Army’s 2020 football schedule took two more turns Tuesday.
Around 10 a.m., fellow independent FBS side UMass announced it was canceling its football season due to “continuing challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.” Army was set to host the Minutemen on Nov. 21.
Suddenly — after adding Middle Tennessee State to its schedule — Army was back down to five games for 2020.
“I am absolutely heartbroken for our players, our former players, our alumni and our UMass Football community,” UMass football head coach Walt Bell said in a statement. “Our job as coaches and mentors is to provide opportunities for our players, and do everything in our power to not take them away. Today’s news was devastating, but we will be resilient and prepared to be our best when our best is required.”
UMass cancels fall football season. UMass is 27th FBS football program of 130 that won’t play this fall— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 11, 2020
And then, Army’s schedule experienced another change, this one for the better if you’re among those rooting for a college football season this fall.
Around 6:15 p.m., Georgia Southern announced it had scheduled a game against Army for this season and will visit West Point on Nov. 21.
For the Eagles — who were coached by Army head coach Jeff Monken from 2010 through 2013 — the game at Michie Stadium replaces a non-conference match-up they had with Ole Miss. That game was scrapped when the SEC announced its conference-only model.
This will be the first-ever meeting between Army and Georgia Southern, two teams who both run variations of the triple-option. This game could feature maybe five total passes and be over in an hour.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to travel to West Point and play Army,” Georgia Southern AD Jared Benko said in a statement. “Army has a lot of tradition and this will be a great matchup between two storied programs. I have a lot of respect for Coach Jeff Monken and what he’s done there.”
The landscape of college football this fall continues to change. Since Saturday, the MAC, Mountain West, Big Ten and Pac-12 have announced that they will not play football this fall.
Meanwhile, the SEC, ACC, American, CUSA and Sun Belt (which Georgia Southern plays in) seem committed to playing. Things could change again on Wednesday though when then Big 12 is reportedly expected to finalize a decision.
On Tuesday night, this was the latest on that front:
Source: The Big 12 Presidents are wrapping up their call. The league is going to continue to pursue playing this season. A schedule, which was already prepared, will be released in the near future. This confirms what our @rivals friends at @SoonerScoop reported.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 12, 2020
SOURCES: The Big 12 presidents have decided to continue on to keep playing this season and are expected to have a revised schedule already in the works. @SoonerScoop was first to report the news.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) August 12, 2020
Stay tuned, folks.
Here’s Army’s 2020 football schedule as of Tuesday night:
- Sept. 5 vs. Middle Tennessee State
- TBD at Rice
- Nov. 7 vs. Air Force
- Nov. 14 at Tulane
- Nov. 21 vs. Georgia Southern
- Dec. 12 vs. Navy