The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the sports world to come to a screeching halt with little end in sight.
This week, President Trump said that he wants to see spectators gathering at sporting events as soon as August or September, which would be in time for college football to begin on time, but whether that is a realistic goal remains to be seen.
However, if the season isn't ready to be played in the fall perhaps there's another option beyond canceling the entire season.
According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, a few coaches around the country and one administrator are considering moving the college football season from fall to the spring of 2021 to give teams more time to prepare for the season given their entire spring schedule has been ruined by the pandemic, and who knows if they will be able to have a normal training camp over the summer.
Fellow writer Andy Staples further elaborated that the majority of schools need a college football season to be played in the 2020-2021 academic school year to fund nearly every other sport.
The fact of the matter is that for most college athletic departments to survive as we know them, there needs to be a football season played at some point in the 2020-21 academic year. That doesn’t mean it has to be played on time. It just has to be played. That means you could finish up in late April or early May if you had to... No offense to the other sports, but football is the only college sport that needs to be played next school year. Everyone else’s job/scholarship relies on football. If no football gets played, football will come back. But... a lot of those other sports won’t come back.
Playing the season in the spring would bring up multiple questions, such as when would the NFL Draft be held. If the NFL doesn't want to push back their calendar then perhaps the NFL Draft can happen during the college football season as a one-time exception, but the NCAA would need to approve that. We all know the NCAA hardly ever makes the right calls when it comes to these sorts of things.
Stewart Mandel speculates that it could eliminate the entire 2021 Draft class from playing because the NFL would not want to push back their draft. If that happened then there could be a lot of younger talent getting unexpected playing time next season.
The Oregon Ducks are currently scheduled to have one of their most stacked home schedules in recent memory hosting Ohio State, Washington, Stanford, USC, and Arizona State.
Oregon State is scheduled to travel to Stillwater to open their season at Oklahoma State.
If any non-conference games get canceled due to the pandemic, it would be up to the schools to reschedule in good faith. However, if the season just gets pushed back it should be likely teams would play the same teams just at a later date in the academic year.