Oregon Ducks

Justin Herbert and Bo Nix could be a Disney movie Pt. 1: History

Justin Herbert and Bo Nix could be a Disney movie Pt. 1: History

The season opener between No. 11 Oregon and No. 16 Auburn is beginning to look like the plot of a Disney movie. Two ranked opponents in the national spotlight, led by hometown quarterbacks who have been preparing their entire football career for this moment.

Oregon senior quarterback Justin Herbert and Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix have the opportunity to write the introduction to the 2019 football season. August 31st is the beginning of Herbert’s swan song and the start of Nix’s legacy.


Herbert, the 6-foot-6, 237-pound quarterback with the ability to make any throw is a main reason Oregon is the favorite to win its first Pac-12 title since 2014. Before he was projected as a top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Eugene-native was a Ducks fan, a passion passed down from birth.

“I grew up in a family that was Duck fans for as long as they can remember,” Herbert said in a Talkin’ Ducks interview with host Jordan Kent. “I grew up with a grandfather that went to every single game and played (at Oregon). My parents both love Oregon football and my brothers, so I just assumed I had to be a Duck fan.”

Herbert’s grandfather, Rich Schwab, played receiver at Oregon from 1960-63 and introduced Herbert to Oregon football. Herbert remembers experiencing Autzen Stadium with him. As an 11-year-old, Herbert stood next to Schwab in awe during the 2009 Civil War. 

“One of my favorite games was the Oregon-Oregon State civil war game with Jeremiah Masoli,” Herbert said. “I think it was third or fourth down, late in the game and he ran over a guy. I thought that was really cool.”

Schwab passed away in January of 2018, but his impact is everlasting on his grandson.

When Herbert got the call from then-Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich with an offer from the program in his backyard, he didn’t hesitate. It was a no-brainer to follow in Schwab’s footsteps. In fact, Herbert “didn’t think it was real” until he answered the call in the back of the Sheldon High School parking lot.

“I jumped on the bandwagon as soon as I could,” Herbert said. The three-star prospect had taken visits to Northern Arizona and Portland State.

In contrast, Nix was offered by 18 different schools. However, Alabama’s 2018 High School Player of the Year only had eyes for Auburn. The five-star prospect and top-rated dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class never visited any other schools.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback is following in his father’s footsteps. Patrick Nix threw for 4,957 yards and 31 touchdowns over 32 games for the Tigers from 1992-95. Patrick met his wife in college and Bo was raised a Tigers fan since birth. (Sound familiar?)

Nix is the first ever true freshman quarterback to start for the Tigers during week one of the modern era. It’s very likely that Oregon will see both Nix and back-up Joey Gatewood at quarterback on August 31. 

Fittingly, Nix’s favorite Auburn memory as a fan includes the Ducks. Nix’s dream to lead Auburn to a national championship intensified while he watched the 2011 BCS National Championship game. From his seat at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, Nix cheered as quarterback Cam Newton and the Tigers defeated the Ducks, 22-19, to win the program’s first national championship game in 63 years.

Nine years later, it almost feels predestined that these two quarterbacks would meet in a nationally televised, primetime game with major legacy and conference implications on the line.

[RELATED: Ducks happy to meet Auburn quarterback Bo Nix in season opener]

The plotline of this Disney movie doesn’t stop there. Neither do the parallels: Both Herbert and Nix were coached by their fathers and will be relying heavily on their father’s advice come August 31 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.  The difference? It’s in the legacy.

[Part two: Coach’s kids groomed for starting roles at childhood dream schools]

[Part three: Time dwindling for Herbert's lasting legacy]

Four-star DE Keanu Williams commits to the Oregon Ducks over USC

Four-star DE Keanu Williams commits to the Oregon Ducks over USC

Oregon continues to dominate West Coast recruiting. 

Four-star defensive end Keanu Williams has committed to the Oregon Ducks via his Instagram Live Saturday evening becoming the 17th addition to the 2021 Oregon recruiting class.

After committing, Williams said he wants to bring a National Championship to Oregon.

