It seems like every week that we set a new high for canceled and postponed college football games. This week, the SEC has four major games pushed off, while the Big Ten’s main College Football Playoff contender, Ohio State, had its game canceled due to an outbreak at Maryland.
Right now, the conferences are scheduled to wrap up their championship games on Dec. 19. With every week that goes by, the schedule gets more and more crunched, especially if the College Football Playoff holds firm with the Jan. 1 semifinal/Jan. 10 national championship schedule.
Many have called for those games to be pushed back. Right now, it only seems logical that those games get pushed back to account for the serious likelihood that even more games involved playoff contenders get pushed back. Flexibility is key here, as FS1’s Joel Klatt said on Wednesday.
“It’s pretty clear right now that we’re seeing a drastic spike in COVID across the country,” Klatt said in a FOX College Football video posted to Twitter. “And because college football does not exist in a bubble, we’re seeing that affect college football in a drastic way this week. Several cancellations, several teams dealing with spikes with their program. And I wonder to myself: why doesn’t the College Football Playoff allow for some flexibility?”
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 11, 2020
“There seems to be this finish line, this hard finish line of Dec. 19 that everyone says ‘We gotta finish before Dec. 19 in order to get a team from our conference in the conversation for the Playoff,” Klatt continues. “I understand that. That’s the ultimate goal of what we’re trying to achieve… But when you see teams that have lost games like Wisconsin that could factor into the discussion, you see what’s going on in the SEC, why wouldn’t the Playoff provide a little more flexibility to college football in general?”
“Why does the finish line have to be at December 19?”
The College Football Playoff’s stated goal, above all else, is to find the four best teams. Klatt says that in order to do that, the sport needs to give those teams a chance to work through the issues presented by COVID-19.
“I think flexibility would be key for two major reasons, folks. The first is, this is how we would get the four best teams in there. The product is being hurt because of these COVID isolations. We saw that last week with Notre Dame and Clemson. Trevor Lawrence, unable to play in the marquee game, so far, of the season. If we want the four best teams in there to crown a true champion, then we need to have some flexibility on that date of Dec. 19.
“And then secondly, we owe it to the players who all have opted into this season. They are taking part in insane protocols and procedures just to get on the field. We owe it to them to allow them all the opportunities potentially there to play games. Remember, this is their job interview… We need to afford them as many opportunities as possible.”
It is hard to argue with that. If we’re going to finish out a college football season, amid all of this chaos, not forcing things based on an arbitrary deadline is probably wise, and good for teams, players, and fans.
The post Joel Klatt Has A Message For The College Football Playoff appeared first on The Spun.