It’s probably too late to say this…but pro and college football have a MAJOR COVID-19 problem.
I’m not sure what I was expecting. I thought the pro and college seasons would have their share of missed players here and there…but game cancellations, especially in college football are out of control.
At least four SEC games have been postponed / cancelled this weekend and it’s only Wednesday (at the time of this writing). My beloved Arizona Wildcats didn’t get the chance to play Utah last weekend because the Utes had an issue. My Pac-12 North pick of Cal probably won’t happen now because they weren’t able to play a winnable game at home vs. Washington. And my projected national champion, Ohio State, just had their game against Maryland cancelled due to an outbreak amongst Terps’ players.
The NFL will find a way to get to the playoffs, play those games, and eventually play a Super Bowl. There’s just too much revenue at stake…plus testing, tracing, and contact procedures can be maximized as cost simply isn’t a factor. But college kids simply don’t have the collective wherewithal to avoid spreading this thing like wildfire on or around campuses.
What we saw after Notre Dame’s thrilling overtime victory over #1 Clemson last weekend was staggering. Thousands of fans rushed the field to celebrate, which in a normal year, would cause little to no issues. This year, it was flat out stupid.
And that brings me to my next point…why can Notre Dame have fans while Indiana and Purdue, only a stone’s throw away, cannot? The hypocrisy amongst teams, conferences, and states when it comes to COVID is mind-boggling.
Maybe I’m just bitter that my 80+ University of Arizona home game streak will come to an end on Saturday (if they even play at all…). I’ve gone back and forth on this for months but I’m taking a definitive stand after what I saw on Saturday night.
Pro and college teams should allow only authorized team personnel and player families in the stands for their games. I’ll even make an exception for mascots, bands, and cheerleaders. But that’s it! Until there’s a vaccine or virus rates get lower, enough with trying to include fans in some places but not others. It’s simply unfair.
I have no idea if we’ll see this college football season to its end at this rate. But one thing is for certain – I’m glad we’ve had something to watch, root for, and bet this fall…it’s a lot better than the alternative.
On to the picks where somehow JB is crushing against the spread and trailing badly straight up. Only in 2020…
Week 11 CFB BOLD Predictions:
EC: I have no idea why I’m making this bold prediction…but Michigan can’t lose three in-a-row, two at home to another notable rival, right? In what might be considered Jim Harbaugh’s last stand, the Wolverines take down the COVID-plagued Badgers as to avoid a 1-3 start and try to regain some momentum in the month leading up to Ohio State.
AL: Another week, another COVID outbreak, and game cancellations. What’s going on with the SEC? I believe we have 4 slated games that have already been cancelled this week, do they have any remaining? The CFP committee was pretty firm they would not be moving the dates back, however, the almighty SEC could be in real trouble with additional postponements. The SEC is the conference with the most pull by far. I believe that in the end the CFP pushes the dates back giving each conference (especially the Big 10 and Pac-12) more wiggle room and chances to pick back up the games they have already cancelled or postponed.
(And after Lester wrote this, his beloved Buckeyes’ game vs. Maryland was cancelled as well).
JB: The BC curse doesn’t hold, as Notre Dame goes into Alumni Stadum and handles Boston College, exorcising daemons from 1993 and keeping the Irish eyes for an undefeated season headed towards a rematch against Clemson alive and well.
SM: Justin Fields again has an incredible performance and becomes the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy in December. After an incredible performance vs Rutgers with six total touchdowns, Fields does even better this week and has seven total touchdowns. Get your bets in now on Fields when you have a little bit of value.
(Steve wrote this before the OSU game was cancelled…and little did he know, Fields has been the betting favorite this week. But we’ll roll this prediction over to Week 12 when OSU has a huge game vs. Indiana).
BONUS BOLD PREDICTION: MASTERS WINNER
Yes, I know we’re deviating to golf but that’s what Cohen’s Corner is all about!
EC: Jon Rahm (10-1)
AL: Jon Rahm (10-1)
SM: Rory McIlroy (12-1)
JB: Louis Oosthuizen (80-1)
(NFL picks, Best Bets, & my Pick 5 selections on the next page)