Alabama-LSU And Tennessee-Texas A&M Games Up In The Air
While the Big 10 and Pac-12 have been dealing with COVID-19 issues, the SEC is now facing the same issue.
On Monday, it was announced that the Auburn-Mississippi State game scheduled for this Saturday has been postponed due positive test results at MSU and two other games – Alabama-LSU and Tennessee-Texas A&M – are in danger of being postponed or even canceled.
LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron said at his Monday press conference that the Tigers are having COVID issues, but did not elaborate. He said the team is still planning on hosting Alabama on Saturday but did not rule out the game might have to be postponed or canceled.
“Can’t go into detail,” Orgeron said. “It’s a very fluid situation. I can tell you that we do have players that have got COVID and we do have some players that have quarantined. I can’t tell you the numbers.”
And in College Station, Texas A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher announced that team suspended all football activities. That puts the Tennessee game in jeopardy. He added he hopes things will return to normal on Tuesday but now it is undergoing additional testing and contact tracing.
“We’re trying to prevent that,” he said. “We’re doing everything from a safety issue with our players and our staff to keep them as safe as possible.”
MSU director of athletics John Cohen released this statement regarding his team’s status: “Based on positive tests and those considered as close contacts, along with non-COVID injuries, we do not have the minimum number of scholarship student-athletes available for Saturday’s game against Auburn.
While we are disappointed that Saturday’s game has been postponed, our priority is the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and staff. We will continue to follow all established protocols and evaluate the most responsible path to return to the field.”
If Alabama-LSU cannot be played, that presents a scheduling problem for the SEC, since LSU’s scheduled game against Florida had to be put off until the week after the end of the season. That means there’s no room for the Bama game unless the league moves back the SEC Championship game.
It could also create this interesting scenario: with both Alabama and Auburn suddenly thrust into open weeks, would the Iron Bowl be played this weekend?
And that’s not all the SEC COVID news of the day. Arkansas announced Head Coach Sam Pittman tested positive. He is not symptomatic and was re-tested Monday. As a precaution, he is in self isolation.