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Carriker Chronicles: The college football season could be disrupted. What scenarios are most likely?
FOOTBALL

Carriker Chronicles: The college football season could be disrupted. What scenarios are most likely?

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All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.

On Saturday's episode, Adam Carriker discusses how the college football season could be disrupted by the coronavirus and the most likely solutions to an abbreviated season.

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Check out a full transcript below:

Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people's show, where we check the pulse of Husker Nation, brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital.

About a week ago I did a show, and I responded to Kirk Herbstreit's comments and thoughts about how he thought there may not be a football season at all this upcoming year, and so I gave my thoughts on that.

But we're trying to figure out a way, and hopefully, come the end of August, beginning of September, the college football, the football season as a whole, starts as normal as planned. That would be phenomenal. That would be ideal. That would just be gloriously glorious. But if it doesn't happen as planned, they're trying to figure out different scenarios, different ways to try to make it so this college football and this football season as a whole can still happen. And there are different scenarios that are being bandied about out there.

I saw an article by Brett McMurphy of Stadium College Football Insider, and he did a really good job. Check out the article if you get a chance. Now I'm going to talk about the highlights and I'm going to give my thoughts and my opinions and offer my comments, because that's what I do. I hope you enjoy them, but he goes in depth, so check out this article. I'm going to cover the highlights and give you my thoughts and opinions.

Some of the scenarios he threw out there include having the college football playoff semifinals being played as late as May or June. Also, a nine-game regular season potentially. Now he did point out that Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said the end of May is the approximate deadline for determining the direction of college football's regular season for this year. Here's some of the scenarios. I'm just going to go over them briefly then I'll go back over them and offer my thoughts on them individually.

Here the possible scenarios if we have to adjust the start of college football and are still trying to keep the college football season in place. The first scenario is to start the season in October and/or November and conclude the season in the spring. Scenario No. 2 is move the whole season to the spring semester itself. No. 3, no students are allowed in classes back in the fall, but exceptions are made for student-athletes to come back on campus, so they can participate in their sports. And lastly, cancel early-season non-conference games and just play only conference games.

I'm going to be honest with you, that scenario right there presents the most amount of complications, but here are my thoughts. Scenario No. 1, my favorite scenario of all, is stay your butt at home. Alright, stay at home, follow the guidelines, because what I feel like is happening is people are running out of patience with what's going on, so they're not following the guidelines. So we're prolonging everything.

The more we prolong it, the less opportunity, less chance we're going to have football this fall. Also, less opportunity, less chance for businesses to reopen, for families that are struggling. We have to get past this. It's like the old saying, "You've got to take one step back before you can take two steps forward."

Right now we've got to get through this first. Stay at home, and I don't even like the term social distancing, because you can still be social and get on FaceTime, get on Zoom, get on all these things. You can still call people, you can still interact socially. Physical distancing, to me is a more accurate term. Please, please, if we want to have any shot of having football as it should be, or at all, please adhere to the guidelines, please stay home and please adhere to the guidelines of physical distancing.

But, if for some reason, we can't have football as planned this fall, the first scenario he offered up was starting the season in October and/or November and concluding it in the spring. Of all the possible options, if we do have to adjust the college football season, all the possible options that are available, this is my favorite one. And I'll tell you right now, why: No. 1, the bowl season. Every year, there's a month off in between these bowls. I've never understood that. And everyone talks about all the bowl practices are important. I've talked about that because they are important, but if you think about it, what other sport under God's hot sun do you take a month off and then go play championship games or playoff games or big big games? It didn't make any sense to me. It never has.

As much as I love football, I'm going to shock you right now. I love games, I love lifting, practice is good, you have to have it to get better, but nobody really enjoys a month of bowl practices. I honestly think it's part of the reason some of the athletes are leaving and skipping out. They don't have to practice for a whole month just for one game. As much as those practices are good, as much as they're necessary, but is a month off necessary? So if we just eliminate that month, instead of starting the end of August, early September, now we're starting late September, late October, and you can still take maybe two weeks off before the bowl games, which has always been more appropriate to me, three weeks at the most.

But then, so if you eliminate that month between the bowls and the regular season, and then you just move the season back another month to November, if necessary, you're now only a month behind. So instead of everything ending in January, you're now ending in February. Well, that's when the NFL season ends. That's when all football, well except for the XFL, which is, hopefully they're back next year. Hopefully we have everything like normal at some point next year, but we could end the same time as the NFL.

And so to me, I've always thought it would be cool to see college football games in January in the cold weather. I mean, there's cold weather in November, but not like those NFL playoff games in January. Anyway, I digress. To me, this is my favorite scenario because it also does not conflict with March Madness. It doesn't conflict with baseball as much.

