1. What It All Means: Week 8
Are you ready for the truly weird?
The 2020 college football season is half over.
The Big Ten and Mountain West just started, and the Pac-12 and MAC are on their way, so it feels like we’re getting this rolling, but yeah, timing-wise, we’re past the halfway mark.
Colleges are on fire with coronavirus cases, things nationally are getting worse, and even though teams are still fighting through issues big and small, the season has pushed through with no sign of stopping.
Take a moment and be amazed that we got here – for good and bad – considering that in mid-August it seemed like there was no shot of any of this happening, especially in the Big Ten and Pac-12.
Consider the cocktail of the miraculous, reckless, responsible, and totally insane that had to be shaken up to have something even remotely resembling a football season.
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There’s no bubble. There’s no isolation. There are players who are living, learning and breathing around and among their fellow classmates, and the games are going on with – as far as we can tell – as well-tested and as safe a gathering of people found anywhere. At least, that goes for on the field. The stands in some places are a whole other thing.
With that said, don’t think this all can’t flip on a dime.
If you want a second half of the college football season, we have to hope that everyone involved is even more careful than they were in the first half, especially right now.
We’re at the halfway point and conferences and teams are ramping up, not shutting down. Programs aren’t ditching college football even as many colleges are all but closing school as any college student would normally know it. And the truly strange part? It’s all seemingly … normal?
Oh, okay, (insert two random schools here) won’t be playing this week because one team had a flare-up of cases? What time does Alabama play on Saturday?
It’s possible that Wisconsin’s new superstar quarterback might be positive after a weekend test? That’s awful – who’s the backup for the Nebraska game?
Think about where this all was back in the middle of the summer. If you were told that Florida vs. LSU would have to be postponed, and over 30 games had to be all but cancelled, and NICK FREAKING SABAN would get this, you’d have assumed we’d be taking a year off while preparing for 2021.
Nope. They’re still playing college football.
As long as the players are tested and medically supervised, is college football a desperately needed distraction and rallying point? Just how safe are the players? How icky is it to be cheering for a team playing a sport when there’s so much pain and destruction happening as we speak?
There will be more big games, there will be a Heisman winner, there will be bowl games, there will be a College Football Playoff …
We got through half of the season. Don’t take for granted just how massive an effort it’ll require during the next few months to get through the other half safely and responsibly.