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Schwartz: 10 Sentences: College Football’s Road Less Traveled

June 23, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

With the NBA and NHL seasons over, baseball not even to its All-Star break, and NFL training camps still a month away, sports media are desperate for content. It’s during these early days of summer that we can find some of college football media’s most interesting and creative content – the kind you can’t find during the season because it’s all about wins, losses, injuries, and the general hectic pace of college football. So here are 10 off-the-beaten path, slower-paced, less-time-sensitive pieces about a sport we love that you could be reading right now:

1. Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller ranks Iowa’s defensive line as the ninth best in the nation heading into the season, and he doesn’t mince words as to why the Hawkeyes are there at all: “Frankly, it’s a testament to [A.J.] Epenesa’s talent that we’re even willing to consider a team that neither recruits at an elite level nor has more than two returning players with multiple sacks in 2018.”

2. United Airlines last week unveiled nonstop flights for nine big-time college football games for the coming season, and although none involve the Hawkeyes, two Big Ten games made the list: Ohio State at Nebraska on Sept. 28 and Wisconsin at Ohio State on Oct. 26.

3. Athlon Sports has already identified Nebraska’s trap game – home against Northwestern on Oct. 5 – for those Huskers fans looking to create anxiety about their team before it’s even Independence Day (the Hawkeyes, writes Brandon Cavanaugh quite correctly, are squarely on Nebraska’s radar and therefore cannot qualify for the trap game).

4. More from Iowa’s western neighbor: The Huskers’ defensive coordinator, former Hawkeye offensive lineman Erik Chinander, might be in his final season in his current position if Nebraska’s defense doesn’t show significant improvement, according to Andrew Wade of Fansided.

5. If it’s June, nearly two months until kickoff, it must be the ideal time to be optimistic about Rutgers: This piece on NJ.com breaks down Phil Steele’s take on the Scarlet Knights’ offense, which hasn’t scored more than 17 points in a game since Sept. 1, 2018, last year’s season opener.

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6. Medical and health representatives from the NCAA and NFL met last week to share ideas on improving player safety, discussing topics ranging from concussions to mental health to increased collaboration, and all I can is, bravo and let’s hope this cooperation continues well into the season and for years to come.

7. So … are Arizona State football players supposed to call Herm Edwards coach or professor?

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8. Here’s a fun one: Dive deep into CBS Sports’ college football page and you’ll find that their writers did a draft of board games; no doubt you’ll agree with some and disagree with others, but one question must be asked: Is Uno really a board game (I say no)?

9. SB Nation’s Bill Connelly each summer blows our minds by previewing 130 college football teams, and he’s already underway for the 2019 season, so jump into the uniqueness (I refuse to say weirdness) of Washington State coach Mike Leach.

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10. Lastly, here’s a cool one to end with to get some conversation going: The Birmingham News asks who is the greatest college football coach to never win a national championship.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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