Between last week and this one, conference media days across the country herald the arrival of a new college football season.
COVID-19 hasn’t permitted a total return to normal. The SEC won’t allow fans into its media days, in the face of long-standing tradition, while the Big Ten on Friday distributed a seven-point list of protocols and recommendations for attendees to its two-day event later this week. But after 18 months of utter abnormality, the return of these annual kickoff days is the surest sign yet college sports are returning to something approaching usual service.
The landscape around them, however, has rarely felt more unfamiliar.
Not entirely because of COVID-19 but certainly accelerated by the critical mass of issues confronted during and as a result of the pandemic, college sports have entered a period of flux as significant as any in their modern history.
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