CFB insider: Less than 5% chance of finishing 2020 college football season

By Jesse Reed
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hope is dwindling that we will be able to have a college football season as we approach mid-July. As every day brings more dire news on the COVID-19 front nationally, it seems less and less likely we’re going to experience anything close to normal in 2020.

Discussing all this during an appearance with ESPN’s Paul Finebaum, Yahoo Sports’ college football insider Pete Thamel shared what he’s learned in recent days.

It’s not pretty.

2020 College football season likely to be delayed, at least

Thamel, clearly frustrated with how school administrators have approached the COVID-19 pandemic, shared that there’s “no plan” right now.

He then shared that, in his estimation, the big conferences will wait to see how things look at the end of July and then will end up delaying, perhaps until the start of October.

It’s important to remember here that the Pac-12 and Big Ten have already announced they will only play conference schedules. With that in mind, other conferences will likely be forced to follow suit, and it makes sense. Keeping everything as localized as possible is a smart way to mitigate risk.

Also, with that plan, a delay to the start of the season wouldn’t be catastrophic because the schedule could be tweaked as needed. However, there is growing pessimism that a season can happen at all at this time.

College football season won’t happen without a COVID-19 vaccine?

A bit further into his conversation with Finebaum, Thamel expressed that, based on conversations he’s had with various top-level people associated with college football that, “I am convinced it will be very difficult to have a season until there is some kind of vaccine.”

Taking it a step further, Thamel said that he believes there only a 20% chance of starting the season, and less than a 5% chance of finishing it this year.

The Ivy League has already announced that there will be no college football this fall. It is delaying the season until next spring — at least. At this point, it appears the rest of college football may be headed in the same direction.