Will there be a spring football season for the MAC? I certainly hope so! There’s six months until the first Saturday of February, and it’s time to get working on a plan.
The Mid-American Conference has decided to not play any fall sports this year. At best they’ll be moved to the spring. Volleyball, cross country — Olympic sports are easier to move than football is, but that’s the plan. It was the correct (and incredibly difficult) decision to make, but now it’s time to keep grinding to make sure the spring season actually happens.
The first Saturday of February, the 6th, is 181 days away.
Nobody with any powers over college athletics has come out and said Feb. 6 is a date of significance, I’m more or less putting words into their mouths with this. But Feb. 6 is the first Saturday of February, the month I’m immediately pointing to as what could be the start of the MAC’s first-ever spring football season.
That means from this point, everybody that makes up College Football™ now has under 26 weeks to get things figured out. How will eligibility hold up for athletes already at MAC schools? What about the seniors this year? Redshirt players? TV contracts? Scheduling opponents? Schedule size? Will top MAC players get poached through the transfer portal?
The coronavirus won’t be gone by the springtime either. What will the vaccine situation look like by then? What sort of health and safety measures will be taken for these athletes throughout the fall and winter to even get to a safe spring season? Is it even healthy for these 18–23 year-olds to participate in full-go football in the spring and in the fall?
And for the players and coaches: What’s preparation going to look like? How much can bodies and playbooks change from this point forward?
Four weeks before what many thought would be the start of the new football season, the nation learned that the MAC might still be another half-year away from having a new season. Dominoes across the country may begin to fall in the same direction that the MAC fell. There’s no guarantee for the rest of the leagues just yet, but the MAC found itself to be in a position to be the first to go that way. Six months feels like a long time away, but make no mistake about it: the MAC is in no position to waste time on figuring out a spring plan.