Atlanta Braves' Sean Newcomb pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

College football will it happen?

That's the billion-dollar question, and one that has brought in opinions from the Oval Office to the editorial offices of every publication everywhere — TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer too — and just about everyone with a Twitter handle.

But what is the real question.

Will it happen? Sure that's a question. Should it happen? That one is a little more pointed and much more layered.

I believe everyone wants college football to happen — and the notion that sports writers and columnists are cheering against the season to start is flawed on its face. In truth, I believe most are simply  

The Big Ten is reportedly supposed to vote on having a season today. The Pac-12 is almost assuredly going to follow the Big Ten's lead, whether it's standing pat or jumping off the Corona cliff.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey was on Good Morning America preaching patience. I'm all for patience. And his points are valid.

Why decide today? Sure, plan for as many scenarios as possible — heck, I hope the leaders of the big-boy leagues have been doing that since the spring — but continue to slow-walk the decision and the vote.

If there's one good thing about the uncertainty of this pandemic, it could be the uncertainty of this pandemic. Because what we are facing today could be drastically different come next Monday never mind next month.

The SEC has pushed its season back until late September, that extra time being used to gauge the merits and risks.

One thing is forever clear, though. The players want to play. Whether it's power Tweets and quotes from UT players like Trey Smith and Keller Chryst — here's Paschall with more on that — or an inspired speech from this The Ohio State defensive end, the echoing sentiment rightly hash-tagged #Wewanttoplay by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was everywhere Monday.

Which begs another question: If they want to play — the players and coaches that is and they are the ones in the crosshairs of risk here — then why not?

And please don't offer the "Well, my 9-year-old would eat Honeybuns for dinner and drink nothing but Cokes all day" mumbo jumbo. That's as bad and as hollow as trying to spin the numbers that COVID is no worse than any other flu strand.

No, this is about decision makers reacting rather than leading. Being fearful rather than forthright.

We ask more of these young adults than others their age. We cheer their successes and feel their failures. Heck, we gladly cash checks in forms in and around college sports with only offering them an extra Psych class and all the books they can carry?

Moreover, we demand they make wise decisions in almost every walk of life to remain eligible and on the team and ready to play physically and mentally.But now they say they want to play — and play a dangerous and demanding game that can have life-changing physical ramifications every single time they strap on a helmet — and we're going to ignore that?    

Why? Would the decision to cancel then be made as much to protect administrators from litigation as much as player safety? Because, as we said Monday, the MAC deciding to call off football was about dollars not disease, friends.

Will they play? I doubt it, and if they start, it's almost assured they will have a tough time finishing.But as the unknowns clearly outweigh the answers, I'll continue to add entries to the question catalog:

Why rush it? Why not wait and see? Why ignore the players?

Cue Bob Watson and Enos Cabell "Let them play. Let them play."


Other football details

Well, that got wordy.But there are other football notes to hash out.

Word is circulating that some of the Big Ten schools — Nebraska, THE Ohio State and Michigan especially — are weighing options about playing even if the Big Ten pulls the plug.

There also is a Spring League — who knew? — that is exploring a bubble option and could include Power 5 conference players if their season gets cancelled.

Man, somewhere Vince McMahon is cursing the terrible timing of his XFL experiment, don't you think?

The discussion about players being safer on campus than at home — something Trevor Lawrence and Nick Saban have put their names on — is an interesting talking point, too.




If there were any lingering doubts about the Braves' focus on the here and now and winning, well, they dropped another clear exclamation point on their intentions.

After cutting bait with starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz last month after a dreadful start — and Folt losing more than 5 mph on his heater — the Braves did it again Monday night.

Sean Newcomb was demoted after a disastrous start against Philadelphia on Monday. Add in ace Mike Soroka's Achilles' injury and 60 percent of the opening day rotation is no longer in the mix. If you factor in Felix Hernandez and Cole Hamels, five of the Braves' top six starting pitching options before the season are not with the club as we speak.

I think Newcomb has legit MLB stuff — he's a left-handed Nuke LaLoosh with a million-dollar arm and a 5 cent head — but his command and his presence are subpar.

So, as the Braves' bats continue to find ways to generate runs — they are averaging more than 6 runs a game — Atlanta is going to need one of its talented young dudes to grab the ball and run with it.
And they need to do it sooner rather than later.


This and that

— OK, Kyle Kuzma hit a game-winner to give the Lakers a much-needed W. He hit the decisive 3 over 7-foot-2 Bol Bol. (Side note: Bol Bol is an all-time name friends.) Kuzma said after the game "Jesus could be on me and I'd probably still shoot." Not sure how good a defender Christ would be, but here's betting he's go a great crossover. Moving on

— Here's today's A2 column on supporting the decision to try to have school in whatever form possible.    

— Thought this was interesting, and kind of perplexing. No. 18 at McLemore and No. 6 at Black Creek were recognized as two of the best 18 holes in the country. I can't comment on the finishing hole at McLemore — the course formerly known as Canyon Ridge atop Lookout — because I have not played it. As for No. 6 at Black Creek, well, I'm torn. First, that hole will always hold a special place for me because I holed out a 3-iron there many moons ago for an albatross 2. But in truth, No. 6 likely is not in the top five of best holes at Black Creek if we're being honest. Nos. 12 and 13 are amazing golf holes. The finishing hole and No. 9 are also excellent, too. But what do I know.

— You know the rules, and here's TFP sports editor and prep sports guru Stephen Hargis previewing the 3-1A football season in Tennessee and looking at how TSSAA will make its own decision, regardless of what various college divisions and conferences decide.  

— Saved by the Bell getting a reboot. Thoughts?

Today's questions


It's Tuesday. You know what that means.

True or false, we need a Cheers reboot.

True or false, the SEC will play football.True or false, the Braves will make the playoffs with that checkerboard rotation.

True or false, Jesus would be good at basketball.While we are here, what sport would Jesus be best at? I could see him being a closer — he's comfortable making saves, right? Discuss

As for today, Aug. 11, let's review. Happy 67th birthday to Hulk Hogan. Long live Thunder Lips.

On this day in 1988, Al-Qaeda reported was formed.
Robin Williams died on this day six years ago.

There are multiple Raspberry days today. Raspberry, friend or foe. It's also national play in the sand day.

Rushmore of 'Sand' and be creative.