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Anchor Drop, October 12, 2020: When COVID hits

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Well... uh, let’s talk about whether or not there will be a football game this week.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Well, let’s talk about the football team.

The bad news? Vanderbilt lost 41-7 to South Carolina on Saturday, with 56 scholarship players available.

The really bad news? Vanderbilt’s game at Missouri on Saturday could now be in danger. The Southeastern Conference’s protocols require a team to have at least 53 players available for a game, and it’s not entirely clear whether that’s scholarship players or simply players overall. What we do know is that any player who tested positive last week won’t be available for Saturday’s game. (The 56 number also doesn’t include some players out with unrelated injuries; apparently, Vanderbilt only has 70 scholarship players on the roster now if fully healthy thanks to opt-outs and transfers since the start of fall camp.) Players who were potentially exposed to a known case are a little more dicey; they might be out Saturday, but if I’m not mistaken the protocol would allow them to return after a couple of negative tests. But being held out of practice until they’re cleared to return might still affect their availability on Saturday.

From best I can tell, then, a few positive tests last Thursday or Friday could mean Vanderbilt still has limited numbers this week — and might have additional losses that would push them down to 53. Now, here’s where the SEC rules get weird — the Commissioner has the option to cancel or postpone the game, but the team could still elect to play if they want to. My guess, though, is that if Vanderbilt is under the minimum, they would probably elect to have the game postponed. Now, the fact that the game is against Missouri probably plays something of a role here — if it were Florida or Georgia on the schedule this week, I could almost make the argument for just playing the game and taking the loss that’s probably coming whether the team is healthy or not. But Missouri, even after beating LSU on Saturday, still represents one of the best opportunities for a win this season.

Women’s tennis opened the season with multiple wins over Tennessee.

Soccer lost 2-1 to South Carolina on Sunday, in double overtime. More from the Hustler.

Also from the Hustler, Simon Gibbs’ weekly Commodore Brunch column.

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All times Central.