24/20

The college football world sent numerous well wishes to Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle after he suffered a season-ending injury on Saturday.

Waddle, one of the most exciting players in the country, was ruled out for the season at halftime of Saturday’s game against Tennessee with a lower-leg injury. The injury prompted an outpouring of support for the wide receiver, including from former Alabama players and even a rival.

Among the ex-Alabama players to wish Waddle well were Mack Wilson, Raekwon Davis, and Mac Hereford.

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Marquette pauses basketball activities due to positive COVID-19 tests

By Zac Wassink | Last updated 10/22/20

Marquette University announced on Wednesday evening that the men’s and women’s basketball programs have paused all team activities for at least 14 days due to each returning one positive COVID-19 test. 

While the school didn’t disclose if any players tested positive, the official statement added that all who fall into “NCAA-defined Tier 1 team personnel” will quarantine for the 14-day period.

“Our student-athletes and staff members have been doing a tremendous job in relation to following university and NCAA COVID-19 protocols and that effort has been reflected in our department’s low positivity rate,” vice president and director of athletics Bill Scholl said. “The actions we are taking surrounding the basketball programs are a proactive measure aimed at stopping the potential for increased infection, with the health and safety of everyone involved our highest priority.”

Men’s coach Steve Wojciechowski added: 

“We have talked as a team on multiple occasions about keeping our focus on what we are able to control when it comes to the impact COVID-19 has had on our lives. While there are so many uncertainties with the virus, one action we are able to control is our response to the test results and our efforts as a program to keep everyone associated as healthy and safe as possible.”

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College football Week 7: Picks and preview

Posted 18 hours ago | By Jeff Mezydlo

Another week filled with more postponements due to COVID-19, including two games in the SEC. Plus, one of the nation’s top coaches has contracted the virus. This all adds to the intrigue for this weekend’s action.

Here are our previews and predictions (spreads courtesy of of those games for Friday and Saturday featuring teams from The Associated Press Top 25 and other interesting matchups around the country. All times Eastern.

No. 17 SMU (4-0) at Tulane (2-2), Friday, 6 p.m., ESPN

No. 17 SMU (4-0) at Tulane (2-2), Friday, 6 p.m., ESPN
Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports

The Mustangs have had a couple of weeks off after beating then-No. 25 Memphis to stay undefeated. Behind quarterback Shane Buechele (1,326 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, two interceptions, SMU has scored at least 30 points in every 2020 contest. This will be just the second home game for Tulane, which allowed 49 points in an 18-point loss to Houston last weekend.

Prediction: SMU (-6)

No. 14 BYU (4-0) at Houston (1-0), Friday, 9:30 p.m., ESPN

No. 14 BYU (4-0) at Houston (1-0), Friday, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Rick Bowmer/Pool Photo/USA TODAY Sports

BYU is making the most of its condensed schedule and doing it with success on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Zach Wilson is a remarkable 82 of 101 throwing the football, with eight touchdowns and a single interception. Defensively, the Cougars have yielded 44 points on the season. Houston, meanwhile, finally started its season with a 49-31 win over Tulane last weekend. However, Houston is dealing with a number of players potentially out for this contest, although those absences don’t appear to be COVID-19 related.
Prediction: BYU (-5)

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Alabama football coach Nick Saban, athletic director Greg Byrne test positive for COVID-19

By Zac Wassink | Last updated 10/14/20

Arguably the biggest name in college football, if not in all of collegiate athletics, has tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, who has guided teams to national titles on six occasions, confirmed on Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19. Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne also tested positive. 

In a statement shared by Mark Schlabach of ESPN, Saban said: 

“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19. I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis.”

No. 2 Alabama (3-0) is preparing to host the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) on Saturday evening in what is, to date, the most anticipated game of the college football campaign. Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will lead in-person practice sessions as Saban works from home.

Byrne added: 

“Today, I received notice that my COVID-19 test from this morning came back positive. Upon hearing the news, I immediately entered self-isolation and will remain at home and follow all guidelines. We’ve been diligent about mask wearing and social distancing from the start and want to continue to encourage you all to take the necessary precautions to help stop the spread of this virus for yourself and those around you.”

Saban joins Kansas’ Les MilesArizona’s Kevin SumlinFlorida State’s Mike NorvellArkansas State’s Blake Anderson and Toldeo’s Jason Candle on the growing list of FBS coaches who have tested positive for the virus from the early days of the pandemic through and beyond the start of the football season. 

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SEC threatens fines, suspensions for COVID-19 violations

By Zac Wassink | Last updated 10/8/20

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has sent a memo to league athletic directors and coaches threatening fines and suspensions if they and/or their programs fail to comply with health and safety protocols for completing the college football season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The imposition of any reduction in Conference revenue for failure to substantially comply with or repeated disregard of the SEC masking requirement will be determined at the Commissioner’s discretion,” the memo reads, per Alex Scarborough of ESPN. 

