While the start of the college football season remains nearly five months away, there is burgeoning fear that the coronavirus pandemic could cost the 2020 campaign to be canceled.
North Carolina head coach Mack Brown expressed concern about whether or not the college football season would be played as scheduled. ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit (pictured, right) was even more to the point in his assessment.
“I’ll be shocked if we have NFL football this fall, if we have college football. I’ll be so surprised if that happens,” the former Ohio State quarterback stated in a radio interview last Thursday night.
Monday, one of Herbstreit’s College GameDay colleagues, Rece Davis (pictured, left), did his own radio interview. In it, Davis was asked about Herbstreit’s dire forecast for the college football season. Suffice to say, the GameDay ringmaster struck a decidedly more optimistic tone.
From 247Sports.com‘s transcription of the interview:
I’m far more optimistic and more hopeful than Kirk’s quote there at this point. I just think that’s a little bit premature at this juncture while offering the caveat that there is so much unknown out there. Kirk’s right based on everything I’ve read in terms of medical experts, in terms of the facts. I’m hopeful and optimistic that with so many people working on this that we’re going to have some kind of treatment, some type of break over the next several weeks that will make it far more feasible to have football. At this point, I’m far more optimistic. Might there be adjustments to the schedule? Might things change a little bit in terms of how the business is conducted? Sure.
All I’m saying is that I think we’re a little premature. Because all you have to do is look back at the recent stats and look at the number of people in New York City, which has been decimated, and six weeks ago we’re encouraging people to go to festivals. Now that seems foolish. What I’m saying is on the other side of that, it’s not just hopeful optimism and belief in the power of people to figure things out. It’s saying, let’s wait and see. We have some time. We have the best minds in the world working on (a cure). It’s not just a vaccine, it’s treatment options, how will the virus react at different times of the year, things that we don’t know.
The 2020 college football season is set to kick off on Saturday, Aug. 29. The so-called “Week 0” slate of games features seven matchups involving at least one FBS school:
- Notre Dame vs. Navy (in Dublin)
- Cal at UNLV
- Hawaii at Arizona
- Marshall at East Carolina
- New Mexico State at UCLA
- Idaho State at New Mexico
- UC-Davis at Nevada