South Carolina opens campuses - is football season on?

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South Carolina will open campus in the fall - is football happening?

The Gamecocks and a handful of other schools may have set the gears to start the season in motion.

The Rob Brown Show
May 06, 2020 - 4:34 pm

No one seems to know what's next for college football. Some athletic directors have said football will likely be postponed until the fall. Some conferences, like the Big Twelve, are putting massive contingency plans in play that would let them start on time, or later in the fall, or play half the season in the fall and half in the spring, or start early in the spring, or start late in the spring.... you get the picture.

But on Wednesday, college football got some very welcome news from the University of South Carolina.

Along with The University of Tennessee, the Gamecocks announced their plans to reopen their campus sometime in the fall, around the middle of August.

(For the record: we'll be discussing this from ONLY the perspective of sports - we won't be getting into the politics of the decision.)

This decision does meet one major benchmark in the march towards starting up football. A large group of athletic directors have said that there's no way to justify bringing student-athletes to campus for training if the general student population isn't there as well.

So, does that mean that we'll be ready for college football as scheduled to start the season?

The bad news: probably not.

The good news?

If we follow the theorized schedule that a number of coaches and athletic directors have laid out, we could possibly be ready to play later in the fall, and fit in a full season (albeit likely without bowl games.)

Brian Kelly, head coach of the University of Notre Dame football team, was quoted a few weeks ago as saying a college team would need roughly six weeks to be fully ready to play. 

If all (or most) universities follow the lead of South Carolina and open their campuses to students by the beginning of fall (mid-August was the date mentioned in their press release,) and we add six weeks, that puts us on target to begin games in the middle of October - let's say October 17th.

If conferences agreed to cut one bye week from each team's schedule and play a 13 week season with 12 games, instead of 14 weeks, this would mean that the season would theoretically end on the first weekend in January. (Hypothetically, we could keep the second bye week, have everyone take their second bye during Christmas weekend, and play into the second weekend of January, fitting in a full season with both byes.)

The point is that getting students on campus is not just a major step towards playing - it is the very first of a series of mandatory steps. 

South Carolina took that first step today.

With the reopening of many SEC states, let's hope we don't see a second wave of Coronavirus. That would likely create a second lockdown that would undo the progress made towards college football made. 

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