College football will have a different feel to it in 2020, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun. While some fans enjoy the overall pageantry of the sport the most, including, tailgating, road trips, and watch parties, the die-hard college football fan will have plenty to keep his eye on this fall.
Personally, I can’t wait to see how all these coaches handle the different challenges they will face this season. There are some years where a handful of players can get you through a season, but it won’t be that way in 2020. Coaches will need to have their full rosters ready to play at any given moment. Look no further than Georgia and LSU where both the expected starting QB and SEC’s best receiver decided to opt out within the last week. Things change suddenly these days. And I’m not saying it was ideal to see Gerry Bohanon go in during a crucial series against Kansas State or Jacob Zeno try and lead a comeback against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game, but you can’t tell me it wasn’t intriguing. Both of those players looked solid coming into a tough situation, while doing their best Nick Florence impersonation, and I believe we will see more of that in 2020. Whether because of Covid, Opt outs, or the usual injuries, coaches will have to navigate through new challenges. And without the packed-out stadiums, it’ll be up to the highly paid coaching staffs to get their teams motivated.
With the potential chaos and the postseason bowl games still up in the air, I could scenarios where we see more and more players call it quits mid-season, particularly from guys who have solidified their draft rankings and teams are out of a conference title race. Although that may mean a drop-off in quality, it doesn’t have to mean a drop-off in interest. There are dozens of good players who go through their whole college career without getting a real shot. And for those fans who keep up with a player’s journey starting at their recruitment, it will be exciting to see how they perform.
I can’t pretend that this 2020 season will be on par with years past, but it doesn’t have to be a complete waste either. There will be stories of coaches overcoming adversity, overlooked players making a name for themselves, and no doubt fan-bases finding ways to critique their team.