The Coronavirus has had a major impact on colleges and their athletic departments. It completely canceled March Madness and the NCAA Tournaments for Men and Women. Now it’s threatening the college football 2020 season. Spring practices and workouts were completely canceled making it especially difficult on team preparations. With that in mind, I wanted to make a list of the teams/coaches that I think are most affected by this unexpected time off.
Let’s get one thing straight here. Clay Helton should’ve already been fired, but here we are. His seat may be the hottest in all of college football and this break from sports will effect him and the Trojans in many ways. For starters, it’s now very unlikely USC will play Alabama in this years big opener. That’s gotta be a relief for Clay because his team can’t even practice in LA for another several months. Maybe he’ll be able to save himself the embarrassment of losing 63-0 and getting fired after week 1. The flip side to this is that the Trojans will be left wildly under prepared for any form of football season this year. Either way this looks like the end of the road for Clay Helton.
Ole Miss & Mississippi State
We need the Egg Bowl. Bottom line. If this season doesn’t happen that will be the thing I’m most sad about missing out on. Mike Leach vs. Lane Kiffin in an already heated rivalry due to a questionable touchdown celebration has to happen. On top of the Egg Bowl, these two teams need this season. The fan bases in the state of Mississippi are eager to have something to cheer about and a future to get excited over. The world has been waiting for Lane Kiffin to come back into the national spotlight. This unexpected break has put a lot of pressure on new coaches and it will be interesting to see how these teams come out and compete with such a short amount of time to learn new systems. The state of Mississippi could be in for another rough year of football.
This is a huge year for the University of Florida and their head coach Dan Mullen. Mullen is entering his 3rd year with Florida, a program he has drastically turned around from the McElwain era. By no means is his job on the line, but the pressure to win a title is building and this seems to be his best shot. The team is stacked with talent and is arguably the deepest team in the SEC. The absence of Spring and Summer Football practices and workouts could really set the Gators back. I’m sure Mullen can’t wait to get back out and prepare his team for what hopes to be a huge season for the Gators.
Having Spring practices canceled is bad news for every football team in America. Having spring practices canceled while bringing a new QB up to speed has to be worse though. With the departure of Justin Herbert to the draft, Oregon is faced with a QB dilemma. The front runner to win the next starting job is Tyler Shough, but that’s only half the battle. Whoever actually takes over will be missing out on key practice time which will undoubtedly affect chemistry with the receivers and general knowledge of the playbook. It will be interesting to see how Oregon will compete early on with this type of disadvantage.
Sitting in the exact same boat as Oregon is LSU. Joe Burrow is gone and the Championship is in the past. Well, the past as in 2019. The question for the Tigers and Ed Orgeron is can you do it again but this time with a new offensive coordinator and a new QB. Given the state of the college football world, my guess now would be no. Winning once is hard in college football, repeating can be nearly impossible. This break certainly won’t help LSU’s odds at another National Championship.
Good news for most colleges came not too long ago with the NCAA announcing a lift of the temporary ban on voluntary activities for college football coming June 1st. That’s definitely a step in the direction towards playing a full 2020 season. Only time will tell what happens after this.