It doesn't conflict with spring sports anywhere near as much as scenario No. 2, which is to move the whole season to the spring semester. Now that's my second-favorite scenario behind the one I just talked about because it still allows us to have the whole season, a 12-game regular season, the bowls as much as possible, the college football playoff. We still get the season, but you're going to have more conflicts with spring sports.

A third scenario is no students in (in-person) classes in the fall but allow exceptions for student-athletes to return to campus to compete in their athletics. Now I have to assume that there's going to be no fans in the stands, because if you're not going to allow people back on campus other than student-athletes, why in the world would you pack stadiums full of 90,000 people? So I've got to assume there's no fans in the stands.

So for me, this is the least likely scenario to happen because college football's a business, I mean, it is, it's a moneymaker. Now, it's different than the NFL. It's not as cutthroat, but it's cutthroat to a lesser degree. It's not as well noticed, simply because it's amateurs. Okay, although that is starting to change a little bit, but that's a topic for another show. My point is simply this, if there's no fans in the stands, that's a whole lot of money that's being left on the table each and every weekend, which makes it far less likely to happen.

The Golden State Warriors, for example, every home game they have, and they can't pack 90,000 people in their arena, I believe they're about 15,000-20,000 people, they make $3.5 million every home game they have. They don't have as many people, and they don't fill up their arena, because they have 41 home games every year. So they have a lot more home games, but they have a lot less people in attendance. So if they're making $3.5 million per home game, imagine what these football teams are bringing home that they'd be missing under this scenario No. 3, where only the student-athletes are on campus.

I have to assume there's no fans in the stands. Also think about this, you're not going to have, I don't know what 10,000 people on campus, like I would guess an average college has when they're in full swing of school, but you're still going to have hundreds, hundreds of student-athletes. That's far more than a gathering of 10 people, ladies and gentlemen. I just don't see this scenario happening and I think it's the least likely.

The fourth scenario, the most complicated scenario, cancel early-season non-conference games and play only conference opponents. Now the first thing that pops up, and Brett pointed this out in his article, is not every conference plays the same amount of conference games. The Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten play nine. The SEC and the ACC, they're special, so they get to play eight. It is an easy remedy to add one conference game if you're in a unique scenario like this, but my point is play the same amount of games, ACC, SEC. First of all, they should be penalized by the polls, but they're not, so they just keep having their cake and eat it too. But they should play nine conference games every year.

The independents, a school like Notre Dame, has a huge problem because if you're only going to play conference teams, who are going to play? There's only seven independent schools. So they can only have six games, and their toughest games would be Army and Navy, who are respectable, but you want to talk about a soft schedule, and then they're going to be three games short. So are they going to play some schools twice? So finally Notre Dame is going to be punished for not being in a conference. You want to talk about having your cake and eat it too, you definitely ain't special. They're in the ACC in every other sport but not football but as long as they play five ACC games every year, the ACC lets them be in the ACC in every other sport but not football so they can remain independent in football. Anyway, I digress. I've been cooped up a long time, ladies and gentlemen.

So the independents are going to have a real problem. The group of five schools, they're not going to get their big paydays. They don't make as much money, they don't fill up the stands like power five schools do. They won't be able to play them to get their paydays. Anything less than 12 games is less money for everybody.

Now, Brett McMurphy did a great job of pointing out a lot of this, but here's my here's my thoughts on all of this. The nine games in the fall, I just don't see that happening. I see nine games in the spring as a last resort, because anything under 12 games, like I said, they're going to make a lot less money. At least there's fans in the stands, but it's a lot less money. So to me, they're going to do the whole season in the spring before they do nine games in the fall. So to me, the only realistic possibility would be nine games in the spring as an absolute last resort. If they can't do anything in the fall, they can't get a full season in in the spring. They don't want to push it to the following summer because then it go right into the following fall. So to me, nine games in the spring is a pure last resort, if it comes to that, ladies and gentlemen.

I hope we have football in the fall. I hope we have normal football. First of all, I hope everyone is able to get their lives back on track, in a normal sense. Those who are struggling, my thoughts and prayers are with them. I know businesses that are shutting down, I know people being laid off. I hope people are able to recover from this. The sooner we get past all of this, by physical distancing and staying at home, the sooner we'll be able to, most importantly, uplift those who've been struggling through this time, economically, financially, otherwise, and then we can get back to frickin football and hopefully football is normal.

Alright, ladies and gentlemen, I've been cooped up for a while. I miss you all, hope you're doing well. Stay safe. Have a great day. And again, if anybody has a problem with me throwing the bones, this is for you.

Until next time Husker Nation, go Big Red and always remember to throw the bones!

Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.

Omaha World-Herald: Carriker Chronicles

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Adam Carriker is a Husker Hall of Famer and NFL veteran. The former Blackshirt and Hastings native was NU's 2004 lifter of the year and in 2005 was NU's defensive MVP and a first-team All-Big 12 pick. He was a first-round pick in the 2007 NFL draft.

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