As the calendar turned to July, time has now become one of college football’s biggest challenges. News continues to filter out from the NCAA and universities as the fall season remains in limbo.
Numerous reports in the college football world about a spike in positive COVID-19 cases have sparked a fear that the 2020 football season is in jeopardy this fall. Some of the largest states with the biggest number of universities have seen a recent spike in coronavirus cases.
The looming risks for a fall season have lead NCAA officials, university presidents, and athletic directors to begin the planning process of a spring season. Talks amongst officials have even proposed the idea of canceling all NCAA athletics until the fall of 2021.
The NCAA allowed collegiate athletes to begin voluntary workouts on June 1. That move was supposed to be a major step forward for college football to be played in the fall; however, across the nation, athletic departments have seen a spike in positive virus cases in their student-athletes.
Major college football programs like Clemson, LSU, Texas, Texas Tech, and Houston have seen an uptick in positive tests within their football programs. The biggest spikes have all come since the moratorium on voluntary workouts ended.
The Ivy League announced its plans to forego all fall athletics, including football, on Wednesday.
When the Ivy League canceled their league basketball tournament back in March, it set off a domino effect for the other conferences. There could be a similar scenario with the league’s decision and the rest of the conferences across the country.
Lawrence, Clemson Favorites
Although the season is in jeopardy, there are some early betting lines that have been released by the Las Vegas sportsbooks. Major online sportsbooks have numerous spreads for contests over the first handful of weeks of the season.
In addition to the game spreads posted on the sportsbooks, they have also posted their early favorites for national champions and Heisman Trophy winner. The Clemson Tigers (+225) and their star quarterback Trevor Lawrence (+300) are the early favorites in those categories.
The next quarterback with the best odds is Ohio State starter Justin Fields (+400) followed by a pair of SEC quarterbacks in Florida’s Kyle Trask (+1200) and Georgia’s Jamie Newman (+1200). Newman is a graduate transfer from Wake Forest and has yet to take a snap for the Bulldogs.
Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (+1200) also has an outside shot at the trophy, as the redshirt freshman saw limited action last season backing up Jalen Hurts.
Ohio State (+300) and then four SEC teams (Alabama +500, Georgia +750, LSU +1000, Florida +1200) follow behind Clemson as the teams with the best chance to hoist the national championship trophy at the end of the season.
Prior to the start of last season, eventual Heisman winner Joe Burrow was a 200-1 favorite to win the trophy, and his LSU Tigers were just inside the top 10 teams favored to win the title preseason.