On Monday, more information emerged about why the Baylor Bears suspended all football activities last Thursday and postponed Saturday’s schedule game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys — athletics director Mack Rhoades revealed that the Bears have 28 active COVID-19 cases within the program, along with 14 staff members.
The belief is reportedly that one of more false negative tests before playing West Virginia in Morgantown resulted in a superspreader event.
All told, there are 44 cases that Baylor is now monitoring, including primary contacts.
Given that high number, it seems fair to say that the game between Baylor and Texas scheduled for Oct. 24 is now in jeopardy.
Just the postponement of the Oklahoma State game marks another difficult development for the Bears program under first-year head coach Dave Aranda — Baylor was set to open the season against Louisiana Tech, but displacement from Hurricane Laura caused 38 Bulldogs players to test positive for COVID-19 in the aftermath.
Then, Baylor scheduled a last-minute game against Houston, but had to cancel because the Bears did not meet the Big 12 thresholds for playing due to a shortage of offensive linemen.
So the Bears have only played two games so far this season and will potentially enter the game against the Longhorns with limited experience under Aranda following an easy win over Kansas and a double-overtime loss to West Virginia. That also means that Texas won’t have much film on Baylor, but the biggest current concern is whether the Bears can keep from having new positive tests and start practice again in the near future.
From the Texas perspective, head coach Tom Herman is intent on correcting the numerous issues within his own program and doesn’t plan to start focusing on Baylor until Friday.
“It is crazy — I feel for for the guys at Baylor,” Herman said on Monday. “Obviously, you guys know my relationship with Dave; it goes back over 20 years. I feel for them. I don’t know exactly what all is going on within their program but right now, especially this week, moving forward, this is about us and fixing the things that are fixable that we are deficient at right now.
The game against Baylor is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. Central on ESPN at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
If the outbreak at Baylor does result in another postponement, here’s how the game against Texas could still happen this season with the Bears and Cowboys scheduled to play on Dec. 12:
The Baylor-Texas game on 10/24 seems like it’s definitely in jeopardy...but it’s not complicated to make that game happen:— Gabe Ikard (@GabeIkard) October 12, 2020
1) Texas and Kansas play on 11/21 but both have byes on 11/14. So you move Texas-KU to 11/14.
2) Baylor has a bye 11/21. You play Baylor-Texas on 11/21.