The Safest Places in the United States to Play Football RIGHT NOW came up with a fascinating safety index for Power 5 schools.  According to the study, they “analyzed Covid-19 case data along with RT values, which measure the rate of virus transmission, for the NCAA Power 5 conferences.  The safety index is based on daily active cases compared to the national averaged.  The Safety Index is not meant as a recommendation to attend events in any market, but just one interpretation of publicly-available data.”

Below is a breakdown of each school and conference:

  • 66% of Power 5 teams are Low Risk/Green
  • PAC-12: 91% of teams are Low Risk/Green
  • SEC: 79% of teams are Low Risk/Green, 21% Yellow
  • Big 12: 70% of teams are Low Risk/Green, 30% Yellow
  • ACC: 58% of teams are Low Risk/Green, 21% Yellow, 21% Orange/Red
  • Big Ten: 37% of teams are Low Risk/Green, 21% Yellow, 42% Orange/Red

West Virginia currently holds the top Rt value and interestingly enough, seven of the top 12 places in the country to play college football right now are in the Big 12 Conference.  Following West Virginia are Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Clemons, South Carolina, Oregon, Oregon State, Baylor, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech.

According to the study, if the Rt is above 1.0, the virus will spread quickly. When Rt is below 1.0, the virus will stop spreading.  West Virginia’s Rt is well below 0.5 and so are the other teams in the Big 12.

Kansas and Kansas State are right at 0.5 and only Iowa State is currently slightly above 0.5 in the Big 12 Conference.  Essentially, what this study is saying is that West Virginia could play its current conference schedule with virtually no risk of COVID-19 spreading.

The places with the worst Rt include Rutgers, Syracuse, Northwestern, Illinois and Boston College.