Athletic Directors Not Optimistic About College Football Season
This is a huge jump from prior polling
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This should not shock anyone
College football for the 2020 season is going to get weird with the Big Ten moving to only conference football games this fall and others expected to follow from the Power 5 ranks.
Athletic Directors were polled by Stadium’s Brett McMurphy in April and again in July and the results are trending in a less optimistic direction for a standard season.
This poll was done before the official announcement of the Big Ten and Ivy League altering their schedules, but it is hard to believe those discussions were in deep discussions when they were asked a few questions about the upcoming season.
Some of the big takeaways is that there actually was an increase in the season starting on time from all athletic directors with the Group of Five going up but the Power 5’s less optimistic.
The biggest change was pushing the season back and having 12 games and that was only favored by 10 percent overall and a decrease of 31 percent. This does not ask the question about spring football. When that is mentioned it increases overall but 20 percent of that is the Group of Five. That result leads in nicely to the conference-only opinion.
Conference only games were favored by the Power 5 is vastly favoring that at nearly 45 percent and the Group of Five decreasing. It is obvious for why the G5 schools would not be in favor of this and that is because of the buy games that help fund the athletics programs. If those go away then there will be a whole lot of searching the proverbial couch for loose coins.
No college football at all was up but not by much with just seven percent of these athletic directors saying that could be what happens. If these AD’s are polled again in two weeks things could change again, and they would. All signs point to more Power 5 leagues going to a conference-only slate.
What Are Athletic Directors Actually Saying?
There are plenty of anonymous quotes that McMurphy acquired and below are just a few of them.
“Everyone seems to be developing nimble plans,” a Power Five AD said. “Hang on for the ride.”
Another Power Five AD: “I think we start as scheduled, but I would be shocked if we make it to the end as scheduled.”
“Anyone who doesn’t see the spring as a viable option is in total denial,” a Group of Five AD said.
“If we don’t learn how to coexist with the virus, then trying to play games is an exercise in futility,” a Power Five AD said. “As of today, I don’t think it is feasible to play given the national discussion on testing and quarantine. Maybe that will change?”
A Group of Five AD predicts if the season is moved to spring it will be eventually canceled altogether. “The virus will spike again in the winter, like all viruses do,” the AD said. “After that, people will panic and then cancel the scheduled spring season.”
Some of those quotes are based more in reality like the one about having everyone nationally on the same page from universities, coaches, health departments and local officials. However, over the past four months that has not been the case even for the general public, so why would college football spark that change?
Some are sticking their heals in more than other because of money and others are looking at all options. Views of these athletic directors changed from a month or two ago and they also acknowledge their views will change in the next few weeks going forward.
My prediction a few weeks ago was that there will be some sort of disruption for the college football season and I still feel that will happen. Playing just league games sort of falls into that category but it could be a good bet to see games get canceled and attempted to be rescheduled during the year.