By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
Throughout the weekend, the news has gone from bad to worse when it comes to the state of college football in 2020. With mid-major conferences like the MAC canceling their fall seasons due to Coronavirus concerns, and Power Five conferences like the Big 10 seriously considering the same, the status of football Saturdays appears to be up in the air this year.
At the same time, the NFL may be coming to save the day. Pro Football Talk is reporting that the NFL “will likely move games” to Saturdays if the college football season is not played this fall.
Ordinarily, the NFL is barred from televising games on Fridays and Saturdays due to the 1961 Sports Broadcasting Act (explained here). However, there is a belief that the league could get a one-year exception due to extraordinary circumstances.
If it were to happen, the league would likely have to decide which games they are flexing before the season begins. It would be hard to justify telling teams mid-season that they are playing on a different day than originally scheduled. At the very least, the first two months would need to be decided ahead of time, with games down the road continuing to be scheduled a month or two in advance.
Which Patriots games could potentially get moved up? Primetime games can’t be moved, which leaves the Pats with 10 games to chose from. Here are the three most likely:
Week 1 (September 13) vs. Miami Dolphins
The beginning of the post-Tom Brady era in New England seems like something that may interest football fans everywhere. Couple that with the potential debut of Tua Tagovailoa and this game, and this game could have some real national appeal.
Week 7 (October 25) vs. San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo’s return to New England has been anticipated for years, and now it turns out he’ll come into Gillette Stadium as defending NFC Champion.
Week 11 (November 22) @ Houston Texans
Patriots-Texans is always a good game, and will likely have AFC seeding implications this year. The only issue is such a change would give the Patriots back-to-back short weeks.