First-year Colorado football coach Karl Dorrell had considered nearly every scenario for how the season will be played when Buffs’ athletic director Rick George offered a new alternative.
College football in the spring?
It’s entirely possible.
“That first came across my radar last night,” Dorrell said. “(George) mentioned that from some of the discussion that they’ve had from an athletic director’s standpoint.”
Dorrell joined college football coaches from across the state — Steve Addazio (CSU), Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Ed McCaffrey (UNC) and John Wristen (CSU-Pueblo) — on Tuesday for a virtual roundtable discussion as part of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporations’ annual college football kickoff event. Among the most discussed topics on the Zoom video call were scenarios for potential schedule changes this season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
One idea appearing to gain national traction is to delay the start of college football for several months and play in the spring, allowing for safer game travel and campus environments compared to this fall. The Ivy League is expected to announce this week that it will postpone all of its upcoming fall sports to start in the spring, according to Forbes.
“What happens if we really don’t kick off until February?” Calhoun said. “We may reach a point where that is best, and quite frankly, where that is best educationally, too.”
Another radical scheduling idea is eliminating nonconference games to keep games more regional. And, for Power Five schools, to ensure opponents have the same financial resources to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
However, within Colorado, that plan doesn’t have universal support. Addazio stressed the importance of CSU hosting rival CU in the Rams’ on-campus stadium this season.
“Proposing this 10-game conference only deal, I don’t want to see any of that,” Addazio said. “Let’s go play them all.”
All five coaches stressed the importance of student-athlete health and welfare being the first concern and discussions on scheduling coming later. Schedules aren’t expected to be finalized until at least late July. For now, area coaches are optimistic that games will be played this fall.
“We can’t predict how things are going to go,” Dorrell said. “We’re hoping that the season starts on time. That’s what everybody is planning to do right now.”