College Football is, at least in large part, underway. There are certainly some hangups, pitfalls, stumbling blocks, and the NCAA seems to be hitting all of them.
Yesterday, the SEC announced its COVID threshold for when or how to determine if a game should be cancelled / postponed, and it involves some cognitive dissonance to accept at face value:
SEC announces roster threshold cancellation policies for football games. pic.twitter.com/o64y4mwuSZ— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) September 18, 2020
A minimum of 53 players, with 7 offensive lineman needed, one quarterback and four defensive lineman... and hope nobody gets hurt. Looking forward to the season opener in just a week against Alabama, Missouri is already down 12 players and we don’t really know what position has been hit the hardest.
So, we count the days to the season opener against one of the strongest, most consistently good programs over the last 13 years under Nick Saban. In case you need a reminder, they’ve won five national championships under Saban and their worst season consisted of a 10-3 finish in 2010. And Missouri is doing so under a 1st year head coach and without 12 players who we don’t yet know who they are.
Maurice Massey and Chris Daniels, who’ve already decided to opt out of the season, can be added to the ‘out’ list. Massey is a redshirt freshman Wide Receiver and Daniels is a redshirt senior who played in just two games last year. So largely figured for backup roles, it’s not likely either would have played a major role this season. Still the depth hit continues.
The number of COVID-19 positive patients in Boone County hospitals continues to be a factor we closely monitor during our Coronavirus response. As the number of cases has increased in Boone and surrounding counties, so has the number of individuals hospitalized. pic.twitter.com/Cc8UzJJkzF— Columbia/Boone Co. Public Health & Human Services (@CoMo_HealthDept) September 18, 2020
And things don’t seem to be getting better in Boone County.
Meanwhile, in the games that should be happening but aren’t category:
Baylor has a few positive tests, but with contact tracing they had to eliminate too many players from participation, which caused the postponement. This isn’t the first postponement, and it won’t be the last. By limiting the games to in-conference opponents, the SEC has done what it can to ensure games will get played, and I think a lot of them will.
So to recap: North Carolina vs Charlotte, cancelled. BYU vs Army, postponed. Houston vs Baylor, postponed. Florida Atlantic vs Georgia Southern, postponed. Central Arkansas vs Arkansas State, postponed. That’s just this week.
Which takes me to the line in the first tweet today where the impacted institution can elect to still play the game... possibly without the needed players, “if it elects to do so”.
Anyway, enjoy watching some football today.