Skull Session: Shaun Wade Still Won't Play in the Spring, NFL's Plan For Spring College Football Mirrors Ryan Day's, and Delays and Cancellations Create a Mess in Vegas

By Kevin Harrish on August 14, 2020 at 4:59 am
the band is in enemy territory in today's skull session.

Let's start Friday with the world's easiest game of "Where's Waldo," shall we?

Word of the Day: Ferine.

 THE RYAN DAY PLAN. It seems that when Ryan Day speaks, people listen.

... or Day had an inside scoop about the NFL's plans if the Big Ten moved to a spring schedule. Either way, the league's reported plan sounds extremely shockingly similar to what Day laid out.

Imagine this—the Big Ten launches a season Jan. 1, playing on Thursday and Friday nights during the first two rounds of the NFL playoffs, and on Saturdays otherwise. And they do it in some combination of the five indoor football stadiums (Syracuse, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, St. Louis) within shouting distance of the league’s footprint. Meanwhile, on the more temperate West Coast, the Pac-12 launches with a similar plan.

In this scenario, an eight-game season, with a bye, could be wrapped up by the end of February, with some semblance of a postseason completed by mid-March.
Maybe the ACC, SEC and Big 12 join in, maybe they don’t. Either way, this shakes up the ’21 calendar for the NFL significantly. And if you want to know how the NFL would react to this, I’ve got news for you—these sorts of concepts aren’t just landing on their radar now.

I’m told these are ideas that have been discussed by college coaches already and, notably, NFL teams would be willing to help. The Lions, for one, were approached by a Big 10 school all the way back in the spring about using Ford Field in this very way. NFL teams also have discussed what it would take to move the combine and the draft back a month (potentially having the combine in early April and draft in late May) to accommodate the college game.

So, if the entire NFL league calendar is moving back to accommodate spring football, wouldn't it be effectively the same thing as a fall season? What I mean is, why would a player that was prepared to play during the fall suddenly feel the need to sit out in the spring to prepare for the draft?

The answer might be that a national title is no longer in play, but I'm still not convinced the other three Power Five conferences don't end up punting to spring, too.

Regardless, I'm extremely fascinated to see how this all plays out.

 “HE'S NOT PLAYING IN THE SPRING.” Speaking of players sitting out in the spring, it sounds like we can still very much expect Shaun Wade to be one of them.

This obviously isn't directly from Shaun, so maybe there's a chance he changes his mind if the NFL alters its calendar, but I doubt it. He's already turning that page, and I've got nothing but respect for that.

 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF STAYING PUT. Even though 40 percent of the Power Five conferences and almost half the committee's schools have postponed their seasons to the spring, the College Football Playoff Committee is trudging along, for now.

"We don't know right now what the season will bring, but as a committee, we are ready to use the protocol and the expertise of the 13 people who have been charged with selecting the teams," said Gary Barta, Athletics Director at the University of Iowa who is beginning his first year as committee chair.

"The committee's task is to rank the teams based on what happens on the field. This week gave us a great chance to catch up with the familiar faces and welcome our three new members to the process. If the board and management committee say we are having a CFP, we will be ready."

The selection committee reviewed its weekly ranking announcements, went over its protocol and finalized its list of members who will be recused from voting or discussions regarding selected teams.

"This was the time when we normally review all aspects of the committee's operation," Barta said. "We accomplished a great deal even though we met by video conference. We will have another opportunity to review the procedures—particulary with the three new committee members—this fall."

A thought: what's stopping the committee from just deciding to put Ohio State in the playoff simply because believe the Buckeyes are one of the four best teams based on talent alone?

I mean, the playoff will be played in January, which is when Ryan Day and the NFL seem to want to start the spring season. Why not kick off the season with a natty?

Put us in, cowards.

 VEGAS IS GETTING WEIRD. All these postponed seasons and threats of cancelations have Vegas scrambling to figure out what the hell to do about all of its college football futures bets.

So far, the consensus response seems to be: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Caesars Sportsbook's house rules stipulate that bets on the national championship are valid as long as a winner is declared in 2021, meaning that wagers already placed on Big Ten teams like Ohio State, for example, are still live. Bets on the Heisman Trophy winner will be honored as long as the award is presented before March 31 at Caesars.

"When weird stuff happens, like all of this, you can't plan for it," Jeff Davis, director of trading for Caesars Sportsbook, said. "Some of this is going to be handled on a case-by-case situation."


Some sportsbooks' odds specify that the national champion is the winner of the "College Football Playoff championship game," which could cause issues if a playoff isn't possible. Caesars, however, just requires a national champion to be declared.

"If Drake plays Northern Iowa in what the NCAA says is the national championship game, then everyone's on the hook," Davis said.

If there's ever a year we see multiple national champions in the modern era, this is gonna be it. I mean, if the Buckeyes go undefeated during the spring and win every game they're given, you can bet your ass I'm claiming a natty. It's not our fault all the other teams playing in the spring are bad.

 COVID-19 CLAIMS A BUCKEYE. I have the sad duty of informing you all that COVID-19 has claimed the life of a Buckeye.

Complications of COVID-19 have claimed the life of one of Franklin County’s longest-serving and most-respected judges.

Municipal Court Judge H. William Pollitt Jr. died Thursday morning at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital. He was 72.


He was consistently rated as one of the best judges on the bench in Columbus Bar Association polls.

Pollitt was a guard and linebacker for the Ohio State University football team from 1966 to 1970 and was on the 1968 national championship team. He graduated from Capital University Law School in 1974.

This legend supposedly had his finger broken in the '69 Rose Bowl, courtesy of O.J. Simpson, but helped the Buckeyes claim the win and the Natty regardless. He was also the judge tasked with handling J.T. Barrett's OVI arrest back in 2015.

Rest up, William. We'll miss you.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Getting Into You" by Relient K.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. Web browsers reinvented everything... Ten curious cases of getting lost in the woods... Disney ends 20th Century Fox brand, one of the most storied names in entertainment... Two people were evacuated by helicopter after a hostile cow attack... An Intoxicated man mistakes a Canadian police cruiser for a taxi cab... A son’s curiosity upends an abandoned baby story...

View 145 Comments