Practice is set to begin in about two weeks for major college football teams across the nation. By the end of August, the first games of the season will be played, kicking off a four and one-half month trek that will culminate in the BCS national championship game next January.
The college football news cycle never dies, although it does slow down for the summer. Still, there are several stories we are following as fans await the season’s start.
Off to Ireland. Penn State and Central Florida (UCF) have finalized their plans to meet next year. That game is scheduled for Aug. 30 and it will be played at Croke Field in Dublin, Ireland. It will be the first time that the Nittany Lions have played on foreign soil, a game brought about because of its current bowl ban. Thus, fans that may have felt cheated that they cannot enjoy a Penn State game in a warm, post-season destination will have the next best thing: a game in Ireland to kickoff the 2014 season reports ESPN.
Ford Field gets a new bowl game. Speaking about bowl games, the Big Ten Conference announced on Wednesday that it has aligned itself with a new bowl game that will take place at Ford Field in Detroit annually starting with the 2014 season. The new bowl replaces the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl that was used by the Big Ten in some years. Under the new arrangement, a Big Ten team will play annually against teams from another conference (reportedly the ACC). The new bowl is supported by the NFL Detroit Lions although MLive.com notes that official sponsorship is still pending. The conference inked a six-year agreement with the bowl’s organizers.
SEC holds its media days. This week, the SEC held its media days and that first day began with talk about allowing football players to receive expense money for each game played. Specifically, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier has suggested that the NCAA amend its rules to allow players to receive $300 in expense money reports Sports Illustrated. Spurrier also suggested that men’s basketball players receive $3,600 to $3,900 per year, the only other college sport that consistently brings in revenue. Providing stipends would be new, but only allowable if the NCAA approves. Otherwise, players receiving such cash would penalize the programs with penalties such as bowl bans possible.
Tackling takes a hit. Tackling can lead to concussions, both for the player being tackled and the ones doing the tackling. On Tuesday, the fan site Bleacher Report noted that tackling seems to be on the decline, pointing to USC as one example. The Trojans did not participate in “live tackling” on campus during the 2012 preseason, and finished No. 61 in the nation in total defense. What is the reason for reduced tackling by USC another programs? That would be injuries and the desire to limit the same.
Middle School recruitment is on. Your seventh grader is a talented quarterback, someone college recruiters may already be scouting. Indeed, boys as young as 13 are already being offered college scholarships according to the Express-Times of Lehigh Valley, Penn. And, it isn’t an isolated coach or two doing the recruiting. The article notes that Penn State, Alabama, USC and Kentucky are among the schools looking at students that have yet to snap a down of high school ball.
The 2013 college football season begins on Aug. 29, the Thursday before the Labor Day weekend. Its a five-day slate, with the bulk of the games scheduled for that Sat. SayCampusLife.com will continue to present its unique coverage for the upcoming season beginning next month.
See Also — Summer Solstice Update: College Football