What I think, know and believe about the college football world, and the new normal we’ll all have to live with, all in the latest College Football Cavalcade.
Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …
Just like getting into an LSU home game, there are no CDC wellness checks – the column wants you to get through it faster and easier. However, there still aren’t any alcohol sales.
If the “new normal” includes lighter traffic and few people in my way … okay
I’m well aware that “the new normal” is right up there with “it is what it is” and “that’s 2020” and “it’s not you it’s me” as nails-on-a-chalkboard phrases that have to be eradicated from our planet, but it applies.
There is a new normal to college football.
Things had to be worked on and tweaked to get this season up and working, and by necessity, we’re now seeing what’s possible to make things better in a sport whose norms and traditions are equal parts charm and restraint.
So as this weirdest of seasons rolls on, what about the new college football normal should stay, what needs to snap back once we return to the old normal, and what else has to be worked on?
From the playoff, to fans in the stands, to bowls, to a whole slew of other aspects of the college football world, here’s how things have changed this year, starting with the No. 1 most fundamental thing that 2020 has taught us …
College Football Will Always Be Fine
College football people despise change.
They’re not as bad as baseball blowhards, but anything that interferes with what fans are used to – uniforms, fight songs, traditions – gets met with the biggest brick wall of resistance.
However, as we’ve learned in 2020, college football finds a way no matter what.
This virus is ripping through college campuses with outbreaks that aren’t close to being contained – and college football is still played.
Racial unrest, a bitterly divided nation, an economic meltdown, death and destruction, some schools not playing, some players not playing, players rising up with demands, Vin Diesel’s heartthrob dance track – once the ball gets kicked off, it’s college football again and everything is fine.
It’s actually not fine in a whole lot of ways, but the games steamroll on no matter what.
So the next time you hear some old Farty McFarterson whine about how any sort of change or advancement or hair cut or jersey number 0 will be the end of college football as we know it …
College football will still be played. It might be different, but it’ll be fine.
College Football Playoff
There are two sides to this.
On one, just get through the season.
Just getting everyone on the field and hoping the campaign reaches the finish line is hard enough, much less dealing with the post-season logistics.
So for now, don’t get crazy. The College Football Playoff goes on like any other year, and out of whoever is out there and whatever happens, the committee will come up with the four best teams
On the other side, this is the year to blow it out, but not up.
How are we really supposed to judge the difference between the SEC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 teams when they’re only playing conference games? You don’t think it matters?
Sun Belt 3, Big 12 0 in head-to-head matchups.
It’s not happening, but this is the year – of all years – to make the tweak.
Expand it to 8, all Power Five conference champs get an automatic invite, so does the top-ranked Group of Five champ, and then the committee gets to choose two wild-cards.
First round on the home field of the higher seeds, then the CFP goes off as normal. It’s not that hard, and to go off the first blurb, it’ll all be fine.
But the old normal is sticking around … for now.
Not more games, but an actual longer time to get those games in.
The danger here would the greedy athletic director business types who’d see an opportunity to make more money to add more games, but the more stretched out the season, the more time players have to rest and recover.
Coaches love the compact schedules, especially in the Big Ten and Pac-12.
Routine, routine, routine, routine, routine – get into a groove, and keep everyone focused.
However, starting in late August and going through mid-December with more off weeks and more spread out games is a plus. Make it a 16-week regular season to get in 12 games. The teams would be healthier, and TV would love, it.
NEXT: New Normal, Part 2. Conference Only Seasons, Bowl Games, Fans