With fall practice open across the county and the season looming, here is a quick refresher of the biggest stories to rock college football since Clemson won the national title. (You did remember Clemson won, right?)
MAYBE BIG: Christmas In December — The NCAA voting to allow a second period where recruits can sign with schools. The new early period a few days before Christmas (Dec. 20-22) will mean coaches who are prepping for big bowl games or the playoff will have critical double duty to do.
BIG: One True Big-12 Champion — After trying to convince fans, poll voters and the playoff committee that the conference had a true champion without a playoff, the Big-12 buckled and will now hold a conference title game. Whether that helps the Big-12 get a team into the playoff is hard to say, but it also might help keep the conference in tact for a little while. The really big story might be still to come. A league that lost Colorado, Missouri, Texas A&M and, worst of all, Nebraska is still in danger of coming apart at the seams.
BIGGER: Young Mr. Lincoln — Longtime, and near legendary, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops up and retired out of the blue and handed the keys to a 33-year-old assistant named Lincoln Riley. OU has playoff aspirations again this season and Riley will be tested fast with a showdown in Week 2 at Ohio State.
MUCH BIGGER: Transfer Pass — The list of starting (and star) quarterbacks heading out for something “better” continues to grow and will have a profound impact on the chase for conference and national honors. A few of the potentially biggest impact moves:
- Will Grier (Florida to West Virginia)
- Jarrett Stidham (Baylor to Auburn)
- Malik Zaire (Notre Dame to Florida)
- Blake Barnett (Alabama to Arizona State)
- Kyle Allen (Texas A&M to Houston)
- Max Browne (USC to Pittsburgh)
- Brandon Harris (LSU to North Carolina)
- Tanner Lee (Tulane to Nebraska)
- Anu Solomon (Arizona to Baylor)
- Cooper Bateman (Alabama to Utah)
The musical chairs of QBs on the move will bolster some teams hopes of grabbing a championship and/or create problems on the roster where none existed before.
BIGGEST: Ole Mess — It is that. Allegations (21 in all and some admissions) of recruiting violations, academic fraud and then a call to an escort discovered in the phone logs of then head coach Hugh Freeze. And it’s not done yet. The fallout could still be far worse than the self-imposed SEC title game and postseason ban for the Rebels.