The college football world is in a frenzy today following a statement from chancellor of the California State University System Timothy White regarding the fall semester. White announced that the CSU system would be hosting classes almost exclusively online, noting the risk that would come with returning to normalcy without further research.
This comes almost directly after Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced Tuesday that the county’s stay-at-home order would be extended through the next three months. With student-athletes unable to return to campus until mid-August, non-conference matchups with teams on the pacific coast loom more and more unlikely with each passing day.
What appeared to be a loaded non-conference slate in 2020 now looks to see some significant cuts. Michigan at Washington, Ohio State at Oregon, TCU at Cal, and USC at Alabama are just a handful of what were some of the most anticipated OOC matchups of the season, but now at least two of them are more likely to be canceled than they are to be played as scheduled. Those would, of course, be TCU at Cal and USC at Alabama.
The announcements made Tuesday night have already led to rumors and reports of teams involved in these marquee matchups searching for replacement opponents. While just about everyone in the country would love to see a regular-season duel between Ohio State and Alabama for the first time since 1986, both coaches understand that there is more of a risk than a reward in terms of College Football Playoff standing. Rather than that, it has been highly rumored over the past 24 hours that Nick Saban is eyeing the Horned Frogs as a formidable fill-in.
With virtually no difference in the quality of opponent in terms of recent years, TCU is a perfect matchup for Alabama, as well as a great way for the team to gain momentum heading into an early-season battle against perennial powerhouse Georgia. As for TCU, this really only makes sense from a revenue standpoint. After a very underwhelming performance in 2019, 2020 is a huge year for coach Gary Patterson and there isn’t much room for a near-guaranteed loss. While these are just rumors, for the time being, the pacific coast will have to try harder than most if they wish to return to a normal college season.
Whatever happens over the coming days or weeks, the speculation of potential non-conference battles will be high, and I for one can’t wait to see what the college football world can come up with.