How a spring college football season could affect the 2021 NFL Draft

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is a potential first-overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.  Getty Images

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is a potential first-overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Getty Images

Over the weekend the MAC college football conference announced they would not play football games this Fall. There's also no telling how many college football teams will see their 2020 seasons suspended if and when other conferences follow suit.

Whatever happens, the league can't even begin to implement any plans until college football decides what to do, and until the virus decides whether it will let college football do it.

In addition, we could see games moved to Friday nights.

College football generates more than $4 billion in annual revenue for the 65 universities making up the Power 5, according to data provided to Fortune by Patrick Rishe, director of the sports business program at Washington University in St. Louis.

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"If you can move some of those to Saturday primetime you'd get the benefits of the NFL's premium performance in terms of advertising and you'd get less of a fragmentation of your audience so you could have a win-win for the National Football League and the broadcasters".

Several Division I colleges and athletic conferences have canceled fall sports even before the Big Ten made a decision to postpone their fall season.

While not every NFL fan watches college football, today's monumental news from the Big Ten and Pac-12 absolutely has an impact on football seasons to come. However, since the league is a paid, professional league, experts are still hopeful that the NFL will be able to cobble together a solution or perhaps a modified season like other major leagues have been able to do in 2020.

The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 exempts the National Football League from antitrust laws for its broadcasting rights. In coordination with the NFL Players Association, the league also has the ability to expand the draft beyond the typical seven rounds under unique circumstances.

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NFL football on Saturday isn't something that we're completely not used to, though.

If you haven't noticed, college football is on the brink due to the coronavirus pandemic. It's not clear how strong that possibility would be, given the varying approaches being taken nationwide to high school sports in the fall.

TMZ Sports reported "One source tells us ... it will be up to players if they want to stay on campus or return to their homes. And [playing this season is] just one aspect of the things we're trying to fight", he added, referring to an NCAA rule that college athletes don't own and can't profit off their own name, image and likeness.

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