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#pounditFriday, December 4, 2020

College Football

Jim Harbaugh still has not named Cade McNamara the starter over Joe Milton

Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh on Monday declined to make the announcement that many expect is coming.

Harbaugh spoke with the media on Monday but did not announce that Cade McNamara would be Michigan’s starting quarterback over Joe Milton.

“Not gonna make any dramatic announcements as per usual at this press conference,” Harbaugh said.

McNamara also appeared on the “Stoney & Jansen” show on 97.1 The Ticket Tuesday and said he had not been told anything. McNamara said all the right things, such as he will trust the coaches and be a good team member regardless of what happens.

Even if the announcement isn’t made official, it’s hard to imagine Michigan not starting McNamara.

Michigan is 2-3 and has not looked good all season. Milton has thrown for just 1,056 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions this season. He’s rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown. The team was losing to Rutgers before McNamara came into the game and passed for 260 yards and four touchdowns while leading a comeback victory in three overtimes.

Michigan still has time to turn things around and at least put together a respectable finish. It’s hard to imagine they don’t go to McNamara for the upcoming Penn State game.

Dabo Swinney: Florida State’s actions an ‘insult’ to Clemson

Dabo Swinney

Dabo Swinney continues to slam Florida State for their actions.

Florida State abruptly decided not to play their game on Saturday against Clemson due to a positive COVID-19 test within the Tigers’ program. Swinney on Sunday called out Florida State for their decision, saying that the Seminoles used COVID as an excuse not to play a game the administration knew the school would lose.

Swinney on Monday reiterated on his radio show that the circumstances came nowhere near the guidelines to trigger a cancelation. He said there has always been protocol in place regarding what would result in a canceled game, and that one positive COVID case never fit that criteria.

“The last thing we would ever do is put somebody in harm’s way,” Swinney said. “And it’s an insult to the credibility of our program, the credibility of our medical people. And we all agreed to the same rules, and just magically those rules changed on Saturday morning.”

Swinney also noted that Clemson did not have any positive COVID-19 tests within the program on Sunday.

It seems pretty clear that the Tigers wanted to play the game and met the criteria to play, and that FSU just did not want to. The question is whether you believe FSU was scared to play due to COVID, due to a likely lopsided loss, or some mixture of both.

Ed Orgeron reacts to Joe Burrow season-ending injury

Ed Orgeron

Joe Burrow’s season-ending injury was hard for many to watch. It was especially difficult for his college coach.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he has texted Burrow, admitting that he was sad to see his former quarterback hurt as badly as he was on Sunday.

“It was tough to watch. We felt bad for him,” Orgeron said Monday, via Jake Rill of Saturday Down South. “Joe’s a competitor. I texted him today. I know he’s going to be back. I know his attitude. I thought he was having a Rookie of the Year season. We are very proud of him.”

Burrow won the Heisman Trophy for Orgeron and the Tigers last season en route to a national championship. He’s rightly considered an LSU legend, so they’ll be pained to see this happen to him.

Unfortunately, it was revealed Monday that Burrow’s injury was even worse than initially feared.

Mike Gundy explains controversial 4th-quarter punt decision

Mike Gundy

Oklahoma State was blown out by rival Oklahoma on Saturday in a game many expected to be close. The only thing more surprising than the outcome of the game may have been Mike Gundy’s decision to punt down three scores in the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys were trailing 34-13 with roughly 12 minutes remaining in the game when Gundy decided to punt on 4th-and-8 from the Oklahoma 39-yard line. Most who were watching came away with the impression Gundy was waving the white flag. The coach was asked about that on Monday, and he tried to explain his rationale.

Those excuses probably won’t cut it for Oklahoma State fans. The Cowboys’ defense actually played well in spurts throughout the game, but punting in your opponent’s territory while trailing by three touchdowns in the fourth quarter is almost never the right move. It’s hard for Gundy to argue that he was not quitting in that situation.

Oklahoma State came into the game ranked 14th in the country, but they did not live up to it. Following a somewhat tumultuous offseason for Gundy, a win over the rival Sooners would have gone a long way.

Report: Washington trying to schedule BYU after Apple Cup cancellation

Washington Huskies

The Washington Huskies are suddenly free next Saturday with the cancellation of the Apple Cup, but there may be an opponent they can line up quickly.

According to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, the Huskies are already trying to schedule a game against BYU on Saturday. As Feldman noted in a previous tweet, the Cougars do not have another scheduled game until Dec. 12.

For now, according to KJR’s Dave Mahler, BYU is determining whether they need the game or not and will wait to see Tuesday’s initial College Football Playoff rankings before making a decision.

Washington State is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak within the team, meaning they won’t be able to play.

Washington is off to a 2-0 start. They will want to get as many games in as possible, and they won’t want to lose their momentum, either. The opportunity to play anyone would do them a world of good considering how exciting they’ve looked so far this year.

Emergency scheduling has become something that Pac-12 squads simply have to deal with. Last weekend’s efforts came up empty, but Washington has some extra time to make something work.

Dabo Swinney blasts Florida State over canceled game

Dabo Swinney

Dabo Swinney on Sunday blasted Florida State’s administration for postponing their football on Saturday at the last minute.

