Potential College Football Start Options During Covid-19 Pandemic
As we wait for information about when all our favorite sports will resume, one sport is thinking WAY out of the box.
At this time, we know very little about when and if the major sports will return. There is mostly speculation. And until there is more movement to understand when people can go back to work and how the entire coronavirus process shakes out, all anyone can do is make various contingency plans.
Two of the biggest drivers of the sports scene are the NFL and college football, which now have year-round interest and almost monthly discussion points involving a variety of topics.
Though it seems we still have a good amount of time until college football starts fall practice, teams, conferences and the sport as a whole cannot wait until August 1 to make decisions.
The most interesting take, at least publicly on social media, has been by Chris Fowler of ESPN on his Instagram account. He brought up three scenarios. First, everything clears up and it’s business as usual. While that would be perfect, there are real concerns about the virus remerging again in the fall -- and the last thing anyone wants is a start and stop.
Next, a delayed start of the season and fewer games played. Not everyone’s favorite choice, but better than nothing.
The last is the most fascinating: start the season in February. Crazy. Unconventional. Impossible to comprehend. All true, but there is a method to the madness.
The Difference Between NFL and College Football
While both football entities are big business, they are completely different. The NFL has far more revenue streams than college football, and it goes into one pot.
In college football, each conference makes their own television deals and determines how best to split it up among their members.
While a piece of the NFL pie revenue is derived from ticket sales, it’s not as important as it is to college football institutions. College football foots the bill for most college’s entire athletic departments. While the NFL could survive for a partial if not a full season without fans in the stands, that would have a major long-term effect in college football.
The gate is important, not only for fannies in the seats but personal seat licensing and boxes. Losing that revenue and having to refund the customers would hurt everyone from Michigan at 110,000 in attendance to the Sun Belt schools.
Also, let’s not forget that the cancelations of most college basketball tournaments and the NCAA Tournament and all that money that is spread around and impacts everyone.
What Does This Mean for Sports/Football Bettors?
While it would seem crazy to make college football picks February through May, it’s better than not at all. Having the ability to have fans in the stands creates a more normal environment for viewing and would be a positive. And this many more months down the road, we would more knowledge about the virus and ways to reduce its impact.
Yes, the time of year would be strange. However, after a few weeks, the only real difference is the weather is getting warmer, not colder.
If the NFL starts on time or close to it, that would be a big help and almost assuredly the league would move a couple of Sunday games to Saturdays with doubleheaders.
For weekdays this fall, instead of baseball winding down, chances are every team (OK, maybe not the Orioles, Tigers and Marlins) will be playing meaningful games, and eventually, the NBA, NHL and college basketball will start their seasons.
Again, this is speculation at this time. However, it is encouraging to think about looking over college football odds at some point than not at all. Let’s see how it all plays out and hope for the best.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports has 21 documented No. 1 titles and finished in the Top Ten 80+ other times in a distinguished career. Doug as a professional handicapper/writer, has written for various well-known sports betting websites and several of the football newsletters you have read before.
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