College Football Won’t Happen in 2020, Time to Accept it



College football is my favorite sport; there I said it.  Therefore it is with a very heavy heart that I write this post and send it along to you. However, I have realized, for quite some time that we won’t have collegiate pigskin this autumn. The warning signs have been there all along, and today, the inconvenient truth is right there in front of us.

The faster you realize this, the quicker you can reach level five, “acceptance” in the stages of grief.

As Wham! told us “there’s no comfort in the truth, pain is the whole you’ll find.” Kirk Herbstreit was right. Monday took this especially cruel summer (apologies to Bananarama) and gave it another dose of pain.

College football preseason award watch list season started today. Even in normal times, this beyond stupid and pointless endeavor is something I rail against harshly. This year, it’s even worse though because we have the torture of all those dumb press releases bombarding our inboxes every day for two weeks, but not the treat of the actual season later.

If there is one thing that can survive a global pandemic, it’s waves of worthless junk coming into your inbox every workday. Monday also saw the Patriot League, whose football programs compete at the FCS level, cancel fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They joined the Ivy League as the only conferences to have done so thus far.

Basically, the further descent into a year without college football is a slow one, and it comes in stages. It’s like dipping your toe into the lake, to get used to the cold water. Eventually though, you got to mix metaphors and just rip the band-aid off.

Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the world, and no one is failing it at worse than these United States. We have absolutely no leadership, none at all up at the top. And unfortunately, a lot of the people to be led our selfish idiots who engage in magical thinking and conspiracy theory lunacy.

It’s always been this way in America, we’ve always had the “we believe what we want regardless of what you or the basic facts say” crowd. It’s been present since the voyage of the Mayflower, but now they have a larger platform and more power than ever before.

What’s really wreacking havoc on our republic is a for-profit infotainment system instead of a news industry or service. The need to get eyeballs above all else has led to platforming those that will say anything for money, just as long as it stirs up controversy, and gets attention.

It’s just the chickens coming home to roost now. Is it any surprise that the states, with the exception of California, being hit the hardest right now by the coronavirus crisis are all politically red? Of course, the places where science denial and Republican rule are the highest are suffering the most.

Spoiler alert: those are also the states where college football reigns most supreme. What Wall St. calls FCAT (Florida, California, Arizona, Texas) are the four states that never ever really got through the first wave. They are very populous states that re-opened way too early and are paying the price right now.

The business press that about 30% of “the econonomy” will get shut down again. So yeah, tell me again how we’re going to have big brand, big money team sports in 2020? Without a vaccine or therapeutic? The domino theory has already long been in motion.


It all started when Notre Dame moved the Navy game from Ireland to Annapolis. We already covered the Ivy and Patriot Leagues. Ohio State announced early last week that they had an outbreak, which forced them to shut down voluntary workouts.

Therefore, the Big Ten said they would go conference only. Other conferences followed. Several schools have shut down numerous sports. Much like our so-called “response” to the virus, college football has no true centralized authority, and no actual leadership. Therefore it’s sort of every man for himself, to a degree.

With several conferences having different agendas and states on differing re-opening plans, and no “one size fits all policy” to make it work…well, how can you have college football?

Then you have the labor and human rights issues, best summated by the tweet above. When late August and early September get here, we’ll be reminded that the year 2020 is just like the Trump presidency- there is no bottom. Perhaps the best way to describe this year is how George Burns encapsulated show business (at least according to Bart Simpson): “a hideous bitch goddess.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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