Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Grey Papke | Last updated 12/11/20
One of college football’s most venerable traditions is poised to look much different in 2021 — and it might not even happen where it’s supposed to.
According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, NCAA officials are putting together contingency plans to potentially play the annual Rose Bowl game outside of Pasadena. AT&T Stadium in Dallas has been viewed as a potential alternative site.
The same thinking is in place surrounding the scheduled College Football Playoff semifinal in Pasadena, which could move to a different city in an effort to allow the Rose Bowl to stage a more traditional game.
The main point of concern is COVID-19 cases in Southern California. The state’s stay-at-home order is expected to last through Christmas, and three other bowl games scheduled to be played in California have been canceled. The Rose Bowl has asked for a special exception to allow families of players to attend the game, but thus far, they have been denied.
The Navy Midshipmen just can’t get back on the football field.
On Wednesday, the South Florida Bulls confirmed that they won’t be able to play Navy this coming Saturday, as scheduled, because of positive COVID-19 tests and subsequent quarantines.
It’s the third straight week the Midshipmen will be sidelined. Navy previously had games versus the Memphis Tigers and Tulsa Golden Hurricane scrapped due to a virus outbreak within the Naval Academy.
Navy hasn’t played since a loss to the SMU Mustangs on Halloween.
“We are disappointed that we will be unable to play Navy this week,” USF vice president of athletics Michael Kelly said in a prepared statement. “Our student-athletes are continuing to work hard with energy and enthusiasm, and look forward to the opportunity to compete and get better each week. However, all our decisions start with the health and safety of our student-athletes as our first priority and we reached a point this week where the decision was clear that it was in their best interest to postpone this week’s game.”
Two more Southeastern Conference games scheduled for Saturday are off due to COVID-19.
The SEC announced on Tuesday the postponements of the Alabama Crimson Tide-LSU Tigers and Texas A&M Aggies-Tennessee Volunteers games because of coronavirus issues within the Tigers and Aggies.
“While it is unfortunate to have multiple postponements in the same week, we began the season with the understanding interruptions to the schedule were possible and we have remained focused throughout the season on the health of everyone around our programs,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in the prepared statement. “We must remain vigilant, within our programs and in our communities, to prevent the spread of the virus and to manage activities that contribute to these interruptions.”
On Monday, the game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Auburn Tigers was postponed. Both programs are currently dealing with virus outbreaks.
The Auburn at Mississippi State and Texas A&M at Tennessee games are tentatively rescheduled for Dec. 12. Alabama at LSU could be shifted to Dec. 19, as LSU is currently scheduled to face the Florida Gators on Dec. 12. However, the SEC title game is on Dec. 19 and likely won’t be pushed back a week.
Alabama is No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll for the first time this season. With its top ranking, the Crimson Tide extend their record of consecutive seasons with at least one week on top of the rankings to 13.
Nick Saban’s squad takes over the top spot after Notre Dame upset Clemson on Saturday in a double-overtime game. The Irish take over the No. 2 spot while Ohio State remained at No. 3. Clemson landed at No. 4, giving up the top spot for the first time this season.
The Crimson Tide received 59 of 62 first-place votes. Notre Dame received two first-place votes, and its No. 2 ranking is its highest since 2012.
Texas A&M also moved up in the rankings to No. 5 after defeating South Carolina 48-3 on Saturday while the Florida Gators jumped to No. 6 after defeating Georgia to snap a three-game losing streak to the Bulldogs.
It’s a pretty big week in the college football world with plenty of storylines. The Mid-American Conference has kicked off play, and the Pac-12 will do so this weekend. COVID-19 has claimed the Purdue-Wisconsin matchup and will keep Clemson star Trevor Lawrence from facing Notre Dame.
Without further ado, here are our previews and predictions (point spreads courtesy of BetOnline.ag) for this weekend’s games featuring teams in The Associated Press Top 25 and other intriguing matchups.
All times Eastern.
No. 11 Miami, Fla. (5-1) at North Carolina State (4-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Miami enters the weekend third in the ACC and looking for a third consecutive victory. The Hurricanes should be lauded for a defense that has held four teams to 19 or fewer points this season, including each of the last two contests. N.C. State’s three-game winning streak ended with a 48-21 loss to rival North Carolina two weeks ago, so it’s had time to prepare for a bounce back.
Prediction: Miami (-10 1/2)
No. 9 BYU (7-0) at No. 21 Boise State (2-0), Friday, 9:45 p.m., FS1
Folks in and around the BYU community believe this is one of the biggest games in program history. The Cougars sport their highest national ranking since 2009 while trying to go undefeated for the first time since that special 1984 group. BYU snapped a three-game losing streak to Boise State with last season’s 28-25 win at home. The Broncos, who are at home for this contest, have totaled 91 points through its first two games.
