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It may be a bit early, but we can get some discussion going.

Will we get a season? If so, what will it look like? Will it be played in front of fans? Like everything else in these crazy times, no one really knows with certainty.

The only thing I know is that the enormous money that it raises subsidizes the non-revenue sports and the overall universities, so every effort will be made to play football.  The SEC will play ball regardless of the other schools.

 

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They'll play I'm sure. Can't see there being full stadia though, which will be weird.  There is too much TV money not to play.  Interesting thing will be what the schools do with ticket revenue and seat licences (I mean contributions to the athletic fund required to purchase season tickets).  I've heard that some are simply not refunding and treating both the ticket price and contribution as a gift to the school in the event there are no fans allowed at games.  Cue the class action. 

I agree there will probably be games, but the questions are plenty.  When will they start?  How will they try to ensure equality between schools or will they even care?  What if one school has a player test positive - will they play, not play, forfeit?  How will fans be handled?  If they allow a percentage of capacity will they screen at the gates?  How will they choose who can attend?  Too many more to list but it will certainly be interesting. 

As a 20+ year season ticket holder, life-long fan and alum I'd love to go watch my Horns but to be honest, even if they do play I'm not sure how comfortable I am without some pretty sizable crowd limitations and then, what happens to the other half of the fun - tailgating, camaraderie, etc. 

First world problems to be sure so not too concerned at this point, but it does cross my mind.

Here is a big question which could affect the future of the sport. The NCAA has hidden behind the "student/athlete" mantra forever. The pro leagues and tours such as the PGA and NASCAR will operate in a bubble, fans or not. College purport to the notion that the athletes, particularly football and basketball, are just normal students. If so, can they be separated from the campus at large? If so, then are they then classified as the pro athletes that they real are, whether they are being paid under the table? We will see. 

The PAC-12 also cancelled all non-conference games while the SEC and ACC are expected to make a decision by the end of July.  Supposedly if the ACC goes to conference only they would somehow include Notre Dame (not sure how that all works out).  Lesser conferences are really hurting bad now, with the MAC losing lots of games against big-time opponents that pay the bills (i.e. tOSU vs Bowling Green).  Also SWAC has cancelled the football season.

Weekend Summary

We did have some games this weekend in what would have normally been the first weekend of a full slate. Teams with dominating wins include Marshall, Army and North Texas. Other winners include UAB, S Alabama, SMU, Memphis and UTEP. Two games were postponed.

The key thing to watch is the number of positive cases from any of the teams that played. The most that I heard about recently was in Knoxville where they reported 7-8 positive cases and practiced with 30 plus less players. Obviously, it felt terribly odd on a day where the NBA and NHL continued their playoffs as well as the Kentucky Derby was run (impressive victory for Authentic over Tiz The Law). The ACC is scheduled to play next weekend while the SEC waits until September 26. Who knows what the Big 10 (a PR nightmare and I am being kind) and the Pac 12 will do. All a sign of the times in this crazy year.

 

Weekend Summary

Doing this out of habit even in this surreal year. Early tee time (do not agree to that often) so hence the early post.

Even in a limited schedule it felt good to have a slate of games from familiar teams. The ACC is front and center this week, but nothing happened that was out of the ordinary. Clemson is still Clemson, an embarrassment of riches, but Wake played them reasonably well. Mack Brown's young and talented Tar Heels got 21 in the 4th to dispatch Syracuse. Miami beat UAB, and no one knew they were social distancing because that looked like a normal crowd. FSU has a new coach, but they looked the same despite blocking three FGs (one an extra point). The mistake prone Noles lost their 4th straight opener to a 3-9 Ga Tech at home 16-13. And yes, Notre Dame played the 1st conference game in their history downing Duke 27-13. It was an average performance by the Irish but historic nonetheless.

You have conference rivalries as to who is the best like SEC/ACC or Big 10/Pac 12, but Big 12 vs the Sun Belt. The Sun Belt was 3-0 against the Big 12 all by visiting teams. Louisiana, formerly USL, went into Ames and made Iowa St pretty much concede in the final minutes crunching them 31-14. Coach Billy Napier has Saban and Dabo pedigree (I saw his team live last year and they are well coached), and will be the hottest coach available. Arkansas St edged Kansas St in the Little Apple. And finally, my hometown Chants, Coastal Carolina dominated Kansas 38-23. Les Miles may head back into retirement as CCU has now beaten the Jayhawks twice. While Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia won easily, the Big 12 is not a good conference.

