Hello, Mizzou chatters. Thanks for joining me on another unexpected bye week. Plenty to discuss. I'll be here for the next few hours.
Pretty simple explanation: Saban did not have any high-risk close contacts during his time of infectivity. That means he was wearing his mask any time he was within six feet of someone for more than 15 minutes. Players, though, are practicing alongside each other - while not wearing a mask - or living with each other and presumably not wearing a mask at all times. Of all the SEC coaches I've seen on game days this year, Saban has probably been the most vigilant about wearing his mask. Also, he never had COVID. It was ruled as a false positive. Sports Illustrated had a very thoroughly reported story on how the false positive was uncovered.
I reported this yesterday, but the Mohegan Sun will soon announce a schedule of college basketball games over an 11-day period starting Nov. 25. The schedule coming out today won't include Missouri because the entire field isn't finalized, but the plan is for Missouri to play Boston College and Oregon on Dec. 2 and 3 at the Connecticut arena. Two good nonconference games for the Tigers.
Mizzou only added one recruit last year who would have counted for the rankings, so MU doesn't show up on some of those lists. The two other additions were transfers - Drew Buggs and Ed Chang - and recruiting rankings don't take into account transfers in this case. So, in this case, the absence of a recruiting ranking isn't the measure of this year's team. This year's team comes down to the veterans and how their games develop. Can players like Dru Smith, Mark Smith, Xavier Pinson and Jeremiah Tilmon become more consistent players and avoid the lapses we've seen in the past? I anticipate only one newcomer playing a major role on this team, Buggs.
As I wrote in the story - and as Jim Sterk stated in the story - the schools plan to resume the series in St. Louis in 2021. The game is under contract through the 2023-24 season in St. Louis.
I can't say I've heard the topic raised by any coaches recently. From what I recall, the NFL moved the hash marks closer together in the 1970s to give offenses more room to operate and encourage more scoring. College teams don't seem to struggle scoring points no matter where the hash marks are.
I'm not sure I follow your question. Conferences have their own guidelines and rules for most COVID protocols, so the rules don't really vary from site to site. I've only been to two road games this year - Tennessee and Florida - and the protocols there were similar to what they are at Missouri games. No tailgating for fans, no on-field access for media, no in-person interviews, etc.
We've seen to hit a nerve.
Ben Frederickson is probably one of the least politically engaged sports columnists around. But keep on keeping on.
I appreciate your support. I'm more than happy to engage in any kind of grown-up debate here in the chat. But you can't just throw around nonsense that's not true.
That's your opinion. I've covered some incredibly intelligent college athletes in my 20-plus years, and I'll gladly publish what they have to say about important topics.