[RELATED]: Meet the 2021 Oregon Ducks recruiting class so far

247Sports ranks Keanu as the nation's No. 21 strongside defensive end and No. 27 overall player in California while composite ranking has him at No. 20 SDE, No. 30 player in California and No. 313 overall player in the country.

[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].

With his commitment, Oregon remains the No. 5 recruiting class in the nation thus far and narrows the small gap between them and Tennesse, North Carolina, and Clemson who are barely ahead of them.  By Rivals rankings, the Ducks jumped to No. 3.

The 6'5", 290-pound prospect from Clovis, CA received an official offer from the Ducks back in January of 2019 and has been tweeting more and more about Oregon as of late.

Given his twitter activity and general sense around the program, Williams was considered an Oregon lean for a while now with 100% of 247Sports crystal balls predicting the Ducks as his destination. 

Oregon beat out fellow finalists Stanford, USC, and UCLA for Williams' commitment.

247Sports national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman compares Williams to Lawrence Guy of the New England Patriots and sees the newest Ducks commit as a Day 3 NFL Draft pick.

Has a quick first step and plays with leverage, using his length to get to the ball carrier and quarterback. Can get caught overpursuing but shows ability to get to the play quickly. Good at dipping and ripping, showing a variety of moves but also using his strength and physicality overpower blockers. Plays with consistency and shows a good motor and routinely makes impact plays. Projects as a Power 5 starter and third day NFL pick.

Willaims joins Terrell Tilmon as the only two defensive ends in the 2021 recruiting class so far, however, Brandon Buckner also projects to line up on the edge. They will join a program that has defensive ends Kayvon Thibodeaux, John Harvey, and Bradyn Swinson. Thibodeaux likely only has two years left with the program as he's projected to be a top-five NFL Draft selection in 2022. 

If Tilmon and Williams redshirt, they should be poised to start as freshmen with Thibodeaux leaving for the NFL. 

Also, Williams states he's a defensive tackle in his Twitter bio so if Andy Avalos lines him up in the middle, he will look to replace graduating seniors Jordon Scott and Austin Faoliu in the middle.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and former Oregon Track & Field star and Olympian Galen Rupp].

Oregon Ducks linebacker Ge'mon Eaford has transferred

Oregon Ducks linebacker Ge'mon Eaford has transferred

Mario Cristobal coaches a program that embraces competition-- A program that always looks to add talent and where no spot is safe. 

By consequence, the program will lose players who do not see an opportunity to get playing time.

That appears to have happened with sophomore linebacker Ge'mon Eaford who has transferred to Fort Scott Community College in Kansas according to James Crepea of The Oregonian. 

[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].

Eaford was a four-star linebacker in Oregon's 2019 recruiting class that finished first in the Pac-12 and seventh in the country. Per 247Sports, composite score ranked him as the country's No. 10 outside linebacker and No. 193 overall prospect. He was recruited primarily by then-Oregon outside linebackers coach Cort Dennison, now at Louisville, and then-cornerbacks coach Donté Williams, now at USC.

Saturday, Eaford tweeted that his "recruitment is open to all schools."

Now since his commitment, the Ducks secured a pair of five-star linebackers in Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell in 2020, and have the nation's No. 2 ILB Keith Brown as a hard verbal commit for 2021. Add in Mase Funa, another 2019 linebacker recruit who saw significant playing time as a freshman, and there may not have been a spot for Eaford.

As a true freshman, the 6'1", 228-pound Eaford played in ten games but primarily on kickoff coverage with just 28 total snaps on defense. He registered one tackle in an Oregon uniform.

Eaford's departure allows Oregon to be at 85 scholarship players for the upcoming season after George Moore petitioned for a sixth year of eligibility. While that has not been approved yet, Moore has returned to campus for voluntary workouts. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and former Oregon Track & Field star and Olympian Galen Rupp].

Official: Pac-12 to play all-conference schedule for all fall sports

Official: Pac-12 to play all-conference schedule for all fall sports

Thursday, the Big Ten announced plans to have all fall sports play only conference opponents, eliminating all non-conference match-ups.

