No one knows what 2021 will bring for college football. It’s still too early to project Covid-19 cases and we have no idea what type of safety measures could be in place. Either way, if the Pac-12 and Big Ten resume athletics in January some scenarios become more interesting.
One possibility will be a Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Cailf. played around March or April. Even without the rest of the Power Five conferences in play, the Pac-12 and Big Ten can coordinate for the game to happen. Also, subsequent bowl games like the Las Vegas and Holiday can be scheduled as well.
Since the Mountain West postponed fall athletics a week before the two P5 conferences, bowl considerations are still likely to come in the spring. A Rocky Mountain Showdown between Colorado and Colorado State is not a far-fetched idea for the Las Vegas Bowl with conference tie-in’s aligning. Neither team is expected to be good, per se, but anything could happen with players withdrawing for the draft or sitting out due to health concerns.
Now if both teams can carry momentum into the postseason, that’s another story. More likely will be the addition of non-conference opponents in a regular twelve or thirteenth game season come next year. If CSU doesn’t make the cut for CU’s schedule in 2021, the series will likely be in Fort Collins as a makeup in 2022; or returning to Boulder in 2023 as originally planned.
Another unavoidable circumstance of playing games at the end of winter into early spring is the elements of mother nature. Colorado and Utah may have a snow advantage against other teams in the Pac-12. The same scenario exists with certain schools in the Big Ten and lake-effects storms. It’s also worth mentioning that going from sunny Arizona to snowy Colorado could bring about cold symptoms, so that’s something to watch out for.
While lots of fans are unhappy with the decision by the Pac-12 and Big Ten, the season could still be salvaged. If the SEC, ACC and Big 12 continue to play in the fall, and the other two stick to early 2021, we could be seeing six consecutive months of football. If college football does resume in the Spring — far from a sure bet — it could be worth the delay.