2020 College Football Season Ends
By: Tyler Shugart
Well the 2020 College Football is over. The season was different from anything we have ever seen. With Covid causing teams to shorten seasons, some only playing conference schedules, cancel games, and players having to miss time for positive test and contact tracing, the season really was strange and often times very trying. However, thanks to the leadership of people like SEC Commish Greg Sankey the season got started, and wax completed Monday Night.
While the season seemed very different in many regards, it was also very much the same as usual. The ACC was very top heavy, Notre Dame was overhyped, and Alabama was head and shoulders above the rest.
Clemson had another tremendous year led by start quarterback Trevor Lawerence and senior running back Travis Etienne. Lawrence came into the season as the projected number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and the front runner to win the Heisman Trophy. After the season he is still projected to be the number one pick and it appears he will head to Jacksonville to play for a first year head coach. Lawerence’s Heisman hopes faded when the junior quarterback was forced to miss two games due to a positive COVID test. Lawerence still managed to throw for over 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns while leading the Tigers to another ACC Title and a birth in the College Football Playoff. After the Tigers loss in the playoff Lawrence, who finished second in the Heisman race, surprised nobody and declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. Clemson looked as if they were poised for another Title Game rematch with the Alabama Crimson Tide until the Tigers lost to an Ohio State team that had only played seven games on the season at that point. In that playoff game it looked like the Tigers got out coached for the first time in many years. The Tigers will of course lose Lawerence and Etienne, along with Amari Rodgers, Baylon Spector, Nolan Turner, and Jackson Carman but with a quarterback already on the roster who has seen important playing times, and performed well the Tigers are in a good spot for 2021.
The same cannot be said for the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gamecocks had a miserable 2-8 season that saw their head coach fired part of the way through the season. Things got worse for the Gamecocks after their head coach was dismissed and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was named interim coach, when starters on the defensive side of the football started opting out, including Jaycee Horne, a projected early pick in the NFL Draft. Early in the season the Gamecocks got back to back wins over Vanderbilt and #15 ranked Auburn and things were looking up for the Gamecocks. However, back to back to back big losses to LSU, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss spelled the end for Will Muschamp. The Gamecocks would lose their final three football games to finish 2-8 and get an invite to the Gasparilla Bowl before opting out of that game with UAB due to Covid. Shane Beamer was hired as the new head coach and started filling out his staff by retaining OC Mike Bobo and a couple other Gamecock assistants while hiring Will Friend from Tennessee to coach the offensive line. Under two weeks later Bobo and Friend would both depart for Auburn for the same jobs they were hired to do at Carolina. Every time it looks like Beamer has his staff complete some one else seems to bolt for Auburn. The Gamecocks have had several players hit the transfer portal including one time starting quarterback, Ryan Hilinski. Hilinski started for the Gamecocks after an injury ended the South Carolina career of Jake Bentley in 2019 but saw very limited playing time in 2020 under Mike Bobo. The Gamecocks will return leading rusher Kevin Harris, who had over 1,000 yards last year and Luke Doty who started at QB for the Gamecocks at the tail end of this past season.
While the 2020 season probably didn’t end the way we wanted it to, it could have been a lot worse. Many members of the media didn’t want to see college football happen at all, and they stated that there was no way we could get a season in, but we did. We were told that people would die from COVID contracted through football, if college football was played this year by a writer for CBS Sports, but they didn’t. Other than a same games getting canceled, I would say this season was a success It happened and we got to watch it and to almost nobody’s surprise Alabama won again. Hopefully next season things are back to normal and we can tailgate and fill stadiums again. There is a positive side to all this that happened, the FCS division didn’t play in the fall so we get spring football!!!!