Covid-19 and college football don't mix very well at all. In fact, I can't think of anything that mixes well with the terrible coronavirus that has slapped our world to its knees since March. It seems the more the country opens up and tries to return to normal, the numbers continue to climb for positive cases and, until a cure or vaccine is discovered, it's not going anywhere.
It has affected our sports world as much as it has anything else, cancelling many events, and the ones who have chosen to continue have done so without fans in attendance. That brings us to the biggest question being asked this year, "How is Covid-19 going to affect college football?" Well, this is just my humble opinion but here goes.
I believe there will be college football but it will look nothing like it has looked in the past. I believe crowds at stadiums will be less than half capacity and everyone will be forced to wear masks.
There will be no tailgating until a vaccine is found to kill the virus once and for all. And God forbid, College Game Day on ESPN will be forced to move everything into the studio rather than cater to the big crowds we've seen on campus.
I truly believe only the very rich will be able to secure tickets to actual games. To make up the loss of revenue for cutting the crowds in half or more, schools will have to go up on ticket prices and gifts to be able to get two-four tickets per game. The majority of fans will be unable to get in to see their favorite college teams this year which could be a windfall for the television networks. TV coverage will now become more important than ever and television revenue could actually increase in the fall because the audiences will increase dramatically. in other words, ratings could go out the roof. This is especially significant since crowds have decreased in every conference over the last couple of seasons anyway.
You can also look for schools to limit scholarships and travel squads. And while most teams spend the night in a motel the night before a home game, that will soon become an unnecessary expense and will be no more.
Coaching salaries will be cut in some instances, which could lead to a lot of legal action. Maybe coaches like Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney can live on $8 million a year again rather than the $10 million a year or more they now make. Coaching staffs could have their salaries cut as well or some schools may cut staffs rather than limit paychecks.
It will be different that's for sure but if a vaccine is discovered before the 2021 season, crowds will actually be almost back to normal. However, know this. Watching college football in person will likely never be the same again. That's what a virus like Covid-19 can do.
Randy Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org