On the week of Aug. 11, 2020, the 2020 college football season nearly ended long before the first ball was due to be snapped. First the Pac 12 claimed that the risks of the pandemic were too great for football to proceed. Soon after, the Big 10 followed suit. The Big 12 nearly did the same, which surely would have been the final nail in the coffin of the 2020 college football season.
Instead, on the heels of the SEC and ACC doubling down on their intention to play, the Big 12 found legitimation for a season and came back from the brink. College football was saved. Before long, even the Big 10 and then Pac 12 would join them, and thanks to those efforts, a national champion will, incredibly, be crowned on Monday.
The only thing is that this isn't actually the chronicle of perseverance, courage, and redemption it sets up to be. Instead, it is a tale of avarice, exploitation, and, above all, far too much harm. “We are putting ourselves through shit so white people can be entertained. It’s all fucking corrupt,” an SEC player told us of this college football season. That is the true story of college football in 2020 and we can’t, and shouldn’t, overlook it.