For those of you wandering about aimlessly with no milestones to set your inner biological sports calendar/clock to, I submit to you this helpful reference point:

In a perfect world — which is to say, not this partially quarantined one that is the new normal — Tuesday would have been the start of the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament, right where it belongs in Hoover, Alabama.

Think about that for a minute.

Maybe you recall that when the live sports world started instantly disappearing from the fruited plain, SEC baseball teams, along with those of most conferences, were just about to hit the road for the opening weekend of the conference schedules.

So that's 10 weeks and change ago.

The black holes in your life that became conference baseball schedules would have been settled last weekend.

There would be regular-season conference champions and intense speculation about who had already clinched NCAA regional host sites and who might have work to do in the league tournaments.

I'd be reminding you that, as much fun as the SEC Baseball Tournament can be, as important as it might seem when they're playing one of the day's final games at 1:30 a.m., that a week later nobody would even remember who won the fool thing as attention shifts to the NCAA Baseball Tournament.

That's the kind of stuff we should be talking about this week.

Instead, even if you knew that conference tournaments would be ending this week, there's nothing to shift to this year.

Just another week with no sports direction.

No baseball tournament. No Omaha to shoot for.

So college sports has basically been in the football-offseason mode since the shut down of the other sports.

This is not a good thing.

College football, of course, is a wonderful thing, one of society's greatest contributions to the overall good of mankind.

College football's offseason — what the Head Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, used to refer to as the "talking season" — is another matter.

It, too, is a good thing.

But only in moderation.

It should be carefully regulated, lest it gets totally out of whack and runs off the rails.

The football offseason is always there, mind you, an overheating boiler, straining and steaming and ready to blow at the drop of a mindless, chest-thumping tweet, preferably with nothing to back it up.

That's wonderful. But it's a delicate ecological balance.

And it desperately needs the buffer of an entertaining baseball postseason to keep it at bay as long as possible.

Without it … we're in dangerous, uncharted territory here.

Granted, to a degree it's always the college football offseason season, especially in the South, except when it's the regular season.

The Superdome confetti was still falling on LSU's national championship in January when the Way Too Early Top 25's for next season were being hammered out for argument's sake.

Fairly harmless.

But to basically start the football's full-blown offseason yakety-yakking in March is tempting gridiron fate, possibly more dangerous than the coronavirus itself.

An offseason being center stage from March to September — that's not what the Football Founding Fathers had in mind, probably warned against.

When all the familiar parameters were in place, the Talking Season knew how to pace itself — if not always with complete decorum, then at least with some degree of restraint.

Oh, it's fine now. Or at least it's partially under semi-control.

The top hasn't blown off that boiler just yet.

There is still so much angst and speculation just about whether there will even be a football season, that that central topic dominates all discussions for the time being.

But that will end, probably way too soon.

It's pretty obvious that the Talking Season is operating on the assumption there will be a regular season.

And this is way too early in the process for all that entails to kick into gear.


Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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