Almost three-fourths — 73 percent — of athletic directors at FBS schools said they think the coronavirus pandemic will force a delay in the college football season, according to a survey by Stadium released Thursday.
Among the 115 athletic directors who responded to the anonymous survey, 36 percent of them told Stadium’s Brett McMurphy that they believe the season will be limited to conference-only play. When they were asked the same question in a Stadium survey in April, only 23 percent envisioned a conference-only schedule.
In all, just 27 percent predicted the season would go off as planned. When only athletic directors of Power Five programs are included, the number falls to 22 percent — a drop of 6 percent from the April survey.
And when asked if they believe the college football season will start in spring — whether the full slate of games or just those in conference are played – 31 percent this week anticipated a spring start, compared to 14 percent three months ago.
“No one — and I mean no one — has a clue right now what the college football season will look like,” a Power Five AD commented on the survey.
One Power Five colleague, however, was among the 7 percent of athletic directors who don’t see the season happening.
“If we don’t learn how to coexist with the virus, then trying to play games is an exercise in futility,” a Power Five AD said. “As of today, I don’t think it is feasible to play given the national discussion on testing and quarantine.”
The season is scheduled to start on Aug. 29 with a slate of six games.
“You’re hoping to thread a needle and get through this without anything bad happening,” another athletic director told McMurphy.