There’s just no way to know how or when the 2020 college football season will be played because of the current coronavirus pandemic. There are way too many variables — both known and unknown — for anyone to say with certainty what will happen this fall.
But it is pretty clear that a majority of athletic directors currently believe the season will be delayed in some fashion. According to a Stadium poll across the top level of college football, 85 of 130 ADs think the season will happen with a delay of some sort.
As you can imagine, there is no consensus on how long that delay will be or how it will impact the season. Per Stadium, 114 ADs responded to the poll and 75 percent said the season would be delayed.
If the season is delayed, 61 percent of the athletic directors think it would start in October or November, with 41 percent believing it would be a 12-game season, and 20 percent predicting an eight- or nine-game conference-only schedule.
Also, 14 percent of the athletic directors believe the season will not start until after the Christmas holiday break, beginning in either late January or February during the spring semester.
If you want to look on the bright side, 99 percent of the ADs who responded said they think the season will happen at some point during the school year. That’s nearly unanimous! Don’t get carried away thinking about the upcoming football season, but it does seem safe to dream of watching football from your couch at some point in the next 12 months.
It’s important for the college football ecosystem to get a full season completed in some form or fashion. An abbreviated conference-only season would be better than nothing, of course, but it would also leave a lot of smaller schools in the lurch. Lower-tier FBS teams and teams at the FCS level of college football rely on payments to play games against bigger schools.
Canceling those games would affect the smaller schools more than the bigger schools, especially after the NCAA said it would be giving out less than half the money to member schools that it was planning to distribute this summer, thanks to the cancellation of the NCAA tournaments.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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