News broke last Wednesday that the Mountain West will be playing eight conference games and two out-of-conference games. The season is also delayed until September 26th. The news was a little surprising, considering that most Power 5 schools are relying on more conference games. News also broke that Division II and Division III will be cancelling all fall sports. Let’s look at some possible scenarios on how this all plays out.
The Mountain West Completes the Regular Season and Plays a Championship Game
At this point, it seems like many universities have this under control. With some schools going fully digital, it will help that there are fewer students on campus, but what does that mean for schools that have students returning in the coming weeks? With that being said, there is still a possibility that the season plays out under the 8+2 format. If teams can play the full ten games and have some fans in the stands, it will help to mitigate some of the inevitable financial issues. The Mountain West really needs to hope that there is some form of a bowl season and a member institution represents the conference in a New Year’s Six game. That would be a major financial boost.
The Mountain West Plays an Abbreviated Season (even shorter)
You can always argue that some football is better than no football. I’m not so sure that is actually the case. How would it look if the season is canceled after just a few games? If kids are getting sick and campuses have major outbreaks, there is going to be a significant uproar that is felt for years to come. Hopefully, each university is taking every precaution necessary and putting the safety of their student athletes first.
The Group of Five Cancels Games While the Power 5 Plays
This seems like an unlikely scenario, but it is possible and would hands down be the worst thing that could happen to the Mountain West. What this does is create an even bigger gap between the Power 5 and the Group of 5. If all football is cancelled, at least all programs will need to find solutions. The Group of 5 is already suffering by losing OOC games with big schools that offer large payouts. Let’s all just hope this doesn’t happen, but at this point the Power 5 seems insistent on playing this fall.
All of this news feels like we are just delaying the inevitable. Will this all disappear by the end of September? Will the numbers decrease significantly in the next month and a half? That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Next week, we will continue our extended coverage of the offseason preview.