After taking precautions this off-season including programs delaying summer conditioning and preseason practice, adding and following health and safety protocols, and altering the schedule to only play conference opponents, it still seems the hopes of a fall college football season is fading quickly.
In the FBS, UConn got the ball rolling by suspending all football activities for the 2020 season. This worried some around college football, but some others brushed it off due to the fact that UConn was playing as an independent this season therefore would’ve faced problems just getting a full schedule.
Then, on Saturday, the first major domino may have fallen.
The first FBS conference to pull the plug on fall sports would be the Mid-American Conference as they announced that they would postpone the entire fall sports season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
League presidents voted unanimously for the postponement and will hold on hope there will be a way to play football in the spring.
The MAC is in no way a Power 5 conference, but without the ability to play non-conference games against Power 5 schools, the MAC member schools would be strained in their ability to implement all the safety and health protocols the bigger conferences would have in their journey to play this season.
Therefore, that still leaves a bit of hope for Power 5 football this fall…until Sunday.
An emergency meeting between commissioners of the Power 5 conferences was held to discuss the likelihood of actually playing fall sports. The overall feeling from the meeting was that every day that goes by, it seems more and more likely that it would be impossible to play this fall.
Many conference leaders, especially those from the Big Ten, expressed interest in postponing the college football season until the Spring in hopes that the pandemic would be better controlled by early next year.
While conference leaders explore different avenues for the season, players have begin to jump in to the talks.
While some notable players have opted out of the 2020 college football season including projected NFL first-round picks Caleb Farley (CB, V-Tech), Jaylen Twyman (DT, Pitt), Rondale Moore (WR, Purdue), and Micah Parsons (LB, Penn State) among others, maybe the most notable spoke out on Sunday.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence took to Twitter with a series of tweets expressing interest in playing and also, mentioning the risks involved with not playing this season.
Using the hashtag #WeWantToPlay, Lawrence was met with support from other notable players including Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Oklahoma State running back Cuba Hubbard and Alabama running back Najee Harris.
Parents from many players have also pledged their support to the players movement of playing this season.
If there is play, regardless of the schedule or if teams just play “regional” opponents, if there is travel, there will be positive tests.
It’s inevitable with the virus at it’s current state.
Major League Baseball has ran into it’s problems with multiple outbreaks and while that will get the mass attention, for the most part, the season has been a success through early-August.
The way it looks though now, I wouldn’t be surprised if this Fall features only pro football and we see a Spring college football season featuring an unusual schedule, a high number of injuries and many notable players opting out due to the risk with playing so close to the NFL Draft.
But, hey, spring college football is better than no college football, right?