The hopes for a semi-normal college football season took a huge blow, as the Cal public school system announced they would be moving online for the fall semester of the 2020-2021 academic year. The announcement was met with general disagreement and shock, as, while no one wants to downplay the severity of the pandemic, it seems ridiculously early to make this decision. The majority of schools don’t even begin classes for another three months, as some universities are still finishing up finals of this past school year.
To make a massive decision like this, knowing how unpopular it is with their students, the sports world, and pretty much everyone else, is pretty shocking. This virus is completely new to everyone, with most projections and models having been fairly inaccurate to this point. The pandemic has been going on for just about two months in America now, so to make this call three months ahead of time seems absurd.
On another note, that decision will greatly affect college football, and all of the fall college sports season. Without Cal, UCLA, and all the other public Cal schools competing at the D1 level, on campus, it seems unlikely their sports teams will be able to compete. The Pac-12 is greatly affected by this, which in turn leaves a lot of question marks about the fate of football this fall.
Conference opponents discussing potential home-and-home series in 2020
One potential solution to the dilemma already posed by the Cal announcement, and potentially to be posed by other schools, is to allow teams to play each other twice in a season. This would allow the Pac-12 to continue to function with some level of normality, even if Cal and UCLA are unable to play. Rather than shut down the league, if the other teams are able to compete, they’ll just play other conference opponents more than once. This could be a common move in a lot of major conferences, if certain teams are unable to compete. I can think of worse things than having to watch LSU vs. Alabama twice. This will, evidently, affect the College Football Playoff race, as a possible one-time expansion may be possible, or a two-loss Playoff team due to the increased conference contests.