Like It Is:

Robust football slate nears

By: Wally Hall
Published: Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Let’s review while less than three weeks away from an almost full card of college football.

There won’t be a full football feast this fall because some schools and conferences chose to delay or cancel their seasons.

And even Maryland — a member of the Big Ten, which in August postponed fall sports — had to suspend all athletic training last week after 46 athletes tested positive across 10 different sports.

At least the school let the public know.

Just in the Power 3, there are 21 schools that will not reveal how many athletes catch the virus.

Tennessee had to cancel a scheduled football scrimmage when 44 players were sidelined, mostly because of positive covid-19 tests or contact tracing.

Arizona is expected to resume fall practices this week after 11 of 13 re-tests returned false positives.

SMU and TCU postponed their football game Saturday.

The Big 12 announced its official policy that a team must have 53 healthy players to compete, including walk-ons.

All of that is concerning, but it is not slowing preparation for SEC openers on Sept. 26.


The University of Arkansas has had two scrimmages, in which the offense was impressive in the first and the defense in the second. The balance might be a good thing.

One thing to remember: The Razorbacks could be 10% better and still not win a game. All of their opponents are from the SEC, and none are the Vanderbilt or South Carolina variety. They need to be at least 20% better to break their two-year SEC losing streak.

The Razorbacks do seem committed to improving and are much more disciplined.


Several players around the country who think they are going to be picked in the NFL Draft next year have opted out, but as with everything else, the season is still on target for a grand weekend two weeks from this Saturday.

The worst thing on campuses has nothing to do with athletics and everything to do with social activities.

The students returned to campus, and almost immediately there have been spikes in the number of cases in college towns.

It has been reported that the University of Alabama requested all bars in Tuscaloosa to be closed for two weeks when 500 new cases in the general population were reported.

Just before the request, there were numerous pictures on social media of bars in Tuscaloosa crammed and slammed with confused students who thought social distancing was 6 inches and that masks were not allowed.

It seems the Razorbacks, like many of the larger programs, are doing their best to keep their athletes in a bubble.

For now, that is a great idea.


George Schroeder, once one of our top reporters before going to work for USA Today and later the Southern Baptist Association, recently dropped his son off for his freshman year at Baylor.

This is a young man who thinks a mixed drink is a cherry limeade.

After his first class, he was notified he had been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, and he was quarantined for two weeks. He wrote a compelling piece about the two weeks for the Baylor newspaper.

One hour of class, then 336 hours of confinement for a young man who thinks jaywalking is wrong.

Somehow, someway, colleges and universities have to get a grip on the student body.

It is not hard to understand the students are young, impulsive and think they are invincible. But they could become carriers.

As for now, a more robust fall football season is getting closer and looking more real every day despite the virus.

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