Now we're getting somewhere.

After apparently exhausting all other avenues, the Trump administration on Tuesday dispatched Vice President Mike Pence to Baton Rouge — specifically, Tiger Stadium — to confer with none other than LSU coach Ed Orgeron.

Finally some good news.

Let Coach O handle this dad-blamed pandemic. The Cajun is on a hot streak, after all.

"We need to play football," Coach O said in properly gravel tones that suggested he should have had someone behind him hand-signing his words as if a killer hurricane was knocking at the front door. "We have our team back and we're ready to go. The state needs it. The country needs it. Football is the lifeblood of America."

And if that didn't make Pence ready to run through brick walls all the way back to the West Wing, I don't know what will.

Orgeron's words needed some patriotic music to go along with them.

His stirring words were reminiscent of Gen. Patton, the movie if not the man, stirring his troops with alternative threats of what they didn't want to be shoveling in Louisiana, although it was probably just a coincidence.

But if Ed Orgeron is on the case, I know we all feel better about some kind of light at the end of the tunnel.

The Pandemic may have met its match.

It's the first good news in seemingly forever, although it's perhaps significant that Orgeron offered no firm plans for how to get it done.

Just a day earlier, Greg Sankey, the commissioner of Orgeron's own Southeastern Conference, seemed far less optimistic after a masked meeting with all 14 SEC athletic directors.

He talked of "trends are not what we desire" and "very much in the wrong direction" which is "problematic."

He also said, seemingly in exasperation, that "I'm done with predictions ... I sit here talking to you not knowing what will happen in the fall."

Well, I'm under no such restraints, at least for predictions, but keep in mind that I know even less than Sankey does.

But, if had to guess, here are some predictions:

l Yes, there will be football this fall. It might not be what you're used to. You might not even recognize it. But some way, some how, there will be some sort of football by somebody in college this year.

l It probably won't start on Labor Day weekend as football's founding fathers originally decreed. Maybe not even in September.

When this pandemic originally shut things down back in March, time seemed to be on football's side — Labor Day seemed a long way off. Not anymore. The SEC already postponed the August starts of volleyball, soccer and cross country (all somewhat less vital to the nation's well being).

They will need some trial and error to get football running again. There will be valuable lessons to be learned from the upcoming startups of Major League Baseball and the NBA. Maybe more so from the opening of NFL camps. But probably not enough time to get college football ready for the first of September.

l Don't be surprised if the SEC follows the knee-jerk reaction of the Big Ten and Pac 12 and, even with a more measured response, follows their lead and cancels all non-conference games.

Maybe they add more conference games to get more than an 8-game schedule. Maybe not.

l Even if the SEC keeps its schedules intact, there will be games on those schedules that don't get played. And there may be games not currently on the schedule that get added, just to fill it out. They may have to play it by ear.

l Don't be shocked if some school isn't able to play one week due to a sudden team outbreak of the Coronavirus. Conferences better have a protocol in advance — does it go down as a forfeit or a no game?

l If there is any postseason at all to be played, those who whine that there are too many meaningless bowl games will probably get their wish.

And they'll realize how much they miss them.

l If they can't play in the fall, yes, they'll try to come up with a way to play in the spring.


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

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