Among the events canceled was Oregon's highly anticipated hosting of Ohio State and Heisman candidate Justin Fields. 

[RELATED]: Oregon Ducks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes officially postponed

Now, the Pac-12 is expected to make the same decision and officially announce an all-conference schedule across all fall athletics in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, per Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic.

The Pac-12 plans to become the second football conference to make the decision following in the footsteps of the Big Ten with an announcement expected for later Friday.

UPDATE: The Pac-12 has officially unveiled the conference's plan for the upcoming fall season.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our number one priority,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Our decisions have and will be guided by science and data, and based upon the trends and indicators over the past days, it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities.”

"Competitive sports are an integral part of the educational experience for our student-athletes, and we will do everything that we can to support them in achieving their dreams while at the same time ensuring that their health and safety is at the forefront,” said Michael Schill, Pac-12 CEO Group Chair and President of the University of Oregon.

The conference also said that all student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics during the coming academic year because of safety concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarships honored by their university and will remain in good standing with their team.

The Pac-12 has developed a series of potential fall sport scheduling models including Conference-only schedules and delayed season starts and details on Conference-only schedules will be announced no later than July 31.

The Pac-12's course of action will cancel anticipated matchups such as USC vs. Alabama, Oregon State traveling to Oklahoma State, TCU vs California, Colorado at Texas A&M, and Notre Dame's games against USC and Stanford. 

Additionally, Oregon's season-opener against potential first-round quarterback Trey Lance and the FCS Champion North Dakota State Bison will also not be played in 2020, if at all. 

5:30p.m. UPDATE: According to James Crepea of the Oregonian, Oregon’s AD Rob Mullens says the conference’s plan is to announce details on the updated schedules no later than July 31. And in regards to NDSU, Ohio State, and Hawaii, Mullens said they will be working with all three programs to get those games back on the Ducks' schedule in the future.

[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].

The move is just the next step in the likely scenario of all conferences keeping athletic competition in-conference to minimize any potential spread of the coronavirus.

For the Pac-12, it makes sense to go this route, especially after marquee out-of-conference games, Michigan vs. Washington and Oregon vs. Ohio State, being canceled for 2020 one day prior to this anticipated announcement.

The Pac-12 had already been in talks of only playing conference games when the Big Ten made their decision, USC head coach Clay Helton said as much back in May.

Now two months later, California, home to a third of the Pac-12 conference, has the most lifetime coronavirus cases among all states with more than 289,000 per the CDC. That's 70,000 more than Florida who has always had lax guidelines for handling the pandemic. 

 After the Big Ten's call, Bryan Fischer of College Football Talk reported that the Pac-12 was expected to follow suit, and they will.

However, the other four Power-5 conferences were reportedly upset at the Big Ten's decision because they were under the impression a conclusion would be made between all five of them. Now conferences, such as the SEC, reportedly feel forced into a corner where they need to comply and move to an SEC-only schedule.

After the Big Ten's decision, both Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens and Washington Athletic Director Jen Cohen announced that the programs are working with their respective Big Ten opponents to reschedule a trip to the Pacific Northwest. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and former Oregon Track & Field star and Olympian Galen Rupp].

Oregon four-star WR target Xavier Worthy commits to Michigan

Xavier Worthy // Instagram

Oregon four-star WR target Xavier Worthy commits to Michigan

Just a month ago, the Ducks were considered a near-lock for four-star speedster Xavier Worthy which would add to a historic wide receiver recruiting class in 2021 for Oregon.

However, it was not meant to be.

Worthy verbally committed to the University of Michigan Friday afternoon on his Instagram Live.

[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].

While it's not signed in ink just yet, it appears quite unlikely that Worthy will enroll in Eugene as he tweeted last month that once he commits that's his final decision.

While considered a near-lock to go to Oregon, he was set to announce his commitment on June 27th before deciding to postpone it to an unannounced date. Heading into the announcement 100% of 247Sports crystal ball predictions had him as a Duck. That changed going into Friday's announcement, with Michigan seen as the heavy favorite.

