What's Next in College Football? Possibly Seeing the NCAA Symbolically Ripped in Half

Christopher Walsh

The college football world seemed to catch its breath a little while behind the scenes the Power 5 leagues were hastily working on plans to try and play this season in the fall, including finalizing schedules. 

Part of that was due to the Southeastern Conference being upset about audio from a Zoom call being leaked to the Washington Post, which included football players voicing concerns about their own safety regarding playing amid COVID-19. 

Consequently, there may be very little coming out of the SEC until the 10-game conference schedule is officially announced (look for that Tuesday). 

But it was just part of a very rough weekend for college football. 

Hundreds of Pac-12 football players announced a proposed boycott, delivered a list of demands to conference and university leadership, and voiced their unified determination to Sports Illustrated and other media outlets.

SI also reported on Saturday that leaders from Power 5 conferences have initiated discussions about staging their own breakaway fall championships if the NCAA Board of Governors postpones or cancels them

That led to speculation like the following: 

Pat Forde: Explosive Weekend Raises Doubts About Whether the NCAA Can (and Should) Survive

Tony Barnhart: When It Comes To Playing Football in A Pandemic, Is There An Acceptable Risk?

We could see the NCAA, at least symbolically, ripped in half Tuesday. 

The NCAA Board of Governors will meet again, and many expect it to cancel/postpone the championships, and possibly all fall sports at the Division II and III levels while holding off on a decision on Division I. 

Overshadowing that will be the release of the fall football schedule by the SEC and other leagues (which might never see a game played). 

With the SEC going from eight league games to 10 this year, Alabama fans heard speculation that the two games added to the Crimson Tide schedule will likely be Florida and Vanderbilt. However, the league quickly countered that by saying opponents would likely be determined by strength of schedule. 

Demetrius Harvey of All Gators took a shot at creating a formula predict the two cross-division games in the SEC's conference-only schedule. He projected Alabama to add Florida and Kentucky, but that seems unlikely considering the Crimson Tide will already face Georgia and Tennessee, so it would play the top four teams in the East.

We thought the week before last was the calm before the storm, but this is another brief respite before the craziness returns. Enjoy it while you can. 

The best approach for college football

Albert Breer's MMQB had an interesting item about how Oklahoma is approaching camp. 

“Probably the biggest thing was, I didn’t read anything online,” Coach Lincoln Riley said. “Once I figured out there was gonna be so much out there about it, it was hard just to zero in on what was true, what was false, where all these opinions were coming from. So I put my education in the hands of our medical personnel here and their experience .… There’s been so many differing opinions and thoughts on treatments, how to handle it, best practices, all that, I figured hearing from a group of voices that I know and trust was best.”

The Sooners had 100 players and 38 football staffers tested, and zero came back positive. Riley says the key was gathering as much information as possible, and having players wear masks at all times, limiting the flow of foot traffic in the building and minimizing the sort of downtime where guys would normally just be sitting around together. 

“Everything,” Riley said. “Conditioning. Practice. Shower. You name it, they have a mask on.” 

Are marching bands safe?

Matthew Stevens of IlliniNow has worked extensively on a feature about marching bands and if it's safe for them to play at games. 

In addition to nearly on being able to play an instrument while wearing a mask, and formations that obviously violate social-distancing protocols, he looked into whether it's safe for anyone to play a wind instrument without possibly risking the health of anyone nearby. 

The preliminary results of scientific study done at Colorado and Maryland, released online without peer review due to time limitations, showed for the first time that playing a musical instrument can produce droplets that can carry the COVID-19 virus. 

The study showed these “aerosols” produced from the wind and spit needed to play the instrument can stay airborne for long periods of time and different instruments can produce different amounts of droplets. An example from the study found the trumpet and clarinet, which run straighter from the mouthpiece to the instrument opening, had higher concentrations of the droplets that could lead to a spread of COVID-19.

Will The Show Still Go On For College Marching Bands During the COVID-19 Era?

Did you notice?

• James "Fly" Williams was a hero of hot New York summer nights. A streetball legend who showed others a way out. An untamable talent who fizzled in the pros and wrestled a bear for a paycheck. A reclamation project who taught through his errors.

"They call this the safe haven of Brownsville," he told Sports Illustrated, not knowing that police were already on to his heroin operation. Now that he’s in prison, his whole story needs retelling.

When Fly Got Swatted cover story
Sports Illustrated

• Joe Burrow, like Rob Gronkowski, is planning to save all his NFL paychecks and live off his endorsement money. 

 Announcers losing their minds in an empty stadium will take some getting used to.

Christopher Walsh's notes column All Things CW appears regularly on BamaCentral 

Register today for free or log in to access this premium article.
Comments (2)
No. 1-2
Joey Blackwell
Joey Blackwell


There have been talks of the Power 5 splitting for years. Maybe this is the final push it needs ...

Christopher Walsh
Christopher Walsh


"I hope people see what happened to us and use that as a warning if you're not following the protocols 100%. You can't let your guard down. We're battling something that is invisible." -- Derek Jeter buff.ly/2XmCUrQ

All Things Bama