By the time you read this, it may already be too late.
The entirety of college football may have already been canceled. If so, it will have followed the dangerous path cut by the Big Ten Conference.
I hope not, but this ‘to-play-or-not-to-play’ situation is more fluid than Aquaman’s lava lamp so who knows what will be going on by the time this article is published.
Regardless, there is a lot of negativity out there right now. Here’s hoping other conferences like the ACC and our beloved SEC can find a way to carry on the college football torch in 2020. (Hey, that should be rather easy as those two conferences usually do the heavy lifting anyway, right?)
Therefore, I want to present a few positives about a football season that may only consist of a select few schools. Keep in mind this list assumes the SEC, ACC, Big 12 and Notre Dame all decide to carry on.
No cupcake games: While I am a fan of the occasional ‘Payday Patsy’ contest, in a weird, pandemic-laden year like 2020, I am totally fine with nothing but monster matchups every Saturday. Especially since there will be little to no fan participation, each game needs to have an extra ‘oomph’ about it anyway to keep viewers engaged.
Player safety: You heard me. Player safety is usually the argument made against playing football, but I beg to differ. Where do you think players are more likely to be handled better? On the campus of their respective schools with practically unlimited,
top-notch medical and health services or at their homes where there is probably little to no oversight about what they do each day?
Are they better on campus with COVID-19 tests readily available, curfews and limited contact with folks who are also tested or at home where 20-somethings notoriously grow bored and restless quickly leading to more potential transmission? Yes, playing football can lead to injury, but that has always been the case; that is no worse in the age of the coronavirus.
Fewer participants means less controversy: Schools of lesser conferences can’t complain about being left out of the playoffs (no matter how justified of a claim it is) if they don’t actually play football, right?
Players, coaches and fans will have their football spirits re-invigorated. I can’t remember if it was Poison or Ratt or Motley Crew (or Motley Ratt or Poison Crew) who once sang, “You Don’t Know What You Got ’Til Its Gone” but everyone is about to discover that song was sung by 1980s-era Nostradamuses. My guess is football fever comes back in 2021 in a such a way people embrace the sport like a mother holding a toddler before his first day of preschool.
Another round of conference re-alignment: Let’s face it: some schools’ programs won’t be able to survive without a year of football so what better time to rearrange the conferences to make them bigger, better and more sensical? Yes, it means college football is moving at light speed toward more of an NFL model but that’s happening anyway.
The SEC can clearly become college football’s king: We all know this to be true anyway, but if the SEC can somehow lead a successful charge to a football season with whichever teams and conferences are left, it will undoubtedly be — now and forever — the Lord of the Manor.
Luke Robinson is a regular columnist, contributor to BMetro, AHSAA Radio Network broadcaster and Sportz Blitz team member.