Oct 9, 2020 - Sports

Coronavirus guidelines may have caused college football's sloppy start

A fan. Photo: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Photo: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

College football hasn't been the prettiest product thus far, with sloppy play and shocking upsets dominating the first month of the season.

The state of play: Safety guidelines impacted summer training, and even when teams were allowed to hold practice, they often lacked full participation with players out due to COVID-19, leading to myriad unsightly trends.

  • Special teams mistakes: Limited practice has pushed special teams to the back burner and it shows. Week 2 saw the lowest field goal percentage (60.1%) since December 2007 and there have already been 15 blocked punts.
  • More turnovers: Intraconference interceptions across FBS have increased 19% compared to last year, and turnovers are up in the AAC (30%), SEC (19%) and ACC (17%), per the Wall Street Journal.

The bottom line: Upsets have reigned supreme because chaos tends to favor the underdog, narrowing the talent gap and turning games into, well, a bit of a mess.

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