Some teams are nearing the mid-point of their season, while others will play for the first time in 2020 this weekend. Yes, Big Ten Football is back Saturday, and I guess we should care?
Having had a chance to sit back and watch the successes (and failures) of their fellow Power Five mates, the Big Ten probably has lots of ideas of how things can, and will go. But as we have seen week in and week out, in 2020 — nothing is as it seems.
And that was as true as ever in a crazy week that saw Nick Saban beat a virus — or at least a test — a punter play quarterback, and a program cancel a homecoming game but host homecoming festivities.
Let’s go Beyond the Fort.
Did anyone think that Nick Saban wouldn’t find a way to be on the sideline for Bama-Georgia, a top five SEC matchup in primetime?
After it was announced early last week that the head coach of the Crimson Tide had tested positive for COVID-19, football fans across the country postited ways that the sport’s highest-paid coach would find his way to the sideline for what was deemed a likely preview of the conference championship game in December.
Well, after one positive test, three more came back negative — as did a couple hundred from amongst the program, according to 247 Sports:
Rinaldi revealed that Saban had five tests that were sent to two different labs. He later confirmed what Saban said on College GameDay — Alabama managed 240 tests for players and staffers over a two-day stretch and none of those came back positive.
With Saban free to roam the sidelines, yell at players, slap cell phones out of coaches hands, and fire up his team, the Tide rolled to a 41-24 victory over the Bulldogs. And apparently, Saban felt well enough to dance afterward — though the proof has been, uh, erased, by Bama Football twitter.
Speaking of overmatched teams, Clemson did Georgia Tech dirty Saturday, throttling the Yellowjackets to the tune of a 73-7 L.
Things got so out of hand, in fact, that Trevor Lawrence had nearly 400 yards and five touchdowns at the HALF.
That led to this:
CLEMSON JUST PUT THE PUNTER IN AT QUARTERBACK— Socially Distancing the Southland (@STSouthland) October 17, 2020
Yes, the punter went in at QB for the Tigers, and was pretty good — Will Spiers completed two of three passes for 13 yards in the win.
The 66 point victory was the largest in ACC history, and it doesn’t look like anyone else is up for the challenge of... challenging... the Tigers. They already smoked Miami 42-17, and does anyone really think Florida State or Virginia Tech can do much?
The game to watch? The Tigers travel to South Bend to take on a top 5 Notre Dame team in what could be the game of the regular season.
Well, we couldn’t end this column without talking about Baylor going and Baylor-ing all over college football this week. After the Bears were forced to cancel their scheduled matchup with Oklahoma State due to a COVID outbreak that found 42 positives among athletes and staff, the fine folks in Waco decided to go ahead and have homecoming anyway.
It did not go over well.
Chain of events:— Chris Becker (@bhris_cecker316) October 17, 2020
Baylor has COVID-19 outbreak in football team
Baylor postpones game against Oklahoma State scheduled for Oct. 17
Baylor holds homecoming celebrations on Oct. 17 inside of football stadium
Are the positive cases in the football program going to lead to an outbreak over Homecoming? Probably not. Are the optics terrible? Absolutely. But, it’s Baylor. What else do you expect?