The Hoosiers have become the talk of the Big Ten and perhaps parts of the nation. Looking to go 3-0 for the second time in three seasons, Indiana has totaled 73 points in its wins over Penn State and Rutgers, but the defense can be a little tighter. The Wolverines, meanwhile, will try to bounce back from that frustrating home defeat to rival Michigan State and extend their winning streak over Indiana to a whopping 25 games. Is this the year the Hoosiers finally end that misery?
Prediction: Indiana (+3)
No. 18 SMU (6-1) at Temple (1-3), Saturday, Noon, ESPN+
SMU ranks among the national leaders averaging 39.6 points per game. That’s the good news. The bad news: The Mustangs have allowed 113 over their last three contests. So far, SMU has been able to outscore enough teams to be successful. Temple, which aims to avoid a third straight defeat, has allowed an average of 36.8 points, which should have the Mustangs feeling good about this contest.
Another week filled with more postponements due to COVID-19, including two games in the SEC. Plus, one of the nation’s top coaches has contracted the virus. This all adds to the intrigue for this weekend’s action.
Here are our previews and predictions (spreads courtesy of BetOnline.ag) of those games for Friday and Saturday featuring teams from The Associated Press Top 25 and other interesting matchups around the country. All times Eastern.
The Mustangs have had a couple of weeks off after beating then-No. 25 Memphis to stay undefeated. Behind quarterback Shane Buechele (1,326 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, two interceptions, SMU has scored at least 30 points in every 2020 contest. This will be just the second home game for Tulane, which allowed 49 points in an 18-point loss to Houston last weekend.
BYU is making the most of its condensed schedule and doing it with success on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Zach Wilson is a remarkable 82 of 101 throwing the football, with eight touchdowns and a single interception. Defensively, the Cougars have yielded 44 points on the season. Houston, meanwhile, finally started its season with a 49-31 win over Tulane last weekend. However, Houston is dealing with a number of players potentially out for this contest, although those absences don’t appear to be COVID-19 related. Prediction: BYU (-5)
Arguably the biggest name in college football, if not in all of collegiate athletics, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, who has guided teams to national titles on six occasions, confirmed on Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19. Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne also tested positive.
“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19. I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis.”
No. 2 Alabama (3-0) is preparing to host the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) on Saturday evening in what is, to date, the most anticipated game of the college football campaign. Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will lead in-person practice sessions as Saban works from home.
“Today, I received notice that my COVID-19 test from this morning came back positive. Upon hearing the news, I immediately entered self-isolation and will remain at home and follow all guidelines. We’ve been diligent about mask wearing and social distancing from the start and want to continue to encourage you all to take the necessary precautions to help stop the spread of this virus for yourself and those around you.”
According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, the Big Ten is expected to announce on Wednesday a return to college football in October. Dan Wetzel adds that games will be played on campus without fans and that the title game will take place on Dec. 19.
The news comes after the conference decided to postpone all fall sports seasons on Aug. 11 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Big Ten presidents and chancellors voted 11-3 to postpone, with Nebraska, Ohio State and Iowa voting to proceed with a normal season.
All of Big Ten’s presidents and chancellors met for hours on Sunday afternoon with members of the return to competition task force, which plans scheduling and television. The medical subcommittee also reviewed the latest medical information about a safe return to play amid the pandemic.
Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Vincent Frank | Last updated 9/4/20
There’s seemingly some good news on the college football front with three of the Power Five conferences slated to start their seasons later this month.
A recent update includes the fact that the Pac-12 has come to an agreement with the medical community for rapid COVID-19 testing and results. That’s a game changer for the sport and the entire United States during this age of the pandemic.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is now adding more fodder to the belief that his conference will soon get on the field.
When the Pac-12 decided to cancel its fall college football season last month, there was no word on whether the season would be played at all. Meanwhile, the Big Ten has pointed to Thanksgiving weekend as a potential start time for its season.
With the SEC, ACC and Big 12 all slated to start their conference-only seasons later this month, there’s some major logistical concerns.
That news was included in a brief and two sworn affidavits related to a lawsuit filed by eight Nebraska players who are looking to get the season reinstated. Earlier this month, league commissioner Kevin Warren declared in a letter the decision to postpone “will not be revisited.”
Auerbach added that at least 60 percent of Big Ten presidents and chancellors were required to vote to postpone for that call to be made.
Players and parents have written letters, voiced anger over the decision to delay the campaign via social media and protested outside of Big Ten headquarters. While bodies such as the Pac-12, MAC, Mountain West and Ivy League also canceled fall schedules due to the uncontrolled virus outbreak, the ACC, SEC and Big 12 intend to begin altered football seasons in September.
Per The Athletic, a study conducted by Ohio State director of sports cardiology Dr. Curt Daniels found that roughly 15% of student-athletes who tested positive for COVID-19 experienced cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that can cause sudden cardiac arrest. It’s believed the findings of that study led to the Big Ten and Pac-12 postponing.
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