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1st & 210 Season Preview

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With “Week 0” of the 2020 season days away, San Antonio’s’ college football landscape is changing by the hour.

Just one more Saturday separates local fans & alumni from the return of college football! While the 2020 season is still shrouded in uncertainty, one thing remains clear… 1st & 210 will be here to keep you updated!

 


COVID-19 has completely thrown the entire sports world into unforeseen territory, at one point it looked as if the 2020 college football season as a whole would be cancelled. The first dominoes have fallen as two of the “Power 5” conferences decided to postpone ALL fall sports, including football. The PAC-12 & The Big 10 have erred on the side of caution, citing medical experts who strongly advised they protect their student-athletes from further exposure. It was a controversial decision that was met with both protest and praise. While both conferences hope to play an experimental spring season, the southern universities of the Big 12 & SEC have stood firm on the demand for college football. Both conferences plan to play a fall season, and have adopted “Conference-only” schedules in hopes of reducing travel amid the pandemic. As we stand a week away from the return of college football, it seams that conference alignment will determine which universities will play across the country.

Locally, some teams have had their football seasons re-scheduled as others press on through Fall Camp. Trinity University announced that their football season has been cancelled, as reported by Stephen Anderson. More recently the University of the Incarnate Word had their football season suspended, as the Southland Conference announced all conference fall sports have been postponed until the spring. A few Southland Conference schools still intend on playing their non-conference opponents this fall, however UIW has yet to announce their decision on such games.

Last week Conference USA announced that all fall sports except football will be postponed. This news released the same day UTSA added 2 games to their tentative schedule; A new home opener against Stephen F Austin, and a possible road game against BYU October 10th. The Runners’ current schedule stands at 11 games, however JJ Perez of UTSAInsiders has confirmed the program is looking to finalize a fully rebuilt 12 game schedule this week.

The Runners followed a strong week of practice with a scrimmage Saturday. UTSAs’ original season opener against reigning CFP champions LSU was cancelled. The matchup in Death Valley became collateral damage of the SECs’ decision to go with a “conference only” schedule. While 1st year Head Coach Jeff Taylor cleverly avoided scheduling rumors during media availability, he was able to confirm that UTSA will now begin their season on the road against I-35 Rival Texas State September 12th. The Bobcats also made news this week as they may have added a non conference road game against BYU, according to Keff Ciardello of the Austin American Statesman.

Texas State is also working out an agreement for a potential matchup against Boston College. Similar to UTSAs’ Jeff Taylor, Texas State Head Coach Jake Spavital refrained from commenting on scheduling matters until all of the particulars of the game contract are finalized.

Fans are just as excited to officially book these replacement games as the coaches themselves are to announce them. UTSA has yet to release a plan on Alamodome seating for the Runners’ September 19th home opener. Texas State plans on having fans in attendance for its season opener against SMU September 5th. The game was originally moved up to “week 0” this Saturday to account for rising COVID-19 concerns. However, it was later re-scheduled.

While games, schedules & attendance plans change by the day, fans, coaches and players have all become accustomed to the uncertainty lingering over the 2020 college football season. As players finish up Fall Camp and do their part to prepare for the season, college football fans MUST also do their part! By social-distancing and following the mandatory mask protocols both on campus and in the stadiums.

Lets ALL do our part to ensure the safe return of college football!

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.

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