Worthy, a composite four-star recruit from California ranked the nation's No. 11 wide receiver by 247Sports and No. 32 by composite ranking, named his top-six in May in which Oregon was the only Pac-12 team, along with Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, and Alabama. 

In the end, it appears that Worthy did not want to stay on the West Coast. 

With the Ducks losing out on his commitment, should Ducks fans be worried? No. While he would have been a great deep threat that would stretch the defense, the Ducks are still on track for the best wide receiver class in program history with four-star Kyron Ware-Hudson (nation's No. 22 WR), five-star Troy Franklin (nation's No. 3 wide receiver), and four-star Isaiah Brevard (nation's No. 7 WR by ESPN) already committed to Mario Cristobal and the Ducks.

Additionally, Oregon's the favorite for four-star Dont'e Thornton (nation's No. 6 wide receiver) who won't commit until the Adidas All-American Bowl in January. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and former Oregon Track & Field star and Olympian Galen Rupp].

Oregon Football: Pac-12 champs and Rose Bowl victors has a nice ring(s) to it

Oregon Football: Pac-12 champs and Rose Bowl victors has a nice ring(s) to it

The 2019-2020 Oregon Football season was one for the history books.

The Ducks finished with a 12-2 overall record, 8-1 in the Pac-12 conference, Pac-12 champions and Rose Bowl victors.

On Friday, the players and staff received their championship rings:

[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].

Here's how the Ducks earned these rings.

First, a dominant 37-15 win over Pac-12 south champion Utah in the Pac-12 championship. Running back CJ Verdell obliterated the Utes defense that was ranked No. 1 in the nation in run defense (allowing 70.2 yards per game on the ground) with 18 carries for 208 yards and three touchdowns. Verdell was named the MVP of the Pac-12 championship game.

That earned the Ducks a trip to the 2020 Rose Bowl against the Wisconsin Badgers. Oregonians Justin Herbert and Brady Breeze scored all four of Oregon's touchdowns in a 28-27 win over the Badgers; three from the legs of Herbert and one special teams touchdown from Breeze.

These rings are well-deserved.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and former Oregon Track & Field star and Olympian Galen Rupp].

Why the switch from the track to marathon running was not easy for Olympian Galen Rupp

Why the switch from the track to marathon running was not easy for Olympian Galen Rupp

Galen Rupp has quite the track record (literally).

He will go down as one of the greatest distance runners in Oregon Duck history. Rupp became the first person ever to win six NCAA distance races in the same calendar year when he captured the 2008 NCAA Cross Country crown, the 2009 NCAA Indoor 3,000 meter, 5,000 meter and distance medley titles and the 2009 NCAA Outdoor 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

But the Portland, Oregon alum, who ran track at Central Catholic High School before running for the University of Oregon, made quite the change from the track to marathon running. This change wasn’t easy.

I enjoy the training for the marathon. It was really hard for me, at first, to think about leaving the track. That was what my whole identity was… but I love it… — Galen Rupp

Any change as an athlete is difficult, but Rupp found a real passion for marathon running, even if it took some time. 

[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].

Here is a glimpse of Rupp’s Track & Field resume:

Olympic Experience

  • Three-time Olympian (2008, 2012, 2016); two-time Olympic medalist (silver, bronze)
  • Rio 2016 Olympic Games, 5th (10,000m); bronze (marathon)
  • London 2012 Olympic Games, silver (10,000m); 7th (5,000m)
  • Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, 13th (10,000m)

World Championship Experience

  • Most recent: 2015 – 5th (5,000m, 10,000m)
  • Years of participation: Outdoor – 2009 (10,000m); 2011 (5,000m, 10,000m); 2013 (5,000m, 10,000m); 2015 (5,000m, 10,000m, 5,000m); Indoor – 2010 (3,000m); 2014 (3,000m)
  • Top finish: 4th (10,000m) – 2013

Rupp, along with the rest of the world’s Olympians, will have to wait to run with the rest of Team USA as the 2020 Olympics have been pushed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Summer Olympics will begin on Friday, July 23 - Sunday, August 8.

