Everything you need to know about the 2020 college football season
The NCAA college football season begins this week with a double header on Thursday featuring Central Arkansas vs. UAB, and South Alabama vs. Southern Mississippi.
That's the good news. The bad news is there will be significant differences across the college football landscape due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Here's everything you need to know about the 2020 college football season.
Big Ten, Pac-12 opt to postpone football seasons
One of the biggest developments in college football during the pandemic was the postponement of fall sports in the Big Ten and Pac-12.
Among the teams in the Big Ten conference are the Ohio State Buckeyes, who would have been one of the top-ranked teams heading into this season, with aspirations of a national championship. There have been rumblings, however, that the Big Ten could re-consider its decision to postpone the football season.
#B1G statement ok a Trump-Warren conversation pic.twitter.com/ak5fI17jB5— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) September 1, 2020
According to ProFootballTalk, the president of Ohio State, Kristina Johnson, is hopeful that the Buckeyes football season could begin later in the fall of 2020.
Clemson enters the season ranked No. 1
With potential No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence leading their offense at quarterback, the Clemson Tigers are the top-ranked team entering the 2020 college football season.
The Tigers made it to the College Football Playoff National Championship game a year ago, but ran up against an unstoppable LSU Tigers team led by Joe Burrow, who emerged last year as the clear favorite to be selected first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Highest-graded QBs in the red zone last season:— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 30, 2020
1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson - 93.8
2. Joe Burrow, LSU - 91.4 pic.twitter.com/SaLjG6vIq7
This year, the Clemson Tigers will look to regain the title of best college football team in the United States – a title they held at the end of the 2018 season when Lawrence, a true freshman at the time, led Clemson to the championship.
Ohio State is ranked No. 2 according to the NCAA’s latest rankings, despite the fact the Big Ten currently isn’t scheduled to play a football game this fall.
Alabama is third, LSU is fourth despite the loss of Burrow to the NFL, and the Georgia Bulldogs round out of the top five in the NCAA rankings.
Myles Brennan takes over as LSU's starting quarterback
The spotlight now belongs to you, Myles Brennan.
And what a difficult act he is tasked with following this year. Joe Burrow capped a historic 2019 season with a national championship for LSU and a few months later, his name was called by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as the top pick in the draft.
Burrow will now try to lead the Cincinnati Bengals, while Brennan takes over as the starting quarterback with the LSU Tigers.
“We grade him every day. He has a winning grade every day”#LSU head coach Ed Orgeron on quarterback Myles Brennan. He also praised the improvement of TJ Finley and the athleticism and vision of Max Johnson. @WBRZ pic.twitter.com/peDdPnSViC— Reggie Chatman Jr. (@ReggieChatman) September 1, 2020
Brennan, 21, completed 24 passes on 40 attempts last season for a 60% completion rate. He threw for 353 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
Some schools will have fans in attendance, others will not
The game day experience of college football will be completely different compared to previous seasons.
Some schools will permit fans to attend games, which is a departure from what other major North American sports leagues such as the NBA and MLB have been doing since they re-started their 2020 seasons.
The Alabama Crimson Tide, for instance, will cap attendance at 20% capacity for the season, according to CBS Sports. The official capacity of Bryant-Denny Stadium is just over 101,800 fans, so the spectacle of throngs of fans in the stands for Alabama’s home games will be reduced this year.
Other schools, such as universities in Texas, will also reportedly limit attendance to about 25% of capacity. Fans will still have to maintain social distancing measures, and fill out health questionnaires in order to be allowed into the stadium.
Week 1 featured games
There are 12 games on college football's Week 1 schedule schedule, beginning with Central Arkansas vs. University of Alabama on Thursday.
Games to watch this weekend include Middle Tennessee vs. Army at Michie Stadium, followed by BYU vs. Navy on Monday.
Sat, September 5 2020, 5:30 PM
Army Black Knights
Middle Tenn State Blue Raiders
Tue, September 8 2020, 12:00 AM
Brigham Young Cougars
Army was, as of Wednesday, a three-point favorite at home against Middle Tennessee, while the Navy Midshipmen were slight 1.5-point underdogs against the BYU Cougars.