What the Weirdest Game of This College Football Season Can Tell Us About COVID-19
In what will probably end up as the most memorable game of this bizarre, pandemic-affected college football season, the Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers improved to 10-0 on Saturday with a last-second victory over the Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars.
The game is as significant for what happened on the field as for the circumstances that led to it happening at all. Last Monday, neither team was expecting to play the other. Then COVID-19 intervened, and both schools offered a lesson in the value of flexibility amid the chaos of this year.
Coastal Carolina was supposed to play the Liberty University Flames on Saturday, but several Liberty players were quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19 midway through last week. On Thursday, Liberty school officials announced they would not allow their team to travel for the scheduled game.
No one would mistake Liberty for the University of Alabama, of course, but the loss of that game against Liberty was a potential blow to Coastal Carolina’s Cinderella story of a season. In just their fourth season playing in the highest classification level for college football, the Chanticleers were ranked 18th nationally and maintained a slim outside shot at earning a bid to one of college football’s most prestigious bowl games. A chance to beat another overachieving small school—Liberty had a 9-1 record and was also nationally ranked earlier this season—would have boosted the Chanticleers’ profile further.
Just hours after the game with Liberty was canceled, Coastal Carolina announced that they wo
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