When the pandemic halted sports in March, it seemed at the time that football season would be safe. Now as we approach kickoff, several leagues, conferences and teams have surrendered to concerns over safety and uncertainty of the effects of COVID-19. COVID-19 concerns contributed to four of the 10 FBS conferences canceling their season in 2020. The Big Ten, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference and Pac-12 are out. A total of 54 schools have postponed their fall football season. That leaves 76 of the 130 schools still in. The ACC, American Athletic Conference, Big 12, Conference-USA, SEC and Sun Belt, along with a few independents, still planning on playing.
Honestly, I have thought that the entire year of sports should have been shutdown. I am a sports fan and hate to admit it but I think that would have been the smartest thing to do. Instead, we are getting a patched up version of our favorite sports. Major League Baseball is playing in front of cardboard fans, the National Hockey League is finishing their season playing without fans in Toronto and Edmonton and the National Basketball Association is playing in Disney World.
Now college football conferences have been dropping the fall season. I have also seen several high school football teams either postponing or cancelling their seasons. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is still pressing ahead with playing this fall and, honestly, rather stubborn about it. What will be the quality of the season if they play? What will it mean is yet another SEC team wins the “national championship”? Will there even be a national champion this season?
The National Football League (NFL) is also pressing ahead with their season. They cancelled the preseason schedule but appear to moving forward with the regular season without any delays. Most teams will play with limited fans in the stands. Some teams may need to pipe in some fan noise.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.