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Anonymous FBS athletic director: ‘If there’s no season, we will be f*****’

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If you didn’t realize how important college football is to an athletic department’s bottom line, this should highlight it.

In the midst of the spreading coronavirus pandemic, some connected to the game of college football are decidedly pessimistic that the upcoming season will be played. Others are expressing cautious optimism. For now, at least.

Brett McMurphy of The Stadium conducted a survey of 130 athletic directors with FBS programs, with 112 of them participating. According to McMurphy, the ADs “were asked to rank their optimism on the upcoming season being played from ‘1’ (will not be played) to ’10’ (definitely will be played).”

Not a single AD gave less than a “5” in response, meaning everyone who responded, at least at this time, feels there’s at least a 50-50 chance the season will go off as planned. A slight majority of respondents (51%) assigned either the numbers seven or eight in McMurphy’s survey. One-quarter of them were decidedly optimistic with either a nine or 10 as a response. Most of that optimism was on the part of Group of Five programs that, already financially reeling from the distilled NCAA’s revenue distribution last month, desperately need a college football season to be played.

If the college football season is to start on time — the first games are scheduled for Aug. 29 — what would be the absolute latest teams could start reconvening and prepping for the 2020 campaign? The answer you get depends on the individual you ask. Some would say early June at the absolute latest. Others have said the middle of July.

So, what if the season is canceled? Completely?

“If there’s no season, we will be f*****,” an anonymous AD told McMurphy.

A tweet from Ross Dellenger of SI.com very plainly illustrates how reliant athletic departments are on revenue from college football.

Suffice to say, if the 2020 college football season is completely wiped out, non-revenue sports will be cut. Lots of them will be shuttered, more than likely.

The good news, such as it is, is that the powers-that-be in the sport will go to great lengths to save the 2020 college football season. In fact, one report earlier today suggested that the season could start as late as January of next year. How that would work with players who are eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft would have to be worked out, as would myriad other issues.

While it’s way too early to form a concrete opinion, there’s little doubt that all connected to the sport will exhaust every option to save the 2020 college football season. And, if the season is canceled? It’ll mean we all have a helluva lot more to worry about than sports.

Kirk Herbstreit would be ‘shocked’ if college football is played this fall

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No college football this fall?  The drumbeat for such a possibility grows louder by the day.

In the midst of the growing coronavirus pandemic, Mack Brown earlier this week expressed concern about whether or not the college football season would be played as scheduled.  Whether it would be a partial season.  Or no season at all.

“There is a fear of ‘would we have a season?’ ‘Would we have a partial season?’ ‘What does a partial season mean,’” North Carolina head coach said. “There is a great concern because of the remedy that comes in with football.

“The biggest problem is you’re not sure when it ends, and we can’t get those answers at this point.”

Compared to one prominent college football personality, Brown is downright optimistic.

During a radio interview Thursday night, Kirk Herbstreit was asked about the prospects of teams taking the fall this season.  According to the ESPN television personality, he would be “shocked” if it happened.

“I’ll be shocked if we have NFL football this fall, if we have college football. I’ll be so surprised if that happens,” Herbstreit stated, by way of TMZ.com.

“Just because from what I understand, people that I listen to, you’re 12 to 18 months from a [coronavirus] vaccine. I don’t know how you let these guys go into locker rooms and let stadiums be filled up and how you can play ball. I just don’t know how you can do it with the optics of it.”

Because of the cancellation of March Madness, schools saw their revenue distribution from the NCAA drastically diminished.  That is expected to take a heavy toll on non-FBS schools.  If the college football season were to be canceled?  That would severely impact FBS schools, especially those in the Group of Five.

New CDC recommendation effectively ends any chance of spring practice for college football teams starting back up

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Thanks to the coronavirus, a new reality has slammed headfirst into college football.  Again.

Because of the spread of COVID-19 in this country, Power Five conferences such as the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 had canceled all spring sports, which included spring football.  The other two college Power Fives, the ACC and SEC, had suspended spring football until at least April 15 for the latter and until further notice for the former.  On top of that, the NCAA has halted all face-to-face recruiting, either on-campus or off, until mid-April.

