With the Ivy League having postponed all fall sports until at least January 1 and the Big 10 meeting today to discuss a conference-only football schedule, Stadium spoke to all 130 FBS athletic directors to get a gauge on where things stand with college football. And if you're someone still holding out hope of a normal college football season which starts on-time, these results are not great for you.
Only 27 percent of the ADs polled still believed the season would start as scheduled, while just 10 percent thought teams would be able to play 12 games in the fall, even with a delayed start.
Stadium — “I am worried about playing a season and hope we are not selling our soul just to play a season,” a Power Five AD said. “I truly believe we will have games canceled.”
Also, seven percent of the ADs told Stadium they don’t expect the season to be played at all during the 2020-21 academic year, while nearly one-third think the season will be moved to the spring.
“One death [of a coach or student-athlete] and we will all regret pushing this competitive envelope so hard,” a Group of Five AD said.
A startling 38 percent of the athletic directors believed the college football season will either be moved to the spring — either as a 12-game or conference-only season — or be canceled entirely for 2020-21, up from 15 percent in the same survey in April. However, that does mean the majority is still holding out hope something changes in the next seven weeks which allows for an on-time start to college football.
Still, there are those that believe — or more accurately, “hope” — the season starts on time.
“I’m realistic a full season as scheduled still has an edge over the other options,” a Power Five AD said. “I’m not implying it won’t be without chance for disruption, but it has an edge over other options.”
Added another Power Five AD: “I think we start as scheduled, but I would be shocked if we make it to the end as scheduled.”
Reading what many of these guys have to say, I'm reminded of the old military adage, "Hope is not a strategy." And it sounds to me like there's a whole lot of hoping going on.
If the Big 10 adopts the 10-game, conference-only season it's meeting to discuss today, I believe that will be the first domino we see fall in what will become the new model for this college football season. With the disparity in money for travel and testing capabilities and a host of other things between the Power Five and Group of Five levels, it just seems like non-conference schedules are going to have to be scrapped — unless Power Five schools find a way to play one non-conference game against another Power Five opponent, which is an idea that has been discussed.
I can live with a conference-only season for a year. I'm fine with pushing the season back three weeks. Just please don't move it to the spring. We all need college football.