West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons knows the upcoming college football season will look a bit different than it has in the past. He also thinks some programs will not be able to play this fall due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“I do think that there’s going to be those situations where there’s not going to be a hundred percent participation,” said Lyons, who is the Chair of the Division I Football Oversight Committee.
Lyons’s point is valid – it is hard to see every institution open its doors to students, faculty, and staff, as well as field a football team in a few months, especially in mid-May – but he also highlighted another important wrinkle to the equations about delaying the start of the season if only some teams are ready to play. And it is certainly possible that only a handful or more of schools will be able to compete in late August or early September, which would make scheduling a bit tricky.
“Do we all wait until its one hundred percent or if eighty percent of the schools are ready to go, do we start the season? And I think that’s the discussion that the conference commissioners are going to have to have,” said Lyons.
“We’re not quite there yet, but (will the 2020 season be) conference only play, or (are) we still going to have the non-conference competitions and have a 12 week season? So, I think – I don’t have that crystal ball yet to look at it and say, ‘This is the way it’s going to be (because) I think it is very fluid.'”
Lyons – like many – knows there’s a lot of questions about the upcoming season, but the hope is those concerns and ideas will be answered over the next few weeks. He did state, that a decision about the season should be made either before July or “mid-July at the latest.”
There is nothing better than a rivalry, especially on the gridiron. And we have quite a few here in New England, but which one is the best?
Well, we think this list features the best rivalries – 10 to be exact – but if you feel we missed a game (or two), let us know by leaving a comment below. All ideas are welcome!
1. Harvard University vs. Yale University: Hands down, this is the best New England college football rivalry. And while some may think Amherst-Williams belongs in this spot, Harvard-Yale is just as important as The Biggest Little Game in America. The Bulldogs needed two extra sessions this past year to edge the Crimson, 50-43, to claim the 136th edition of The Game. Harvard captured the 2018 meeting, which was played at Fenway Park.
2. Amherst College vs. Williams College: As mentioned above, Harvard-Yale, Amherst-Williams are the two of the best rivalries in New England, but there is nothing better than being in the stands in Amherst or Williamstown in early November to watch this game. The Ephs won their last meeting against the Mammoths by a score of 31-9 and finished their 2019 campaign with their best record under head coach Mark Raymond.
4. Maine vs. New Hampshire: The Black Bears may have won the first-ever meeting between these two programs, but the Wildcats have been rather successful since that initial games, especially these past few years. New Hampshire beat Maine twice in the last three seasons, including last fall in their season finale. The winner of each matchup claims the Brice-Cowell Musket, which is named after the former head coaches of the two programs.
6. Coast Guard Academy vs. Norwich University: “The Little Army-Navy Game” is always a must-see, must-watch affair in September, October, or November. The two teams, who entered their previous meeting with identical 2-0 records, first met in 1929. The winner claims “The Mug,” which was donated by The Day with the first award being presented at the conclusion of the third meeting in 1931. Coast Guard currently leads the all-time series, but the Cadets won the most recent contest last September, thanks to an impressive second-half comeback.
7. Dartmouth College vs. New Hampshire: This may not be the most well-known rivalry to current football fans (and players), but the Big Green and Wildcats have met quite a few times over the past few decades. In fact, the first-ever meeting between Dartmouth and New Hampshire occurred in 1901 with the Green and White claiming a 51-0 victory. The two teams last met in 2016 but will meet again in 2021.
8. MIT-WPI: Sure, WPI’s longstanding rivalry may be RPI, but from an in-state (or in-region) opponent, it has to be MIT, right? The Engineers of Cambridge won the first six meetings – both MIT and WPI initially met in 1888 – but since 2001, the Engineers of Worcester have won six of seven contests. The two teams began playing against each other every year since 2015. Last fall, MIT snapped WPI’s six-game winning streak by securing a hard-fought win in double-overtime. The victory was MIT’s first against WPI since 1900.
9. Endicott College vs. Western New England: This always seems to be a must-see, must-follow contest, no matter the records. But for the past few years, this has been the de-facto conference championship game. The Golden Bears have won two of the last three meetings while Endicott captured the 2018 meeting. The win over WNE in 2018 provided Endicott with its sixth victory at home against its rival while snapping the Golden Bears’ 25-game conference winning streak.
10. Southern Connecticut vs. University of New Haven: The Elm City Trophy has resided in New Haven these past few seasons, but the Owls did make things interesting last October. The Chargers have won 24 of the 31 meetings in this series and will attempt to continue its recent momentum against the Owls when they visit West Haven, Connecticut later this year.
The 13 member NCAA D-II conference, which has campuses in various California cities and towns, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, will not crown champions this fall in men and women’s soccer, men’s cross country, and women’s volleyball.
As noted in yesterday’s announcement, the CCAA member institutions felt it was best to protect the “health and welfare of our students, coaches, staff, faculty, and communities.” The CCAA does hope to provide its student-athletes with an opportunity to compete in the upcoming school year, but only when it is deemed safe for its student-athletes.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is not certain that students will return to campus this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mandel Ngan / AFP – Getty Images/NBCNews.com)
By Matt Noonan
Speaking earlier today at a Senate hearing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hinted that it might not be wise for college campuses to welcome back its students for the fall semester.
Fauci was asked about college campuses reopening its doors to students by Senator Lamar Alexander and admitted he would feel a lot safer with a vaccine to protect the student body.
“If this were a situation where we had a vaccine, that would really be the end of that issue in a positive way,” said Fauci to Alexander.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as if a vaccine will be available for college students, along with faculty and staff for the upcoming fall semester, but Fauci does hope that one of the eight vaccines that are currently being developed will be in “advanced trials by late fall or early winter.”
There will be no football played this fall at the Florida Institute of Technology. (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualunt.com)
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has certainly made an impact on many these days, including higher education institutions like Florida Institute of Technology, which announced earlier today that it would be cutting its football program.
“Indeed, all of higher education is struggling to deal with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the uncertainty that accompanies a global disruption to daily life,” Dwayne McCay, the school’s president, wrote in a letter to the Florida Tech community. “Some universities will no doubt close. Florida Tech, however, has plans to persevere.”
The Panthers’ football program stared in 2011 and competed in the Gulf South Conference (Division II). 120 student-athletes competed for the program, which concluded its 2019 campaign with a 5-6 overall record.
Eight coaches were affected by today’s news, but the school plans to assist each individual that is interested in pursuing the opportunity to compete or study at other institutions.
Florida Tech is not the only school to cut an athletic program as Florida International University won’t have a men’s indoor track and field team this upcoming school year while Old Dominion eliminated its wrestling program. Additionally, the University of Cincinnati announced last month that they dropped its soccer program, which began competing in 1973.