At least 15 major college football games have been cancelled or postponed for the second straight week, including a second consecutive contest for the fifth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies, due to restrictions and protocols associated with the novel coronavirus.
The University of Maryland announced on Thursday that it, too, would not play for a second straight week, cancelling its game against Michigan State on Saturday a week after its game against third-ranked Ohio State was called off, Yahoo Sports reported.
Maryland said it had 15 players test positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, nearly twice as many as the eight who tested positive last week and scuttled the Ohio State game. Additionally, seven team staff members tested positive, including head coach Mike Locksley.
The Southeast Conference (SEC) announced on Monday that Texas A&M’s game against the University of Mississippi — or Ole Miss — had been postponed ”due to the continued quarantine of individuals within the Texas A&M football program.”
The Aggies’ game against Tennessee last week was postponed and tentatively moved to Dec. 12, the weekend before the SEC championship game and a date the conference has been using as a make-up day for postponed games. Because Texas A&M already has a game for the open day, opportunities to reschedule the Ole Miss game were to be ”evaluated.”
Other games that have been cancelled or postponed this week involving ranked teams include Georgia Tech at No. 12 Miami, Charlotte at No. 15 Marshall and Central Arkansas at No. 24 Louisiana.
Last week, the six ranked teams, including Ohio State and Texas A&M, saw their games postponed or cancelled led by No. 1 Alabama. Others were No. 12 Georgia, No. 15 Coastal Carolina and No. 24 Auburn.
The seven-day average of reported daily novel coronavirus infections across the United States has increased since mid September from about 35,800 to more than 165,000 as of Wednesday, according to worldometers.info. The average number of deaths per day has increased since mid October from just over 700 to more than 1,200 as of Wednesday.