Even if college football actually takes place this fall, the 2020 season is going to be extremely different. Non-conference games might not happen until the postseason and teams could end up competing in front of zero fans.
Another issue is that programs could lose underclassmen because of the opt-out rule that has been ushered into the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. It allows players to opt out of the season without losing their scholarships.
On Wednesday, the Virginia Tech Hokies learned that standout cornerback Caleb Farley will not play this fall. Many draft analysts believe he’ll be an early-round pick in 2021, so it makes sense for him not to risk his health this season.
The major issue is that teams haven’t received any clarity on the fall and what the 2020 season could look like. Coaches around the country could start losing players at an alarming rate because of it.
“I think everyone is scared of the opt out right now,” an unnamed Power Five coach told Pete Thamel. “The fact that we can’t present clear answers to our players. If you have no certainty when there’s games and when there’s practice. At least the opt-out provides clarity for them.”
Power 5 coach to @YahooSports: "I think everyone is scared of the opt out right now. The fact that we can’t present clear answers to our players. If you have no certainty when there’s games and when there’s practice. At least the opt-out provides clarity for them."
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 30, 2020
Illinois running back Ra’Von Bonner recently opted out because he believes the risks outweigh the rewards this year. His announcement came before Farley told Virginia Tech he would skip the upcoming season.
Prospects that already have strong tape might want to consider opting out if the NCAA doesn’t provide clarity in the coming weeks. It’d give them several months to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Make no mistake, coaches in Power Five conferences better get ready for more players to opt out.