ATHENS — Collegiate football appears ready to move on after a stormy weekend of leaked conference briefings culminated with the Big Ten and Pac-12 cancelling their fall sports seasons.
Of the 130 FBS schools, 78 tentatively plan to participate in fall sports at the time of this Wednesday morning publication.
— Matt Barrie (@MattBarrie) August 11, 2020
The SEC, ACC and Big 12 are the three Power 5 conferences still standing with enhanced protocols designed to provide safer environments, medical testing and supervision for their student-athletes than they could get most anywhere else in the world.
“We owe our players this,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “Joe Burrow last year was a sixth-round pick going into the season. He ended up being the first pick.
“We’ve got to give our players this opportunity if it’s safe for them, they deserve it, our fans deserve it and our country deserves it.”
The Group of Five also has three surviving conferences to this point: The American Athletic Conference, Conference USA and Sun Belt.
The Mid-American Conference and Mountain West Conference chose not to play fall sports, along with UConn, UMass and Old Dominion.
A reduced amount of teams would/will surely thin the amount of bowl games — there were 41 scheduled before the COVID-19 complications.
But it would not necessarily force a change in the College Football Playoff structure, where a 13-member committee has selected the top four teams. the past six years.
Bill Hancock, executive director of the CFP, said Wednesday the playoff committee is “still planning on getting ready for Miami.”
The CFP Championship Game remains scheduled for Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Gardens, Fla.
Recent history shows the Pac-12 and Big Ten impact on the CFP has been limited.
The six years since the invent of the CFP, 18 of the 24 selections to the College Football Playoffs have come from the three conferences still playing.
Alabama and Clemson have each been selected five times, Oklahoma four times and Georgia, Florida State, LSU and Notre Dame once.
The other six slots and the teams from the conferences not playing this season: Ohio State (3), Oregon, Michigan State and Washington.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 did not have a team in the College Football Playoffs two of the past three years.
Going back even further, 11 of the previous 12 BCS Championship Game participants were from the SEC, ACC, Big 12 or Notre Dame.
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