Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 moves ahead with fall sports beginning in September

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Baylor coach Dave Aranda could see a weight being lifted off the shoulders of his players during a meeting Tuesday night, when word began to filter out that the Big 12 Conference would attempt to play football this fall.

“You could just see the joy,” Aranda said. “Everyone was smiling. Guys were cracking jokes, were excited.”

Months of uncertainty had finally given the Bears and their conference rivals the slightest bit of clarity. If all goes according to plan, they will take the field for a non-conference game next month, then begin a round-robin league schedule on Sept. 26 with the intention of crowning a Big 12 champion on Dec. 12 near Dallas.

That doesn’t mean they will be competing for a national title, though. The Atlantic Coast and Southeastern conferences have so far joined the Big 12 in playing this fall, but the Big Ten, Pac-12 and many smaller conferences are trying for the spring.

So will there be two national champions, like there sometimes were when poll voters declared who was best? Will an autumn champion play a spring champion? Will this year, like so many things around the world, simply be one to forget?

Those are among the questions that still must be answered.

“We have a College Football Playoff call next week and we’ll obviously talk about this. It’s going to be a while into the season before all that is resolved,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Wednesday. “There probably isn’t any obvious reason why it couldn’t work to continue to try to play a postseason, but you’re looking at a December-January time frame right in the heart of the virus season. I just think it’s too early. We’re going to have to be patient.”

Patience is something the league has been preaching since March, when the coronavirus pandemic began shutting down sports in the U.S. as it turned the world upside down.

The Big 12’s board of directors have been speaking on an almost-daily basis with infectious disease experts, scientists and physicians while getting the input of coaches, administrators and athletes. It came up with a plan it believes will work.

Fall sports will begin after Sept. 1 with football playing a schedule in which each team can play one non-conference game before league play begins a few weeks later. The schools will all play each other to give them 10 total games.

All athletes will be subject to three tests per week – likely Sunday, Wednesday and Friday – in “high contact” sports such as football, volleyball and soccer. Should an athlete test positive, they would be subject to echocardiograms, a cardiac MRI, blood tests and other examinations before they are cleared to return.

Non-conference opponents also must adhere to Big 12 standards the week before competition.

“We have been unwavering in putting our focus squarely on the well-being of our student-athletes and staff members,” Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said. “There has been great effort expended in areas like testing and sanitizing, which are part of a comprehensive plan.”

TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini, who chairs the board of directors, acknowledged things could change at any time. The Big Ten, for example, had released a conference-only schedule before scrapping the fall season just days later.

“If at any point our scientists and doctors conclude that our institutions cannot provide a safe and appropriate environment for our participants, we will change course,” Boschini said.

The Big 12 wanted to wait until August to reach a decision on fall sports to see what would happen as teams began their preseason camps. And while there were numerous outbreaks when athletes returned to campus in June for workouts, most of the league’s 10 schools have not reported any positive tests for several weeks.

“Frankly, we found that what we thought was golden 60 days ago is garbage today. It’s an ever-evolving environment,” Bowlsby said, “and we will find ourselves with bump spots during the fall. There isn’t any doubt about that. But I think we are very well-prepared to deal with those things.”

That doesn’t mean there aren’t still more questions that answers.

Does a school that experiences an outbreak during the week forfeit their game? What are the chances that coaches try to game the system for a competitive edge? Is there a number of positive tests league-wide that ultimately would force the Big 12 to call off the season? Do players lose a season of eligibility if only five or six games are played?

Bowlsby acknowledged most of those questions do not have answers, at least at this point. But he hopes the NCAA will provide some clarification soon on such issues as eligibility and financial aid.

He also agreed that it would be difficult for the Big 12 to continue if the ACC and SEC ultimately move to the spring.

“Any time anybody at any level has decided they weren’t going to play or they were going to do something different, it affects us,” Bowlsby said. “I don’t know we would want to be the only college football conference playing. To the questions about the postseason – that would pretty much eliminate the postseason.”

The decision to move forward this fall was met with overwhelming approval from coaches and athletes, many of whom simply wanted clarity as they pressed on with daily workouts in anticipation of a season.

“They want to compete,” Kansas State coach Chris Klieman said. “Especially seniors, they only have so many opportunities to compete. It’s pretty special when you go into your senior years. Those are the guys I’m really hopeful have a chance.”

Whether they compete in front of fans is a question that the Big 12 is leaving to local jurisdictions. Each state has put its own limits on crowd sizes, some of them barring any large gatherings altogether, and schools will be forced to adjust their ticketing plans to adhere to the recommendations of public health officials.

