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Southern coach Dawson Odums poses with the championship cup after the Bayou Classic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Nov. 30.

Not sold on the idea of college football in the spring? Don’t tell Southern football coach Dawson Odums that.

Less than 24 hours after the Southwestern Athletic Conference announced its plans to postpone all fall sports until the spring, Odums shared a vision that was so good you could almost taste it.

“I think the impact will be much greater if the fans can come in the spring. Can you imagine what Mumford Stadium would be like on a Saturday night in the springtime?” Odums told a group of reports on a Zoom news conference. “When the weather is pleasant, where the environment is electric. Who is thinking about grilling in March? Can you smell that off the Mississippi River?

“You are not in competition. The NFL may be done playing. The FBS may be done playing. You might be the only show. I don’t know what negatives you want me to point out. I think we could be onto something.”

Whether the coronavirus pandemic shattered fall can turn into Odums’ vision remains to be seen. The fact that the SU coach was meeting with media Tuesday to discuss having a season was significant.

Odums covered a wide range of topics in approximately 40 minutes, everything from the Bayou Classic to fall practices, along with adding Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman to the SWAC in 2021.

Odums praised the SWAC’s decision to move its football season to the spring.

“I think the SWAC made a decision with the safety of our young men and women who make up the conference in mind,” Odums said. “It may not have been to the liking of many people, but I really believe it is the best decision.

“The spring gives us an opportunity to have more time. I think with time things (with the coronavirus) are allowed to heal and get better, because right now we’re dealing with a crisis. The safety of our players is first and foremost. I think the commissioner, along with the presidents and chancellors, went in the with that mindset.”

Though Southern chancellor Ray Belton said Tuesday that many students are gravitating toward online learning or a mix of classroom/online learning, Odums said current plans call for the Jaguars to return to campus and begin weight lifting and conditioning workouts in late August.

Odums said football practices would begin in mid to late September and would give the Jaguars an important time to re-acclimate to their sport. He said it be more like the spring practice his team missed because of COVID-19.

As for a spring Bayou Classic vs. Grambling, Odums said bring it on.

“I really believe that if it is the Bayou Classic, no matter what month you play it in, it’s still the Bayou Classic,” Odums said. “I think the young men and women who represent the institutions of Southern and Grambling will still get excited about it any day of the week, any month.”

Odums said he likes the addition of FAMU and Bethune-Cookman. He believe it makes the SWAC stronger and offers notoriety in Florida.

“I think we will have some exciting match-ups … I think it will create some more rivalries,” Odums said.


Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com