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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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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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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Big Ten presidents, chancellors voted 11-3 to postpone football due to pandemic

By Zac Wassink | Last updated 8/31/20

The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach confirmed on Monday that 11 of 14 Big Ten presidents and chancellors voted to postpone the college football season because of fears related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

That news was included in a brief and two sworn affidavits related to a lawsuit filed by eight Nebraska players who are looking to get the season reinstated. Earlier this month, league commissioner Kevin Warren declared in a letter the decision to postpone “will not be revisited.” 

Auerbach added that at least 60 percent of Big Ten presidents and chancellors were required to vote to postpone for that call to be made.

Players and parents have written letters, voiced anger over the decision to delay the campaign via social media and protested outside of Big Ten headquarters. While bodies such as the Pac-12MACMountain West and Ivy League also canceled fall schedules due to the uncontrolled virus outbreak, the ACC, SEC and Big 12 intend to begin altered football seasons in September. 

Per The Athletic, a study conducted by Ohio State director of sports cardiology Dr. Curt Daniels found that roughly 15% of student-athletes who tested positive for COVID-19 experienced cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that can cause sudden cardiac arrest. It’s believed the findings of that study led to the Big Ten and Pac-12 postponing. 

That study is awaiting peer review. 

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Clemson No. 1 in AP Top 25 preseason poll

By Zac Wassink | Last updated 8/24/20

If an already altered version of the 2020 college football season kicks off in September amid the coronavirus pandemic, as planned, the Clemson Tigers will enter opening week the country’s top-rated team.

Per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Clemson earned 38 first-place votes to land above No. 2 Ohio State. Alabama is No. 3, Georgia is No. 4, and Oklahoma rounds out the top five.

Defending champion LSU sits at No. 6. Penn State is No. 7.

Unlike the other top-seven programs, both Ohio State and Penn State will sit idle when football gets underway this fall. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have postponed football and other fall sports through at least the end of the year due to the uncontrolled virus outbreak.

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Ohio State no longer pursuing options to play college football in fall

Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Grey Papke | Last updated 8/12/20

One Big Ten school that was absolutely intent on playing college football in the fall appears to be giving up on that dream.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said Wednesday that, after initial exploration, the Buckeyes will no longer pursue avenues to play football in the fall despite the Big Ten’s cancellation of fall sports. Smith said the school will instead turn all its attention toward preparation for a spring season.

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‘Momentum at the presidential level’ for Big Ten to cancel fall sports?

Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 8/9/20

One of the major college conferences could be inching close to canceling fall sports, meaning the 2020 football season would either be nixed or postponed until the spring.

Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports reports that top officials from the Big Ten are expected to have a conference on Sunday night to discuss the future of the football season. They also held a call on Saturday, and Thamel says there is “momentum at the presidential level to cancel fall sports.”

The Big Ten has already announced that it will hold a conference-only football schedule, but schools were recently informed that there is a chance the season will not begin in the fall. Playing a conference-only schedule would allow the Big Ten to move its season to the spring even if other major conferences still played in the fall, though it would increase the probability of other conferences wanting to follow the same path.

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Pac-12 OKs 10-game football schedule, Sept. 26 season start

By Zac Wassink | Last updated 7/31/20

As was expected, the Pac-12 announced on Friday that it is moving ahead with a conference-only college football schedule for the 2020 season played amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Via an official league statement, Pac-12 teams will play 10-game schedules that tentatively begin on Sept. 26 “with the flexibility if necessary to commence on a later date if the situation warrants.” Every program will play five home games and five road contests. Fixtures that are postponed, for whatever reasons, can be made up during bye weeks or on Dec. 12. 

The Pac-12 Championship Game is set for Dec. 18 or Dec. 19 and will occur in a home-hosted model.

The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach shared a full schedule:


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ACC finalizes CFB schedule, adds Notre Dame to conference for 2020 season

The ACC has decided to go against the grain in completing their new schedule for the 2020 college football season. While both the Pac-12 and Big Ten have decided on conference-only games, the ACC will actually add a team to its conference for the 2020 season.

ACC finalizes college football schedule, Notre dame to join for 2020 season 

There’s a whole heck of a lot to unpack here.

As noted, the first games will take place Sept. 7-12. The schedule includes 11 games (10 conference outings and one non-conference game). Obviously, those non-conference outings will not be against either the Big Ten or Pac-12. It remains to be seen if other Power Five conferences will opt to cancel non-conference games.

Notre Dame’s inclusion in the conference this season is interesting in that its original schedule was impacted big time by the Big Ten and Pac-12 eliminating non-conference games.

Notre Dame’s 2020 college football schedule

  • Home: Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Louisville and Syracuse
  • Away: Boston College, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest

The expectation here is that Notre Dame will still take part in its annual rivalry game with Navy.

The Irish will qualify for the ACC Championship Game. Their home games will still be broadcast on NBC with revenue being shared equally among all 15 schools in the conference.

This all sounds great. Though, it remains to be seen if the 2020 college football season will go on as planned due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic around the United States.

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Vincent Frank | Last updated 7/29/20