Joel Klatt argues for College Football Playoff flexibility: 'The product is being hurt'
College football analyst Joel Klatt is frustrated with the lack of flexibility teams have as they face the realities of COVID-19.
Cases for the virus are up across the country, Klatt said, and that’s being represented in the number of cancelations across college football. Ohio State-Maryland has been canceled this week and so have four SEC games — and more could be coming.
“It’s pretty clear right now that we’re seeing a drastic spike in COVID across the country,” Klatt said in a video released on Twitter Wednesday evening. “And because college football does not exist in a bubble, we’re seeing that affect college football in a drastic way this week. Several cancelations, several teams dealing with spikes with their program.
Klatt’s solution: more flexibility. At this point, conferences are planning to have their regular seasons and conference championship games wrapped up by Dec. 19. That doesn’t give much room for these conferences to re-schedule games or build a résumé.
“I wonder to myself, ‘Why doesn’t the College Football Playoff allow for some flexibility?’ There seems to be this finish line, this hard finish line of Dec. 19.
“I think flexibility would be key for two major reasons, folks. The first is, this is how we would get the four best teams in there. The product is being hurt because of these COVID isolations. We saw that last week with Notre Dame and Clemson. Trevor Lawrence, unable to play in the marquee game so far of the season. If we want the four best teams in there to crown a true champion, then we need to have some flexibility on that date of Dec. 19.”
Klatt also acknowledged that creating more flexibility for other scheduling scenarios would be a lot of work, but said he felt like they owed it to the players to be willing to try.
“We owe it to the players who all have opted into this season,” he said. “They are taking part in insane protocols and procedures just to get on the field. We owe it to them to allow them all the opportunities potentially there to play games.”
College Football Playoff semifinal games are currently scheduled for Jan. 1, 2021. The championship game is set for Jan. 11, 2021.
Here’s Klatt’s full argument:
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 11, 2020