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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

College Football

Mike Leach shares funny coronavirus ‘Tiger King’ meme

Mike Leach

Mike Leach continues to run the No. 1 college football coach Twitter account in the country.

Leach, who is now the head coach at Mississippi State, shared a funny meme photo on Twitter Monday. The picture showed a couple with their backs to each other in bed. The woman thought the guy had his back to her for social distancing purposes. But his thought had to do with tigers.

Yes, as those who watched “Tiger King” on Netflix know, you could purchase a tiger for a few thousand dollars in the underground market from people like Joe Exotic (who is now in prison). Of course, the purchase price of the tiger is nothing; the real expense is keeping the gorgeous beast fed.

Leach has been killing on Twitter, going back to his first tweet since taking over in Starkville.

NCAA grants extra year of eligibility to spring athletes whose seasons were canceled

NCAA logo

The NCAA has stepped up to do right by its athletes.

The organization’s Division I council voted on Monday to grant an extra season of eligibility to spring athletes whose seasons were canceled due to the coronavirus. The extra year of eligibility

There were questions about how the scholarship and financial aid would work for athletes granted an extra year of eligibility, because the addition of incoming freshmen next year plus athletes returning for a senior season would put programs over their scholarship limits. The NCAA approved schools to go over the scholarship limits next year.

Here are the guidelines:

“Members also adjusted financial aid rules to allow teams to carry more members on scholarship to account for incoming recruits and student-athletes who had been in their last year of eligibility who decide to stay. In a nod to the financial uncertainty faced by higher education, the Council vote also provided schools with the flexibility to give students the opportunity to return for 2020-21 without requiring that athletics aid be provided at the same level awarded for 2019-20. This flexibility applies only to student-athletes who would have exhausted eligibility in 2019-20.

There will also not be roster limits for the 2021 baseball season, which is the lone spring sport with roster limits.

Unfortunately, athletes who competed in winter sports, such as men’s and women’s basketball, will not get an extra year of eligibility, but at least spring athletes who were only a month or less into their season before it was canceled are getting an extra year, as they should.

Lincoln Riley does not think layoff will hurt Oklahoma QB competition

Lincoln Riley

Oklahoma only got one spring practice in before the rest were canceled due to the school’s coronavirus changes. The spring football game was canceled as well, but Lincoln Riley is not too worried about adverse effects on the team’s quarterbacks.

Last year’s graduate transfer Jalen Hurts is on to the NFL, leaving Tanner Mordecai and Spencer Rattler competing for the starting quarterback job. Mordecai will be a redshirt sophomore in the fall and has been in the program for two years, while Rattler will be a redshirt freshman in the fall and has been with the program since last year.

The familiarity both players have with the program has Riley confident. Riley spoke with Toby Rowland on the T-Row in the Morning Show Thursday about the matter.

“The thing that is different this year is these guys have both been in our system now for a while,” Riley told Rowland. “They’ve been in our program now for a while. You could tell. I mean, even in the one day of practice that we got, I felt like we had two experienced guys out there, and we do in my mind. And so they know what we’re doing; they know how to run our stuff.”

Riley acknowledged that getting more snaps and practice will help, but he believes the offense is in a good spot.

Hurts carried the load last season and finished second in Heisman Trophy voting. Mordecai went 16 of 26 for 207 yards and two touchdowns in limited action. Rattler got into three games and went 7/11 for 81 yards and a touchdown. Rattler was a five-star recruit and may have more of the hype on his side, but you can count on Riley to run a fair competition when practices resume.

NCAA considering playing college football season during late summer?

We don’t know how long the coronavirus pandemic will last, but it certainly sounds like major changes are being considered to sports that are still several months away.

College football is one sport that could see major changes to its schedule. According to Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal, there is some consideration to playing an abbreviated college football season in July, August, and September. The thinking is that warmer summer weather may help slow the spread of the virus, particularly as some experts have warned that we could see a resurgence in spread next winter as temperatures turn cooler again.

There are many logistical issues that would arise as a result. Stadiums would need to be staffed, media partners would need to approve, and there’s no guarantee fans could even attend the games. It speaks to the fears about a regularly scheduled season, however, that this is even being tossed around. Some in the know do not think the season can go ahead as scheduled. This is an imperfect alternative, and it may not even work.

Nick Saban: Coronavirus shutdown ‘drives me crazy’

Nick Saban

Many people are making huge adjustments in their life due to the new government rules and suggestions during the coronavirus pandemic. Some can adjust easier than others. For Nick Saban, that adjustment has been difficult.

A hard worker who rarely stops recruiting and coaching, Saban is now adjusting to life that limits him from doing much.

“Anybody who knows me knows I’m not a sit-around kind of guy,” Saban told ESPN’s Chris Low. “Drives me crazy to even think about it. But a lot of us in this country are going to have to adjust to doing things differently, and that includes me.”

Saban acknowledged there is nothing to do right now except manage what he can.

The SEC suspended all athletic activities through April 15, meaning there aren’t as many things for coaches to do. Saban is doing his best to keep in touch with his players, talk with his coaches, and prepare for next season’s opponents. Of course, some with pessimistic outlooks don’t even think there will be a season.

Kirk Herbstreit believes coronavirus outbreak will cancel college football season

Kirk Herbstreit

All of us are hoping the coronavirus pandemic is under control by the start of the 2020 football season, and it seems like there is a decent chance of that happening. Even if the spread has slowed dramatically, however, Kirk Herbstreit does not think we are going to see college football this year.

Herbstreit said during an appearance on ESPN Radio Thursday night that he would be “shocked” if the 2020 college football season is not canceled.

“I’ll be shocked if we have NFL football this fall, if we have college football. I’ll be so surprised if that happens,” Herbstreit said, as transcribed by TMZ. “Just because from what I understand, people that I listen to, you’re 12 to 18 months from a (coronavirus) vaccine. I don’t know how you let these guys go into locker rooms and let stadiums be filled up and how you can play ball. I just don’t know how you can do it with the optics of it.”

While he is certainly not an epidemiologist, Herbstreit said he believes what we have seen with the coronavirus outbreak thus far is only “scratching the surface of where this thing’s gonna go.” He’s also concerned about the lack of preparation time for teams even if the pandemic has quieted down in a few months.

“You don’t all of the sudden come up with something in July or August and say, ‘Okay we’re good to go’ and turn ’em loose!” Herbstreit said.

At this point, the NFL seems to be the only league refusing to make major changes to its schedule. However, there are plenty of people around the league who believe the start of the 2020 will be delayed, at the very least.

There has been some talk that the NBA season could resume in June, but no one really knows exactly what the future holds. If the NBA and NHL are able to finish their seasons, that will be a good sign for football.

Mel Tucker hilariously dunks on Colorado fan on Twitter

Mel Tucker

Mel Tucker left Colorado after just one season when an opportunity to coach at Michigan State arose, and some Buffaloes fans are apparently bitter about it. Tucker dropped a flying elbow on one of those fans on Wednesday.

Tucker took to Twitter to field some questions from Michigan State fans, but one Colorado fan decided to chime in. The fan’s sarcastic question was, “How do I unfollow you?” Tucker responded by providing very detailed instructions.

Owned.

Fans can feel however they want about Tucker’s departure from Colorado, but Michigan State reportedly gave him a massive raise over what he was making and much more to spend on his coaching staff. The opportunity to move to a bigger program was too good to pass up for many reasons, especially after Tucker went 5-7 in his first year at Colorado. Had it not been for Mark Dantonio’s sudden departure, Tucker probably would have had a much tougher time landing a job like that.