Of course, the future of the season is week to week, and I am praying that the SEC can open on Sept 26. And yes, we will see what the Big 10 does now.

Ok, it works on my desktop at the office so we may have to do Monday morning posts.

Nothing of note as the big thing is that the games continue. The SEC begins its ten game conference only slate which is what most of you would like to see. The thinking is that if there are other losses then the other conferences make the playoffs. As playoff history has shown, the SEC should get two teams in every year as only Clemson and Ohio State (think I'm correct here) have won playoff games outside of the SEC. Rankings are totally meaningless at this point.

Weekend Summary

I checked twice so I am in the right forum. Most important statement, it is great to have the SEC back. Yeah, I know others outside the conference hate it, but it is what we love. This felt like a real weekend of football.

Although early season rankings are meaningless, except for Clemson and Bama, we had the rarity of two unranked teams beating top 10 teams. Arrrrr, the Pirate aka Mike Leach, debuted his "air raid" offense in Red Stick against the champs. Stanford transfer KJ Costello (who stated it does mean more in the SEC) threw for a record 623 yds as Miss ST shocked LSU 44-34. LSU only had 4 of 18 starters from last season, but this was still a surprise. Kansas St, who lost to Arkansas St, was down to OU 35-14 in the 3rd Q. The Wildcats stormed back to tie using a blocked punt (OU does not use this play much) and then tacked on a FG to stun the Sooners 38-35.

Florida had some preseason hype for the first time in 10 years and it may be real. QB Kyle Trask threw for over 400 yds and 6 TDs (Burrow did the same last year), 4 to TE Kyle Pitts who almost made himself a top 10 pick. However, love him or hate him. Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin made the Gator defense look silly, and that is the main question mark. Florida won 51-35 in Oxford to open. The other great game was in Lubbock as Texas Tech came back for a 56-41 lead late over Texas, but bungled an onside kick recovery. The Horns tied it and then won in OT 63-56 to maybe keep the Big 12 in the playoff hunt. 

Bama is still Bama handling Mizzou easily. Auburn had a tough start but beat Kentucky late. Georgia was horrible on the offense early but pulled away from Arky to extend the Hawgs SEC losing streak to 20. A&M had trouble with Vandy, so we'll see if the preseason hype is real. Tenn outlasted SC in Cola.

Finally, Miami may be a good team as they beat FSU 52-10. FSU has the worst talent in forever for them and may not be able to afford a new coach anytime soon. Mike Norvell has given them nothing to engender confidence. The Canes will know how they stack up when the they visit Upstate SC in two weeks.

Man, it's great to have a bit of normalcy in the fall.

 

Weekend Summary

It was the second weekend of the expanded schedule and we are getting a clearer picture of who is good. Next weekend will really sharpen it as some great games are on tap. As for the playoff,  it is between the SEC, ACC and Big 10 winner. Besides what has occurred this short season, this is confirmed by the six year playoff history. 

The ten game SEC schedule will be a grind in which no one emerges unscathed. Alabama dominated Texas A&M, a team thought to be on the rise. Jimbo Fisher will start feeling the heat but I will stop since the Gators play him next. Georgia has the nation's best defense, and maybe the best team, as they surprisingly beat Auburn 27-6. Florida continues to rack up points besting former coach Will Muschamp 38-24. However, the defense is not playing at a championship level as the Cocks had 30 more snaps than the Gators. Tennessee could be the surprise team in the East with an easy win over Mizzou. The Vols go to Georgia next week. LSU rebounded in Music City over Vandy and may still become a contender in the West. The Miss St fans have seen the way it goes with Mike Leach, look great one week and bad the next. The Starkville Dogs lost to Arkansas 21-14 as Sooey Pig snapped their 20 game SEC losing streak.

Clemson slept walked by Virginia but I never take average performances by them early seriously as Dabo has them peak every year. Next up is the surprising Miami Hurricanes. North Carolina won a close one against BC and is on the rise. The Heels play Va Tech next.

Finally, the Big 12 is a mess. OU lost to Iowa St at home (last time it happened was 1960) for its first two game streak since 1999. Texas lost to TCU. Ok St is the remaining unbeaten team and no one thinks that they are playoff caliber. The Arkansas St team that made Iowa St concede got blasted by my hometown Coastal Carolina. Yes, the Chants are 3-0.

