When Big Ten conference leaders announced they were pulling the plug on fall football Tuesday, they vowed to wake up Wednesday morning and start working hard to laying the groundwork for football in the spring.
Jeff Brohm took that vow seriously.
Brohm, the head coach at Purdue, has announced a detailed plan for a spring season of eight games from Feb. 27, through April 17, 2021, and then a 10-game fall season from Oct. 2 to Dec. 11.
*The spring preseason would begin with two weeks of training camp buildup Jan. 16-29, four weeks of training camp Jan. 30-Feb. 26 and then the eight-game regular season.
*Brohm has two potential plans for the structure of the spring season. Plan A: six divisional games plus two crossovers. The crossovers would be rivalry games if applicable.
Plan B: six divisional games plus one crossover. On week eight the top seeds from each division would play each other for the conference title. Every other team’s eighth game would be against their corresponding “seed,’’ from the other division, i.e. the East runner-up would play the West runner-up, and so on.
*After the spring season, three months off, April 18-July 18.
*The run-up to a fall season would be with eight hours per week of conditioning July 19-Aug. 27, then an off week, then four weeks of five practices per week, only two of them in pads.
*The fall regular season would consist of 10 games Oct. 2-Dec. 11 with one bye week, probably similar or identical to the schedule the Big Ten proposed last week, before pulling the plug.
*Brohm’s postseason structure would be the same in spring and fall - either the current four-team national championship playoff, with the B10 champ either in the playoff or Rose Bowl, or a six-team national playoff including the Power Five champs plus a wild card, with the top two seeds getting first-round byes.
Obviously this would depend on what other conferences are doing.
*Details: The plan calls for practices in pads once per week in the spring, twice per week in the fall. The gap between the end of the regular season and the postseason would shrink from 4-6 weeks to two weeks.
In the spring regular season (which would actually be in the winter), early-season games would be played at southernmost venues, late-season games at northernmost venues. College football games would be played Saturdays, and college basketball games Sundays. There would be no spring practice in calendar 2022.
An eye-popping number: college players normally practice in pads about 144 times in a calendar year, or 114 times if they don’t get invited to a bowl. Under Brohm’s proposal, the number would drop to 64 and 52
Brohm told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg Thursday that when he was an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers, "there were numerous years where once we started the regular season, we didn’t practice in pads. So there’s ways to take care of your guys. You’re going to have plenty of time to get yourself ready.
“When it got canceled, it was heartbreaking. You feel for guys that have worked their whole lives to get a chance to play football, and now they don’t have that. It made me angry, and it made me want to just do something about it. That’s why I put this together."