IRVING, Texas (WAFB) - The decision by the Big 12 Conference on Wednesday, August 12, to move forward with plans to play football in the fall is affecting the sports environment in the state of Louisiana.
“At the end of the day today, we finally realized who our opening game would be and where it would be,” said former LSU head coach Les Miles, now at Kansas of the Big 12. “And I think there’s a lot of enjoyment and certainty that the season will take place.”
Wednesday morning’s announcement was joyous news to LSU fans hoping for an endorsement to the SEC’s plan to play football in the fall after two Power Five conferences, Pac-12 and Big 10, went the other way just a day earlier. The ACC is also trying to save its season.
The Big 12 decision has also provided the UL Ragin Cajuns with a make-up game for its scheduled trip to Wyoming that went away with the Mountain West’s decision to postpone fall football over COVID-19 concerns. The Cajuns are now slated for a week two visit to Ames, Iowa, to play Iowa State. The Cyclones who would normally face in-state rival, the Iowa Hawkeyes, of the Big Ten.
The Big 12, unlike the SEC will have one non-conference opponent for its 2020 10-game schedule.
President Donald Trump weighed in again Wednesday about moving forward with the college football.
“I spoke with Trevor Lawrence, the great quarterback, and he’s a very smart, he understood it very well,” the president said. “He said, ‘Hey, I’m a lot safer in the field than I am being out there.’ And he got it. He got it very quickly. Coach O, I spoke with him. He’s a ... he’s some coach, that one. He’s a great coach and he, he feels his players just want to be out there. So, we’ve spoken to a lot of different people and they want to get out.”
An announcement on the future of Southland Conference football could come as early as Thursday after the league’s presidents met Wednesday on the heels of a Tuesday meeting involving the athletic directors.
With so many FCS schools postponing this fall, the playoffs are no longer an option for Southeastern and the remaining teams like Southland foes Nicholls, McNeese, and Northwestern State.
“Kind of like this (gestures like a roller coaster), isn’t it?” asked Tulane head coach Willie Fritz. “[It’s like] a wave, a roller coaster. One of the best things Troy Dannen is doing is keeping everybody abreast of what’s going on. He talked to the team again last night. It’s great for me because he updates me as well. He and I talk at least once a day, sometimes more. Our guys want to play, our coaches want to coach. We’ve done a great job with our testing, following the protocol. We need to keep doing that in order to be able to have a season.”
Southeastern is scheduled to kick off its season at Tulane on September 3.
Southland Conference member Lamar had 32 football players with positive tests for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
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