By Don Stone, GeorgiaTechExpress.com
For a moment, the Georgia Tech football season was hanging on by a thread. Earlier this month, momentum ran rampant through college football to cancel everything. Critics said it was too risky to put students on the field. Some of the same critics also didn’t want students to even show up on campus.
Many universities listened. In a bit of a knee jerk reaction to the louder voices, smaller schools and conferences began announcing postponements. Locally, that included Kennesaw State, who saw six of their eleven opponents cancel only to see their conference, the Big South, postpone all games until next spring. The Owls had no choice but to go along.
Georgia State is still hanging in there with a few games like Murray State and Alabama canceled. But the remaining schedule, mostly within their Sun Belt Conference, still on tap.
But, on a larger scale, the dominoes began to fall a few weeks ago. As the din grew louder, the Big 10 and Pac 12 both caved in and postponed their seasons to spring of 2021.
The ACC said they would still consider playing as long as a majority of the Power 5 conferences were also doing so. With two gone, that left a slim margin for error.
The SEC held firm. That put the onus and fate of the college football season on the last one standing, the Big 12. Fortunately, they stuck their cleats in the ground and decided to play, giving the ACC some backing.
But some rearranging had to be done with the collective schedules. The SEC still intends to play with an all conference schedule, which wiped out the annual UGA/Tech game.
The ACC and Big 12 followed with all conference + one schedules of their own hoping the SEC would fill in the + one with all of their annual rivalry games. But, when that was scuttled by the SEC’s decision, other plans had to be made. For the Yellow Jackets, that space was filled in with Central Florida.
Along with the Knights, Tech actually wound up with one of its most attractive home schedules ever as Louisville, Clemson, Notre Dame, Pitt and Duke will visit the Flats.
The Fighting Irish was originally to be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium but was moved to Bobby Dodd Stadium “to maximize flexibility within Georgia Tech’s 2020 schedule.” It will be a considered a conference game as Notre Dame reluctantly joins the ACC for this season only.
To make it fit, the game moves from its original date of September 19 to Halloween.
Most of the other ACC games were rearranged as well.
So, for the Jackets, practice continues with the season opener still on tap for Saturday, September 12 at Florida State with the home opener the following week against Central Florida.
The clock is ticking. The skeptics are shaking their heads. The fans are waiting.