On a day when the Coronavirus Task Force talked with college football people, the bottom line is everyone just wants a date when the colleges open which will signal a date to re-start football.
This past week the momentum nationally has turned into getting everything opened again.
“We’re fighting this virus and trying to get our economy back so we can go to a football game,” U.S. Rep. French Hill of Arkansas 2nd Congressional District said on The Morning Rush with Tye Richardson and Tommy Craft on Wednesday morning.
That was before Vice President Mike Pence spent a good time listening to the College Football Playoff Management Committee, who pointed out they have to get the colleges open first, which is more or less obvious.
As the momentum is shifting toward re-opening certain aspects of life (which should be starting soon in Arkansas), Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman is basically staying focused on recruiting.
“We’ll just deal with it,” he told Derek Ruscin and Zach Arns on the Ruscin & Zach Show on ESPN Arkansas on Wednesday afternoon. “If we could get started by the first of July we’d be in great shape.”
Other coaches have said they have to be back and going by July 1. Pittman would like that, but he’s not using it as a drop-dead date like the strength coaches are.
“Well, our strength and conditioning coaches would like 6-8 weeks,” he said. “That’s what they’re familiar with, that’s what they’re comfortable with.”
Then he said what I’ve suspected for awhile that he’ll at least have some experience if it opens a month later.
“I was around when players used to come in August 1,” he said.
He’s been doing this so long in the 1980’s the majority of players on campus in the summer were either trying to get their acadmics straightened out or re-habbing an injury. Coaches spent most of August trying to whip players into shape for the season.
“We could come in August 1 and go,” Pittman said.
Pittman did point out getting the offense in before the first game every year probably wasn’t going to happen even with spring practice and that’s not limited to first-year coaching staffs.
“You never have your whole playbook in for the first game,” he said. “You just don’t. You really don’t do a whole bunch of nothing very good. If we end up August 1 you’ll see everybody cut their playbook back a little bit.
“Ours will be a little more than that simply because we haven’t been out on the grass with ’em.”
He did say, though, execution of whatever they do is going to the key.
“If we have to cut back, we have to make sure whatever we install is our favorite and that we do that well.”
Doing just a few things well is the tried-and-true way most coaches have done things for several decades now. It has shown it works better than having a bunch of stuff and you can’t do anything well.
Which is what Hog fans have seen the last few years.