Liberty is out and BYU is in.
With Liberty unable to make the trip to Coastal Carolina this weekend due to the program’s COVID-19 cases, BYU will now play CCU instead. The turn of events creates one of the best matchups of the weekend — a game between two undefeated teams.
The game will kick off at 5:30 p.m. ET Saturday and air on ESPNU.
"We’re grateful that this game between our two teams could be put together in such a timely fashion." said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe.
BYU is 9-0 and ranked No. 13 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Before this matchup came together, it had only one other game scheduled — a Dec. 12 home game against San Diego State.
Now the Cougars have the chance to go up against another undefeated team in No. 18 Coastal Carolina (also 9-0). The Chanticleers, only in their fourth season at the FBS level, have already wrapped up the Sun Belt East division title.
With Liberty’s status up in the air, the BYU staff began to prepare to play CCU in recent days. Now that preparation will be put to good use.
Liberty has paused all team-related activities, and its regular season is now over. The Flames finish the year 9-1 and will await a possible invitation to a bowl game.
Liberty said it intends to reschedule the game against Coastal Carolina “at a future date.”
Michigan unable to play Maryland
Another Big Ten game has been canceled.
The Maryland vs. Michigan game scheduled for Saturday has been called off due to COVID-19 issues at Michigan.
Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters Monday that his team had experienced “an increased number of presumptive positives.” Those test results caused the program to hold all football activities virtually for the past two days.
Michigan said Wednesday that it will now pause football practices. The earliest practice can resume is Monday, Dec. 7.
"The decision by our medical professionals to stop practices and cancel this Saturday's game against Maryland was made with the health, safety and welfare of the student-athletes, coaches and staff as our utmost priority," said Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel. "We have seen an increase in the number of student-athletes unavailable to compete due to positive tests and associated contact tracing due to our most recent antigen and PCR testing results."
This is the first game of the season that Michigan has lost. Maryland, on the other hand, has now seen three of its games get canceled. The Terps had their own outbreak earlier in the year and had to miss two games.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Wolverines will be able to return to the field for the game at Ohio State on Dec. 12. Ohio State missed its game with Illinois last week and needs to play six games to be eligible for the Big Ten title game. OSU is slated to return to action against Michigan State on Saturday but would need to play Michigan the following week to reach six games played.
Minnesota’s virus issues continue
Minnesota’s game against Northwestern has been canceled. It will not be rescheduled and has been ruled a no contest.
Minnesota paused team activities last week, causing its game against Wisconsin to be canceled. The school said Saturday that 40 people within its program, 20 players and 20 staff members, had tested positive for COVID-19 over the previous 10 days.
Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle said Monday that there has been a decrease in positive cases over the last couple of days, but “not to the point where we are able to return to competition.”
Overall, the program has had 47 positive cases — 21 players, 26 staff members — since Nov. 19. While team activities are still paused, Coyle said the program will try to return to the field against Nebraska on Dec. 12.
“We will now shift our priority to doing everything possible to compete at Nebraska on December 12, and our decisions will continue to be guided by our medical experts,” Coyle said.
Minnesota said it will “conduct all meetings virtually for the remaining duration of the season.”
ACC scheduling adjustments
COVID-19 postponements for Week 14 began before Week 13 was even complete.
The ACC announced Saturday that Miami’s game vs. Wake Forest on Dec. 5 had been postponed because of COVID-19 cases at Wake Forest. The game had been moved to Dec. 5 from Nov. 21 after COVID-19 cases at Miami caused the Hurricanes to miss two games.
Miami, which has not played since Nov. 14, was able to find a replacement on Sunday.
The ACC announced Sunday night that the ninth-ranked Hurricanes will now play on the road against Duke. Duke was originally scheduled to host Florida State, but FSU has been dealing with COVID-19 issues and had to call off its game against Virginia over the weekend.
Miami initially had Wake Forest on the schedule, but Wake’s own virus issues caused that to be postponed. With both teams needing an opponent, the ACC matched up Miami and Duke.
The Miami-Duke game will kick off at 8 p.m. and air on ACC Network.
Another Sunday Pac-12 game ... as of now
The Pac-12 said that Washington State and USC are now scheduled to play on Sunday night. Both the Trojans and Cougars didn’t play in Week 13 because of COVID-19 cases at each school.
The game is tentatively set to kick off at 9 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
Week 14 postponed or canceled games
No. 9 Miami vs. Wake Forest (postponed)
Southern Miss vs. UTEP (canceled)
Florida State vs. Duke (postponed)
Northwestern vs. Minnesota (canceled)
Western Kentucky vs. Charlotte (Week 13 game pushed to Tuesday, canceled)
Kent State vs. Miami, Ohio (canceled)
Maryland at Michigan (canceled)
Houston at SMU (canceled)
UAB at Middle Tennessee State (canceled)
Boise State at UNLV (canceled)
Vanderbilt at Georgia (postponed)
Buffalo at Ohio (canceled)
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