Report: 'Minor miracle' if non-conference games go as scheduled in college football
|Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 2:22 PM-|
A long-awaited return to Notre Dame is the crown jewel of Clemson's 2020 slate this November.
If non-conference games can go on as or-close-to-as-scheduled, it may be one of the more likely to survive the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic and this fall.
Why? In a word, resources.
College football reporter Matt Hayes reported earlier this week that athletic directors and more working in college football said it will be a "minor miracle" if non-conference games happen due to varying protocols. He added that a "pause" of the start until October is "realistic and likely, especially if season trending toward (conference) games only."
Longtime ACC writer David Teel talked to a member of the ACC COVID-19 advisory group, Wake Forest's Murphy Grant, and came to a similar conclusion, as a number of non-Power 5 Conference teams may struggle to keep up with the testing protocols that Power 5s can. Notre Dame would be an exception in that area.
"Grant confirmed what I’ve long suspected: The ACC advisory group is examining whether league teams should play non-conference opponents that don’t meet the ACC’s protocol," Teel wrote.
As for football at all in the fall, Grant doesn't have a definitive answer either.
“I think I get asked that question every single day,” Grant told the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “and I truly don’t know how to answer that.”
Back to Hayes, he believes a potential spring season is a "last resort deal."
The Ivy League at the FCS level of Division I appears to be going that route, and while there has been talk of them leading a move that way, Hayes and others don't see the Power 5 following:
It’s easy for the Ivy League, with collective billions in endowments, to say let’s wait for spring — even when there’s no guarantee spring will be safer than the fall. It’s a no-brainer for them.— Matt Hayes (@MattHayesCFB) July 8, 2020
It’s diametrically different for FBS.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott: "Everyone is looking around the country and taking an interest in what they do, but I don't think it's going to have any bearing on what we do.” https://t.co/7pJL7gq8W9— Matt Hayes (@MattHayesCFB) July 8, 2020
One more P5 official this AM texting me about 2nd semester FB, copied and pasted: “Matt, are you serious? We have NO idea what Feb-April will look like with the virus. It is absolutely last resort.”— Matt Hayes (@MattHayesCFB) July 7, 2020
Longtime Pac-12 writer Jon Wilner cited sources within Power 5 conferences in schools looking into a nine-plus-one schedule with nine conference games and one non-conference matchup.
Wilner's own proposal calls for the Pac-12 to delay the season by two weeks, move the Pac-12 title game back a week, drop a cross-division game and have flex weekends built-in for teams to possibly reschedule matchups.
Clemson is scheduled to open its 2020 slate at Georgia Tech on Sept. 3.
Talking to ADs and industry folks all day. Consensus:— Matt Hayes (@MattHayesCFB) July 7, 2020
— Minor miracle if non-con games happen. Not everyone on same protocols.
— A pause (to, say, October) is realistic and likely, especially if season trending toward conf games only.
— In Navy speak, CoVid has the Con.
It’s disastrous for the sport, with so many unintended consequences. Last resort deal. https://t.co/8XdnjbVKPX— Matt Hayes (@MattHayesCFB) July 8, 2020