/College football season filled with many unknowns begins in Hattiesburg tonight

College football season filled with many unknowns begins in Hattiesburg tonight

It will hopefully be as safe as football. Let’s start with what we know. This will be the first ever football match between two schools located less than two hours apart. The USA and USM have been playing in baseball for a long time. This is back to the days when Eddie Stanky (ex-Major League hero) was building a mobile school baseball team. They have been involved in basketball and other minor sports almost every year. They have never played football because Southern Miss did not want to lose the advantage it had in recruiting south Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle over its neighboring school. This advantage is mostly gone. It is too obvious that the football series makes sense. The fact is that the two teams should be part of the same conference. I believe they will eventually be. We all know that Steve Campbell is South’s head coach and that he has the ability to coach. With a no-huddle option-style offense, he won a National Championship at Delta State 20 year ago and won 14 games. This offense also broke Division II records. Some games you remember forever. The national championship win by Delta State will be a memory I will always cherish. The DSU offense won the day ten times. They scored touchdowns on the first nine possessions. They ran out of time on the 10th. They pitched an impeccable game. They were as well-coached than any other offense they could see. Campbell was awarded a second national title at Gulf Coast Community College later on. Campbell’s South teams have won only five games. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if he can win there as well. Southern Miss is a favorite by two touchdowns, even though the Golden Eagles have recently lost three of their top players. Six players have decided to not play this season, including Racheem Booth, all-conference linebacker, and Jaylond Adams (wide receiver/kick returner), who are the fastest players on the team. These losses all occurring so close to the season’s start would be a major blow for any college football team. Southern Miss, which has long struggled for depth in its football program, is certainly no exception. We know the crowd will be small and that there will be no home-field advantage. The Rock will allow only about 9,000 people in, which is about 25% of its capacity. All stadium workers will be wearing masks, as we know. Social distancing will be enforced, we know. Fans will need to wear masks in the stadium, both when they enter it and while moving about within it. We are certain that the officials will also wear masks. The striped shirts worn by men have been called thieves, crooks, and other undesirable things. They will now look like the real deal. We don’t know much else. We don’t know how COVID-19 has affected the preparations of either team. We don’t know how many practice they missed or how many. We don’t know whether recent results will cause any important players to miss tonight. We don’t know the impact of missing spring training on play quality. We don’t have access to practice sessions so we are not able to see any changes in depth charts or new players. We don’t know how the pandemic has affected players’ condition. We don’t know how many and for how long. We don’t even know. We don’t know if football is something we should be doing. We don’t know how much longer the season that starts tonight will last. This will be the most bizarre season, as many people across the country have chosen not to participate. We know that they will play football in Hattiesburg tonight. We know what to say when someone leaves their home or comfort zone. Stay safe.