Regardless, and at least for now, those players will be on the field in some fashion next month.

“The last two days in particular, the anxiety and stress, for coaches and players, was something we talked quite a bit about,” said Aranda, the first-year Baylor coach. “I’ve got a lot of faith in our team, and a lot of faith in our players, in terms of doing the right thing. Nowhere at any point in the past is taking care of each other as important as it is right now.”

U.S. Army All-American Bowl NFL Alumni

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The 17-year history of the The U.S. Army All-American Bowl includes an alumni class of over 200 NFL players, such as Ezekiel Elliott, Odell Beckham Jr., Andrew Luck, DeMarco Murray, Eric Berry, Patrick Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Michael Bennett.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the premier high school all-american game takes place Saturday, January 7, 2017 at the Alamodome.

The game will be broadcast live on NBC and the NBC Sports App at 1:00 p.m. ET.

AFC EAST
Buffalo Bills
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Lorenzo Alexander
LB 2001 Cal
Reggie Bush
RB 2003 USC
Robert Blanton
CB 2008
Notre Dame
Gerald Christian
TE 2010
Florida -> Louisville
Seantrel Henderson
OT 2010 Miami
LeSean McCoy
RB 2006 Pitt
Lerentee McCray
LB 2008 Florida
Nick O'Leary
TE 2011 Florida State
Kevon Seymour
CB 2012 USC
Tyrod Taylor
QB 2007 Virginia Tech
Adolphus Washington
DT 2012 Ohio State
Sammy Watkins
WR 2011 Clemson
Aaron Williams
CB 2008 Texas
Robert Woods
WR 2010 USC
Miami Dolphins
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Leonte Carroo
 WR 2012  Rutgers
MarQueis Gray
 TE 2008 Minnesota
Mike Hull
 LB  2010 Penn State
Ndamukong Suh
 DT 2005 Nebraska
Laremy Tunsil
 OT 2013 Ole Miss
Aundrey Walker
 OT 2011 USC
New England Patriots
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Martellus Bennett
TE 2005 Texas A&M
Alan Branch
DT 2004 Michigan
Jacoby Brissett
QB 2011 N.C. State
Michael Floyd WR 2008 Notre Dame
Chris Long
 DE 2004 Virginia
Barkevious Mingo
 DE/LB 2009  LSU
DeAndrew White
 WR  2010  Alabama
New York Jets
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Shaquelle Evans WR 2009 UCLA
Marcus Gilchrist CB 2007 Clemson
Nick Mangold C 2002 Ohio State
Charone Peake WR 2011 Clemson
Sheldon Richardson DE 2009 Missouri
Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE 2011 Washington
Brandon Shell OT 2011 South Carolina
AFC NORTH
               
Baltimore Ravens
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Matt Elam S 2010 Florida
Lawrence Guy DE 2008 Arizona State
Timmy Jernigan DT 2011 Florida State
Ryan Mallett QB 2007 Arkansas
C.J. Mosley LB 2010 Alabama
Justin Tucker K 2008 Texas
Cincinnati Bengals
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Tyler Boyd WR 2013 Pitt
Vontaze Burfict LB 2009 Arizona State
Marquis Flowers LB 2010 Arizona
Trey Hopkins OG 2010 Texas
Dre Kirkpatrick CB 2009 Alabama
Rey Maualuga LB 2005 USC
AJ McCarron QB 2009 Alabama
Cedric Ogbuehi OT 2010 Texas A&M
Andrew Whitworth OT 2001 LSU
Cleveland Browns
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
George Atkinson III RB 2011 Notre Dame
Shon Coleman OT 2010 Auburn
Cody Kessler QB 2010 USC
Jordan Payton WR 2012 UCLA
Terrelle Pryor WR 2008 Ohio State
Joe Thomas OT 2003 Wisconsin
Pittsburgh Steelers
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Martavis Bryant WR 2010 Clemson
Robert Golden S 2008 Arizona
Ryan Harris OT 2003 Notre Dame
Jarvis Jones LB 2009 Georgia
Shakim Phillips WR 2010 Boston College -> UConn
Stephon Tuitt DE 2011 Notre Dame
AFC SOUTH
               
