Let’s take a look at the safety rules in place for the 2020 B1G season:
1. Daily rapid testing to be completed prior to each practice or game.
2. A 21-day suspension for any player who tests positive.
3. Immediate 1-week stoppage of all practice and play if more than 5% of a team tests positive.
4. 8 games scheduled in 8 weeks, no byes, no makeup dates.
For some context, 42 Wisconsin players and staff have tested positive since June, with 29 positive tests so far in September.
So the last point is not a safety one per se, but it’s important. According to local OTE sources, there are about 125 players on a B1G team. If 7 players on a team test positive, that team and whoever they’re playing that coming Saturday are spending that Saturday sitting at home. Oh and that team is going to be without those 7 guys for just over 1⁄3 of the total season. By contrast, the SEC has announced that teams are allowed to play so long as they have a minimum of 53 scholarship players (out of 85) who haven’t tested positive.*
Kudos to the Big Ten Presidents for coming up with some extremely strict safety guidelines. And kudos to all the Big Ten fans who are blissfully unaware of what the Presidents’ plan actually is—A chance to say “Hey we TRIED!” without playing anywhere near 8 games for each team. Oh, and local economies still aren’t open and fans still aren’t allowed at games, so...
*I’m not even like 85% sure I’m reading the 53-minimum rule correctly, but whatever. Eat a turd SEC
It’s great that their might be football, and it’s extra great that they included some very serious black-letter rules for positive testing. It’s shitty as all hell that nobody else is getting access to the safety tools the schools are shipping by the truckload to football programs, but then again, the average student’s unpaid labor doesn’t generate nearly the amount of money as the average unpaid college football players. In the end, though, I suspect it won’t matter much, few games will be played, and that will be by design.
Still, On Wisconsin.
Appalachian State Mountaineers - Week 1
Lest we forget, this is still an App State blog, and that means recapping App’s last game and previewing the next.
In our Week 1 preview, OTE predicted an App State victory, covering the spread, with a 41-16 win. Not only did I not ever figure out how that score would come to be, I greatly overestimated how competent App State’s special teams were. Although App ultimately prevailed 35-20, it was...an adventure.
In accordance with OTE bylaws, I only watched the first half of the game. I got to see App fumble on the other team’s 2-yard line and give up a 98-yard drive in return, got to see them jump offsides on a 4th and 3 (I think on that same drive), and got to watch their last second field goal attempt get blocked. They gave up huge yards in the first quarter, the offense couldn’t do much, and yet they still led 14-10 at half.
The second half, well, that was an entirely different story. Instead of giving up a blocked FG, App’s special teams gave up a 97-yard kickoff return TD and committed a roughing the punter penalty when they were about to get the ball back. Despite boner after boner on special teams, the rest of the team picked up their games and App never trailed. In the end, on what was just a gross rainy weird day with no fans in the stadium, App had two guys rush for over 100 yards, and although I can’t prove it with numbers, I know the defense gave up nearly zero to Charlotte in the second half.
All in all, I have two takeaways. First, App State managed to win despite finishing -1 in turnovers, accumulating more penalty yards, getting a FG blocked, and giving up a kickoff return for a TD. Second, App State’s punter is named Xavier Subotsch, and he’s an excellent stand-in for whoever your favorite Big Ten punter might be, what with the being a punter, being decent at it, and having a last name with 4 consecutive consonants.
#24 Appalachian State Mountaineers at Marshall Thundering Herd
3:30 p.m. Eastern - CBS
App State -4.5; Over/Under 59.5
Marshall hasn’t played in two weeks, but wow did they kick some EKU ass two weeks ago. Marshall ran EKU off the field with a 59-0 shutout, with QB Grant Wells both having a good game and becoming a media darling because there were only like three games on all weekend. App State should be a tougher challenge, as they mark their third consecutive season playing a game as an AP-ranked team.** Also App State is just good and EKU just isn’t. Or at least App State is a pretty good FBS team and EKU is an unremarkable FCS team.
It looks like App is going to have a three-deep running back rotation, although you shouldn’t be surprised to see Daetrich Harrington lose a bunch of his carries to Camerun Peeples and Marcus Williams, Jr., both of whom were far more effecitve than Harrington against Charlotte (although Harrington was the only App RB not to lose a fumble in the game). I also expect App to air it out more often, both because Marshall is a better opponent and because App needed time to adjust to the last-minute loss of their number one wide receiving option.
On defense, look for a good matchup between Marshall’s passing game and App State’s defensive backs. Senior Shemar Jean-Charles won the PFF National Defensive Player of the Week, as well as OTE’s Defensive player of the Week, and he’s opposite a guy in Shaun Jolly who recorded very few stats and “whose name was rarely called”, which football analysts tell me means he’s doing a good job. The worrying part for App on defense is the total lack of pressure they put on the Charlotte QB last week. If App only manages a single sack against Marshall, it could be a long day for the Mountaineer D.
**So what if they took like 10 teams out of the top 25 because they “aren’t playing” this year shut up.
App State Insider Corner
Little light on the insider info this week for a number of real life reasons, but I can relay what I’ve learned: App State might have its best two corners in team history playing this season, which is impressive considering they had a guy leave early for the draft two years ago.***
In addition, my insider was the first to know**** that the App State game had been moved to the 3:30 slot on CBS and was the first to break the sad news to me that Gus Johnson will not be calling the game.
***Let’s just ignore that he went undrafted.
****I mean, first among people I know, which is still first.
Beez’z Week 2 Prediction
At the end of the first half last week, I really thought I had truly jinxed. I didn’t, but I was humbled, so instead of predicting App to win and REALLY cover the spread, I’m picking them to win and only barely cover the spread.
App State 26 - Marshall 21
Season Record 1-0
(We only track straight-up record winners here)
Only one App-related video this week:
“And you can’t swim by yourself that’s dangerous” kills me every time. Perfectly delivered.
How may regular season games will each B1G team play on average this year
This poll is closed