- Three SEC games for this week have been postponed due to COVID-19.
- The game between Mississippi State and Auburn was postponed on Monday due to coronavirus related issues.
- On Tuesday, the Alabama-LSU and Texas A&M-Tennessee games were postponed.
COVID-19 has made a mess out of the college football season and this week the virus epicenter looks to be in the SEC. For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past few months the United States is in the midst of a brutal resurgence of the coronavirus. The free market is on the verge of fixing this mess as it always does but until then things are going to get worse before they get better.
College football and sports in general might seem trivial in this context but it’s our job to do it. The world would be a much better place if people would just show up and do their job. COVID-19 has caused issues throughout sports and college football has taken a beating over the past few weeks. This has reached the highest level of the sport and gifted Notre Dame a win over Clemson with the Tigers’starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence sidelined due to COVID-19.
The SEC has had isolated struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic this season but nothing like what they’re experiencing now. Despite the initial optimism of several coaches the positive COVID-19 tests reported earlier this week have now forced the postponement of three games for this weekend. Mississippi State’s game against Auburn was the first to be postponed after multiple positive tests. At the time, the issue was exclusively on the Mississippi State side of the ledger but since then nine players and three staff members at Auburn have tested positive. Before this, the Tigers hadn’t had a positive test since September 12. As a result, Auburn has paused football activities at the school.
The situation became worse for the SEC on Tuesday when two games were postponed including one of the marquee matchups of the season. That would be the Alabama-LSU game which has been postponed along with the Texas A&M-Tennessee game. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released this comment in a statement:
“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. 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.”
It doesn’t look like there are any issues at Alabama but LSU had fallen below the 53 scholarship player threshold necessary to play. LSU athletic director Scott Woodward released this statement:
“We are disappointed there will be no football in Tiger Stadium this weekend but we will always prioritize the health and wellness of our student-athletes. We will continue to follow the league’s protocols in order to safely and responsibly return to play.”
There are some problems with the postponement in that neither LSU or Alabama has a suitable open date to reschedule. The LSU-Florida game was postponed to December 12 so that won’t work. The following week is the SEC Championship game. There has been speculation that the LSU-Florida game could end up being postponed for ‘competitive balance’ reasons.
Overall, there have been 52 FBS games cancelled or postponed. In addition to the SEC games the Friday Utah-UCLA game has been cancelled. On Saturday, Memphis-Navy and UL Monroe-Arkansas State have been postponed while Air Force-Wyoming has been cancelled.