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Andy Hodges

Luginbill agrees teams can actually start Aug. 1 and things will work

ESPN college football analyst Tom Luginbill agrees with Sam Pittman that teams can roll into practices Aug. 1 and be ready to play games on scheduled starting dates.



ESPN’s Tom Luginbill agrees with Sam Pittman that starting Aug. 1 will work out for college football after the extensive shutdown for the COVID-19 pandemic.

And he thinks things will be fine. It actually is what used to be the norm.

Luginbill told Derek Ruscin and Zach Arns (Ruscin & Zach) on ESPN Arkansas Wednesday afternoon he agreed with what Pittman said on the show last week about making an Aug. 1 start date work.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I agree with coach Pittman 100 percent.”

He also pointed out a story where Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said it works out just fine.

“To paraphrase, he said, hey, listen, I played and coached at Mount Union (Division III),” Luginbill said “We barely had a weight room, we didn’t have summer school, guys weren’t sticking around year-round and you know what? We showed up on the first week of August, in four weeks played our first game and we won a whole lot of national championships. He goes, I’m used to that. Anything above that is bells and whistles to me.”

Exactly. With all the hand-wringing and wailing going on these days over the immediate future of college football, nobody knows anything for certain but that is exactly why there are all these wild models for what SHOULD happen.

Luginbill played college football in the 1990’s at three different places and it was a little different then.

“Not everybody stayed all summer,” he said. “You didn’t have your whole team there working out and this and that. You had spring football, everybody went their separate ways.

“You’re supposed to do your at-home workouts, the coach would check on you now and then we showed up in August, practiced for four weeks and you played.”

Until some paranoid control-freak coach decided to almost make it mandatory for players to stay in school all summer that’s the way it always was.

“It was good football then and it’ll be good football now,” Luginbill said.

It may have been one of the most rational arguments made during this whole upside-down spring across the globe.

The bottom line is coaches and media may WANT a definitive schedule now but that’s jumping the gun. There’s not going to be anything from the experts who want an 18-month random trial before agreeing the sky is blue on days when it’s not raining.

Luginbill isn’t concerned about the later-than-normal start date.

“There’s too many resources at play here, too many ways — not only virtually but through technology and all these things we have at our disposal that we didn’t have 20 years ago that could make this thing flawless for every team starting Aug. 1 if they had to,” he said.

He’s right


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