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Longtime College Football Insider Floats Interesting Season Theory

Najee Harris of Alabama playing against Tennessee.

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 20: Najee Harris #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide stiff arms Defensive back Baylen Buchanan #28 of the Tennessee Volunteers with Linebacker Daniel Bituli #35 of the Tennessee Volunteers defending during the second half of the game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)

If we have a college football season this fall, it will look dramatically different from what we're used to seeing.

Schedule-wise, the Power 5 conferences will probably either be playing conference-only slates or 10-game conference schedules with one non-conference matchup tacked on. This is the most sensible way to navigate this uncharted landscape.

But could this format actually become a permanent fixture? Longtime college football insider Stewart Mandel of The Athletic thinks it could.

This afternoon,

Theory: Once fans get a taste of a 10-game conference schedule with few or no buy games, they're never going to want to go back.

— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 30, 2020

" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mandel tweeted an intriguing theory. He thinks fans will like the conference-only or conference-heavy schedules so much, they'll push for it to become the norm. "Think about it: Power 5 schools voluntarily pay directional or FCS schools millions of dollars to play home games their fans don't care about when they could be playing more games against each other for free," Mandel wrote. "Why? Because that's just the way it's always been."

Thus far, the Big Ten and Pac-12 have said they'll be working with a conference-only model for football and other fall sports this year. The ACC unveiled its football plan yesterday, opting for a 10-game conference schedule plus one opportunity for a non-conference meeting.

The SEC could look to do the same, as they seem to be nearing a decision on the matter. That would just leave the Big 12 to take care of all the Power 5.

What do you think of Stewart Mandel's plan for college football?