No one truly knows if the 2020 college football season will start on time or even happen, but a new possible to development to keep an eye on is the season being delayed until the spring of 2021.
In an Instagram video, ESPN’s Chris Fowler said Monday that, “informed speculation from a lot of reasonable people indicate the spring option could be the least risky of them all.”
Fowler went on and said there are likely three options for the college football season: play the season as scheduled, push it back to November and make it a two-semester sport, or push it all the way back to the spring of 2021.
Then on Wednesday, AAC commissioner Michael Aresco told Paul Finebaum that a spring season is something being considered.
Conference commissioners are considering the idea of a winter/spring football season if games can’t kick off this fall. pic.twitter.com/HPF0GoGqws— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) April 15, 2020
“I don’t want to be the one to go on record saying there is going to be spring football, or winter football. But talking to our own group, that is something you have to consider,” said Aresco.
While some pro-sports may begin their seasons in the near future without fans, college football cannot survive that way.
Revenue from ticket sales drives several athletic programs and the FootballScoop points out the “entire college athletics industry will collapse without a football season played some time before summer 2021.”
Thus, pushing back until the spring may make sense if the spread of the coronavirus does not slow by July and give teams enough time to prepare for the season, or if the virus slows and rears its ugly head again when the weather cools down in the fall.
Further complicating the matter is the fact a vaccine likely won’t be ready until next year, leaving fans and players unprotected in stadiums packed with 60,000+ people.
For the Kentucky Wildcats, this possibility would lead to a wild February and March with potentially both SEC football and college basketball postseason being played at the same time. More than likely, the NCAA would work to keep the two sports from competing against each other in their respective postseasons, especially if fans are allowed to attend games.
So, if football returns in the spring, perhaps college basketball will be delayed so it finishes in May or even June, but that’s pure speculation at this point.
Let’s just hope we get to see sports return at some point for the 2020-21 calendar year, because that happening is far from guaranteed.