Houston Texans
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Brian Cushing LB 2005 USC
C.J. Fiedorowicz TE 2010 Iowa
Corey Moore S 2011 Georgia
Tom Savage QB 2009 Rutgers -> Pitt
John Simon LB 2008 Ohio State
Indianapolis Colts
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Antonio Cromartie CB 2003 Florida State
Andrew Luck QB 2008 Stanford
Hassan Ridgeway DT 2012 Texas
Jacksonville Jaguars
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Arrelious Benn WR 2007 Illinois
Arthur Brown LB 2008 Kansas State
Chad Henne QB 2004 Michigan
Myles Jack LB 2013 UCLA
Brandon Linder OG 2009 Miami
Roy Miller DT 2005 Texas
Jared Odrick DE 2006 Penn State
Jalen Ramsey CB 2013 Florida State
James Sample CB 2011 Washington -> Louisville
T.J. Yeldon RB 2012 Alabama
Tennessee Titans
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Perrish Cox CB 2006 Oklahoma State
Anthony Fasano TE 2002 Notre Dame
Derrick Henry RB 2013 Alabama
DeMarco Murray RB 2006 Oklahoma
Quinton Spain OG 2010 West Virginia
Al Woods DE 2006 LSU
AFC WEST
               
Denver Broncos
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
A.J. Derby TE 2010 Arkansas
Kansas City Chiefs
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Allen Bailey DE 2007 Miami
Eric Berry S 2007 Tennessee
Jamaal Charles RB 2005 Texas
Derrick Johnson LB 2001 Texas
Demarcus Robinson WR 2013 Florida
De'Anthony Thomas RB 2011 Oregon
Spencer Ware RB 2010 LSU
Oakland Raiders
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
San Diego Chargers
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Keenan Allen WR 2010 Cal
Joe Barksdale T 2007 LSU
D.J. Fluker T 2009 Alabama
Max Tuerk C 2011 USC
Chris Watt OG 2009 Notre Dame
NFC EAST
               
Dallas Cowboys
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Brice Butler WR 2008 USC -> SDSU
Ezekiel Elliott RB 2013 Ohio State
Mark Sanchez QB 2005 USC
Jaylon Smith LB 2013 Notre Dame
Tyron Smith OT 2008 USC
Chris Whaley DT 2009 Texas
New York Giants
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Eli Apple CB 2013 Ohio State
Odell Beckham Jr. WR 2011 LSU
Leon Hall CB 2003 Michigan
Devon Kennard LB 2009 USC
Owamagbe Odighizuwa DE 2010 UCLA
Philadelphia Eagles
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Nigel Bradham LB 2008 Florida State
Ron Brooks CB 2008 LSU
Brandon Graham DE 2006 Michigan
Dorial Green-Beckham WR 2012 Missouri
Aaron Murray QB 2009 Georgia
Jaylen Watkins CB 2010 Florida
Stefan Wisniewski C/G 2007 Penn State
Washington Redskins
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Will Blackmon DB 2002 Boston College
Su’a Cravens LB 2013 USC
Vernon Davis TE 2003 Maryland
Kendall Fuller CB 2013 Virginia Tech
DeSean Jackson WR 2005 Cal
Arie Kouandjio OG 2010 Alabama
Morgan Moses OT 2009 Virginia
Niles Paul TE 2007 Nebraska
NFC NORTH
               
Chicago Bears
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Mike Adams OT 2008 Ohio State
Connor Barth K 2004 North Carolina
Jonathan Bullard DT 2012 Florida
Deon Bush S 2012 Miami
Ego Ferguson DE 2010 LSU
Kyle Long OT 2008 Oregon
Tony Moeaki TE 2005 Iowa
Deonte Thompson WR 2007 Florida
Detroit Lions
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Jonathan Bostic LB 2008 Florida
Alex Carter CB 2012 Stanford
Orson Charles TE 2009 Georgia
Haloti Ngata DT 2002 Oregon
A’Shawn Robinson DT 2013 Alabama
Green Bay Packers
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Christine Michael RB 2009 Texas A&M
Kyle Murphy OT 2012 Stanford
Nick Perry LB 2008 USC
Minnesota Vikings
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Mackensie Alexander CB 2013 Clemson
Anthony Barr LB 2010 UCLA
Alex Boone OG 2005 Ohio State
Teddy Bridgewater QB 2011 Louisville
Stefon Diggs WR 2012 Maryland
Sharrif Floyd DT 2010 Florida
Everson Griffen DE 2007 USC
Matt Kalil OT 2008 USC
Adrian Peterson RB 2004 Oklahoma
Kyle Rudolph TE 2008 Notre Dame
Andre Smith OT 2006 Alabama
Justin Trattou DE 2007 Florida
NFC SOUTH
               
