Saturday Football: A big-name transfer RB and more coronavirus
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Good morning and happy Monday! We hope you’re staying safe amid this outbreak of COVID-19 and aren’t too bored with the lack of sports taking place this month. Obviously, with so many cancellations and postponements, the Saturday Football newsletters are going to be a little lighter in the coming weeks.
However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to talk about! Let’s take a look at a couple of newsworthy items that came out in the past few days.
A key Oklahoma running back is in the transfer portal. Could he be what Ohio State needs?
Though there are cancellations happening left and right in college football (and in sports, in general) these days, there is one place where the coronavirus hasn’t had an impact — the NCAA transfer portal. Players can still enter and exit the portal without fear of contamination, and over the weekend, a big name popped up.
A key Oklahoma running back is now on the market, and he figures to draw quite a bit of interest. Let’s take a look at some stories involving the moving Sooner:
- In a slow news weekend, Trey Sermon certainly made headlines. He’s the Oklahoma running back who entered the portal, and he’s a big-time player. Sermon fell behind Kennedy Brooks and Rhamondre Stevenson on the depth chart in 2019, rushing for only 385 yards. However, he ran for 947 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2018.
- So, now the question becomes — where will Sermon play in 2020? Well, there’s already a frontrunner for his services. The 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions (as well as some media projections) have him trending toward the Ohio State Buckeyes.
- That’s an interesting idea, and there’s some merit to it, too. Ohio State is obviously losing star RB J.K. Dobbins to the NFL Draft, so they have a need for more backs. Then there’s the injury to projected 2020 starter Master Teague, who was ruled out for the spring. With spring practices canceled, that’s not as big of a deal, but it’ll still be an interesting storyline to follow.
Sermon will draw a lot of attention over the next few weeks. His decision of where to play his final year of eligibility will have a big impact on the 2020 season. Will he end up in Columbus? We’ll find out soon.
- The COVID-19 outbreak is obviously on everyone’s minds. With spring practices canceled or postponed throughout most of college football, it’s safe to say the impact will last into the fall. Saturday Down South’s Connor O’Gara breaks down some of the ways coronavirus could negatively impact this coming college football season.
- The ACC has teams other than Clemson, believe it or not. However, the Tigers still loom large over the entire conference. What will it take for other teams to close the gap? ESPN’s Mark Schlabach takes a look at some of the biggest storylines facing the ACC this fall.
- Let’s face it — some of the mascots in football are repetitive. There are too many Tigers, Eagles, Wildcats and others. Banner Society’s Jason Kirk breaks down some of the repetitive mascot names and then offers praise to some of the more unique mascots in college athletics.
- Scott Cochran recently moved from Alabama to Georgia. He also made the transition from strength coach to on-field coach, which isn’t exactly a normal shift. Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger writes that it would be unwise to expect Cochran’s move to become the new normal in college football.
JUST FOR FUN
Speaking of mascot names (see above in the Good Reads section), let’s play a school-nickname matching game today. We’ll give you the names of five schools and five nicknames and you match them up. Ready? Here we go:
- Central Michigan
- New Mexico
- A: Lobos
- B: 49ers
- C: Minutemen
- D: Chippewas
- E: Flames
Scroll down to see the answers to today’s quiz.
The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on college football. Here are the latest developments.
Yes, you’re probably tired of hearing about the COVID-19 outbreak by now, but it continues to dominate global headlines. College football’s spring practices have been largely canceled or postponed, but that’s not the only impact the pandemic has had thus far.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest coronavirus-related stories that have come out over the past few days with regards to college football:
- The NCAA has officially put a halt to face-to-face recruiting. As of right now, on- and off-campus recruiting events have been suspended until at least April 15. That makes things fair across all of college sports. Now, instead of some schools canceling while others don’t, everyone has to sit out the recruiting process for at least a month.
- At times like this, having the right perspective is important. Recently, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey weighed in on the personal toll of the sports cancellations. “We all care about sports, but we care more deeply about the people involved in our sports,” he said. “For them, I can only imagine, the shock, disappointment, anger and frustration that comes from learning your season, your championship, your opportunity to be with your team, and your desire to pursue your passion have been disrupted.” Meanwhile, Auburn AD Allen Greene also provided some great perspective. He said it is sad for the athletes, but public health is more important at times like these.
- This could be just the start of the world without sports, too. Per some new CDC recommendations, gatherings of 50 or more people (including sporting events) should be avoided for eight weeks. That would take us through mid-May, at the earliest.
It’s going to be a long couple of months without anything happening on the gridiron, but the important thing is to get past this outbreak as soon as possible so things can return to normal.
Here are the answers to today’s school-dog mascot matching game:
1D — Central Michigan Chippewas
2E — Liberty Flames
3B — Charlotte 49ers
4A — New Mexico Lobos
5C — UMass Minutemen
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Growing up in the state of Arkansas, and now being able to be a part of the sports hall of fame in your home state is pretty surreal. You look back at all of the different stops I’ve made along the way and the people that helped me get to where I’m at, I’m very blessed. There have been so many great memories. I’m truly honored and appreciative to be part of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.”
– Auburn coach Gus Malzahn on being inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.