Long Break Between Season & Bowls Creates Opportunity
Han Vance on American college football: What I haven’t heard people say is that the inordinately long break between the typical college football season, which ends in late November or early December, and the too-long bowl season, which does not feature any truly marquee games until around January 1st, creates a quite unique opportunity to reschedule games as needed.
This unheralded scheduling scenario positioned college football as the single most likely major sport to be able to absorb several postponements and even a few cancellations per team for outbreaks, pivot and retool and have a full enough season. Starting later has actually proved to be the wrong move, as the earlier you got started the better able you’d be to reschedule time-wise, and obviously no real progress was ever going to be made in America as far as beating the global pandemic of a virus back in any month.
Not this late.
There will be no on-campus tailgating whatsoever – outside of small travel groups in parking lots – at UGA. We’ve played football there since the winter of 1892 – the birthplace of American public higher education (1785) AND Southern college football. This is unique and a minor form of hell on earth to me. To not go here…
Traditionally/historically, the college football season is only three months long, Sep-Oct-Nov, and the whole postseason can be played over two weeks, with a (too-short) two-round CFP. How are we going to fit 10 games into four months is a question that should be answerable. If a game gets postponed, you play it later. Worst case scenario the bowls and CFP go throughout January.
I don’t talk politics but do have to talk (un-)common sense. For the record as has been resoundingly proved now: We could have all just stayed inside for two weeks April 1st to April 14th or say May 1st to May 14th and the virus spread would have been resoundingly defeated. Back when many of you were still buying the polling-numbers-matter-the-most rhetorical bull that this was just a hoax that would go away, in summer. Now most people I know know someone who has lost a loved one too soon. Too soon? July 14th to August 1st would have worked, too. And, I’m not talking about only leaving the house for groceries, morning espresso, your essential pills “from the doctor” and liquor, so much as a true totalitarian police state where no movement happened outside of emergency trips to the hospital, a strict full-government leadership sanctioned and police forces and/or military enforced quarantine, which in reality would have been quite possible, with the enforcement all tested and quarantined prior to and after being allowed to enforce it. So-called Democracy was plainly not the best system to safely and swiftly deal with this nasty virus, and two-party polarity politics which routinely dupe the dumbed down half-educated masses high on preaching to the choir media which plays to a lowest common denominator, by speaking in exciting opposites, have failed us all again. Fact is everyone could have been made to stock up or run out and then hunker down, made to. Instead of stupidly playing out lame and selfish party politics for many months to try to prove some point. This, unlike all the rest of the crap the masses think they half-know, is no longer debatable. Two lousy weeks, dude. Folks lost jobs six months ago. Y’all almost lost a season of football over two simple weeks at home.
What could also have been done – and it isn’t too late – a college football playoff(s) bubble. Like baseball, with its expanded playoffs. Play 8-10 regular season games and conference championship games, then put the top eight teams in a quarantined bubble and have a – first time ever – fair fully-legit champion, with all the opted in Power 5 conference champs and their few other best teams plus the voted-on best Group of 5 team. Can you imagine the number of viewers that would generate? Viewers equal money.