If power five conferences weigh whether or not to play football this fall, it begs the question of whether Notre Dame football will have a season.
As Jack Swarbrick said he’d like to see the season pushed back, and the Sun Belt delayed it’s fall sports, while FCS after FCS conference has cancelled their fall seasons, it’s time to come to reality. It may not be practical to play college football this fall.
Another reality is that everyone, no matter how rich a program, needs their football money to operate their athletics departments. Because of this reality, it’s time to consider what would happen if the season was played during the spring.
One of those considerations is the NFL, and preparation for the NFL Draft. It’s a point that’s been widely debated, and it’s agreed upon that most players would do themselves well to play out their final season of eligibility. By putting together a great season of tape, their stock could blow up, like Joe Burrow’s did.
However, there are certainly a handful of players per program of Notre Dame’s stature who would lose a handful of players to the NFL draft, before a spring season could even begin. In some cases such as Notre Dame hosting Clemson, it could help a ton, as Trevor Lawrence would likely forgo the season.
However, some cases could devastate Notre Dame, like if Ian Book decided to skip the season. He’s got multiple years of high level football on tape. He has his degree. He may see the chance of injury as being too big a gamble.
If that were to happen, what would Notre Dame do at quarterback?
Phil Jurkovec is gone. Behind Book is Cole Capen, JD Carney, Brendon Clark, and Drew Pyne. Clark is the only one of them who has played a single snap in college. So, presumably, he’d be the front runner to take over for Book once he’s gone.
Of course, there is another quarterback coming who has everyone excited. Tyler Buchner is a Notre Dame commit. Of course, he won’t sign until next winter. Normally, this means he’d be available for the fall 2021 season.
However, these aren’t normal times. It’s been highly speculated that if the season is played in the spring time, then the NCAA may allow early enrollees to play during a spring season. The logic behind this is simple. If teams lose players early to the draft, they’ll struggle to field a full roster through no fault of their own. So, it make it more fair, teams who lose players would be allowed to replace them with early enrollees.
If this is the scenario in the spring, then why shouldn’t Buchner play? He’s a stud player, who’d be getting immediate experience. It would certainly save an odd season from being unwatchable for Notre Dame.