What I think, know and believe about the college football world during a global pandemic, the wacky Big Ten, and the craziest offseason ever in the 2020 debut of the Cavalcade of Whimsy.
Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …
It’s those fear-porn peddling sports media people, with all of their fancy schmancy facts based on things being told to them by experts and specialists.
Think, Know, Believe, Eat, Pray Love, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Little, Yellow, Different, Better, Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV …
After all of whatever that was over the last seven months, we kickoff the 2020 Cavalcade with the pretentiousness pedal pushed to the floor.
Welcome to the debut of a new segment: I Think, I Know, I Believe.
I Think: You desperately need and deserve a break from the real world, and you need college football – issues and all – as an escape.
I Know: I do.
I Believe: After this week, I’ll keep it about college football as much as possible throughout this season. Welcome to the bubble. Clean up after yourselves.
I Think: “Your” a moron if you believe the college football media doesn’t want college football.
I Know: The college football media doesn’t have the slimmest sliver of power and influence you think it has.
I Believe: I don’t even have power or influence over the kid at Chipotle to give me an honest serving of barbacoa in my bowl.
I Think: In the time of a global pandemic, colleges have absolutely zero clue how to run school as we normally know it.
I Know: Regular class life is or will be disrupted all across the country.
I Believe: College football isn’t regular college.
I Think: Optics are in the eye of the beholder.
I Know: The optics of college football being played if regular students aren’t on campus are awful.
I Believe: Optics my ass to 99% of college football fans once the ball is kicked off.
I Think: Compared to the rest of the normal student population, during the season, college football players at least have the structure, constant medical attention and supervision, and the focused-mindset goal to not do something stupid.
I Know: College students gonna go college students.
I Believe: You can’t negotiate with a virus, or college students with a taste of freedom.
I Think: It’s really, really gross and disgusting to use the COVID-19 nightmare to analyze the potential of wins and losses.
I Know: The team that keeps its car on the track and can finish the race without a slew of in-season infections will be the most successful when it comes to wins and losses.
I Believe: Everyone will have to use the COVID-19 nightmare to analyze the potential of wins and losses, and it’s going to be icky.
I Think: You can’t socially distance and play football. All the rules for mask-wearing and all the other protocols on the field are ridiculous.
I Know: College football isn’t inherently doable now just because no one on Central Arkansas or Austin Peay passed out from the virus during the game.
I Believe: Twitter needs to flag those who thought they were original by posting how FCS teams played college football while the Big Ten can’t figure it out.
I Think: Almost all college-age students and football players who get the virus will turn out to be just fine. If they get it, they’ll quarantine, get past it, and will be out there doing what they do a few weeks later.
I Know: “Almost” isn’t everyone. Way too many people – especially a certain creepy sports sect that pushes false equivalency schtick – are way, way, WAY too cost-of-doing-business-cool with the death of almost 200,000 Americans.
I Believe: Those who think this is no big whoop don’t know the people I do – of various age groups – who can’t shake it from their systems several months after getting sick. They’re not going to die from it, but between the debilitating headaches, the side effects leading to hospital trips, and/or simply not being able to function, pray you don’t ever know what that’s like.
I Think: We’re this close to having a super-fast, cheap, and reliable test that on a mass scale that will change everything.
I Know: College football will get back something close to normal once the tests becomes an easy part of the routine,
I Believe: SEC commissioner Greg Sankey is banking on those tests being ready by late September. The Big Ten could save face and pivot in a hurry if these tests really are in place over the next month or so.
I Think: The SEC isn’t quite the 100% sure-thing to play that y’all might think it is. It’s being careful, and it’s being smart by waiting until late September.
I Know: The Big Ten got dunked on by the ACC, SEC and Big 12.
I Believe: All of the Power Five conferences came to the same conclusion, but the instant the Big Ten announced it was postponing the season, everything changed because, like everything else, this fell along partisan lines.
I Think: Justin Fields really does want to play.
I Know: He’s the starting quarterback for any team but Clemson if he chooses to transfer.
I Believe: If all the people who signed Fields’ petition gave him $500, that’s not even close to what he’ll make in career earnings if he just spends the next several months staying safe and healthy.
I Think: The 2020 college football season is going to finish as scheduled.
I Know: The 2020 college football season is going to start as scheduled.
I Believe: The 2020 college football season is going to be a flaming hot mess in between.
I Think: I believe the 2021 college football season will be almost back to normal.
I Know: I think the 2021 college football season will be almost back to normal.
I Believe: I know the 2021 college football season will be almost back to normal.