Over the last few days, the College Football coaches have started to talk about the coronavirus pandemic and how a 2020 season could be possible.
The first domino fell on Monday when California State University announced that its campuses would not open for the Fall Semester and that classes would be done virtually due to the pandemic. As far as what has been said in recent weeks, we know that there will likely not be football if students are not on campus, that from the NCAA.
San Jose State along with Fresno State are two of the schools that are part of the CSU group. San Jose State was set to travel to Happy Valley to take on Penn State which now looks like a lost payday. Other schools in California are also on notice now.
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Stanford, USC, Cal, and UCLA fall under a governer’s stay at home order that was extended through July due to the state having over 1300 deaths due to COVID-19. This will affect practice schedules which typically happen in July and August as Fall Camp begins for teams across the country. There are plenty of ideas being floated around to make a college football season happen from playing in spring, to several coaches, including Clay Helton from USC considering an 11 game conference slate.
While states like California and New York are currently hard hit, there are states that have less cases. Could programs move their respective teams to another state for practice? We can add that question to the logistical nightmare that already is occurring as we’re just a few months away from the start of the regular season.
Alabama is looking to replace USC with TCU to open their season as the Trojans may not be able to travel. Travel is another thing. I know Oregon Football is set to welcome North Dakota State and Ohio State. With no fans, would the Buckeyes travel under the circumstances? Will North Dakota State visit Autzen for a nice check? Personally, I have no plans to get on a plane anytime soon.
Aside from the state of California, the Pac-12 Conference released their own statement saying in part that they will make their own determination when student-athletes can return to play and when and how campuses will reopen to students.
Coaches are now back talking football and finding ways to work through a rough situation. Scheduling and location will be the toughest obstacles and we are likely weeks away from any kind of decision on how this will play out, but the conversation of how this could work has begun.