The world has changed in nearly incomprehensible ways over the last month, and will continue to do so in the future. Therefore, despite the conjectures of the Dabo Swinneys of the world, nobody has a damn clue if college football will be on our televisions come fall. We all hope it is, but that's all we can do.
On Golic and Wingo this morning, Greg McElroy took a different tact to explain why he thinks college football will be held. He explained that it's such a massive revenue driver for colleges of all shapes and sizes that, without college football, schools will have trouble finding enough money to fund other sports in their program:
"Look, football has to be played. Literally, it has to be played. So they are going to play it come hell or high water", said McElroy. "It's going to happen, we're just not sure when it's going to happen. Because if it's not, college athletics will literally implode."
"Football programs make up and account for around 80 percent of the revenue of the vast majority of these schools," he continued. "And television revenue is one thing, but for some of these schools in the Group of Five, the MAC and the Mountain West and the American Athletic Conference even though they're essentially the Power Six, they rely so heavily on that game revenue it would be really, really difficult for them to put forth other programs and to support other varsity sports."
Your average college sports fan understands how important football is when it comes to revenue, but the way McElroy puts it really hammers the point home. We'll have much bigger problems on our hands if we get to August and there's still no safe plan in place to kick-start society again (and make football feasible), but a lack of college football would have ripple effects that go far beyond the pockets of the university and our own personal enjoyment.
Surely the biggest universities with their wealthy boosters would be able to weather such a storm, but there are thousands of smaller schools that could be significantly hamstrung with no college football. I just hope that "come hell or high water" doesn't mean they'll sacrifice the safety of their student-athletes for revenue purposes, no matter how important that revenue is to the ecosystem of college athletics.