It’s possible that the college football season won’t happen at all this fall. That would certainly be sad news for many fans who follow and watch college football, but right now, the coronavirus is out of control and nobody really knows how much longer it will take for it to be stopped. This unfortunate situation might lead college football to be moved to spring if things don’t improve, according to the latest chatter around the pipeline.
Everybody wishes the games could be played beginning sometime in August, but the current panorama is not favorable yet. As stressful as it is, everyone will need to be patient at least a few more weeks to find out what’s in store.
College Football In The Spring Sounds Weird
College football fans might be shocked to imagine scenarios like watching Alabama and Tennessee playing on the third Saturday in March, in the spring, instead of the third Saturday in October, or even having Ole Miss and Mississippi State playing in the Easter Egg Bowl. People would most likely not be thrilled to negotiate such changes. If they had magic powers to turn things back the way they were before, they would do it without regret.
But this is the sad reality – there is no turning back. Everyone needs to have an open mind and accept things as they are going to come in the next weeks.
Things are not that favorable because the Big Ten and Pac-12 publicly announced that their teams will only play conference games. COVID-19 cases are emerging in places like Arizona, California, Florida (Miami being the hot spot now) and Texas. Athletic officials throughout the country feel quite pessimistic and have declared that the harsh impact of the virus could make their seasons not to happen at all.
On top of that, college football commissioners and high-ranking players are closer to acknowledge that the season is more likely to be conducted this coming spring. So far, 90 NCAAF teams have called off football.
Sports Leaders Are Ready For The Worst
What’s more, director of athletics Jack Swarbrick of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, said, “I think we need to be prepared to do it, and I think it should be viewed as a viable option. We’re going to learn so much from the NBA and NHL and Major League Baseball in the next few weeks, and if, for example, those efforts go poorly, it’s probably going to be a really critical data point for us, and we’ll argue for delay. If that occurs, I think you’ve gotta be open to the spring.” Maybe for the moment, it is soon to make such decision.
However, as time goes by, more and more people who have a say in the leagues are keen to have their action next spring. Instead of having long and hostile discussions about this matter (remember the MLB?), it is better to be flexible. It is for the leagues’ sake, for saving college football’s future and for the stability of all the coaches, players and staff members.
College Leagues Begin To Lay Out Plans
On the same matter, Pac-12 and Big Ten announced recent decisions. They would prefer having a 10-game schedule, if possible, as a way to show more flexibility when it comes to the start of the season. The conferences involved don’t have much time left. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey offered on an ESPN Radio interview, “We are running out of time to correct and get things right, and as a society we owe it to each other to be as healthy as we can be.” Sankey’s concern is very high, and he was serious about this. Kevin Warren, who is also a commissioner for the Big Ten, supported him by saying that, if a prompt decision is not made, chances are that there is no season at all.
Therefore, quick action is needed and approved if the conferences involved want to have a season this year. Of course, the decisions also depend on COVID-19’s behavior in the coming weeks. As a final remark, college football season may need a Hail Mary to be saved, otherwise spring ball, here we come.