A fascinating discussion this morning on ESPN’s Get Up morning show about if and how a college football season might happen this fall. With so many college football fans locally, this is particularly of interest.  And with so many variables, for example, individual states having different rules and regulations on everything from whether classes will be on campus or online, to social distancing for both the players playing and fans in the stands, one question emerged, that would hit very close to home here in Michigan.

What happens if the states of Michigan and Ohio have different rules in place this fall? Specifically, one panelist asked what if Ohio State is allowed to practice football and Michigan isn’t.

So many interesting points are being brought up in the many scenarios being explored for the return of sports, whenever that may happen.

ESPN’s insider Heather Dinich said pretty much everyone she has spoken to said they have no set plans yet (because there are too many unknowns) But some possibilities have been mentioned, one of which is the acceptance by most everyone that there may be some competitive disadvantages. Circling back to the example before, what if, players are allowed to practice in Ohio, but not in Michigan. Obviously, players won’t be sent into action without any practice, but it’s the amount of practice. Some players may have a month of practice, others not.  This also begs the safety issue.

But Dinich also quoted Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards, who is saying what other coaches are saying,  “if it’s not safe for students to be back (in school) why is it ok for my players”

Another aspect discussed was school just playing conference schedules. Western Michigan starts the season with Colgate and then travels to Cincinnati. The Cincinnati game is on a Friday night and scheduled for ESPN. That’s TV money. Which leads to even more questions; College football is much more dependent on gate revenue that the NFL is. How long can a school like Western Michigan operate with little or no revenue?

The guess here is, what happens this fall will begin to become clearer as we approach the early part of June, but that’s also just a guess.

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