College Football Spring Season Idea Gains Steam
In recent weeks, there was been a lot of talk about switching college football from traditional months in the fall to the spring. Although Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley is the lone head of a top program to declare that he’s on board with a spring season, others in college football have said they’re willing to work for some type of season starting late March 2021.
With Covid-19 cases rising in Texas, California, Florida, and Arizona a plan B for this upcoming season seems to be a smart idea. The Lone Star State, the Golden State, and the Sunshine State are the three most important in college football.
To build a strong college football program, one must recruit the best players. The top players in the nation may head to Alabama, Oklahoma, and Ohio State, but they play high school football in California, Texas, and Florida. Not only that, but the Pac-12, which includes UCLA, the Arizona schools, the Oregon schools, and traditional college football power USC, and the Big Ten, home of Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State, said they were playing conference only schedules. That’s a big deal. If the SEC, the most talent-rich football conference in the nation, and the Big 12, home of Texas, TCU, and Oklahoma, follow suit, college football may have no choice but to plan for a spring season.
The biggest issue per college football expert Paul Finebaum is that Mark Emmert, the head of the NCAA, is a “complete failure” at leadership. Unlike professional sports, there is no commissioner of college football. The position doesn’t exist.
That means that schools in each conference have the right, the duty, to set schedules among themselves. Individual conferences and schools must also come up with Covid-19 protocols.
With the first college football games set to take place on August 29, the clock is ticking for conferences and teams to get much going in the way of a fall season.
Some teams appear to have moved on. ACC squad North Carolina has already turned their attention to the 2021 class. The Tar Heels, led by former National Championship winning coach Mack Brown, are on the verge of signing cornerback Tony Grimes.
Grimes, who got recruitment letters from powerhouse programs like Alabama, LSU, and Clemson, is the fifth-ranked cornerback in the 2020 class. Grimes decided to forego his senior season at Virginia Beach Princess Anne. Brown may be planning for the 2021 season. Don’t expect a team like North Carolina to go all out, or for someone like Grimes to even play, if college football moves the 2020 Fall Season to 2021 Spring.
Current college football players figure to forego the entire season altogether if it moves from the fall to the spring. Pro football talent level amateurs play to increase their NFL Draft position. A trend in college football the past few seasons has been for NFL-ready players to sit out bowl games unless the bowl game happens in the College Football Playoff.
The whole reason high school players go to programs like Alabama and Auburn is to get television time and to impress NFL scouts.
If the season moves to the spring, perilously close to April’s NFL Draft, why risk injury playing for free?
That could have a drastic effect on National Championship and Heisman Trophy odds. Right now, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a favorite to win the Heisman. The Clemson Tigers are favorites to win the National Championship. If the college football season moves to spring, expect huge odds changes for both the College Football Playoff Trophy and the player to win the top individual award in amateur football.
As it stands today, sports bettors can get odds on both the NCAAF College Football National Championship as well as the Heisman winner. Odds are available on both online sportsbook sites as well as through individual bookies provided by the Pay Per Head network. Wagering on either with so much up in the air may not seem wise. Then again, if the season does happen in the fall, and if the other conferences follow the Pac-12’s and Big Ten’s lead, odds on CFP contenders like Clemson will dramatically fall.
If the Tigers must only play Georgia Tech, Louisville, Virginia, Boston College, Florida State, NC State, Syracuse, Wake Forest, and South Carolina, the Atlantic Coast Conference teams on their 2020-2021 schedule, they’d be a shoo-in to go undefeated.
Only Notre Dame, whom Clemson is scheduled to face on November 7, has any shot of beating the Tigers during the regular season. Therefore, if you like Dabo Sweeney’s squad to win the National Championship, you might as well wager now because if Clemson mustn’t play the Fighting Irish, they figure to run the table in the regular season.