College football in the United States is intricately webbed into our popular culture. Saturday afternoons and nights are reserved for college football drama. Stadiums are packed to the rim with fans screaming for their desired team. However, with the current COVID-19 crisis happening nothing is safe from being cancelled or delayed.
That means the 2020 college football season could be in jeopardy. At this point in late March the season is still a bit off in the distance.
Do college football fans even want to entertain the thought of a season that doesn’t happen?
Obviously not, but spring football practices have been cancelled. That would be the first shoe to drop that puts a delayed, shortened, or even a cancelled season on the list of possibilities for college football in 2020.
College football coaches and players use spring practice to get back into the swing of things with working out, acclimating new players into their respective programs, and building that ever important team chemistry.
With team activities around the country being cancelled or delayed this can certainly hurt programs that have a new coach and coaching staff. The new staffs can’t implement their offensive, defensive, and special teams schemes to help put the players in the position to win games.
Here’s the thing that has been in the back of my mind that creates doubt in my mind about a season happening.
College football is really just four months away. That may seem like a long time, but it isn’t. The athletic directors of every school that have a football program have to figure this out fairly quickly. August 29th is the kick-off date for the college football season and to have any hope of that happening the teams need at least a month to get their programs rolling.
By the beginning of August at the latest teams need to be on the practice field getting ready for the upcoming season. You just can’t throw football players on a field two weeks before a season opener and expect the product to be any good.
Who knows, for some of you that will be so devoid of sports from your life you may accept that kind of football in your lives.
For this season to happen the biggest thing that needs to occur is getting these college players tested for COVID-19. Athletic directors around the country should be planning for this right now. If the AD’s can start the COVID-19 testing now they should be doing it.
If one player tests positive in a combat sport like college football the rest of the season will called into doubt.
Everything around this COVID-19 virus is more important than college football for sure. The safety of the coaches, players, and fans need to be the top priority.
Another option that will get looked at is not having fans at the games. It’s hard to imagine this happening because all the major sport leagues around the country like the NBA, NHL, and MLB have all delayed their seasons rather than play any games with no fans in the arena or stadiums.
Imagine the L.A. Coliseum or Notre Dame Stadium with nobody in it except the players, coaches, and refs. The AD’s around the country don’t want to look at an empty stadium with all that lost revenue.
If the season gets started late then schools need to take a serious look at dropping the out-of-conference games. For the smaller schools who play the Power 5 schools it’s a payday for them. For the bigger schools it is about getting a win against an inferior opponent. For the fans it usually doesn’t mean to much.
I would not be surprised if this option is already being looked at.
The athletic directors and college administrators have a chore in front of them right now. Four months is not a ton of time to get these different aspects figured out. We have to accept the fact that life has changed globally for everyone. If nothing really dramatic changes in the next four months then we could be looking at something we don’t want to look at.
College football could be on the brink for this upcoming season. It would be crazy to think that we would not have college football, but like everything else in life we would get through it.
At the end of the day COVID-19 is making a mockery of our sports world. This virus is making us realize that sports is possibly taking up to much of our time. Maybe we can take this time to adjust our reliance on sports in our lives.