Could college football start on time and on schedule? Sure. Notre Dame isn’t willing to rule it out just yet but according to the program’s athletic director, the school has begun to shift more attention to alternative timelines.

In a recent interview with Heather Dinich of ESPN, Jack Swarbrick expressed his concern that the upcoming season would not start as scheduled.

“It has grown more pessimistic over the past two weeks, but I’m not to a point to say we shouldn’t continue to plan for the potential to open on time,” Swarbrick said. “I just think it’s less likely. We have to shift our allocations a little bit — a little more time on planning the alternatives, and a little less time on planning routine go-forward.”

These comments hit home even more following the Big Ten’s decision to shift to a conference-only schedule. While Notre Dame is not a member of that league, the Irish were scheduled to play Wisconsin in Green Bay this season.

Now that game won’t be played.

On the bright side, Notre Dame has done an outstanding job protecting its players from the coronavirus since their return to campus. Only one athlete, out of 252 tests, has tested positive according to Notre Dame.

Part of the school’s strategy for dealing with the virus was to keep players in a hotel near campus upon their return. So far, the plan appears to be working very well.

“It’s so much about the guys and talking with [them], making sure there’s an understanding, appealing to them to do all they can to protect their season,” Swarbrick said. “… They understand there’s only two to an elevator in the hotel. They understand they’re not to congregate in rooms. And they’re just doing it.”

If others follow that lead, there’s hope we get college football this fall.