FAYETTEVILLE – Because of covid-19 coronavirus positive tests, covid-19 contact tracing and covid-19 existing quarantines within the Arkansas Razorbacks football program,
the Arkansas vs. Missouri football game scheduled for Saturday in Columbia, Mo. has been postponed, the SEC announced late Monday afternoon in Birmingham, Ala.
For the 3-5 Razorbacks, whose available numbers after last week’s covid-19 tests were thin but doable for last Saturday’s 27-24 loss to LSU in Fayetteville, it marks the first postponement of the season.
Missouri, 3-3, has twice had to postpone games because of covid issued and will make up one of those Saturday hosting the Vanderbilt Commodores Saturday in Columbia.
Vanderbilt was supposed to play Tennessee Saturday but Tennessee had to postpone because of covid-19 positive tests, contact tracing and quarantines.
According to Monday afternoon’s SEC announcement released from Birmingham: “The opportunity to reschedule the Arkansas at Missouri and Tennessee at Vanderbilt games will be evaluated. The rescheduling of games on the remaining SEC football schedule will include December 19 as a playing date.”
For now Dec. 19 would be available both to Arkansas and Missouri.
On the 10-game entirely SEC schedule revamped last summer and eliminating the four nonconference games that were on all SEC’s teams’ original 12-game schedules, the Razorbacks were to conclude their season hosting Alabama, Dec. 5 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
On his Monday morning press conference when Saturday’s game would be played, Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman obviously was wary of the Razorbacks’ covid-19 numbers with Sunday’s tests results not back and two more tests forthcoming.
““I mean, with the tests, with injuries, concussions, there’s so much going on,” Pittman said. “Can we get a guy or two back? Sure. I think the timeline has been that we could possibly get 1-2 guys back. But then you’ve got to look into injuries, yesterday’s test and all those things. Certainly our numbers aren’t any better than what they were Saturday.”
Apparently the numbers only went up and did not meet what is specified by the SEC Medical Task Force.
“The SEC makes it,” Pittman said Monday morning when asked whether it’s team or the SEC declaring whether the games can be played or not. “We tell them who we have exactly to the number. We tell them how many we have at quarterback, how many we have at O-line, how many we have at D-line and how many we have as a total scholarship number and then they make the decision on whether we’re going to play the game or not.”