Atlanta Falcons
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Matt Bosher P 2006 Miami
Devin Fuller WR 2012 UCLA
Ricky Havili-Heimuli DT 2010 Oregon
Jake Matthews OT 2010 Texas A&M
Matt Simms QB 2007 Tennessee
Carolina Panthers
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Derek Anderson QB 2001 Oregon State
Ted Ginn Jr. WR 2004 Ohio State
Andrew Norwell OL 2010 Ohio State
Michael Oher OT 2005 Ole Miss
Greg Olsen TE 2003 Miami
Chris Scott OT 2005 Tennessee
Jonathan Stewart RB 2005 Oregon
Shaq Thompson LB 2012 Washington
New Orleans Saints
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Tony Carter CB 2004 Florida State
Michael Mauti LB 2008 Penn State
Ronald Powell LB 2010 Florida
Damian Swann CB 2011 Georgia
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Gerald McCoy DT 2006 Oklahoma
Donovan Smith OT 2011 Penn State
NFC WEST
               
Arizona Cardinals
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
D.J. Humphries OT 2012 Florida
Tony Jefferson S 2010 Oklahoma
Alex Okafor DE 2009 Texas
Patrick Peterson CB 2008 LSU
San Francisco 49ers
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Arik Armstead DE 2012 Oregon
Ahmad Brooks LB 2002 Virginia
Mike Davis RB 2012 South Carolina
Blaine Gabbert QB 2008 Missouri
Eli Harold DE 2012 Virginia
Aaron Lynch DE 2011 Notre Dame -> USF
Bradley Pinion P 2012 Clemson
Eric Reid S 2010 LSU
Shayne Skov LB 2009 Stanford
John Theus OT 2011 Georgia
Seattle Seahawks
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Michael Bennett DE 2011 Ohio State
Jermaine Kearse WR 2008 Washington
Cassius Marsh DE 2010 UCLA
Marcus Lucas WR 2010 Missouri
Garrison Smith DT 2010 Georgia
J’Marcus Webb OT 2006 Texas ->

W Texas A&M

St. Louis Rams
NAME POS CLASS COLLEGE
Malcolm Brown RB 2011 Texas
Blake Countess DB 2011 Auburn
Andrew Donnal OT 2010 Iowa
Aaron Green RB 2011 TCU
T.J. McDonald S 2009 USC
Robert Quinn DE 2008 North Carolina
Greg Robinson OT 2011 Auburn

 

Baylor, Ohio State big favorites in Week 10

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The top two teams in the AP Top 25 will be without their starting quarterbacks this week, starting with the Baylor Bears who visit the Kansas State Wildcats on Thursday as 17-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

No. 2 Baylor lost starting pivot and Heisman Trophy candidate Seth Russell to a season-ending neck injury in their 45-27 victory over Iowa State two weeks ago, and will hand the ball to freshman Jarrett Stidham for Thursday night’s Bears vs. Wildcats betting matchup at Snyder Family Stadium.

Russell had led the Bears to an eye-popping 61.1 points per game this season, tops in the nation, throwing an incredible 29 touchdown passes to lead them to a perfect 7-0 straight up record and against the spread wins in four of their last five outings.

Stidham has amassed 331 passing yards and six majors in spot duty this season, and gets the start against a Wildcats squad that is winless SU in their last four, all against Big 12 rivals, and also winless SU in their last three against the Bears.

No. 1 Ohio State will also be forced to make a quarterback change when they host the Minnesota Golden Gophers as heavy 23-point chalk on Saturday night.

Buckeyes starter J.T. Barrett will miss this week’s contest while he sits out a one-game suspension, thrusting last year’s hero, Cardale Jones, back under center. Barrett has shared playing time with Jones for much of the season, leading the club to a perfect 8-0 SU record and extending their current SU win streak to 21 games.

The Buckeyes have covered in their last two, holding opponents to just 17 total points, while the Gophers have squandered a strong 4-2 start with a pair of SU losses but kept things close in last weekend’s 29-26 loss to Michigan, covering as 11-point underdogs.

No. 3 Clemson will have starter Deshaun Watson at the helm this weekend when they battle No. 17 Florida State as 12.5-point chalk in a clash that will likely determine the ACC’s Atlantic Division title.

The Tigers’ 56-41 win over North Carolina State improved them to 14-0 SU in their last 14 games at home according to the OddsShark College Football Database, while the Seminoles bounced back from a stunning 22-16 loss to Georgia Tech with a dominant 45-21 win over Syracuse on Saturday.

In other college football betting action, the Wolverines host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights as 22-point favorites, while the Wolfpack travel to Boston College to face the Eagles as 3.5-point chalk, and the Cyclones take on the Oklahoma Sooners as 24.5-point underdogs.