Barrett Sallee Gives Odds On 2020 College Football Season

It’s more likely than not that college football happens in 2020, Barrett Sallee says, but it’s far from certain – and a spring season is not an option

Zach Gelb
July 10, 2020 - 8:54 am
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The Ivy League has canceled fall sports. The Big Ten has canceled non-conference games in fall sports. Another domino will surely soon fall.

At this point, what are the odds that college football actually happens in 2020?

“In this calendar year, I’d say 65 to 70 percent that we have it,” CBS Sports college football writer Barrett Sallee said on The Zach Gelb Show. “They’re going to try their best to play it in the fall, however they can do that. Certainly they’re keeping all options on the table, as everybody is these days it seems like. I would say it’s more likely than not that they play.”

Sallee does not think pushing the season back to spring 2021 is a realistic solution.

“No, not at all,” he said. “It’s a nice idea, and it’s an idea that needs to be discussed. If it gets to that point where spring football is going to be it, then there’s not going to be football this year for a lot of different reasons. One, you’d have all the seniors that have NFL aspirations not play. You’d have the juniors like Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, they’re not going to play. I’ve talked to a lot of coaches who think that two seasons within a nine-month span is completely ridiculous. There’s no way they can do that.”

And if they do?

“It’s a cash grab,” Sallee said. “That’s all it would be is a cash grab to have a completely watered-down season in the spring. And for the players, how do they react? We’ve already seen players voice their displeasure on Twitter about being paid more and being basically forced to risk themselves and their health for the financial well-being of an athletics department. What happens with the players? Do they band together? Do they try to create a union like we saw Northwestern do five or six years ago? Probably. 

“So all of those things considered, I don’t know if spring is even logistically possible,” Sallee continued. “And all of those things I just said completely assume that we’re going to get through the fall and winter and not have another uptick in COVID cases, which, none of us if that’s actually going to happen yet.”