Will College Football Season Be Played This Fall?

College Football Season Canceled Coronavirus COVID-19

The fallout from the COVID-19 virus has thrown most aspects of life in America into total chaos.

Schools are closed, most businesses are in the process of shutting down, and millions of Americans have been ordered to stay home except for absolute necessities.

It has had a massive impact on the sports world as well, forcing every major professional and collegiate league in North America to either suspend or cancel its season.

College football has already started to feel the fallout as well. Spring football practice has been canceled across the country. Now, the question is how much longer it will reshape the college football calendar.

Will colleges be back to holding in-person classes when the new freshmen players are ready to enroll in June?

Will conference media days happen as normal in July?

Will fall camp start in early August, or possibly be extended to make up for the loss of spring practice time?

But there’s another looming question that no one wants to think about right now: Will the 2020 college football season start on time? Will it happen at all?

Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall gave voice to all that uncertainty on a conference call with reporters last Friday.

“We’re acting as if, and we’re making preparations as if, we won’t have spring practice. We possibly won’t have players here for summer school, any session, and possibly we won’t have the opportunity for anything other than fall camp to begin.

“Knowing that fall camp timing might even be pushed back, meaning that there certainly could be a chance that it’s not even be a full schedule played this year — if football is played, period,” Mendenhall said.

“I’m willing to look at that vision as far as possible saying, ‘What if there is no football this season,’ or ‘What if there is a modified season?'” he said.

The uncertainty that has probably crept into your day-to-day life is hitting college football programs as well.

“Coaches really have no clue,” North Carolina head coach Mack Brown said Monday. “There is a fear of ‘would we have a season?’ ‘Would we have a partial season?’ ‘What does a partial season mean?’ There is a great concern because of the remedy that comes in with football.”

Right now, Ohio State still has football camps scheduled for June, and Big Ten Media Days slated for July 23 and 24. Fall camp is still on track to open sometime around the first week of August, with the home opener against Bowling Green set for September 5, and the highly-anticipated trip to Oregon set for the week after that.

But right now, everything on that list comes with an implied “if…” tacked on.

If things get back to normal….

If people decide it’s safe to travel across the country….

If we’re allowed to get tens of thousands of people together in the confined space of a stadium….

At the moment, nothing is certain. College football coaches are now preparing for a whole lot of possibilities that would have seemed unthinkable at the beginning of the month.

10 Responses

  1. Mr. Hollis, I suggested it as a safeguard to protect those who are living in fear rather than faith for pure health. I would prefer to see Ohio Stadium filled to the brink every home game. Only suggested no fans for health concerns for the welfare of the community

  2. What a lot of folks don’t understand is that all children, with a few rare exceptions, are born with strong immunity systems. Immunity doesn’t start waning until mid-20’s. That’s why this virus affects more elderly than the young. I was surprised tournament was canceled and would be even more surprised if football season was delayed. That’s why these young guys deserve to continue playing. As a safeguard, either cancel spectator attendance or verify their health before admission. Just check the health of the referees, essential staff, etc. but try to keep business as usual.

  3. I was excited to see Tom that there were 6 responses until I realized half of them were from

    1. As George Carlin reminded us, think of the person you know “of average intelligence”. Then realize, that by using that phrase, that by definition, 50% of the people in this country are dumber than that.

      Enter the comment section of this site (or hang around Politics Twitter) and you will get some pretty good proof of that.

  4. Just wanted to thank each and all the LR staff for your perseverance in providing information…

    regardless of the quality and intent, receivers should appreciate….

  5. in the problem-solving process, one starts with identifying the problem. In a complex problem with many unknowns and barriers to effective communication, ‘the problem’ is more like a strawman at first. Then, before gathering information, many ‘experts’ brainstorm criteria and assumptions as part of ‘factors bearing on the problem.

    we, however… are rather fond of leaping to conclusions, if not outright judgments.

    “If i only had a brain” sings the Strawman. He was ‘so sincere’ he did not even recognize what he already ‘had’, and so he was had… by himself.

  6. Shutting down and starting up a large company, bureaucracy, county, state, nation are large-scale, time-phased, iterative, many player, many skill problems.

    colleges, the gaming industry, and think-tanks are 3 industries of several that could be modeling this dynamic large scale problem as we speak. Are they?

    …and all the while, while the erstwhile strong are suddenly weaker… will not The Adversary redouble their efforts from within and without to… do ‘more’ of what they’ve been doing? The pontifications from experts as to when the adversary ‘started’ – november, january, 3 years ago… serve only to illustrate our abject unwillingness to recognize when this all started…. its predatory nature… and “totally inappropriate unfairness”…

  7. As someone living in Hong Kong/China li can say life/sports/OSU football will return to.”normal” most quickly if everyone stays at home and physically/socially Isolates now. After 2 months of a very strict lockdown China is now very cautiously starting to relax and get society and the economy functioning again.

  8. Should consider playing games with NO fans present – just a tv crew and referees !

    1. I’m sure that’s on the table as a possibility. And given the amount of the TV contracts involved, that will definitely be something they look at seriously if this is still a serious situation in the fall.

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