Clemson traveled to Tallahassee to face the Seminoles on Saturday, but the game was postponed at the last minute over a COVID situation (more details here).

On Sunday, Swinney was ticked off about things and made that known. He said the FSU administration used the COVID issue as an excuse to cancel the game.

Swinney says that FSU should pay for Clemson’s travel, or if they want to make up the game, they can travel to Clemson.

Swinney says his players were ticked off about making the trip only to have the game not be played.

He also believes the standard to cancel a game was not met.

FSU’s position of wanting to be cautious with COVID-19 makes sense, as does Clemson’s anger about making the trip and having the game scuttled at the last second. Swinney also rightly points out that they determined standards for playing and canceling games, and that schools knew the possibility of positive tests existed. That is why they expanded travel rosters so that teams could make contingency plans in the case of a positive test.

Clemson also offered to get tested again so they could play Saturday or Sunday and FSU wouldn’t agree to terms.

Clemson is 6-1 and has games against Pitt and at Virginia Tech remaining on its schedule.

Cincinnati trolls UCF after road win

Cincinnati once again lived up to its top-10 national ranking with an impressive road win over UCF on Saturday, and the Bearcats wasted no time rubbing it in to their opponent.

UCF’s football stadium in Orlando is known as the “Bounce House” because of the way it would shake when fans jumped in unison when it opened years ago. The school eventually took steps to make the stadium a bit more structurally sound, but the name remains. After their 36-33 win over UCF, Cincinnati sent a clever tweet trolling the Knights.

Cincinnati improved to 7-0 and has been one of the surprise teams of the season. Their final two games are against Temple and No. 25 Tulsa, so they have a great chance to go undefeated.

Of course, UCF is no stranger to being mocked. We all remember how much mileage people got out of the Knights crowning themselves national champions.

Hugh Freeze dismisses talk of other coaching jobs

Hugh Freeze

Hugh Freeze has rebuilt his coaching stock with an excellent season at Liberty, but he is not ready to consider other positions yet.

Freeze is in his second season at Liberty after two years away from coaching. The team went 8-5 under him last year and is 8-1 this season after falling 15-14 to NC State on Saturday.

Prior to the game, Freeze was asked on ESPN’s “College GameDay” about possibly leaving.

“I won’t even entertain things of that nature at this point,” Freeze said, via Saturday Down South. “I’m at total peace with staying here, as long as they’ll have me.”

Even with the loss to NC State, teams would probably love to have Freeze. He went 10-3 at Arkansas State in 2011. He was 39-25 in five seasons at Ole Miss and proved he can win in the SEC.

Freeze reportedly is South Carolina’s top target, which might make another program enter the competition.

Pat Fitzgerald trolls Joey Galloway over Rece Davis remark

Pat Fitzgerald

Northwestern came up with a big win on Saturday, and head coach Pat Fitzgerald took the opportunity to troll Joey Galloway afterwards.

The Wildcats beat Wisconsin 17-7 in one of the most impressive wins of the day. Northwestern improved to 5-0 and has not allowed any points in the second half of four of its five games.

During an interview with ESPN afterwards, Fitzgerald poked fun at Galloway by saying Northwestern’s performance wasn’t bad for a bunch of Rece Davises. Many of Northwestern’s players could be heard yelling “Rece Davis” as they ran off the field after the win.

Fitzgerald wrote the same thing on Twitter too.

Galloway responded graciously, congratulating the coach on the win.

So what’s the story? Earlier in the week, Galloway, a former Ohio State star wide receiver, dismissed Northwestern’s playoff chances. He said they had a bunch of “Rece Davises” on their team.

On Saturday, Galloway said that calling them Rece Davises was a compliment because he is smart and athletic. Galloway tried to say he was complimenting Northwestern with the Davis remark.

If it was a compliment, that’s not at all how Northwestern took it. Instead, they used it as motivation to get a huge win.

Do the Wildcats have a shot at the playoff? They visit Michigan State and Minnesota before finishing the season at home against Illinois. An 8-0 season seems within reach.

Maybe Galloway will find more ways to insult Northwestern in order to bring out the best in them. And this certainly proves Fitzgerald hears his critics more than he lets on.

Photo: Brian Myers/Wikimedia via cc-by-sa 3.0

JT Daniels expected to keep Georgia starting QB job after big game

Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia appears to have found its new quarterback.

JT Daniels got his first start for the Bulldogs since transferring from USC. He had an impressive performance on Saturday, going 28/38 for 401 yards and four touchdowns in the team’s 31-24 win over Mississippi State.

Daniels utilized Jermaine Burton in a way no other QB on the team had. Burton caught eight passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. That came after he entered the game with 10 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown on the season. George Pickens also had his biggest game of the season with 8 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said after the win it was fair to assume Daniels would be the team’s starter moving forward.

That would put Daniels ahead of Stetson Bennett IV on the depth chart at quarterback. Carson Beck and D’Wan Mathis are somewhere after that at third and fourth-string.

SEC teams are playing conference-only opponents this year. Georgia has losses to two tough teams — Alabama and Florida. They have played well otherwise and are likely headed for a 7-2 finish.