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Pac-12 approves a slate only for 10-game football conferences

The Pac-12 approved on Friday a fall schedule of just ten games for football that began Sept. 26, with “a lot of flexibility,” the conference announced Friday.

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

Games that cannot be played on the scheduled date can be composed in the weeks of the afternoon or in week 12 (December 12). The Pac-12 and Big Ten announced on July 10 that they would play a conference-only schedule, but Friday was the first time the Pac-12 announced the details of it.

While the Big Ten and Big 12 have yet to announce their plans, Friday marked the third day in a row this week that a Power 5 conference made drastic changes to their fall football schedules, all with incidence which may not happen at all, as the The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect college athletics. The ACC announced an 11-game model that includes Notre Dame on Wednesday, and the SEC continued Thursday with its move to conference-only programming.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott acknowledged that “it may not be possible” to play even a 10-game schedule on Dec. 19, or maybe it would take spring to finish it.

“The same can happen in other markets,” he said. “… We recognize that the best-defined plans may not come to fruition, whether you can start on the 26th, play a complement to a minimum number of games that we believe will be necessary for a College Football Playoff and maybe you start but you won’t be able to finish, and then we’ll have to adjust.We’ll have to adjust with a piece of spring, either to finish or to start, maybe delay playoff dates if it’s still possible. There are many, many scenarios, but we think it is critical at this time to be able to give some clarity to our plan. “

On Friday when asked what his confidence level is this season, Scott replied, “I don’t know.” While Major League basketball continues to struggle with programming outbreaks, Scott said he expects the same this fall in college football.

“There are no bubbles and a bubble would not be suitable for college sports and for our campuses,” Scott told reporters at a seminar on media Friday afternoon. “They’re students and they can’t be quarantined or isolated in a bubble, just like sports pro … It’s one of the reasons it’s so important to build flexibility in the schedule. If There’s an outbreak on the team, hopefully this is a real possibility, and if that happens, especially with the 14-day quarantine periods for anyone with close contact, this will require the reordering of the game.

“And so we have two opportunities for each team to reschedule or delay the start-up. We realize that there are some markets that don’t have the necessary rules at the moment to start. We have to make sure that ‘We have some fields of safe and robust training to be able to play on time. If a team can’t start on time, we have that the attached week will be rescheduled … either in the farewell week or this week of December 10th. we have.”

With its start-up delay and the coronavirus still increasing in its geographical footprint, the Pac-12 will enter the improved summer access period on August 3, following the start of its official training camp. already on the 17th of August. (The official practice schedule approved by the NCAA this year began the 20-hour improved period on July 24, and summer camp can officially begin on August 7 for any team that still opens on the weekend. of Labor Day).

USC and UCLA said in a joint statement the schools were satisfied with the Pac-12 plan.

“We understand the great interest in the 90th edition of our historic football rivalry game, currently scheduled for September 26 at the Rose Bowl,” the statement said. “Although we are moving towards the start of our respective seasons, at the moment we do not have the necessary county and state permits to start competitions. The development of a programming model for the autumn sports season that provides a Optimal flexibility was an important step in the first process.

“In particular, our football schedules give us the opportunity to change our season opening contest to open dates after the season (October 31 and December 12), if necessary. UCLA and USC are in absolute alignment and we remain in regular communication with state, local and university officials. We will continue to follow their guidelines with the utmost care for the health and safety of our student-athletes. “

Dr. Doug Aukerman, associate director of athletics at the State of Oregon, said it is difficult to determine a number of positive cases that trigger the cancellation of a game.

“You can’t just say it’s a number of players,” he said. “Because if you get a couple of infections and they come from different sources, and they happen a day or two before the game, you may not have control of the virus transmission in that case, and you have to pause. of a couple of cases a week and the two are related and you can contact them back to where they were, it’s a much safer environment and situation, so it’s hard to get there, fast number.If it were, everyone in all the conferences would have already had it. “

Not all Pac-12 schools have stopped starting even the improved access period, which is mainly strength and conditioning, film review and tours.

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

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

“Right now we realize these are real hot spots and the necessary authorities and approvals are not there yet,” Scott of Arizona and California said. “Putting them in the first week, in case these teams from each of these two markets don’t end up being possible, it’s very easy for them to be rescheduled. Each of them could be rescheduled for the week attached to the calendar a few weeks later, or the week of December we left. Let’s go with our eyes wide open. “

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