The first college football program casualty due to the novel coronavirus pandemic is here.
Saturday Down South reports that Florida Tech has opted to pull the plug on its football program due to “unprecedented economic uncertainty.” “As I have continued to share with you, these are difficult times for our university,” Florida Tech president Dwayne McCay said a statement. “Indeed, all of higher education is struggling to deal with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the uncertainty that accompanies a global disruption to daily life. Some universities will no doubt close. Florida Tech, however, has plans to persevere.”
He added, “... COVID-19 makes these moves prudent, but no less painful. We must do what is necessary to preserve resources critical to our educational mission and ensure our ability to successfully serve students when face-to-face instruction resumes this fall. I appreciate each of you, and I am humbled by your hard work and sacrifice.”
Florida Tech, a member of the Gulf South Conference, launched its college football program in 2011. Since then, the Panthers have compiled a 44-35 record overall, with its major highlight culminating in a win in the 2013 ECAC Futures Bowl game, SDS reports.
College Coaches, we are working on a prospect list of our guys. Will have that later today.— Liam Smith (@CoachLSmitty) May 11, 2020
WHAT THE WISE MEN ARE SAYING ABOUT THE LONGHORNS
Austin American-Statesman: The Dotted Line: Will Texas’ 10th commitment arrive on Friday?
Austin American-Statesman: The Dotted Line: With Zach Evans finally signed, a closer look at the top prospect to sign with each Big 12 squad in 2020
Dallas Morning News: 5 breakout candidates for Texas next season, including a trio of wide receivers
247Sports: Texas Morning Brew: Ossai sees ‘destruction,’ Acho and more
247Sports: Mike at Night: Scattershooting Texas recruiting stories
USA Today: 2020 class atop national rankings in blue chip talent
USA Today: One question for every Big 12 team going into the 2020 season
ICYMI IN BURNT ORANGE NATION
The Longhorn Republic tries to be optimistic about football in the fall
Texas announces the additions of WR Tarik Black and CB Jahdae Barron
WHAT WE’RE READING
SBNation: What if Urban Meyer never took his foot off the gas in the 2017 B1G title game?
SBNation: What if Magic Johnson had actually tried to force the Lakers to trade him to the Knicks?
The Ringer: Actually, Michael Jordon’s .202 batting average is more impressive than it seems
The Ringer: The Bundesliga’s delicate balancing act
ESPN: Inside an ugly financial battle to save the 2020 MLB season
NEWS ACROSS THE LONGHORN REPUBLIC AND COLLEGE SPORTS
- Texas signee Bijan Robinson, the nation’s top running back in the 2020 class, says he wants “to make the College Football Playoff” as a true freshman this season, according to Sports Illustrated. From SI: “When asked about his biggest goal for the upcoming season, Robinson set a high standard for his Freshman campaign, stating that he wants ‘to make the College Football Playoff.’ With yet another elite UT recruiting class, rated eighth overall by 247Sports, this goal might just become reality for Robinson and Co. heading into the 2020 season.”
The landscape of the Big 12 Conference shifted on Monday when #GoFrogs added the highest-rated recruit in school history — No. 2 RB Zach Evans. Now the Evans-Bijan Robinson debate can find some resolution on the same football field. https://t.co/z1uXWjt99N— Wescott Eberts (@SBN_Wescott) May 11, 2020
- 2020 Texas quarterback signee Ja’Quinden Jackson’s rehab from an ACL injury is going well.
On his way back @JaayUpNext_ @TexasFootball a lot of people saying what he can’t do and what he not going to be able to do...#Motivation pic.twitter.com/z97FboVvum— @EliteSport_U (@CoachMOOK8) May 5, 2020
- Texas head coach Tom Herman is stoked to land cornerback Jahdae Barron. “In addition to Jahdae being a very productive player in high school, he’s really competitive, plays extremely hard and is just a great fit for what we’re looking for in our program,” Herman told 247Sports earlier this week. “We’re so excited that he’s a Longhorn.” Us, too, for that matter.
Texas Football: Tarik Black and Jahdae Barron officially added https://t.co/IU8CWpYzRF— Longhorns Wire (@LonghornsWire) May 12, 2020
- ESPN released its FPI rankings for 2020. Per ESPN, they’re a “measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily.” Texas is ranked No. 11 with a 9.5-3.1 record. From ESPN: “Can Texas win the Big 12 this fall? ESPN’s FPI is projecting at least two losses coming at LSU and to Oklahoma with another potentially happening at Oklahoma State. Following a full coaching staff makeover, this is make or break time for Tom Herman, who enters his fourth season knowing all eyes will be glued to Austin to see if the Longhorns are Big 12 title material and then some. Chris Ash inherits a defense that largely underachieved last season for various reasons and will continue the development of Joseph Ossai and Caden Sterns, two leaders on that side. The most important player for Texas is quarterback Sam Ehlinger. This team’s championship hopes ride on his shoulders. If he can stay healthy, new OC Mike Yurcich believes the sky is the limit for this offense.”
Chance to make CFB Playoff -— CFB Kings (@CFBKings) May 5, 2020
(via @ESPN FPI):
Clemson - 81.1%
Ohio State - 63.8%
Alabama - 58.7%
Wisconsin - 33.5%
Georgia - 25.7%
LSU - 23.7%
Penn State - 23.2%
Oregon - 22.4%
Oklahoma - 15.3%
Texas - 10.4%