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Pac-12 approved 10-game conference-slate only for football

The Pac-12 on Friday approved a 10-game, schedule-only fall schedule for football to begin on Sept. 26, with “lots of built in flexibility,” the conference announced on Friday.

Each team will play five home and five road games, and the Pac-12 championship will be held on December 18 or 19. The conference title will be held on a hosted model for 2020, including the Pac-12 and partners. Allegiant Stadium and the Raiders, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and MGM Resorts International have agreed to begin hosting the Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium in 2021 for its two-year run in Las Vegas.

Games that cannot be played on their due date can be played during their weeks or on Week 12 (Dec. 12). Both the Pac-12 and Big Ten announced on July 10 that they would play a schedule-only schedule, but Friday was the first time the Pac-12 announced their details.

While the Big Ten and Big 12 have yet to announce their plans, Friday marked the third straight day this week as a Power 5 conference made dramatic changes to their football fall schedules – all along with the caveat that may not occur at all as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to affect college athletes. The ACC on Wednesday announced an 11-game model that includes Notre Dame, and the SEC complied with Thursday with its move to a one-time schedule.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has confirmed that “it may not be possible” to play even a 10-game schedule on December 19 – or it may take spring to finish it.

“The same thing can happen in other markets,” he said. “… We recognize that the best laid plans may not come true, if starting on the 26th, play a supplement to a minimum number of games that we think are necessary for a College Football Playoffs, and we can start but not finish, and then we have to fix it. Let’s fix it in a bit of spring, whether it ends or starts, maybe delaying the dates for a playoff if possible. scenarios are on the table, but we feel it is critical at this point to provide some clarity to our plan. “

When asked on Friday what his level of confidence was at this time, Scott replied, “I don’t know.” While Major League Baseball continues to struggle with schedule suspension schedules, Scott said he expects a similar fall in college football.

“No bubble and a bubble would not be suitable for college sports, and for our campuses,” Scott told reporters at a media webinar Friday afternoon. “These are the students, and they will not be able to quarantine or isolate in a bubble, the same way of pro sports. … This is one of the reasons why developing flexible schedule is so important. If there is an outbreak in the team, we hope that is a real possibility.And if that happens, especially in the current 14-day warranty period for anyone in close contact, it will require rescheduling a game.

“And so we got two opportunities for each team that could potentially resurface, or delay the start. We realize that there are some markets that do not have the necessary start-up rules on time. We need to make sure they ‘ You get a safe and stable training camp to play on time. If a team can’t start on time, we’ve got a bye week to reschedule … either bye week or this December 10 week there is us. “

With its delayed launch, and the coronavirus still continuing its geographic footprint, the Pac-12 will enter “enhanced summer access” as early as August 3, following the official launch its training camp as early as August 17.. (This year’s official NCAA-approved schedule begins the 20-hour enhanced season on July 24, and the summer camp could officially begin Aug. 7 for any teams that open still on Labor Day weekend).

USC and UCLA said in a joint statement that the schools are pleased with the Pac-12 plan.

“We understand the great interest in the 90th edition of our historic rival football game, which is currently scheduled for September 26 at the Rose Bowl,” the joint statement said. “Although we are moving towards the start of their respective seasons, at this time we do not have the necessary county and state clearances to start competitions. Developing a schedule for the fall of sports season that provides the best flexibility is an important next step in the process.

“In particular, our football schedules have created an opportunity for us to move our season-opening tournament to open dates later in the season (October 31 and December 12), if necessary. UCLA and USC will is in full alignment, and we will maintain regular communication with state, local, and university officials.We will continue to follow their guidance with full regard to the health and safety of our students. -atleta. “

Doug Aukerman, the senior associate director of Oregon State, said it was difficult to identify a number of positive cases that would trigger a game being canceled.

“You can’t say, ‘This is a certain number of players,'” he said. “Because if you get married infections and they come from different sources, and occur a day or two before the game, you probably can’t really control the transmission of the virus at that moment, and you need to sure to pause. Are there cases in a few weeks and they are both related and you can contact-trace back to where they are, that is safer environment and situation. So it is difficult to have an easy, fast that number. If it were, everyone at every conference would already have it. “

Not all Pac-12 schools have been cleared to start even with the enhanced access period, which is mainly strength and conditioning, movie reviews and walk-throughs.

“We’ve been talking about this for about five months, so we’ll have a plan based on what we are allowed to do, based on our local medical and government officials,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “We can find a way to do this. There are things we can do now that we couldn’t do two weeks ago, and hopefully a few weeks from now there will be things we can do that we can’t do now.”

The new schedule features Arizona rivals Arizona State and USC at UCLA in the first week instead of the traditional regular-season finish.

“We realize by now, these are really hot spots, and the necessary authorities and approvals are not there yet,” said Scott of Arizona and California. “By placing them in the first week, if these groups in each of the two markets fail, they can easily reschedule. Each of those can reschedule the bye week on the calendar a few weeks later the, or the week of December we left. We will go with eyes wide open. “

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