The Rocky Return of College Football


Jeff Hanisch

Sep 7, 2019; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) during the game against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

If you were to ask college football fans two months ago if they believe college football would be playing all around the country you would have received a lot of “no chance” answers.

Covid-19 numbers continued to increase or stay steady in the US during the summer months and the planning for a season only became more difficult.

Many conferences held out to wait and see what other leagues chose to do. Division II and III football programs have been cancelled with no return in sight.

Early in the fall many school decided to sit out in the fall including the Big Ten, Pac-12, Mountain West, and Mid American conferences. Although those conferences had plans to either completely cancel or compete conference only in the spring, all four reversed the decisions they had made and have participated this fall, just at a later start date then normal.

Although college football programs have done a good in mandating masks for coaches on sidelines, protocols differ a bit between gameday and just a practice day with temperature checks and increased testing among the players.

The leagues, however, have found that Covid-19 is not completely controllable. The most recent outbreak came from the Big 10 powerhouse Wisconsin with a total of 16 among the whole team. Outside the Big 10, Trevor Lawrence, the quarterback for Clemson, has tested positive having to most likely miss two games, and Nick Saban, coach for Alabama, and many others throughout college football have tested positive.

College football’s strange season, despite the many obstacles, has gone as expected. With strict guidelines they have been able to contact trace and keep the numbers down, but college football is also a great example that shows even with the strict guidelines you can not fully eliminate the chance of getting covid-19 and giving it to others in a quick amount of time.