Listen to the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast here.

Oregon vs. Ohio State is officially cancelled... so, now what?

Oregon vs. Ohio State is officially cancelled... so, now what?

Let’s be honest with ourselves here, who the heck wants to watch Alabama absolutely demolish and embarrass some lower-tier, non power-5 school in non-conference play anyway?

Nobody except those in Tuscaloosa. Got it. What the people want is Oregon vs. Ohio State; Washington vs. Michigan; Oregon vs. LSU. Those type of games. Games that will actually draw eyes and ratings. Games that will benefit teams in the long run rather than a “cupcake” non-conference schedule. Games that mean something.

On Thursday, Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic reported that the Big Ten conference is cancelling all non-conference play due to the coronavirus pandemic and will stick to a conference-opponent schedule this upcoming season.

The Big 10 made the announcement official later Thursday afternoon.

Still, no news yet what the Pac-12 conference will decide, but all signs point to following in these footsteps.

[Listen and download for free 'Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].

So…. Now what?

Oregon was set to host North Dakota State and likely Hesiman candidate quarterback Trey Lance. Then, seven days later, Justin Fields and the Ohio State Buckeyes. 

Head coach Mario Cristobal has stated before how important it is to schedule big, meaningful games.

They want to play the best teams in the country all the time, and there is no way we're going to go away from that mentality to try to schedule down to appease—whatever, I guess I should stop there before I get in trouble, right? These guys deserve to find out how good they are by playing against the best, so we're going to continue doing that. — Mario Cristobal

After Texas A&M cancelled a home-and-home series with the Ducks for 2018 and 2019 seasons, Oregon’s rather “soft” non-conference schedule in 2018 of Bowling Green, Portland State and San Jose State (all at home too), was criticized all year long. Oregon turned that around immediately playing Auburn to open up the season in 2019 in a game that drew in 6.86 million viewers.

Games of that nature don’t just draw in eyes of viewers on television, but it puts the teams on national television which attracts recruits. If a head coach can promise national attention and relevance, that’s hard to pass up in the eyes of a young 17-year-old.

Now, let’s take a look at the very shaky, not-sure-what-it-will-look-like future of college football this season. We still aren’t sure what the season will look like, especially the postseason. Let’s say that all the division one schools go along with just conference opponents. This is bad news bears for the Pac-12.

Hear me out.

The Pac-12 hasn’t had a competing team in the College Football Playoff since 2015 when Oregon dismantled Jameis Winston and the Florida State Seminoles in the CFB semifinal, but fell to Ohio State in the National Championship. The Washington Huskies were embarrassed by Alabama 24-7 in 2017.

Oregon’s 2020 Rose Bowl appearance and victory over Wisconsin was definitely nice, but it wasn't a playoff game.

So, postseason play is already a problem for the Pac-12. But, then there is the issue with late kickoff times, as well. Seven of Oregon’s nine Pac-12 conference games kickoff at 4 PM (PT) or later. Having one of the best Pac-12 team’s kickoff at 7:30 PM (or 10:30 PM on the East Coast) really hurts tv ratings and eyes across the country.

Having no non-conference schedule puts a lot more pressure on the Pac-12 during conference play.

Here’s a look at the non-conference marquee matchups slated in the future for Oregon:

2021 - at Ohio State

2022 - at Georgia

2023 - at Texas Tech

2024 - vs. Texas Tech; Boise State

2025 - vs. Oklahoma State; at Boise State

2026 - vs. Boise State; at Oklahoma State

2027 - at Baylor

2028 - vs. Baylor

2029 - at Michigan State

2030 - vs. Michigan State

It’s sad not just for Duck fans or Buckeye fans, but for college football as a whole. It would have been great to see Oregon’s defense, which is projected to be second in the nation, go up against Heisman candidate quarterback Justin Fields. We’ll just have to wait until 2021 (hopefully).

