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Major CFB Coaches On How Much Time Is Needed To Start Season On Time

Clay Helton running onto the field with the USC football team.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Head coach Clay Helton of the USC Trojans leads his team on to the field to face the UCLA Bruins at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

This season is a pivotal one for USC's Clay Helton, who has been on the hot seat for what feels like much of his USC head coaching career. Now, there are questions as to whether USC, and the rest of the college football world, will get to play this fall at all.

COVID-19 has effectively halted the sports world. As of now, college football is still set to begin in late August/early September. That will only be possible if things get under control nationwide with the coronavirus.

The timetable for teams to get prepared to play at that point is up for debate. Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour thinks we need a two-month runway. Coaches are a bit more optimistic, and think that a month should be enough time to get teams prepared.

Clay Helton is among the latest coaches to float that kind of timeline. Per the Los Angeles Times, Helton believes that the team would need a "minimum of four weeks" to get ready ahead of fall camp. Jimmy Lake, the first year head coach at Washington, has similar thoughts. “If we started training camp the way we normally start training camp, I think that almost 30 days is going to be good enough and we can keep the schedule exactly the way it is,” he told The Seattle Times.

Alabama's Nick Saban, one of the deans of the college football world at this point, thinks regular fall camp is enough to get guys ready. He would like to see some extra teaching time ahead of that, if possible, given the loss of spring football.

Earlier today, President Donald Trump had a conference call with the American pro sports commissioners, during which he reportedly said he'd like the NFL to proceed with fans as scheduled this fall. One would assume he hopes the same for college football.

Whether or not that is realistic is based on how hard we work to curb the spread of coronavirus over the next few months.