Skip to main content

Brian Kelly Opines On The Possibility Of Starting In October

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly discussed the possibility of the 2020 season starting in October

Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly told NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico that he and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick are discussing a number of contingencies for playing the 2020 season. 

There are deadlines for when the season could start, and if teams return some time in June then starting the season on a normal schedule would work.

But if the return to school gets pushed back into July the college football world would have some decisions to make. Kelly hinted that he and Swarbrick have discussed starting the season in October and still getting a full season in.

“I think it’s conceivable to me, as long as we’re in that early June window, we can get ready [to] start the season for where it is right now. Anything that pushes later into July or August and we’re going to have some adjustments. I know Jack Swarbrick and I have talked about different models. You know there’s the potential that we can start as late as October and still get our 12 game schedule in without bye weeks and moving a little later into December because we don’t have a conference championship. Without altering the schedule too far, if we started with Wisconsin on October 3rd - and we went straight through the schedule and didn’t have the bye weeks, because there are two bye weeks - then went two weeks later into December, we could get all our 12 games in.”

It would be incredibly challenging to start the season with the October 3rd games and then figure out how to fit the first four games into the schedule. It would be a scheduling nightmare. The better way of going about it would be to simply start the season the first week of October with the first game on the schedule and go about it that way.

Of course, this scenario would mean the conferences would also have to move their season back as well, including the conference title games. There would then be either little to no time between the end of the season and bowl games, unless bowl games were moved back as well (into January) in order to give time between the end of the season and bowl games.

This would certainly not be an ideal situation, but it would be much better than not playing a full season. What would be interesting is how would Notre Dame and Navy handle the location of their game in this scenario. 

Also, how would playing 12 straight games with no bye weeks impact players/rosters who missed traditional spring and summer workouts? That must be considered, because there is greater risk for players wearing down much more later in the season, and when that happens players are more susceptible to injury. 

If you’re going to push the season back, what is one extra week to ensure a week off going to hurt? It would make a lot of sense in that case. You don’t need both bye weeks, but still having one is a must in my view based on the current circumstances.

But I do like that fact that Kelly and Swarbrick are having these conversations. The reality is the head coach and AD at Notre Dame have a lot of sway and pull, and if they are willing to push for such plans it will give them a lot of credence and credibility.

Kelly and Tirico discussed a wide array of topics, and you can see the full video here:

Be sure to stay locked into Irish Breakdown all the time!

Join the Irish Breakdown community!
Subscribe to the Irish Breakdown podcast on iTunes.
Follow me on twitter: @CoachD178
Like and follow Irish Breakdown on Facebook