NCAA

Rece Davis says college football is going to look weird in the fall

Rece Davis says college football is going to look weird in the fall

The endless sea of school colors and the deafening roars of alumni and student body. The community-wide elation of beating your rival on a Saturday night and the collective sorrow in defeat. 

There's nothing quite like the experience of a college football game.

That is what the sports community is in jeopardy of losing this fall because of the coronavirus. Without college football or even just a shell of it, it will be a stark contrast to what has become the norm. And no one quite captures the moments and the emotions than ESPN's College Gameday. 

"For our show, it will be a tremendous difference" Gameday host Rece Davis said on 'Late Night with Locks.'

Typically the show is known for large, never-ending crowds. Hilarious signs and celebrity picks are reoccurring elements. Just like the sport, not everything will be the same. 

For years the show has been the center of college football and its culture. It never misses a beat and always travels to the heart of the weekend matchup, even if it's to a smaller FCS school in a rivalry game. Novices that sit on their couch on a Saturday can feel right there through GameDay.

Those moments, those memories are how the sport stands out from its professional counterpart on Sundays and several other sports around the country. That emotion carries over to the stadium and creates a unique, symbiotic relationship between the crowd and the players on the field.

It simply can't be replicated anywhere else. 

Right now, Davis says ESPN and the show are operating as if the college football season is held. But, they are making several contingency plans depending on how the public health situation develops.

As the name of the show indicates, they want to be on campuses if possible. Smaller venues are an option, especially if there are limitations on their crowd size. And yes, even having College GameDay without fans is an option.

"That seems almost blasphemous given the history of the show, but if that's what it takes to keep people as healthy as possible then obviously we will comply with that," Davis said. 

There's no doubt whether you're at home or a fan that gets to attend as part of a sparse crowd that it will be a strange experience. Even the players will have to adjust. Home-field advantage may not have the same weight as it typically holds. 

"Players sort of pick up on the energy in the stadium. You make a big play, a big pick, a big stop on third down or get a big conversion on third down, people start generating momentum. What's that momentum going to be like without the same level of noise and vibe in the stadium that you're used to? I think it will be a challenge for some," he said.

But nonetheless, Davis knows that having college football games, even without fans, is better than the alternative. Everybody could use a little bit of the joy that the sport brings right now. 

"I think it would be better for everybody, the country, the psyche, everything if we can do it safely and have the sport even if we have to limit the number of fans. And I'm not going to lie, it's going to be weird. The atmosphere in college football is what sets it apart," Davis said.

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Reports: Big Ten to have a conference-only schedule for all fall sports

Reports: Big Ten to have a conference-only schedule for all fall sports

The Big Ten Conference announced that the league will only play in-conference matchups for the fall 2020 season if games are able to be held. 

The news was first reported by The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach and then confirmed by other outlets.

While this is a gigantic step for the conference as they navigate the coronavirus pandemic, this is most noteworthy to college football. 

Typically, the Big Ten holds nine in-conference contests for each school out of a 13-game schedule. It is unclear if the league will expand its conference schedule to accommodate or continue with nine games. ESPN is reporting that many schools would like a 10-game schedule. 

It is also possible the league will move around current schedules to prepare for potential interruptions, according to ESPN's Adam Rittenburg.

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Removing those nonconference games will limit the student-athletes chance at exposure to the virus. There will be less travel, less hotel stays and fewer individuals that could create a mass-spread of the virus. 

However, with no out-of-conference contests for the upcoming season, the league will not be able to elevate itself as a whole across the college football landscape. It will cancel marquee matchups such as Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin at Lambeau Field, Ohio State at Oregon, Penn State at Virginia Tech and Miami at Michigan State.

For the Maryland Terrapins, they lose a big road contest with West Virginia. Additionally, they had home games scheduled against Towson and Northern Illinois.

As one of the biggest leagues in the country (14 teams), the Big Ten does have the flexibility to expand its schedule with each team playing a full season. However, it could drastically affect how the league is perceived in the scope of the College Football Playoff, especially if other leagues do not follow suit. A one or two-loss league champion does not have any national measuring sticks.

The Big Ten has had a team in the Playoff four of the seven seasons it has been in effect. 

This decision comes on the heels of the Ivy League canceling all of their fall sports for the upcoming semester. The Ivy was the first league across the country to make a move so drastic. It should be noted that the Ivy was also the first league to cancel all spring sports at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 

This move does not guarantee that the Big Ten will still have football games this fall. It merely serves as a simpler attempt to safely have a season. 

The conference also will allow student-athletes to choose not to play for the 2020-21 academic year to maintain their scholarship.

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Howard is a finalist for 2021 five-star defensive end Korey Foreman

Howard is a finalist for 2021 five-star defensive end Korey Foreman

The Howard University football program has moved a step closer to landing perhaps its highest-ranked recruit in years, if not ever.

Five-star defensive end Korey Foreman trimmed his college choice to seven on Wednesday evening, and the Howard Bison were on the list. The other six schools were Southern California (USC), LSU, Alabama, Oregon, Clemson, and Georgia.

In Foreman's tweet, he explained why Howard, a historically Black college (HBCU), was included in his list.

"I am a young black man that is happy and proud of my race," he wrote. "The Black Lives Matter movement is and forever will be powerful and definitely never forgotten. These are the schools I will now be focusing on the most. Set the standard and .. be different."

The news comes just a week after the Howard basketball program landed five-star Makur Maker, who chose the Bison over Division I schools UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis. Maker was the highest-ranked recruit Howard basketball has landed in its history. Mikey Williams, a top-five basketball recruit in the 2023 class, has already hinted about potentially playing at an HBCU as well.

Foreman, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end, is projected to commit to USC, according to 247Sports. Foreman is ranked the No. 2 overall prospect on 247Sports recruiting rankings for the 2021 class.

However, if the last few weeks are any indication, Howard can't be ruled out.

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