According to Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens, he and Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith have been in contact regarding the cancellation.

I appreciate Gene Smith reaching out to share the Big 10’s announcement. We agreed to have ongoing discussions about the options for rescheduling the Oregon home game in our series. — Rob Mullens

Perhaps because it was the Big 10 conference’s decision to cancel their non-conference schedule, maybe that gives Oregon some leeway in the future about rescheduling the game. Las Vegas anyone?

Ohio State’s future non-conference schedule includes a return trip to the West Coast in 2024 at Washington, so perhaps the two schools can play then? But that would also make Oregon’s 2024 non-conference opponents Texas Tech, Boise State and then Ohio State. Dang.

So, the Big Ten was the first power-5 conference to shut down non-conference play. What about the other conferences? Can you imagine the reaction if the SEC also cancelled games when football is such a prominent and important factor in SEC territory? If one conference cancels, shouldn’t they all? It is difficult to navigate these uncharted waters especially with the COVID-19 pandemic still among us. 

Only a matter of time. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and former Oregon Track & Field star and Olympian Galen Rupp].

The Big Ten's decision is a last-ditch effort to save the 2020 CFB season

The Big Ten's decision is a last-ditch effort to save the 2020 CFB season

The Big Ten has officially announced that all fall athletics, including football, will only be against other Big Ten opponents in an attempt to play amidst the coronavirus pandemic that continues to spike nationwide. 

The conference claims the decision took months to come to and cancels marquee games such as Washington hosting Michigan and Oregon hosting Ohio State. 

[RELATED]: Oregon Ducks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes officially postponed

While the Big Ten's decision will disappoint many, it won't be the last landmark ruling in regards to the college football season. In fact, it's just the first domino. 

The Pac-12 had already been in talks of only playing conference games, USC head coach Clay Helton said as much back in May.

Now two months later, California, home to a third of the Pac-12 conference, has the most lifetime coronavirus cases among all states with more than 289,000 per the CDC. That's 70,000 more than Florida who has always had lax guidelines for handling the pandemic. 

Now with two of the conferences' largest non-conference games going away, it's only a matter of time before the Pac-12 follows suit, as will many other conferences. Similar to how after Duke and Kansas stated they will sit out the NCAA Tournament last March at the onset of the pandemic, the event was canceled, and justifiably so. 

They were the first dominoes to fall. 

The Pac-12 reportedly plans to announce a conference-only schedule in the coming days according to Bryan Fischer of College Football Talk.

Additionally, so has the ACC per Brent McMurphy of Stadium.

People throughout the SEC were reportedly shocked by the Big Ten's decision as the conference was hoping to wait as long as possible to make a decision about the 2020 season. Now, the SEC feels it's been backed into a corner to fall in line, especially with other power-five conferences doing so. 

While it was only a matter of time for the impending decisions given how little real progress has been made fighting the virus, what the SEC and the rest of college football should be wondering, is will a 2020 season even happen? Not who it will be against.

Take USC, for example, who has announced that all of the fall semester will be taught online due to the virus's outbreak in Los Angeles following a premature reopening. How can the NCAA and Pac-12 justify having student-athletes on campus to play games, when they claim the athletes are just like other students while preaching amateurism. 

If the virus continues to spread rapidly throughout the nation, it would be a terrible look for millionaire athletic directors and conference commissioners to force college athletes, whom they refuse to pay, to participate in games that endanger their safety to fulfill television contracts and line their pockets. 

If you're not comfortable having students on campus, then you shouldn't be comfortable with football happening!

Additionally, student-athletes are beginning to speak up more. UCLA players requested a third-party health official to be on-site to ensure their safety. Clearly, there is mistrust between student-athletes and those running college football programs in some schools. If forced to play in unsafe conditions, that noise could only grow.  

[RELATED]: Chip Kelly has lost the trust of 30 UCLA football players - here's why

The NBA plans to resume play because the league is paying for a bubble environment that will cost them hundreds of millions of dollars to preserve, and that's with 22 teams going to Orlando with a maximum of 35 people per franchise. College football teams have over a hundred players when accounting for non-scholarship players. They will not be in a bubble but rather a college campus. 

