10 Questions With No Answers: A Tough Look at 2020 College Football Season

Brad Senkiw

It’s getting harder and harder to find something positive in the news concerning a 2020 college football season and COVID-19.

That became as apparent as ever Saturday when SEC commissioner Greg Sankey wrote the words nobody wanted to read.

“The direct reality is not good," Sankey wrote on Twitter. "I want to provide the opportunity for college athletics to be part of the fall, but we need to all consider our behavior to make possible what right now appears very difficult."

That came shortly after he said the concern for missing out on a season this fall is “high to very high.”

The reason these words stand out is the reality that the SEC has given off the vibe more than any other league that there will be a season, and Sankey is one of the most powerful people in college sports.

Sure, concern was at an all-time high when the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they’d only play conference games this fall, and then rumors about the ACC following suit swirled late last week.

However, commissioner John Swofford is waiting until later this month to make those kinds of decisions. But how inevitable are those decisions at this point?

The belief in a college football season has changed so drastically in the last two weeks, it’s hard to remember that voluntary workouts are continuing at many schools.

Two months ago, we took a look at what could be a very disjointed season. Today, that’s become our reality.

And with that, here are 10 questions worth pondering:

  • Should all fall sports move to the spring? Maybe so, if we want fans in stands and lessen the inevitable economic downfall.
  • Does that just buy time? Right now, sports are trying to live with the virus and make decisions within that context but delaying to the spring could solve nothing if numbers don't come down.
  • What will Clemson stars like Travis Etienne and Trevor Lawrence do if there is a spring season? It doesn't appear that the NFL is going to change its draft schedule as of now, so this is a reality that fans could have to accept if the game's best players have to choose between a spring college season and the next level. 
  • If college football is played in the fall, how will the CFP committee determine the postseason with mostly or conference games only? This is a tough one. No one will want to be on a committee that has to change its guidelines and work within a disjointed schedule. 
  • Where is the NCAA in all of this? They're sitting to the side, "supporting" conferences instead of being proactive. We need more.
  • Why don’t we have a czar of college football? This is usually one of those fun topics but seriously, we need one voice to unite all of these leagues in a time like this. 
  • Will the ACC schedule more games within the conference? They should, although fair and balanced will be impossible and likely have great effects.
  • Who will Clemson play within the league if that’s the case? Tigers could trade Akron and The Citadel for Miami and Duke. That could actually make for some nice intrigue and storylines. 
  • Is there a way to keep out-of-conference rivalries like Clemson and South Carolina? There certainly should be, although it'll be up to the conferences and schools to make that work.
  • Could we get an ACC-SEC invitational type event? Going off of the question above, let's replace some non-conference games with opponents far away with a more regional feel. 

There are many, many more questions, but it’s clear we’re headed to an unusual season. One month from now we’ll know a lot more, but it’s time to start thinking outside the box and searching for answers. 

Comments (2)
No. 1-2
Christopher Hall
Christopher Hall

This could all get messy, quickly. I don't see how we can make a spring season work schedule/timing-wise and that puts an incredible amount of stress on programs to play in the spring then be prepared for fall 2021 as well. I think at least one nonconference/rivalry game has to be worked in somehow. Clearly, the conference only strategy isn't just about distance. We have to find a way to make that work, IMO.

Brad Senkiw
Brad Senkiw

Editor

With scheduling rules up to the conferences and not mandated, the ACC and SEC should play out their matchups and add a few more to balance out both conferences' teams.


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