For a while there, it looked like we were not going to be having any NCAA football games at all this year due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, as testament to the popularity of college football in America, the public outcries when cancelations were announced were too much to ignore and college football is underway, mostly.
There are still a few hiccups, including a new one in the Big Ten, but things could still be moving forward, and sports gamblers still have plenty of options.
NCAA Football Drives Forward
The COVID-19 pandemic has made a mess of college football for the time being. Considering all the cancelations and postponements that have already been announced, a dedicated fan would have to have a large wall chart on display just to keep up with the changes, and there would still be no guarantee that the scheduled game actually comes on TV at the scheduled time.
One of the most visible programs to encounter problems with COVID-19 is the Florida Gators down in Gainesville who were forced to postpone their big game with the defending champion LSU Tigers at home when infection rates from the virus were so high that it was deemed unsafe to hold the highly anticipated event. Gator head coach Dan Mullin and his wife both tested positive for the virus.
But now the football facilities down in Gainesville have been cleared to open and the Gators will be hosting a pretty good Missouri team late on Saturday afternoon. The Florida Gators are somehow still ranked number 10 in the AP poll even though they have not practiced together in over two weeks and are favored over the Tigers of Missouri by a whopping 13 points.
Betting the spread on this game is anybody’s guess, but that 61.5 over and under is going to draw bettors to the over considering that neither team has a very good defense, and they both have demonstrated sound offensive play. Look for both teams to score in the 30s, thus the over is the wager of choice here.
LSU Continues Leaving Its Mark Without Burrow
In one of the very few non-COVID-19-related bits of news to come out of the SEC, LSU fans, and perhaps even the coaches, were pleasantly surprised last week when true freshman quarterback TJ Finley, from Ponchatoula, Louisiana stepped in for an injured Miles Brennan and put on a show that left most Tiger fans giddy and hopeful that this was not just a fluke performance and that LSU was finally going to get a first class, home grown quarterback after so many years waiting for one.
Finely put up 265 yards passing plus an additional 24 rushing against South Carolina. He threw for two touchdowns and had one unfortunate pick. Exceeds expectations doesn’t quite cover it. Finley and the Tigers scored 52 points in beating South Carolina.
There are a whole bunch of college football programs in the USA. There are quite a few conferences, some practically unknown until the Pandemic brought them briefly into the national spotlight. Suffice it to say that this virus is everywhere, and it is spreading.
There’s Still A Long Way To Go
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has issued several stern warnings and some fines to SEC coaches and side lines personnel on the issue of wearing masks and social distancing on the side lines during the game. The SEC remains one the major conferences in which most all of their teams are participating in football activities this fall.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us and any of these planned NCAA activities could be canceled at any time should the infection rate begin to rise again. Such is the case with the Big Ten game between Wisconsin and Nebraska that was scheduled for this Saturday. There have been 12 positive cases in Wisconsin’s team, including a positive test by head coach Paul Chryst, and the game is off the books.