After another week, there were more cancellations in college football due to COVID-19 outbreaks on campuses across the country. Caught up in the pandemic this week were a pair of primetime SEC contests, including No. 1 Alabama.
Defending Champions Sidelined
It has already been a long year for the LSU Tigers with a trio of losses, including a 48-11 blowout at Auburn in their most recent game. The Tigers don’t have 53 scholarship players available, and their home game against Alabama was called off this Saturday.
Alabama was favored to win by 27 points, and with their bye week on November 7, they will now go at least two weeks between games. Alabama moved into the top spot in the AP Poll for the 13th straight season after Clemson lost at Notre Dame last week. They also have the Heisman favorite in quarterback Mac Jones (+150), who will now likely play fewer games than his competitors.
There is a chance this game could be made up, but LSU already has to make up a game against Florida on December 12, so finding room in the schedule could be challenging. The only good news for Alabama is there is a chance to get players healthy before they host Kentucky on November 21.
Aggies Sidelined vs. Tennessee
The No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies are in a prime position to be a second SEC team in the playoffs with their only loss coming at Alabama, and they also beat No. 6 Florida. But the Aggies had to pause all football activities with a COVID outbreak of their own. Their game against Tennessee has been rescheduled for December 12, as long as neither team has another game postponed.
Texas A&M has won four games in a row and were favored by 12 against Tennessee. The Volunteers have lost four straight and will play at Auburn next week. However, the Tigers are also on pause this week with nine players and three coaches testing positive. Their game against 2-4 Mississippi State is among this week’s postponed games.
Service Academies Also Impacted
Two of the three service academies will be sidelined this week as well. For the second straight week, the Air Force Falcons (1-2) are shut down by COVID-19. Last week they couldn’t host Army in a Commander-in-Chief Trophy game, and this week their Mountain West contest at Wyoming (1-2) is canceled.
Meanwhile, Navy (3-4) had an outbreak of their own in Annapolis. The Midshipmen were scheduled to play Memphis (4-2) in an American Conference contest. Navy was a 12.5 point underdog at home against the Tigers.
Games in Action
As for the action on the field, there are no top 25 matchups this weekend. No. 1 Alabama, No. 4 Clemson, and No. 5 Texas A&M are now off while No. 2 Ohio State (-25) hosts Maryland and No. 3 Notre Dame (-13.5) is at Boston College.
No. 6 Florida (-17.5) hosts Arkansas as they look to carry momentum off last week’s win over Georgia while No. 7 Cincinnati (-27.5) looks to stay unbeaten against East Carolina.