College Football Nation: T-Minus 24 Days Until Kickoff

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Twenty-four days until kickoff, nation! That’s a little over three weeks, or 576 hours, or 34,560 minutes, or just … . However you want to count it, college football is peeking its gorgeous head around the corner and like a little kid on Christmas, we must wait patiently, staring at the ceiling, trying our best to fight back the anxiety and sleep through the night. Here are a few stories to peruse while you pass the time before checking the clock again.

ACC

It was only 70 degrees at 8am on the morning Knighton suffered his severe heat stroke

It was just 70 degrees at 8 am when Knighton suffered his severe heat stroke.

Hunter Knighton is set to return to the University of Miami football after 18 months of physical and psychological rehabilitation because of an extreme heat stroke he suffered in February, 2014.

Knighton was fighting through flu-like symptoms at a Miami practice on the morning of February 24. Knighton does not recall the majority of the practice, nor does he recall being forced into an ambulance by teammates after he became hostile because of the heat stroke, during which his body reached 109 degrees. Knighton awoke from a coma 12 days later and 55 pounds lighter.

Knighton plans to help his team win on the field this year and his quarterback fully believes in his abilities. “I’m expecting big things from him,” said Brad Kayaa in an interview with ESPN this week.

B1G

If you believe anything the media or the 49ers have to say, Jim Harbaugh is the last person you would describe as lovable. But once in awhile everyone shows a chink in their armor, even the famously stoic Harbaugh. During a press conference, a kid named Brady popped a doozy of a question to the new Wolverines head coach. “How much milk do I have to drink to be big enough to be quarterback?” Harbaugh played right along and showed a side of him we rarely — if ever — see.

Big 12

After missing out on last year’s inaugural College Football Playoff, Baylor fans are most likely still reeling at what could have been. Baylor AD Ian McCaw shares those feelings and believes that the playoff will be expanded to eight teams in as little as five years. In an interview with ESPN on Wednesday, McCaw said, “I think we’ll get there, once we get there we’ll say, ‘Why didn’t we do this from Day 1?’ I would think within five years would be my hope.”

The Big 12 had its Co-Champions Baylor and TCU miss out on last years first College Football Playoff

The Big 12 had its Co-Champions, Baylor and TCU, miss out on last year’s first College Football Playoff.

Baylor finished last year 11-1 and as co-champions of the Big 12 with TCU, which also missed the playoff having Ohio State jump both of them in the final CFP rankings. McCaw added, “But right now, if you’re No. 5 and you’re a conference champion and you get left out you can make a pretty good argument you could have done what Ohio State did last year and win a national championship.”

The Bears AD makes a valid point, TCU and Baylor were playing electric football at last season’s end, so electric that people were just begging to pit them against each other in an emergency Big 12 championship game. It’s not unreasonable to think that either of those programs could have pulled off exactly what Ohio State did this past year.

McCaw listed several other program administrators, including ACC commissioner John Swofford, as supporters of the move to an eight-team playoff. What do the readers think of expanding the CFP to eight teams?

SEC

The University of Tennessee received good news Friday, when it was announced that receiver Von Pearson has been reinstated after his suspension, which began April 24. Pearson was named as a suspect in a rape investigation, but was cleared of charges Wednesday. Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges because they had insufficient evidence. In addition to being suspended from the team, Pearson also had been suspended from school. He will be allowed to re-enroll for fall semester. Pearson caught 38 passes for 393 yards, as well as a team-high five touchdowns last season despite missing two games because of an ankle injury.

Fans at Neyland Stadium will have their number one receiver for touchdowns on the field in 2015

Fans at Neyland Stadium will have their No. 1 receiver for touchdowns on the field in 2015.

PAC-12

You know that feeling you get when you watch a middle-aged person trying their best to fit in with the younger generation and there’s nothing you can do but sit and watch in awkward angst?

If not, have no fear because that’s exactly what happens when watching Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez do not only the whip and the nae nae but he also throws it back circa 2009 with the stanky leg! Rodriguez teamed up with the Arizona gymnastics team to create a promotional video for their program, oh the sweet, sweet awkwardness. Enjoy.

All photos courtesy of flickr.com via Creative Commons

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Mark Weber

Mark Weber

Mark is a junior transfer student at the University of Oregon from Morgan Hill, California. He came to UO with an AA in Communications and is currently making his way through the Journalism program. Mark has been fascinated with sports his whole life, and actively participated in any sport he could including: baseball, football, hockey and rugby. Mark played football all the way through Junior College before he hung up the cleats but his passion for sports remained, which led him to the sports journalism path. Mark plans to work in the blossoming digital sports media market after graduation either in writing or video production.