And the fall season?
Who knows how things are going to look 12 months from now, but if this real world nightmare finally slows down or stops, everything is going to be about normalcy.
The idea of getting back into a rhythm of spring practices, training, a summer off, fall camp, and a good old 12-game schedule might seem extremely appealing over any contrived spring thing that doesn’t exactly feel right.
Figure on more of an 8+2 sort of model for the fall and maybe a 9+1 for the Big 12. Several Power Five programs aren’t going to be thrilled at the idea of going 4-6 – they’re going to want those paycheck games – and Group of Five programs are going to really need to play as many non-conference games as possible.
But don’t put it past the conferences and for college football business types to decide that 2021 fall football goes on as if nothing happened.
And the championship? And the College Football Playoff?
Simple. Each league has a conference championship game, there might be a few of the giant bowls – but not all of them – and the College Football Playoff will be the College Football Playoff in May. The committee will come up with the four best teams, and it’ll be a go from there.
Enough … Can a college football spring season happen?
Yeah, it can, and it might go ahead because the athletic departments need money, but why do you want it?
It might be fun for the novelty – there’s something quirky-enjoyable about the NBA and NHL in August – but there’s no getting past that this would be all about the money for the conferences that failed to figure out how to keep everyone safe for fall football.
But mostly, you really, really can’t make college athletes play two college football seasons in the span of a year unless you’re prepared to make it very, very worth their while – colleges would sit and eat the lost opportunity before having a spring session with a changed up pay-the-players system.
Of course, college football players are college football players. There will be some who won’t want to play – and, predictably, will be honked at on social media for not being tough enough – but most of them want to do what they love. Most will want to give it a go no matter what after going a full year without playing.
And then there’s this.
1. There still won’t necessarily be fans in the stands – at least, not enough of them to save the various athletic departments.
2. If there’s 2020 fall football in any way, forget it. The Big Ten, Pac-12, MAC, Mountain West, and a few independents are going to play spring football while everyone else gets time off to rest up? Nah.
The ACC, Big 12 and SEC are going to turn things around for the spring if they play in the fall? Not bloody likely.
Best guess? If all of college football is shut down for the 2020 fall, put it at 50/50 for the spring. If some football is played by some of the conferences, put it at 20%.