Sunday evening, however, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ratcheted up the stakes as the agency issued a statement in which it recommended that all gatherings of 50 or more people be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks.  Such a timeline would take us through the middle of May.  At the earliest.

Boiling it down, any flicker of hope that spring practice in college football will resume has been extinguished.

Below is the full update from the CDC:

Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.

Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.

This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.

Coming out of this crisis, whenever it is, certainly begs the question as to what the NCAA will allow college football teams to do to prepare for the start of the 2020 season.  Summer practices on top of workouts ahead of the start of summer camp?  An extended summer camp?

Or, looking at the glass half-empty, will the 2020 college football season even start on time?

Myriad questions but, at this point, no answers.  Of course, college football being played is the least of worries for a growing number of individuals in this country of ours.

Stay safe, all y’all.

Mountain West Conference unveils 2020 football schedule

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Get out your calendars because the Mountain West Conference has rolled out its 2020 college football schedule.

This year’s Mountain West Conference championship game will once again be played on the home field of the conference’s top-ranked division champion. The game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5, although the kickoff time will be determined later.

The Mountain West Conference will continue playing an eight-game conference schedule with each school playing five intra-divisional games and three cross-division games. Every member will play four conference games at home and four on the road on what will be the final year of the conference’s four-year cycle for cross-division matchups. Among the cross-division games on the schedule this season will be a rematch of last season’s conference championship game. Boise State will visit Hawaii on Oct. 24 (The Broncos defeated the Rainbow Warriors in the conference championship game last season).

In non-conference play, Mountain West schools will play 22 games against teams that played in bowl games in 2019, including three games against BYU and 13 power conference opponents.

Now that the Mountain West Conference has published its full 2020 schedule, next up will be determining where those games will be seen. The Mountain West Conference has new broadcast deals in place with CBS Sports and FOX Sports for the upcoming season. While games are currently scheduled for Saturdays, broadcast partners will pick and choose games to show on Thursday or Friday nights (a handful of games have already been scheduled for non-Saturday dates, including Boise State’s home game against BYU on Friday, Nov. 6).

You can view the entire MWC schedule for 2020 HERE.

New Los Angeles bowl game featuring Pac-12, MWC schools formally announced

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The rumored Los Angeles bowl game has officially come to fruition.

Wednesday, SoFi Stadium, the new home of the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, and Hollywood Park, a 298-acre sports and entertainment destination, officially launched its new collegiate football bowl game.  The postseason game’s name?  The LA Bowl.

The Los Angeles bowl game will debut in 2020, and will be played at SoFi Stadium through at least the 2025 season.

The game will feature the No. 1 selection in the Mountain West Conference (provided that team is not in the College Football Playoff or a New Year’s Six Bowl) vs. the Pac-12’s selection.

Los Angeles bowl game“We are thrilled to partner with LA Bowl and bring a Pac-12 presence to the new state-of-the-art facility at SoFi Stadium, in one of the biggest markets right in our footprint,” said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott in a statement. “The entertainment presence of the new facility will provide great experiences for our student-athletes and fans as the Pac-12 continues its postseason matchup with the Mountain West.”

“The Mountain West is delighted to partner with the Pac-12 Conference and the outstanding management team assembled at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park to launch this exciting new bowl game,” said Scott’s MWC counterpart, Craig Thompson. “Los Angeles is a tremendous market firmly within our footprint that is home to a large number of our member institutions’ alumni and the area from which many of our student-athletes are recruited. This will be a top-flight postseason destination for the No. 1 selection from our Conference.”

According to the release formally introducing the Los Angeles bowl game, information regarding ticketing will be shared at a later date.

It had previously been reported that the MWC was given the boot from the Las Vegas Bowl in favor of schools from the Big Ten and SEC.  The LA Bowl will replace that postseason game in the MWC’s rotation.