Bronco Mendenhall is a pretty thoughtful guy. He’s also the head coach of the team Georgia is expecting to face in the season opener. So, you might want to read what he says about the possibility of a shortened 2020 football season.
Mendenhall told a small group of reporters he is already preparing his program to begin from scratch — with no spring practice or formal training — on or around Aug. 1 with the beginning of fall camp.
“We’re preparing exactly with that model in place,” Mendenhall said during a videoconference. “We’re acting as if, and we’re making preparations as if, we won’t have spring practice. We possibly won’t have players here for summer school, any session, and possibly we won’t have the opportunity for anything other than fall camp to begin.
“Knowing that fall camp timing might even be pushed back, meaning that there certainly could be a chance that it’s not even be a full schedule played this year — if football is played, period.”
He is the first coach I’ve heard from acknowledging the possibility of that publicly. What kind of preparations for what kind of season is he alluding to?
“Solutions are so wide-ranging right now and have to be because of a lack of a definitive end point to [the virus],” Mendenhall said…
“The first step would be to eliminate nonconference games from the schedule … and only play a conference schedule,” Mendenhall said. “Knowing that would still be challenging … but in relation to the options we have, that certainly might be doable. Once you are under eight games, that probably becomes a non-legitimate season.”
When does “non-legitimate” translate into a straight “non”? ‘Cause I can’t imagine college football’s movers and shakers throwing an entire season — and postseason! — into the trash without kicking and screaming first. Just ask this guy what’s at stake:
Asked to consider a season without college football, one Power Five athletic director said, “We’d end up cutting sports. We’d be firing people.”
If you want the real bottom line question, it’s pretty simple: when does Mickey judge the season to be lost? You and I can argue our perspectives here as long as we’d like, but in the end, we’ll get the season ESPN is willing to pay for.