Undrafted – The Network
NCAA

2020 SEND-OFF

Hello!! Rebecca here. I hope you guys are having a great day. With 2020 coming to an end very soon, I just wanted to take a look back at the crazy roller coaster we’ve all been on this year. As you all know, 2020 has been one wild year. From the crazy COVID-19 pandemic to losing multiple legends to a plethora of injuries, 2020 has been a year we will all remember. We’ve all had our fair shares of adversity and disappointment this year, however, even though 2020 has thrown us plenty of curveballs, we still have a lot to be thankful for.  

When the pandemic started back in March I began to worry if there was going to be a college football season this year. With all the cancellations that happened within the NBA, MLB, MLS, and NHL, I was thinking, would college football be next? The thought of not having college football this year sure made me sad. However, as the season drew closer, there was some life in the college football world. Schedules started forming and teams were starting to hit the gridiron. With college football returning to the gridiron this season, my heart was full once again.  

 With the new world of college football among us, safety was on everyone’s mind. To ensure a successful college football season, safety and health was the number one priority. With players and all team personnel having to get COVID tested multiple times throughout the week and having to stay away from family, sure put a damper on things. However, it was a sacrifice that needed to be made to play the game of football. A game that every single player and coach out on that field love. Even though I am not an athlete, I can see the countless amount of commitment and dedication every single athlete put into this troublesome season. Every single person out on that gridiron had to make some tough sacrifices to play the game that they love. These players gave up a lot to play this season and it was a season we will all remember. 

As the season was drawing to a near, some breaking news came out of the college football world in August. BIG 10 AND PAC-12 FOOTBALL WAS CANCELED IN 2020. When I got that alert on my phone, my heart sank. For those of you guys who don’t know me, I am a huge USC fan, and hearing that I won’t get to watch my team compete this season, made me so sad. One thing that I look forward to every year is college football, but specifically USC football. It’s like Christmas in September for me. There’s  just something about watching the Trojans running out of the tunnel and seeing the beautiful Coliseum that captured my heart from a young age. With hearing the unfortunate news that BIG 10 AND PAC-12 FOOTBALL were not being played this season, other conferences were getting ready to hit the gridiron. Even though my team was not playing this season, I was still excited that college football was back. 

With the ACC, BIG 12, SEC, and other conferences returning to the gridiron this year, a new era of college football was coming. Each conference did start on different dates due to health guidelines, however, college football was back in 2020, and that sure put the biggest smile on my face. With each conference announcing their 2020 schedule, some modifications had to take place to ensure a safe season. No more in-person attendance(or very limited attendance for some states) and more in conference play. With modifications in place for the 2020 season, college football was ready to kickoff. 

With some conferences in play mid to late September, some great news shocked the college football community. The BIG 10 AND PAC-12 Conference was hitting the gridiron in 2020. You could just imagine the excitement that was rushing throughout my body when I heard the news. Remember that back in August the BIG 10 and PAC-12 had canceled their seasons, however, with more precautions taken and studying how other conferences were playing safely, the BIG 10 and PAC-12 decided to make a return to the gridiron this 2020 season. The BIG 10 hit the gridiron the weekend of October 23 while the PAC-12 returned to play the weekend of November 6th. With shorter seasons for the BIG 10 and the PAC-12, there was no room for mistakes. 

With all the Power Five Conferences returning to the gridiron, my heart was full once again. Even though this season was a lot different than we all anticipated just seeing college football being played was a miracle in itself. With college football up and running, cancellations and postponements started taking place. Of course, we all saw this coming. With playing in a global pandemic, cancellations and postponements were a given. However, one team that got hit hard in my opinion was the Ohio State Buckeyes. With canceling multiple games and head coach Ryan Day contracting the virus, Ohio State sure faced a lot of adversity this season. The Buckeyes of course we’re not the only team in college football to face adversity, every single team did. Each team got their fair share of adversity this season, but like in college football fashion they all got through it one week at a time. 

This college football season was one crazy roller coaster. We all got to experience a season that we probably never thought we would have to in our lifetime. This season is going down in our history books. It will be a season that we will never forget. I want to give notice of how incredible each student-athlete and team personnel is. They gave up a lot to play football this year and every single player and coach out on that gridiron this year deserves to be recognized for the efforts to make college football possible this year. It was sure a blessing to watch football this year and I can’t wait for the 2021 season!!

ONE LAST THING. Congratulations to the four teams that are playoff bound. Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Notre Dame are in the 2020-2021 playoffs and I couldn’t be more excited to watch college football’s four top teams battle it out on the gridiron. The Alabama Crimson Tide and The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are set to play in the Rose Bowl this year while the Clemson Tigers and The Ohio State Buckeyes battle it out at the Sugar Bowl. Good luck to all four teams. Don’t forget to tune into the National Championship game on January 11th! My guess is that we will see a Alabama and Clemson rematch once again. 

Photo/Graphic By: Mike Meredith

I hope you all have a very Happy New Year, and may you all stay safe out there. Cheers to 2021!!

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