The MAC has canceled its 2020 football season due to concerns over the coronavirus. What’s next for college football?
The MAC becomes the first conference to cancel the college football season, at least for the fall.
The MAC announced on Saturday that it’s cancelling/postponing all fall sports due to the COVD-19 concerns. There’s a thought the league will try to play in the spring, but that’s not a huge part of the discussion at the moment.
The MAC had several issues go against them. The main issue was the concern over keeping the players safe, and part of that came with the cost and the resources to adequately test as needed. The other big problem was the Big Ten’s decision to go to a conference-only schedule.
11 MAC games vs. the Big Ten were affected by the scheduling change. In all, the MAC was expected to lose the paychecks from as many as 21 non-conference games. Every conference is different, but the lost revenue side of those games was devastating.
It might be a bit of a cynical overstatement to say that the MAC would still have fall football if the non-conference games weren’t cancelled, but that certainly – at the very least – tipped the scales. Combine the lost revenue with the massive health concerns, and there was a “what are we doing here?” aspect to the MAC”s decision.
There’s the idea that the MAC will play in the spring. In a perfect world, the rest of college football is able to play and figure out how to do this, and the MAC has the spotlight to itself and gets back some of the lost revenue – and does it all safely – through March and April.
And now all eyes turn to the Power Five conferences. Remember, every conference is different, every conference has a different power structure, and every conference has a different revenue stream for football to work off of. However …
Watch out for the Big Ten. Its season has been hanging by a thread for the last several weeks, and while there seemed to be hope after a schedule was announced, the training camps have changed the dynamic. Many teams aren’t practicing full out over concerns for player safety.
Basically, college football doesn’t have a plan. It didn’t create a real plan over the last four months, it didn’t get creative in figuring out whether or not players could play safely, and the sport kicked the can down the road as far as it can go. Now the season is here, and now the sport is realizing how hard it is to ethically and practically play college football. With that said …
No, the college football season isn’t done yet. Even if the Big Ten decides to follow the MAC’s lead, no matter what the optics, the SEC, ACC and Big 12 will still likely do everything humanly possible to play. However, it’ll be a bad, bad look if other conferences try to push things to the spring and everyone else doesn’t follow suit.
So let’s say the other conferences do play. Get ready for the transfer portal to be loaded with top MAC players. Buffalo RBs Jaret Patterson and Kevin Marks, UB DE Malcolm Koonce and LB James Patterson, Toledo RB Bryant Koback, Western Michigan defensive front seven stars Treshaun Hayward and Ali Fayad, and Miami University OT Tommy Doyle are Power Five starters if they choose to leave.
Through all of this, just remember, this will go by in a hurry. There will be college football again, even if it’s not everywhere for right now.