Texas Tech football: Fall classes give hope for 2020 football season

LUBBOCK, TEXAS - OCTOBER 19: Fans pose for a photo with the Will Rogers and Soapsuds statue before the college football game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Iowa State Cyclones on October 19, 2019 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
LUBBOCK, TEXAS - OCTOBER 19: Fans pose for a photo with the Will Rogers and Soapsuds statue before the college football game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Iowa State Cyclones on October 19, 2019 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

With the announcement that the university plans to resume in-person classes this fall, there’s renewed hope that the Texas Tech football season will be played as scheduled.

Though the calendar is not yet to May, we always start to think about the next college football season this time of year as the basketball season fades into the background.  Of course, in 2020, there’s been no guarantee that we will see the Texas Tech football team on the field at all thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.

But this week, we were given some hope that we will not only have a 2020 football season but that we will also have it played in the fall as scheduled.  That’s because the Texas Tech University System has announced plans to resume in-person classes on campus for the fall semester.

In a letter dated April 29, 2020, Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec said that Texas Tech intends “to safely resume in-person teaching, learning, and residential life for the fall 2020 semester using a phased return approach.”

Schovanec cited the decrease in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lubbock County as a reason to believe that this plan is prudent.  He also said that university officials will continue to monitor the situation over the course o the summer in order to make a determination on the status of summer school classes.

"“Social distancing and safety protocols will be critical as we return to our classrooms, labs, and residence halls,” the letter states.  “Our plans will also include recommendations regarding the use of protective masks, testing and contact-tracing, and other tools. We are developing several ways to reduce the density of groups in our student facilities, large lecture-based classrooms, and our popular campus areas. These same plans extend to special events, including athletics.”More from Wreck'Em RedTexas Tech football: Red Raider fans need to know about these MountaineersTexas Tech football: Red Raiders land first commit for class of 2025Texas Tech football: Why have the Red Raiders struggled on the road under McGuire?Texas Tech football: Why the Red Raiders can compete for a Big 12 titleTexas Tech football: Plenty of questions remain as conference play arrives"

Of course, the last phrase in the above quote is what perks the ears of Texas Tech football fans.  But while we aren’t sure what the next Texas Tech football season may look like, it appears that we can at least be confident that it will happen.

Understandably, the first criterion for any college football season has to be a university that is open and able to house student-athletes as well as systems in place that allow for the various teams to train and practice in a manner that aligns with the recommendations of health officials.

While the latter of those must still be worked out, the former seems to be falling into place with the plan to have the university and residence halls open in time for a football season. That’s got to be uplifting to fans who are now closing on on two months without live sports.

For what it’s worth, Tech is not the only school planning to have in-person classes this fall.  Texas A&M, Houston, and Baylor are among other Texas universities that have announced in recent days that they plan to reopen this fall.

Of course, we could still be in for a very different looking college football season with the possibility of no fans, a shortened season, or even a spring start date.  But any season is better than nothing at all, which was a possibility just a few short weeks ago.

Wednesday, TCU football head coach Gary Patterson said that his program is planning on a 2020 season but they are preparing for multiple contingencies.

"“At some point in time, whether it’s fall or spring … or if it’s shortened, we’re talking about five, six, seven, eight different options right now,” Patterson said during a Zoom call with media on Tuesday.“I think one thing’s for sure: I think it will be really hard to get 100% of everybody on the same page. “So I think things will have to be done with the majority before it’s said and done.”"

Meanwhile, Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated theorizes that a decision on the status of the upcoming season could come in about two month’s time.

“A conference commissioner told me on April 22 that he believes the college football decision-makers have “60 to 75 days” before making a declaration on a fall season,” he writes.

"“That’s basically a July 1 deadline, and that would fall in line with two things:“A minimal training camp to prepare players for a season would be four weeks, which would mean having players on campus by Aug. 1.“A go/no-go decision one month ahead of that date would seem realistic.“At least one power conference is being guided by feedback from a bioethicist who believes that any organization tasked with major coronavirus-related decisions shouldn’t be trying to plan more than four weeks out.”"

Next. Why Matt Wells needs 2020 season played as scheduled. dark

So hang in there Texas Tech football fans.  Though the outlook was bleak not long ago, positive signs are starting to emerge that give us all hope that we will have a season in 2020.  And these days, we will take any positivity we can get.