Already, various schools have had to shut down voluntary workouts due to the virus infecting members of the program. Clemson had 23 players test positive in June. North Carolina had 37 players and staff test positive this month. Ohio State had to shut down workouts due to an undisclosed amount of positive tests. 

The virus "mostly spread[s] by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze," per the CDC. Having players tackle each other, stuck on the ground in dogpiles for fumbles, heavily breathing in each other's faces sounds like a disaster.

It would not be a matter of if an outbreak happens at a game, but when. 

One possibility is pushing the college football season back to the spring, which may allow time for a vaccine to be cleared and distributed. However, former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said he would heavily be against pushing the season, and that he would encourage players to sit out if they would be a high round NFL Draft pick. Especially with the NFL reportedly not interested in pushing the draft back from April, players could be drafted during the season. 

“If I’m Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields or [Chris] Olave, some of these high, high draft picks, I’m not playing," Meyer said. "I’m getting to go make some money and go earn a living and support my family.”

Meyer also cited the safety of student-athletes. 

“When you play a long season and when you get to spring practice," Meyer said on Fox's Big Noon Kickoff. "When you play 2,000 competitive reps, your body is not ready for contact in three months or two months. It’s not. I would not put those players in harm’s way."

Well, that may be the case and some maneuvering of the 2021 season would have to occur to compensate a 2020 spring season, but playing during a pandemic without a vaccine, and when colleges don't rule it's safe enough for in-person classes also puts the student-athlete in harm's way.

The NCAA is going to risk the safety of the student-athletes by playing football in either season. Now, with eight weeks until the scheduled start of the season, the NCAA needs to quickly decide which risk they'll take. 

Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith has said that it would take a minimum of six weeks of practice to get his team ready to play a competitive football game. 

Well, the clock is ticking for a final decision on the fall season, then, because playing only conference games appears non-negotiable. 

Madden 21 shades Justin Herbert, ranks Jordan Love higher

Madden 21 shades Justin Herbert, ranks Jordan Love higher

Ahead of the 2020 NFL season, rookie quarterback Justin Herbert is getting the Madden treatment. 

EA Sports released its preliminary rating for the rookie quarterback class and the Los Angeles Chargers sixth-overall pick received a 70 overall rating. 

Here’s a compilation of some of Herbert’s key ratings:

Speed: 82

Acceleration: 87

Agility: 80

Awareness: 70

Carry: 69

Throw power: 92

The former Oregon star was behind three other quarterbacks in the popular video game ratings: Joe Burrow (78), Tua Tagovailoa (73)…and wait, Jordan Love?

How in the world did Love, who was picked 20 spots lower than Herbert during the 2020 NFL Draft, receive a 71? For that matter, there’s no way Jordan Love gets any action next season until Aaron Rodgers hangs up his cleats. The 36-year-old said he plans to play into his 40s. 

Rodgers, for one, isn’t rattled by the Packers decision to bring Love on board.

“What I can control is how I play and making that decision at some point a very hard one,” Rodgers told Mike Florio. “If there comes a time when I feel like I can play at a high level and my body feels great, there are other guys that have gone on and played elsewhere.”

Herbert has a legitimate chance of becoming the Chargers signal caller and actually taking the field in a few months. It’s hard to understand the logic behind Love ranking four better in throw under pressure, two better in medium accuracy and five better in deep accuracy, but time will tell. 

Love should take the small victory in stride, but instead he seemed disappointed when finding out he was only rated a 71, not 81. 

“Dang,” Love said in the video below. 

Meanwhile, Herbert was pleasantly surprised when he found out his juke rating was a 72.  

“Aw, that’s an easy one. That’s gonna be about about a 42,” the Charger rookie told Steve Young. 

The ceiling is high for Herbert and Love either way. In a matter of weeks when training camp begins, both rooks will have the opportunity to show the world that they are higher than their Madden 21 rating suggests.