Iowa Football

Be prepared for the stoppage of college football this week

Ogden column: Breadcrumbs lead to probable cancellation of 2020 season

It looks like college football will be canceled this fall. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
It looks like college football will be canceled this fall. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

The high school football season officially kicks off Monday with the start of practice.

All indications are preps will be playing games later this month — unless, of course, the ongoing coronavirus changes that plan.

College football practice officially started last Friday.

All indications are that season is about to shut down because of surging COVID-19 cases.

There is no official word, no anonymous sources telling someone in the media this season will be moved to the spring.

But, as one person put it Sunday night, there are a lot of “breadcrumbs” leading to that conclusion.

The Football Championship Subdivision, better know as the FCS and the former NCAA I-AA, shut down Friday. Connecticut announced it will have no football in 2020. The Mid-American Conference — you know, the MAC that generally provides Power Five programs like Iowa and Iowa State with nonconference opponents — announced Saturday it is canceling football this fall, the first Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) league to shut down.

Breadcrumbs.

The Big Ten announced Saturday it has indefinitely suspended padded practices.

Breadcrumbs.

The Big Ten presidents also met Saturday to discuss the 2020 season, but reportedly did not come to a conclusion. Or at least a conclusion for public consumption.

Breadcrumbs.

And Sunday, ESPN and CBS Sports reported Power Five conference commissioners met Sunday “to discuss the viability of playing the 2020 college football season this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

It labeled an “emergency meeting” by some, but Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, the former Iowa athletics director, told CBS Sports that was not true.

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“It’s an ongoing conversation we’ve been having for weeks,” he said Sunday night. “We talk almost every day. I’m not aware decisions have been made.

“You don’t want to believe everything you read. It was a regularly scheduled call. We talked about a whole bunch of different things.”

But then he, too, left a few breadcrumbs.

“All of us would be less than honest if we wouldn’t acknowledge that the trend lines are troubling and the last two weeks or three weeks have not been positive,” he told CBS Sports.

That, my friends, is almost a loaf of bread.

“I’m of the opinion it’s when, not if (the 2020 season is canceled),” an AD told CBS Sports.

That decision could come as early as Monday.

“Nobody wanted to be the first to do it,” a Power Five coach told ESPN, “and now nobody will want to be the last.”

Stay tuned.

Comments: (319) 368-8696; jr.ogden@thegazette.com

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