There continues to be a greater focus on the effect that concussions and collisions have on the long-term health of college football players, and rightly so. A new study was recently released that suggests that college football players don't even need to suffer a concussion to experience the long-term effects of football's violent collisions.
While the research is still in the early stages, if this research holds true, this could reveal a widespread problem across the sport. College football will have to find a solution to mitigate the long-term health effects that collisions cause players. One potential solution? Play college football year-round, writes The Bylaw Blog's John Infante:
"One common sense idea would be more rest in between games. But to have more rest, you need either fewer games or a longer season. A slightly longer season would yield another bye week or two, but what if the idea of a football season played in the fall was thrown out in favor of one played over the entire academic year?
A competition schedule might have teams playing every other week, with the occasional game on back-to-back weeks and/or two weeks off (so half of the teams aren't one schedule and half on the other). Even with a playoff that adds games beyond the current maximum of 14, there would be periods of extended rest."
Such a radical proposal like this has more than a few downsides. Tradition would most certainly be thrown out the window. Then again, I'm pretty sure no one would miss the revered Idaho Famous Potato Bowl or the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg. It's also unclear whether college football would continue to enjoy the level of commercial success if games were played into the spring semester.
But this proposal also makes sense in a lot of other ways. Other than the obvious health benefits to players, playing college football over both semesters would free up more time to focus on academics (players are student-athletes, after all). Spreading a 12-game schedule out over the fall and spring would also allow for games on national TV, as the college game competes less with the NFL during the spring. Even better, more games could be played on Saturdays, not Tuesday (#MACtion), Wednesday (#BigEastCasino) or Friday nights (we also wouldn't be subjected to Tom O'Brien whining about having to play on Thursday nights on short rest).
Imagine attending BC at Clemson in late November? BC-Notre Dame on St. Patrick's Day? BC at Miami in early May? The Orange Bowl over spring break?
Thoughts? Is this idea crazy enough to work?
After the jump, a look at BC's 2011 football schedule if spread out over two semesters.
Sat, Sep 10 - vs. Northwestern Wildcats -- the weekend after Labor Day so all students are on campus
Sat, Sep 24 - at Central Florida Knights
Sat, Oct 8 - Duke Blue Devils -- the new Parents Weekend
Sat, Oct 22 - Massachusetts Minutemen
Sat, Nov 5 - Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Sat, Nov 19 - at Clemson Tigers -- South Carolina in mid-November? Yes. please.
Sat, Mar 3 - at Virginia Tech Hokies
Sat, Mar 17 - at Maryland Terrapins
Sat, Mar 31 - Florida St. Seminoles
Sat, Apr 14 - N.C. State Wolfpack
Sat, Apr 21 - at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Sat, May 5 - at Miami Hurricanes -- South Beach in May
Sat, May 12 - ACC Championship Game in Charlotte
May 19-Jun 2 - Bowl games / Playoff