NCAA Football News and Notes: Big Ten Stays In Conference

With July almost half over, things are coming to a crossroads with regard to the college football season. Let’s check out where we stand and the major stories that have broken in the last few days.

Big Ten Bubble

The Big Ten sent shockwaves through the college football landscape this week by announcing that its members will only be participating in conference games this season. The decision will apply to all fall sports, most notably football.

The thinking is that playing only league games will increase the Big Ten’s flexibility to alter its schedule to fit a fluid situation. As a result, the three non-conference games that each Big Ten team was scheduled to play will not be played this season.

That includes several notable games, including a showdown between Wisconsin and Notre Dame at Lambeau Field, Michigan State facing Miami, and Ohio State facing Oregon. There is no word on whether the Big Ten will explore adding more games to the schedule if possible or if teams will stick to their nine league games as scheduled.

Jumping on Board

Soon after the Big Ten announced it would stick to conference games in the fall, the Pac-12 made a similar announcement. Much like the Big Ten, all fall sports within the Pac-12 will be limited to conference games only.

It appears the league will announce a revised schedule at the end of the month. There is lingering doubt about whether or not some Pac-12 teams will be able to play at all this year.

The ruling will cancel a few notable non-league games, including USC’s showdown with Alabama and Colorado facing Texas A&M. The announcement came on the same day that Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott tested positive for COVID-19.

Waiting on the World

While the Big Ten and Pac-12 are acting, the other power conferences are taking a wait-and-see approach. The ACC won’t make a decision about the fate of football and other fall sports until the end of the month.

Commissioner John Swofford says the league has considered several scenarios and will be ready to make a decision by late July. It appears the Big 12 and SEC will follow similar timelines and wait two or three more weeks before deciding the fate of fall sports.

On the Market

In some actual football news, UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers is looking for a new home. Rogers announced this week that he’ll be entering the transfer portal as a graduate, making him immediately eligible to play this fall.

Rogers was Mountain West Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2017 but struggled with injuries the past two seasons, making just five starts for the Rebels.

Tragedy Strikes

Unfortunately, we’ll close with the tragic news that Toledo defensive lineman Jahneil Douglas was shot and killed this week. Douglas was shot late Tuesday after a fight broke out outside a pizza shop.

A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder. Douglas, a Toledo native, was just 22 years old.

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