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December 2, 2020


 CU beat San Diego at Folsom Field Saturday. Next, the Aztecs face the CSU Rams Saturday in San Diego. (CU Athletics.) 


Unfortunately, the weekly or even daily question that has to be asked of every college football coach is:


Is your team going to be able to play this week?


On Wednesday, both Colorado coach Karl Dorrell and Colorado State coach Steve Addazio sounded relatively confident that their Saturday games -- CU (3-0) at Arizona (0-3); and CSU (1-2) at San Diego State (3-3) -- will go as scheduled.


That is, unless their opponents have COVID-19 problems that force cancellations.


Dorrell sounded more optimistic, but his knock  on the table in front of him during his answer to my question was a reflexive precaution.


And this was on a campus that Tuesday shut down -- or "paused" its men's basketball program in advance of a Pac-12 Conference opener on Wednesday at, yes, Arizona.   


"As of today, we're healthy," Dorrell said. "I'm nervous every day,  but as we march through the week and  it's Wednesday in the middle of the week and now it's going to be I would say a highest alert. I'll be nervous when it becomes Thursday, Friday and then playing the game on Saturday. Anything can happen in the next couple of days and we're trying to guard against it happening. So the awareness, the nervousness, all those things I'm concerned with every day get heightened as we go through the week.


"But for the most part, these football players I've been given the chance to lead have done a tremendous job and I'm just hoping we can continue in that fashion the next two or three days."


In Fort Collins less than an hour earlier, Addazio had said the Rams were shorthanded at practice and likely will remain so for the game against the Aztecs. But he said CSU should have enough bodies under the conference protocol to at least play.


"But we're going to be missing a lot of starters," he said.


In response to my question about perspective, Addazio talked about knowing that the problems of a single football program don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world -- Bogart's words, not Addazio's -- but went on at length about a program's transition after a coaching change under these circumstances.


"As you pointed out, there are concerns out there bigger than football," he said. "But it's our livelihood, it's still our world. When you're a competitor, you're competing and you want win every time. . . To me, the biggest thing is, like a number of leagues did, we should have started earlier, like we were supposed to have, OK? In hindsight. Of course, hindsight is hindsight. The problem now is the whole college football world is a day by day, week by week thing, you're trying to cram at the finish line now now and it's hard. It's getting harder every week and we all know that."


As a follow, I asked Addazio if he was second-guessing the Mountain West decision to have a fall season.


My kicker was going to be asking if it might have been better to stick to the plan to play in the spring instead.


That's what I believe the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Mountain West -- among others -- should have done rather than cave in to the pressure to follow the SEC, ACC and Big 12 to play a fall schedule.


I didn't get to the kicker.


"No, no, no," Addazio said. " I think God every day we're playing. No, I think this is the right thing to do to play. You kidding me? No. This is good. It's good for everybody. If we weren't playing, it wouldn't be like the virus wouldn't still be (present). . . If anything it gives us a focus and a discipline and I think there's a lot of positives. That's why were trying to do everything in our power, with protocols and safety measures, to keep everybody as safe as we can as we play this."


From week to week.