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Will we have college football in 2020? Look to conference meetings in May

The annual gatherings of university presidents and athletic directors are where a plan for going forward will come together.

Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12, talks to the media as he announces that the Big 12 basketball tournament has been cancelled due to growing concerns with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak at the Sprint Center on March 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

With the cancellations across sports, many college football fans are wondering if and when the 2020 season will begin. And from what we’ve heard from sources in the industry, look for policy to be guided by the conferences, and then implemented by either the NCAA or the College Football Playoff directly.

The College Football Playoff is governed by two different boards: the Board of Managers (11 university presidents, one from each conference and Notre Dame), and the Management Committee (10 conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s president). These groups will meet in June, but some decisions will start to be made at the annual meetings of conferences which often take place over Memorial Day weekend.

The consensus created at these meetings, whether held virtually or in-person, should begin to give us an idea of when, or if, we’ll see college football in 2020. Also several schools have used the resources of the medical professionals they already have on campus to help make determinations. And despite the protestations of certain head coaches, the decisions will be made by a combination of university presidents and athletic directors.

The SEC has already cancelled their annual meetings, held each year in Destin, Florida. While no makeup date has been announced yet, it’s likely there will be virtual get-togethers by the league presidents and chancellors to begin to chart a path forward.

The Big Ten has suspended all organized team activities until May 4th, and will re-evaulate that stance then, with a a decision made by all athletic directors and/or presidents and chancellors.

The ACC traditionally holds their spring gathering the week before Memorial Day on Amelia Island north of Jacksonville in Florida, but so far no information about that meeting has come to light, and is likely to take place virtually.

We’ll keep an eye peeled on the results of these meetings, and how they affect what’s happening with the 2020 season.