College football may be back but this season is unlike any other, with multiple conferences choosing not to play and games already being postponed before the season starts. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Let’s talk about the good, the bad, and the different of the 2020 college football season.
- The season, albeit a week later than usual, is underway.
- There’s still a National Championship game date on the schedule – January 11, 2021. Who will play and how that will work with some teams not playing still hasn’t been ironed out.
- Most conferences are sticking to playing teams only in their conference. Conference games are required games for a season. One conference, the Big 10 (think Oklahoma and Texas) will play one non-conference game.
- The preseason coaches poll came out as it does every year, but they ranked teams that weren’t even playing this season. Hmm. (These are the polls that rank teams – i.e. which team is the No. 1 team in the country. Answer – Clemson). It’ll all flush out after the games in week two.
- There will be testing, lots and lots of testing. Most teams will keep the test results a secret. It’s typical for teams to wait as long as possible to submit their injury report to their opponent for a competitive advantage. (It’s harder to prepare to play a team if you don’t know which players are taking the field). Which players are out for COIVD reasons will be part of that injury report (also known as the depth report).
- Never-ending laundry. Everything a player touches needs to be washed. Auburn’s equipment manager reported already doing 2.1 million pounds of laundry before the season even started. That number is significant because they did 3 million pounds of laundry total last season.
- Out of the five power conferences, two conferences aren’t playing – the Pac-12 (think USC and Oregon) and the Big 10 (think Ohio State and Michigan). There is a glimmer of hope for the Big 10 with talks to start their season around Thanksgiving.
- Electronic whistles. Just like the NFL (National Football League), the referees will have electronic whistles to prevent their spittle from going everywhere with a regular whistle. (What will they think of next)?
- The ceremonial coin toss before a game used to look like a scene from “Entourage” with four players from each team, a sound person, a camera person, a referee, and an umpire. Now that will consist of one captain per team, the referee, and the umpire.
- Expect lots of masks. Coaches, staff, and officials will be wearing them and you can bet any fans in the stands will be doing the same.
About the author:
Driven to breakdown the stereotypes, Amy and her brother Scott created Last Night’s Game, which empowers its readers to join the sports conversation, even if they don’t know the first thing about sports. They do that through a triweekly email publication and a weekly podcast.