Sport

Possibility looms of fall 2020 and spring 2021 college football seasons

The Big Ten is out. The Pac 12 is, too. That leaves three of the Power Five conferences in play for fall 2020.

And that could result in a split college football season, with some teams playing in the fall and others playing in the spring.

That’s surely not an ideal situation for the NFL, which seemingly would prefer to have all games played in the same chunk of weeks. If all were played in the fall, the draft could proceed without the possibility of selecting players who are still playing college football. If all were played in the spring, the NFL could move games from Sundays to Saturdays. A mixed bag complicates both possibilities, significantly.

As more major conferences move from fall to spring, it will become harder for others to stay in the fall. If, as it appears, liability concerns are fueling hesitation to proceed in the fall, the decision of major conferences to stand down can and will be used against schools that insist on trudging ahead, exposing schools to unlimited and unfunded liability that could take years to fully unfold, especially if even asymptomatic individuals eventually develop heart issues.

With each conferences that presses pause, it will become harder for the remaining conferences to not do the same. And it ultimately would make the prospect of all teams waiting until the spring more sensible.