Episode 47: Central Arkansas AD Brad Teague Talks Scheduling Football During COVID

In the latest episode of our twice-a-week podcast, we brought on two guests. First, we welcomed Central Arkansas athletic director Brad Teague – Teague has had an extremely busy fall, putting together a 10-game schedule for the Bears, with just 14 FCS teams playing. The unique season opened up opportunities for games with 3 FBS opponents, and a road trip to FCS powerhouse North Dakota State. Teague joined our show to discuss these challenges.

We also welcomed former Navy football linebacker Tyler Goble, who joined as our guest picker of the week, celebrating the start of the Commander-in-Chief Trophy series this weekend, as the Midshipmen travel to take on Air Force. Check out a packed episode, as we break things down with our two guests and offer up a preview of this week’s action!

Lapoint: Navy Debacle Unveiled New Safety Concern

It feels so good to have college football games to look forward to again. College football Saturdays feel like Christmas day for me, except once a week for five months straight instead of once a year. In week one, I had one of those Christmas day like games circled on my calendar: BYU visiting Navy. To say I was excited about this game would be a vast understatement. Hell, I got excited for Austin Peay to play Central Arkansas in week zero, so you can only imagine how excited I was for a week one matchup featuring two historically excellent college football programs. After all the country has been through with the Coronavirus and not having college sports since early march, we had earned a great labor day primetime college football game on opening weekend. Come to find out 5 minutes into the broadcast before kickoff, the Naval Academy hadn’t gone live since last January’s bowl win over Kansas State.

For those who listen to the College Kids Talking College Sports Podcast, you know I was all in on Navy when picking this game. The Midshipmen had been practicing for a while and are on one of the safest campuses in the country when it comes to the Coronavirus. I thought they would play Navy football and squeeze out a great opening victory, running the triple option to perfection. Oh, how wrong I was. BYU forced Navy to go 3-and-out on their first drive, giving up three yards to the Midshipmen and forcing a punt. The Cougars proceeded to go 74 yards in 7 plays taking a whopping 2:49 seconds to go up on the Midshipmen 7-0, and the rest of the game followed suit. 

Final score: BYU 55, Navy 3. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love the Naval Academy, and I have great pride in the Midshipmen, but words can hardly describe how disappointing I found the performance they turned in on Monday night. Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo decided going into preseason he would limit player interaction as much as possible. This included zoom position meetings, no live tackling or scrimmaging, and many other safety precautions to protect against the Coronavirus spread. I absolutely love that coach Niumatalolo is looking out for his players’ health and well-being, but if you aren’t going to give your players the best chance to compete on the field and win games, you should have opted out of the season.

I respect all people taking precautions to keep their players safe and away from the virus, but you can’t let your players go against grown men in a Division One football game underprepared. Thankfully none of the Midshipmen got hurt, but that was a severe concern of mine going into this game. Players who go into games underprepared get hurt. This team is not fit to continue to play college football at the rate they are going, and I think they need to change their mindset on practice or opt-out of the rest of the college football season to look out for their players’ best interest. These players and coaches are some of the best and the brightest in college football, and I have nothing but respect for each and every Midshipman, but I can’t go through a season of watching an underprepared Navy football team get waxed, hoping someone doesn’t get hurt.

Daily Headlines: Bowling Green Baseball Saved By Alumni Donations

Many universities across the country have been facing financial hardships in their athletic department, with the lack of a spring sports season, and potential cancellation or delay of the fall sports season, threatening budgets and forcing college to make tough decisions. One such tough decision came from Bowling Green, who had announced that they, in response to a 2-million dollar shortfall in their budget, would be cutting the baseball program, whcih, by their estimates cost $750,000 a year to run. However, the Falcons were saved by an impressive donation campaign by their alumni and fanbase, which committed about 1.5 million dollars over the next three years, giving Bowling Green a temporary respite to their crisis. The Bowling Green athletic department officially reinstated the baseball team, and they’ve said they are currently pursuing potential long-term funding solutions, working with a select group of baseball alumni. The Falcons last made the NCAA Tournament in 2013, as they’ve struggled in their past few years in the MEAC. 

ND-Navy Dublin game moved to Annapolis

For the first time in the lengthy history of the Notre Dame vs. Navy football rivalry, their annual clash on the gridiron will take place at Navy’s home stadium. Although the game has been played in Maryland on several occasions, it has always taken place at various naval bases. The 2020 match-up was originally scheduled to be their second ever meeting in Dublin, but the COVID-19 concerns caused those plans to be scratched. Long assumed to be moving stateside, it was announced on Tuesday that the Irish and Midshipmen will play in Annapolis for the first time ever. This makes the most sense as programs, and the NCAA as a whole, scramble to try and set up a feasible way for the season to proceed as scheduled. 

Mountain West cuts several postseason tournaments

As part of an 18% reduction in their operating budget, the Mountain West Conference announced that they would be eliminating the postseason tournaments for baseball, men’s and women’s tennis, and women’s soccer, meaning that the regular season champions for those sports will represent the school in the NCAA Tournament. Swimming, Diving, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, and Golf were among the other postseason tournaments modified or shortened. Other cost-cutting methods included shortening baseball and softball series to two days, with a doubleheader, while the volleyball conference slate was reduced by two games.