ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit still thinks there will be a 2020 college football season. However, back in May, the popular commentator wasn’t so sure.
“I’ll be shocked if we have NFL football this fall, if we have college football,” Herbstreit said in May. “I’ll be so surprised if that happens. Just because, from what I understand, people that I listen to, you’re 12 to 18 months from a [COVID-19] vaccine. I don’t know how you let these guys go into locker rooms and let stadiums be filled up and how you can play ball. I just don’t know how you can do it with the optics of it.”
After some time had passed, and things seemed to be looking better from a numbers standpoint, Herbstreit had softened up on that stance,
“I’m very optimistic that we are going to see… some effort to have a season, Herbstreit said. “It’s really changed… if you would have asked me that three weeks ago, I would have said man I feel I great. This thing is going in a great direction. But as you watch the news and follow this thing, you see spikes all over the place.”
Since those optimistic comments a few weeks ago though, things have taken even more of a downward turn, as the number of positive cases has skyrocketed despite the fact that deaths are down. That didn’t stop Herbstreit from doubling down on his comments from a few weeks ago though, echoing his sentiments that he thinks there will be a season played, even if it means some kind of delay..
“In about two weeks is when I think they’ll have to get to a deadline,” Herbstreit said on SportsCenter. “By the end of July or early August, as much as they’re trying to push this thing down the road, they have to make the decision. . . . I would be surprised if they canceled (the season). I think they would keep postponing, keep pushing and hoping that at some point, the data starts to come down.”
While there are still far more questions than answers, one thing is certain. Time is running out. The Power-5 conference commissioners are on the clock. They must make a decision sometime in the next two weeks regarding if the season starts as scheduled, or whether they try and postpone.
Some kind of delay is all but guaranteed. With the anticipation that there will not be a full season played, and that ten games is about the ceiling for the regular season, that does give the decision makers some wiggle room and the flexibility they need if they do in fact decide to postpone.