Marlins Outbreak Proves that Bubble Could be the Only way to go for College Football

Brooks Austin

Major League Baseball was the first major professional sports organization to float the idea of a bubble atmosphere back in April of this year, only to be successfully followed by the NBA at the end of June. 

And though the idea of having all 30 MLB teams playing in one central location seemed irrational back in April, the NBA has shown that at least 22 teams can make it happen in a controlled environment in Orlando. The NBA recently tested all 346 players in attendance down in Orlando with ZERO positive results, and assuming everyone continues to follow protocol, it seems things will continue in Orlando. 

So, with 14 members of the Miami Marlins having tested positive on Monday, that led to a postponement of not only their matchup with the Orioles but also a suspension of the Phillies and Yankees game because the Marlins were just in Philadelphia. Now, all of professional baseball - and the rest of the sporting world for that matter - awaits the results of the Phillies’ and Marlins’ tests. 

It's proving that the bubble method could  be the only way to go. 

So, could college football actually play under the bubble method? The short answer? No. 

Size of the rosters 

There are 346 players from 22 of 30 NBA rosters playing in Orlando right now. There are at least 150 players on a college football roster. Even if you were to narrow it down to scholarship only players, you're looking at 85 players per roster. So, perhaps you could isolate each Power-5 conference into their own sort of "bubble" and only allow their scholarship athletes. That's still 1,190 players per conference. 

Location

The obvious advantage the NBA has going for them is the fact that they can have multiple courts in one location and can play several games at a time. Where would such a location for football games be located? Unless you were to play these games in one city at various high school stadiums, a bubble type of environment just wouldn't work for something like this. Part of the reason that the Bubble in Orlando is working is that there's really no one coming in or going out without extensive testing and isolation involved. 

That's not to mention if these games are played on college campuses, all of the SEC is planning to have students back on campus this fall. Georgia's enrollment last year alone was close to 40,000. 

These are College Athletes

It's the glaringly obvious portion of this conversation. These aren't professional athletes. They aren't being paid to play this season, well apart from their education if you consider that legitimate compensation. So, are you going to not only ask these athletes to play despite the health and safety risks but also completely confine themselves to their dorm and the facility? 

Unfortunately, the idea of a bubble just is not feasible for college football.

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