“In addition, individuals who fail to comply with or disregard the masking requirement could be subject to penalties, including but not limited to, suspension for a specified period.”

Scarborough also reported staff or other personnel who fail to comply with guidelines could receive a $100,000 reduction in conference revenue, with fines increasing by $100,000 for each violation. 

The memo comes in the wake of multiple SEC coaches failing to properly wear masks or other face coverings on sidelines during games, and as the Tennessee Titans of the NFL continue to battle a coronavirus outbreak that reportedly has some clubs wanting the Titans to forfeit at least this Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills because some Tennessee players broke protocols by hosting a workout after team personnel tested positive for the virus. 

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North Dakota State QB Trey Lance declares for 2021 NFL Draft

Originally posted on Pro Football Rumors By Sam Robinson | Last updated 10/6/20

Trey Lance will join Trevor Lawrence as part of the 2021 draft pool. A North Dakota State quarterback prospect who has been consistently mocked as a first-round pick, Lance will opt to leave the Division I-FCS school early to prepare for the draft, Pete Thamel of reports.

Despite Lance only playing one season of college football, he is draft-eligible after redshirting in 2018. North Dakota State tabled its football season to 2021 but played a one-off game last weekend.

In 16 games for the Bison last season, Lance dominated by throwing 28 touchdown passes, no interceptions and rushing for a Bison-best 1,100 yards. He joins Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, who has yet to declare, as top quarterback prospects for 2021. Lawrence is playing as a junior but announced he will leave Clemson after this season.

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Report: Big Ten to announce October return for college football

By Erin Walsh | Last updated 9/16/20

Fans of Big Ten football can rejoice. 

According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, the Big Ten is expected to announce on Wednesday a return to college football in October. Dan Wetzel adds that games will be played on campus without fans and that the title game will take place on Dec. 19.

The news comes after the conference decided to postpone all fall sports seasons on Aug. 11 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Big Ten presidents and chancellors voted 11-3 to postpone, with Nebraska, Ohio State and Iowa voting to proceed with a normal season. 

All of Big Ten’s presidents and chancellors met for hours on Sunday afternoon with members of the return to competition task force, which plans scheduling and television. The medical subcommittee also reviewed the latest medical information about a safe return to play amid the pandemic. 

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Trevor Lawrence confirms he’ll enter 2021 NFL Draft after 2020 CFB season

Originally posted on Pro Football Rumors By Sam Robinson | Last updated 9/12/20

Certainly not a shocking development, Clemson will not have its superstar quarterback for four seasons. The near-consensus projected No. 1 overall pick next year will indeed be available to teams in 2021.

Trevor Lawrence confirmed during an appearance on ESPN’s “College GameDay” he will enter the 2021 draft after his junior season. The Lawrence sweepstakes will certainly be a key talking point as the 2020 NFL season progresses. Although several other first-round talents have opted out of the 2020 college season, Lawrence does not plan to do so.

A two-time starter in national championship games, Lawrence took the QB reins for the Tigers midway through his freshman season in 2018. The former five-star recruit has been on the No. 1 overall pick radar since that season. In 30 career games, the 6-foot-6 passer has thrown 66 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. As a sophomore, Lawrence became a key rushing presence for the ACC power, gaining 563 yards on the ground and scoring nine TD.

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Commissioner Larry Scott ‘confident’ Pac-12 will play football by January

Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Vincent Frank | Last updated 9/4/20

There’s seemingly some good news on the college football front with three of the Power Five conferences slated to start their seasons later this month.

A recent update includes the fact that the Pac-12 has come to an agreement with the medical community for rapid COVID-19 testing and results. That’s a game changer for the sport and the entire United States during this age of the pandemic.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is now adding more fodder to the belief that his conference will soon get on the field.

When the Pac-12 decided to cancel its fall college football season last month, there was no word on whether the season would be played at all. Meanwhile, the Big Ten has pointed to Thanksgiving weekend as a potential start time for its season.

With the SEC, ACC and Big 12 all slated to start their conference-only seasons later this month, there’s some major logistical concerns.

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Ohio State president offers new hope for Big Ten football this fall

Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Matt Johnson | Last updated 9/2/20

When the Big Ten canceled its 2020 college football season for the fall, players, fans and even President Donald Trump revolted against one of the biggest Power 5 conferences in college sports. It sounds like those efforts to bring back Big Ten football might have paid off.

The Ohio State Buckeyes would be one of the biggest programs impacted by a suspended football season. The Buckeyes entered the year with one of their most talented rosters ever and were a favorite to make the College Football Playoff. Suddenly, everything then unraveled when conference officials suddenly canceled the 2020 season.

Fortunately, the tide seems to be shifting in the Big Ten with Ohio State’s president offering hope for football fans across the country.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren took part in a phone call with President Trump on Tuesday, per ESPN. It was a step toward bringing college football back this fall, with Warren outlining what the conference needs for student-athletes to return and Trump making it clear football needs to return as soon as possible.

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