The smartest man in college football these days is Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey.
If college football wants a Czar to lead them through all this, they have the ideal candidate.
And there isn't even a close No. 2.
Look at what we now have.
Teams and conferences deal with the crisis of spiked COVID-19 positive numbers missed practice time, rescheduled games and assorted uprisings such as players filing law suits against their own conference (restraint of trade?).
Hysteria caused by students coming back to school and testing positive after attending a frat or off campus party
Teams practicing short handed or suspending practice completely.
While this happened Sankey and the SEC have gone about their business without a touch of panic, even when there appears to be chaos on some of their own campuses.
The main reason?
The SEC is not playing any non-conference games and will not start until Sept. 26th.
There is no need to rush, to panic. They have a full month to let classes begin, absorb what COVID numbers are posted, even shut things down for several days.
That was Sankey's message to his other commissioners in early August. Don't play before you have to play, cut down on scheduling issues.
Basically wait until the summer is over, and THEN assess the situation and make a call. Go or No go.
You could start as late as Oct. 3 and still have time to play a full conference schedule of 8, 9 or 10 games and even have time for a Conference championship game.
Good idea, Commish, said Sankey's brethren, who then went out three days later and started scheduling games as early as Sept. 3.
How has that worked out?
The Big Ten and Pac-12 hit the panic button and shut things down for the season, which has caused a Civil War in the Big Ten, primarily for the way it was handled.
Other conferences, enticed by television money and exposure for non-conference games started looking for match ups, as well as even adding to their conference games—the two extra SEC games may have been the one mistake Sankey made.
They tried to sound smart by scheduling bye weeks and putting in open dates so that if the early games were postponed, they could fill in the spots—an invitation for chaos, which is now starting to appear in the ACC and AAC.
There is panic in some conference offices and in towers of knowledge throughout the country about all the cluster of positive cases appearing at the now crowded college campuses.
ADs are holding daily zoom meetings trying to fix each problem as it develops.
At Notre Dame, it has gotten so bad the administration under siege with COVID-19 cases, not only made all classes online for two weeks, but threatened to send everyone (but maybe not the football team) home if it didn't get better.
On Thursday, the Domers reached a new plateau when they hired a security firm to make sure that students under quarantine weren't sneaking from the specially assigned living quarters set up for them—violators are being threatened with expulsion.
While this is happening, the opening of the season—there is a game scheduled two days from now—rapidly approaches, with another round of games scheduled to start next week.
Here's a quick observation.
The schools are not close to being ready to handle the problems which will develop when games ARE played, especially when they play games on the road.
Here's our Top Ten list of Road Trip Questions, which need answers—now.
1. How many players to each room?
2. Where do players hold their pre-game meetings and put on their uniforms?
3. Where do visiting teams and coaches conduct their halftime meetings?
4. Where do visiting teams take their POST game showers?
5. When will teams arrive at their hotel for road games?
6. Will some teams consider same day travel?
7. Where and how will teams have their meetings, eat their meals on the road?
8. Will the hotels be safe in terms of COVID-issues?
9. How often and when will players be tested before the game?
10. What happens if a player tests positive AFTER he arrives at his team's destination?
Those are only some of the issues and the teams better have their plans written and agreed upon right now because road games begin in two days.
Then there are other items which are mind boggling in terms of ignoring solutions to problems.
How difficult is it for schools to figure out that if they indeed want to play football or hold any athletic events this fall?
It is far EASIER to make things safer and control the situation with a combination of online classes and living in athletic dorms and dining halls.
Why doesn't someone at any level say that this is an emergency situation and for ONE YEAR we are changing some of the rules to make things safer and give us a better chance of making it work?
Let the games begin?
Good luck with that.
The only thing close to a sure thing is that if a solution is found, Sankey should be the leader of the pack.