 

Weekend Summary

Going to go a different way this week. The SEC used to be known for defense, big strong run stuffing DTs, DEs coming off the edge, LBs flying around and hitting people, and DB covering and making plays. Excepting Georgia, none of that exists this year. In fact, it is historically bad, inept may be a better term. The experts have opined that due to COVID there is no hitting in practice. In fact, due to targeting and other factors, defenses do not practice tackling much anymore. Whatever it is, I know things run in cycles but defense better return for teams that want to win.

If you want a record setting day for your offense, padding the stats for the NFL, play the Gators -- or LSU. These two play each other next week and there may not be enough digital lights to count the score. Florida lost to A&M 41-38 and LSU to Mizzou 45-41. Both schools have given up more points in a 3 game span at all time levels, incredible. And then Bama wins at Ole Miss 63-48.

There are two teams yapping that they are back, Tennessee and Miami. The Vols held a 21-17 lead at the half but started committing TOs and Georgia routed them 44-21. Clemson dominated the Canes from start to finish for a 42-17 win. Ga and Clemson have the rarest of commodities this season, a defense. Note that Tenn and Miami each had defensive TDs in their games.

Finally, the screw job of the day had to go to Arkansas against Auburn. First year coach Sam Pittman has done an incredible job making the Hogs competitive. Arky held a one point lead very late after Auburn had missed an easy FG. The War Eagles got the ball back and were driving at around 20 something seconds. Attempting to stop the clock, QB Bo Nix fumbled a snap and then spiked it. Nix clearly threw it backwards so it should have been a fumble. The SEC officials were beyond confused and simply called it grounding due to the fumbled snap. At worst the ball should have been placed 5-7 yards back but it was really a fumble. I think they made up a rule on the fly since their wordy explanation said something along the lines of the ball was not recovered so it was grounding. Auburn, of course, made the FG (barely and those 5 yds made a difference) allowing Gus Malzahn to stay off the hot seat another week.

As for the playoff, it is clearly Georgia, Clemson, Alabama and Ohio St. Recruiting matters. I do not see any team other than these four winning the title.

Weekend Summary

It is 2020, so of course COVID has affected the season. Three teams have played Texas A&M and all three have had COVID disruption, and the Aggies have not. Florida has a big number of cases, including now HC Dan Mullen, and will not play until Halloween. Such is the season and let us enjoy every game played.

How dare COVID strike Nick Saban, the person it knew not to infect. Saban apparently tested false positive on Wed, yeah right, but took tests probably hourly (SEC requires 3 negative tests in order to return) in order to coach on Sat. The Georgia Bulldogs were the opponent, a team I thought was the best. Saban continued his unbeaten streak against former assistants as Bama shut out the Dawgs in the 2nd half for a 41-24 win. QB Mac Jones is putting up Tua numbers with his arsenal of DaVonta Smith (surely 10 yrs in T town), Jaylen Waddle and Najee Harris. The Tide has a historic run of 35 points plus. Georgia QB Stenson Bennett IV is a good story, but this test may have been too much for him at this point. There will probably be a rematch in the SEC Title Game.

Clemson decided to play, a bit earlier than usual, as they routed Ga Tech 73-7, a record margin for an ACC game. They could have scored 100. It looked hopeless for FSU a few weeks ago, but they have found something with Jordan Travis at QB. The Noles shocked a UNC team early and held on to win 31-28. Mack Brown is a great recruiter and leader, but is still an average game day coach. Notre Dame held over Louisville 12-7, at least there is some defense in CFB, but does anyone think they are a playoff team.

Auburn visited Midlands SC and lost to the Gamecocks 30-22. Will Muschamp outcoached Gus Malzahn, let that one sink in, as the Gus Bus may be on its last ride. He is 33-30 against Power 5 teams since the Kick Six in 2014.  Either he is a terrible coach or QB Bo nix is the most overrated player in CFB. Hard to believe he was a 5 star prospect. Hugh Freeze or Billy Napier may be getting calls this morning. Kentucky showed some defense in smothering Tennessee 34-7. The Air Raid offense has been solved as Texas A&M beat Miss St 34-14. The surprise team of the year is Arkansas as they moved to 2-2 besting Ole Miss. Sam Pittman may have won coach of the year already.

This is how I rank the teams that I have seen play;

Clemson, Bama, Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida.

The Big 10 hopefully starts next week. Coastal Carolina is now 4-0 beating a very good Louisiana team. Remember this name, QB Grayson McCall.

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