Paul Finebaum details what spring college football season would look like
Over the last few weeks, the bubble of optimism surrounding an on-time start to the 2020 college football season has deflated a bit. With surges in COVID-19 cases popping up in different regions of the country, there’s some legitimate concern that the season will be delayed, shortened or possibly canceled.
SEC Network host Paul Finebaum is one who has becoming increasingly pessimistic about the college football season continuing in the fall. He’s talk on a few occasions about the likelihood of an alternate season, though he admits he’s not sure what that would look like.
Right now, Finebaum says there’s an uptick in conversations about pushing the season to spring.
“It’s still a last resort, but that last resort might be the next resort pretty soon because of the current status of the country,” Finebaum said on ESPN’s Get Up. “College football administrators have spent all spring looking at contingencies, looking at how to open up, get to Labor Day weekend and now they are extremely nervous about what they’re seeing, what we’re all seeing, around the country.
“Quietly, they are whispering the spring football concept. They don’t want to do it. There are so many problems — primarily the best players will not play, or likely will not play. In some parts of the country, it’s bitter cold. But in a couple weeks this could become a very big conversation.”
While a spring season would be better than no season at all, there are a lot of problems with that time of year.
Not only would it create scheduling nightmares for athletic directors as the football season bumps up against winter and other spring sports, there are NFL complications. During those spring months, the league hosts the Scouting Combine, pro days and the NFL Draft. Some of college football’s top players likely wouldn’t play in the spring, as the risk would outweigh the reward.
And while college football officials have inquired about the NFL delaying those events, the league has shown no interest.
So, what does that mean for the spring season? Finebaum painted his vision.
“Probably a shortened season because there’s no way you can get 12 games in. You’d have to start in January and I don’t think that’s very doable in many parts of the country. Even in parts of the South. So you’d probably see a 10-game season, maybe an all-conference season.”
Before moving on, Finebaum did provide one positive of postponing the season to spring.
“If there is a positive, if there’s a vaccine and there’s more ways of treating this virus,” Finebaum said, “you could possibly get people in stands to watch the games. Which, this fall, I think is very unlikely.”
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) July 6, 2020