OXFORD • For the first time this season, COVID-19 has affected Ole Miss football scheduling.
In a move that was widely anticipated due to contact tracing issues at Texas A&M, the Rebels’ visit to College Station this weekend was officially scrapped on Monday morning.
There are mixed opinions on whether it will be made up.
“It looks like we’re not going to play. I guess there’s a small possibility it could be moved up,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said.
Only three of seven regularly scheduled SEC games were able to be played last weekend. One of those was the Rebels’ 59-42 win over South Carolina.
Texas A&M’s game at Tennessee was postponed. Getting that one in will take priority over the Ole Miss game.
Dec. 12 had already been set aside by the SEC as a date for COVID-19 makeup games. The league announced last week that Dec. 19 – currently the date for the conference championship game – would be utilized as a make-up date for teams not involved in the championship game.
Ole Miss just had its open date on Nov. 7, the Saturday before the South Carolina game.
Kiffin said he was still mapping out the week for the Rebels but, in light of COVID-19 concerns, would not be inclined to allow them to leave Oxford.
“We’re going to keep them here through the weekend,” he said.
There was some talk Monday of possibly moving the Egg Bowl between Ole Miss and Mississippi State to this weekend.
It’s scheduled for Nov. 28, with a 3 p.m, kickoff time that was announced earlier Monday.
The SEC announced last week it could move games to an earlier date on the calendar if two teams were forced to be idle because of COVID-stricken opponents.
The conference has until 8 p.m. on Monday evenings to announce such changes.
Ole Miss has two games currently remaining on the schedule – Nov. 28 at home against MSU and Dec. 5 at LSU.
The LSU game could be impacted by a possible rescheduling of the LSU-Alabama game, one of the four postponed over the weekend.
Alabama and Florida are currently the leading contenders for the championship game.
“We’re going to make every effort to make up the (Texas A&M) game,” Ole Miss athletics director Keith Carter said. “We want to play the games. That’s been important. Our league’s talked a lot about that, finding ways to get the games played. Our players want to play, everyone wants to play. It will just come down to do you have the dates?”