While I remain optimistic that the college football season will be played as scheduled, it’s looking more and more like the season will be altered in a dramatic way. With only about 7 weeks until the college football season officially kicks off, time is definitely not on the side for those of us wanting a normal season. But a spring season would be a last resort. The NCAA and its Universities are scrambling to try and salvage a fall season. There are a myriad of options for it to be played but nailing down a plan is tough when governors of states are changing regulations daily and those regulations vary from state to state. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said there are “18-20” scenarios out there for squeezing in the season.
Due to the financial implications for most Universities (Football provides 80% of the revenue for the average FBS budget), the option of playing without fans is basically a non-option. It simply won’t happen.
So what would a last-resort-season played in the spring mean for Louisville?
Well, In my opinion, teams like Louisville would have a much more realistic shot at winning their conference title and it would increase their chances of making the college football playoffs. I’m not predicting that Louisville will win the ACC, or even get a sniff of the playoffs, but I feel their chances would greatly improve.
If the season is moved to the spring, the season would still be underway at the time of the NFL Draft. The NFL is currently unwilling to work with the NCAA to change that date. According to a report from USA Today’s Dan Wolken, the NFL recently declined when asked by the NCAA if it would consider pushing back the 2021 draft in the event that the college football season had to be postponed until the spring.
Therefore, schools like Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, etc. who put multiple player in the NFL Draft annually, would most likely not have those players for a full spring season – or potentially any of the season.
Since the trend of players sitting out bowl games in December has grown so much over the years, it would only stand to reason that many of those potential future NFL players would only play a handful of games or even sit out the entire season if played starting in February or March – considering the NFL Draft starts on April 29th. They might opt to sit out and train with a profession trainer to prepare for the draft rather than risk injury playing meaningless college football games. And let’s not forget about the players who are invited and want to participate in the NFL combine.
There may also be players who choose to play but once they are drafted, they become ineligible. Depending on when the spring season actually starts, the players that chose to play until drafted or declaring for the draft, might only get to play four or five games.
So how does this help Louisville?
Louisville has plenty of talent on this team. But there is no sure-fire first round pick. There are several guys who will play in the NFL eventually but none who would sit out this season to prepare for the draft. I do believe Dez Fitzpatrick will be drafted but I doubt he passes up the opportunity to atleast play a few college games with his brother. This leaves Louisville time to grow as a team and build continuity without the disruption of players leaving mid season or not being there at all after being counted on as major contributors.
In the ACC, schools like Clemson and Florida. State, who have plenty of NFL talent, might be missing most, if not all, of that talent as those players prepare for their future.
Louisville would be a top 25 team not effected by the season having a spring start. It might actually help them get better having more time to practice.
I’m not saying that Louisville would beat Clemson if Trevor Lawerence and 90% of their defense sat out the year. I’m well aware of the talent on their two deep roster. I’m just saying that Louisville would have a much higher chance of winning than the current 7% as predicted by ESPN PFI. Clemson also becomes a little more vulnerable to a late season losses having to adjust to players opting to enter the NFL Draft. If Louisville can just take care of their business and Clemson does hit a little late season bump where they drop a couple of games, Louisville could be the beneficiary.
Yes, if Louisville could somehow win the ACC in a spring fotball season, there would be an asterisk next to their name in the record book. But that potential asterisk is one with absolutely no shame and one this Louisville fan would be happy to live with.
As Always, GO CARDS!