For College Football fans, players and universities, things are looking very concerning in regards to the Power 5 football conferences starting the 2020 College Football season on time.
An emergency meeting was held over the weekend and reports are that the heads of these five conferences are leaning towards suspending the season. Although no decision was made at the meeting, things are looking very dire.
In fact, the buzz stemming from this emergency meeting has trickled over to College Football betting sites where they heavily favor an announcement that the season will be postponed before the end of the week.
Let’s run an off tackle dive into this hot mess we call College Football and see if there’s any value in this NCAAF prop bet.
In mid-July, odds were in favor that the College Football 2020 season would still go on. College Football betting websites listed the season taking place this fall at -160 odds. A postponement was the slight underdog at +120 odds. Currently, a postponement is a massive favorite at -1000 odds.
Critics and fans will point to the Big Ten football conference as a catalyst for postponement talk increasing. The Big Ten along with the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC make up the Power 5 conferences and they have the most influence in the sport of college football.
So, when the Big Ten announced at the beginning of August that they will only play an in-conference schedule this year, it had a domino effect on the rest of the sport. Soon, the other four Power 5 conferences follow suit and Notre Dame joined the ACC just to have a season.
As these conferences decide to play in their own backyards and with their own teams, it left numerous other smaller conferences in limbo. Last week, Connecticut decided to just outright cancel their season. This put the NCAA on alert as other teams were considering this as well.
Then came a huge blow against College Football in 2020 when the MAC conference decided to postpone their 2020 fall season for all sports. This was largely due to the MAC teams being unable to play their games against the Power 5 schools, which is where they make a lot of money for their programs.
There’s a good chance that other smaller conferences will also follow the MAC’s lead especially if they’re in states with tighter restrictions. Furthermore, they won’t have the opportunities to play the bigger schools.
Even worse, none of the smaller conferences will have a chance at the Playoffs or major Bowl Games if they can’t even play against Top 25 ranked programs.
Although these smaller conferences won’t necessarily sway the opinions of the shot callers for the Power 5 conferences, it does put more pressure on these schools and programs in the media and with health or government officials.
Another reason why the 2020 football season could be postponed is the fact that some of the sport’s high profile stars have opted out of playing.
Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore is a talented playmaker for the Boilermakers. Although he missed eight games last year, expectations were high for his return in 2020. Moore will focus on preparing for the NFL instead of playing a final season at Purdue. He’s expected to be a Day 2 NFL Draft pick in 2021.
Minnesota star receiver Rashod Bateman also opted out. He’s being pegged as a Top 10 draft pick in 2021 with comparisons to Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster and Michael Thomas. That’s two big complements that have Bateman’s stock at a high. The Gophers will suffer without his contributions.
Defensive players have also opted out as well. Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley was set to be one of the best corner’s in college football this season. Like others on this list, he cited his health as a reason to opt out. Right now, Farley is pegged as a late first round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The biggest opt out so far, has been Micah Parsons linebacker from Penn State. Not only was he arguably the best linebacker in college football, but he was also a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate. He leaves a huge hole in the PSU defense and the sport. He’s a Top 5 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
As more reports surface from this weekend, it appears that the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences are spearheading the decision of whether to suspend the 2020 fall season or not.
The Pac-12 leaders are set to meet Tuesday morning. Big Ten leaders will also meet very soon. There are whispers that Big 10 school presidents would vote to suspend the season.
One Power 5 athletic director, who wanted to remain anonymous, told ESPN that it’s all about what the Big Ten and Pac-12 decide to do:
“They will be the ones to shut it down, even if the league commissioners are determined to hold out. … Everybody’s going to be watching what the Pac-12 and Big Ten do over these next few days. That’s for sure.”
If you remember, these are the two conferences that first voted to play in-conference games only. Additionally, the conferences are linked through the Association of American Universities as many of their schools have similar academic criteria.
Another reason why the Pac-12 might vote to postpone is due to most of their schools being located in California and Arizona where health restrictions are very tight and covid cases have been on the rise.
There remains a glimmer of hope for this season. Many high profile college football stars are uniting on Social Media and conference calls to collectively say that they want to play in the fall.
One of the sport’s biggest stars Trevor Lawrence, QB for Clemson, has publicly called for football in the fall. The other top QB in the sport, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, also joined Lawrence and others in calling for the season to go forward.
These two QBs are not only the top contenders for the 2020 Heisman Trophy, but they’re also going to be the top two draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.
If college football ends up postponing the season to the spring of 2021, then the sport will most likely lose these two stars as they opt out and prepare for entering the NFL instead. In fact, many top players would follow suit as their future in the NFL is more important than a spring season.
This would be catastrophic for the sport. Some would say that this is worse than playing in stadiums without fans.
With many college football players uniting and publicly calling for a fall season, it gives fans some hope that there won’t be a postponement.
Unfortunately, I believe the season will be postponed to the spring or the end of the year at the earliest. There’s just too many factors lining up against the season taking place.
Not only do I see it being postponed, but the season could be cancelled outright. A spring season would greatly affect the 2021 fall football season and cause that to be shortened as well. If the powers to be can’t figure out how to push back the season until later this year then this season is in serious trouble.
For this prop bet, go with the “yes” option even though there’s no value. The writing is on the wall.
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