So much of the intersection of the coronavirus and college football has centered on when the game might return this fall.
Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy wants players back as soon as May. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is confident that Death Valley will be packed come September. Virginia Tech’s athletic director has floated moving the calendar back just to get a full slate in.
In short, nobody knows.
That unknown has weighed heavily on most as they are asked to discuss the topic in recent days. What is left unsaid however, is that no coach or administrator will truly be in charge of determining the date CFB returns. That will be left to health officials at the local level.
One such official broached that topic this week. Speaking to the Santa Clara County (in the California Bay Area) Board of Supervisors, Dr. Jeffrey Smith believes sports in general may be looking more toward winter than fall whenever it returns.
Smith on Tuesday told that county’s Board of Supervisors that he did not expect there would be “any sports games until at least Thanksgiving, and we’d be lucky to have them by Thanksgiving. This is not something that’s going to be easy to do.”
Santa Clara County is home to both Stanford and San Jose State. It’s also located in the region of the United States that was at the forefront of shutting down as a response to COVID-19 last month.
If those in charge don’t see a return to the football field until turkey time, those optimistic projections of getting the season done on time can probably be thrown to the wind.
Let’s hope that won’t turn out to be the case and the world can get a medical miracle it desperately needs. But until that happens, it’s probably best to be more pessimistic when it comes to the 2020 season than optimistic.