A crazy scenario for 2020 College Football season that just might work
The 2020 College Football season is in jeopardy, at least that’s what national analysts are telling us currently.
Though it seemed just a few weeks ago that a College Football season was a slam-dunk, the sport has seen itself spiral into peril based off the amount of positive cases we’ve seen in athletes and the spike in cases we’ve seen across the country.
Many colleges and universities are already making the decision to move to mostly online classes for the fall semester and the IVY League is reportedly considering moving its football season to the spring or potentially even cancelling its College Football season.
With tons of speculation and doubts pertaining to the 2020 College Football season, I got to thinking about a scenario that may be able to satisfy all parties. Of course, there are still questions of logistics and things of that nature, but this plan could potentially answer many of the economic questions surrounding College Football as it relates to this coming season– it’s broken down into two parts.
* Before we begin, I want to reiterate that this plan is purely speculation and an idea. This shouldn’t be taken as a report of any kind.*
Power-5 conferences play College Football in the fall
Here’s the first portion of the plan. We see all five Power-5 conferences play an adjusted season in the fall with Group of 5 teams moving to the spring.
- Teams would play a 9-game conference schedule
- Schedule up to 2 non-conference games (preferably within their own regions)
- Power-5 players would receive a ‘pandemic stipend’ in addition to their regularly-given stipends
- Games start on time and, with one less regular season game and no conference championship, we would end the week before Thanksgiving.
- CFB Playoff semifinals would be played in the middle of December
- The National Championship would be played on January 1, 2021.
Fan attendance would be based off the local situation. Local government bodies, conferences, universities and health experts would have to determine when it was safe to have fans and at what capacity. It may be the first week of the season, it may not happen at all. It may happen some places and may not happen anywhere.
With a uniformed testing system and a pandemic stipend, these Power-5 players would be given well-deserved payments and would be taken care of by first-class medical professionals throughout the entirety of the season. This would also justify having these College Football players on campus while the rest of the students may not be on campus.
Television contracts still make up the vast majority of the revenue for College Football programs and the NCAA, alike.
With a few newly-scheduled Power-5 non-conference games (as the Group of 5 gets moved to the spring in this scenario), television ratings would likely go up and programs should be able to make it through with relatively small revenue losses. Although, lack of ticket revenue will likely be felt no matter when you playing this season.
Group of 5 moves to the spring for College Football
We finish up the Power-5 season with the National Championship game and the Group of 5 moves to play their season in the spring.
The Group-of-5 teams would play a nine-game conference schedule and then would be able to schedule up to two ‘exhibitions’ outside of that slate.
Those exhibition games? They would serve basically as ‘Spring Games’ for the Power-5 teams.
We could see a team like USF travel to Clemson to taken on the Tigers in an exhibition game during the spring. The hope is that fan attendance would be increased by then (say April) and that allows the Tigers to pay USF for coming and playing the game. It also gives Clemson (and other Power-5 teams) a chance to make up for some of the revenue lost from ticket sales in the fall.
The fact that the Group of 5 programs would be given more money from television revenue (as more College Football fans than ever would watch Group of 5 games) and the fact that they’d be able to make a little more money from these exhibitions would, in essence, help save both sides of the FBS.
Are there questions and concerns that go along with this scenario I’ve laid out? Absolutely, but it might just be crazy enough to work.