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Purdue’s Jeff Brohm proposes spring college football plan

Eight regular-season games in the spring, plus 10 in the fall: Could it work?
Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm leads his team on the field before an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin in November in Madison, Wis.
Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm leads his team on the field before an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin in November in Madison, Wis. [ MORRY GASH | AP ]
Published Aug. 13, 2020

In a span of two days, the idea of a spring college football season has gone from hypothetical idea to outlined proposal.

Purdue coach Jeff Brohm released his outline for how playing in the spring and fall of 2021 might work. It’s the first concrete idea to emerge in the wake of the historic decisions by the Big Ten and Pac-12 to postpone their fall football seasons because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s how Brohm’s proposal works:

Teams would have an eight-game season in the spring, starting Feb. 27 and ending April 17. The postseason would be abbreviated, too, with either a six-team playoff (champions from every Power Five league and one wild card) or a Big Ten championship plus the Rose Bowl or a four-team playoff. Most teams would play eight games under this model, while some could play up to 11.

The 2021 fall season would be reduced to 10 games, starting Oct. 2 and ending Dec. 11. The postseason would begin on Jan. 1 with either a six-team playoff or a conference championship and a four-team playoff.

Brohm’s idea also addresses some of the biggest concerns about playing in the spring. Because of the chilly temperatures, the northernmost teams would play at the southernmost teams for the first two weeks before flipping later in the season.

To limit hitting, teams would only have one padded practice per week during the spring and fall seasons. There would be no traditional spring ball in 2022, either. Even so, it’s a lot of contact, and teams could play up to 23 games in a 10-month stretch.

It’s unclear how much traction this plan, or any spring plan, could get. Florida State president John Thrasher has publicly said he doesn’t like the general concept.