Though we’re still several weeks from the late-August kickoff of the 2020 college football season, the outlook for a clean start is growing bleaker by the day.
If the season is destined to be postponed until the spring of 2021, or canceled outright, Wednesday, July 8 will go down as the date dark omens started to converge.
*The Ivy League canceled all autumn sports, including college football, because of concerns about the corona virus. That doesn’t automatically mean anything for all the major conferences. The Ivy League largely plays in a bubble anyway. But it’s an early warning sign from the “the smartest” academic institutions (which also happened during college basketball conference tournaments this past March). Potentially the first recognition of reality.
*Early in the day, North Carolina announced that 37 student-athletes, coaches, and staff had tested positive for the virus at “voluntary” summer workouts. That program joined a list of many others that had to stop activities because of contagion.
*Later, Ohio State…that’s THE Ohio State University, the “national power of the Midwest” also halted workouts after receiving test results. The program wouldn’t provide many details, citing the privacy of those involved. Observers are left to assume a fairly significant outbreak because football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey and women’s volleyball were all shut down.
*As national and state case and fatality counts were tabulated, it was clear that the U.S.…particularly football country…was still “on fire” compared to the rest of the world. It took a couple of days for post-July 4 bureaucratic issues to clear the data.
Almost 62,000 new cases were reported to worldometers.com. A total of 890 died.
Last week, we ran case numbers for states in major football conferences. Let’s do that again for Wednesday.
SEC states: Texas 10,199, Florida 9,989, Georgia 3,420, Tennessee 2,427, Louisiana 1,888, South Carolina 1,557, Alabama 1,177, Missouri 755, Arkansas 734, Mississippi 674.
Big 12 states: 10,199, Kansas 678, Oklahoma 673, Iowa 578, West Virginia 202.
Big Ten states: Ohio 1,250, Illinois 980, Pennsylvania 931, Michigan 651, Wisconsin 598, Iowa 578, Maryland 465, Minnesota 456, Indiana 437, New Jersey 247, Nebraska 224.
Pac-12 states: California 8,561, Arizona 3,520, Utah 722, Washington 634, Colorado 452, Oregon 212.
Other related news Wednesday…
*On night one of the “MLS is Back” tournament, Orlando City scored in the seventh minute of stoppage time to snag a 2-1 upset victory over Miami. Tough loss for those betting the draw or Under 2.5 total goals.
There are two games on the Thursday schedule. The first is an early-starter. Starting times are ET.
NYCFC vs. Philadelphia (9 a.m., ESPN)
: New York plus 116, Philadelphia plus 209, draw plus 279
: New York -0.25 goals (-114), Philadelphia plus 0.25 goals (-108)
: 3 goals (Over -120, Under -101)
New England vs. Montreal (8 p.m., Univision)
: New England plus 106, Montreal plus 236, draw plus 274
: New England -0.25 goals (-127), Montreal plus 0.25 goals (plus 103)
: 2.75 goals (Over -122, Under plus 100)
(Whenever you see quarter goals offered, that means half the stake goes in at pick-em, the other half at minus or plus half a goal. For the Over/Under in New England/Montreal, half the stake would go in at 2.5 goals, the other half at three goals).
*WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne is following league protocol to see if she’ll be medically excused for the upcoming season restart. Delle Donne contracted Lyme Disease in 2008, and would be vulnerable to serious complications if infected with covid. Teammate Tina Charles has also petitioned an independent medical panel for an excused absence. Their Mystics teammates Natasha Cloud and LaToya Sanders have already opted out.
*A quick follow-up from last night regarding covid fatality trends. Thursday’s total of 890 has reversed a recent decline. The last seven days have seen more deaths than the prior seven.
Fatalities Last 7 Days: 4,069
Fatalities Prior 7 days: 3,890
More Stories of Interest
*Pat Forde says trouble is just beginning for college athletics (Sports Illustrated)
*Should MLS return? (The Athletic)
*Phillies Scott Kingery describes his virus battle (NBC Sports)
*Mississippi coast casinos forced to make layoffs permanent (Biloxi Sun Herald)
VSiN Clips/Tweets on Betting Restarts
*Pauly Howard and Matt Youmans prepare bettors for “sloppy, sluggish basketball” when the NBA restarts (Follow the Money)
*Drew Dinsick and Gill Alexander discuss potential NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year winners (A Numbers Game)
*Brad Botkin and Michael Lombardi ask if anyone can challenge the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA’s Eastern Conference (Lombardi Line)