BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Sports fans are likely mourning the loss of every spring athletic event due to the COVID-19, but now, questions surround how the college football season could look this year.
Chris Fowler, a sportscaster for ESPN and former co-host of “College GameDay” on the network, has his own opinions on the matter.
“The question everybody is asking and pondering is will we have a college football season that unfolds normally,” Fowler said in a recent Instagram post. “I say that’s impossible.”
Fowler is on the same page as his ESPN colleague Kirk Herbstreit, who told ESPN Radio that he would “be shocked if we have NFL football this fall, if we have college football.” Herbstreit’s comments whipped the college football world into a frenzy.
In talking about what the football season could look like, Fowler made it clear that this was just his own informed opinion.
“It’s just speculation, but I’ve had conversations with people who are in the planning stages,” he said. “They’re not the decision-makers, but they’re planning the various scenarios and the what-ifs and they’re thinking about a few different scenarios.”
Specifically, Fowler laid out three different scenarios, each with their own timeline. The first was a typical college football schedule that starts in late August and early September, and wrapping up in December and January. However, Fowler said it doesn’t feel realistic.
“I mean, maybe it’ll happen,” he said. “We hope it’ll happen, but hope without facts and the truth is not strategy. That’s what got us into this mess, in large part, in the first place. so hope isn’t going to do it.
The second scenario involves a condensed season that would start late and run through the winter. However, this situation is also problematic.
“People are very worried about a second wave of this virus coming back when the temperatures up North turn cold in November,” he said. “Do you want to start a season, then have to shut it down? To me, that would be disastrous.”
A third scenario that is gaining momentum in some circles involves a spring football season that would begin sometime in February into March, April or May with a postseason in June. Fowler said that particular case would have to be reshuffled a bit to work.
“It would be bizarre,” he said. “It would wreak havoc on some other sports at that time of year, but to avoid the financial disaster of having no football during the academic year, I think it might be a fallback position.”
So maybe sports fans should start wrapping their heads around college football in the spring. Thanks to the coronavirus, nothing is normal.
Watch Fowler’s full Instagram video below