Like the SEC, the Pac-12 season will start Sept. 26 and end the weekend before Christmas. Unlike the SEC, we know exactly who will play whom, when and where.
The Pac-12 was not the first Power 5 league to adopt a 10-game, conference-only season for the 2020 campaign, the Big Ten beat them by a day. But, while the Big Ten is still debating whether they’ll actually play a season and what it will take to get there, the Pac-12 on Friday unleashed its full slate.
In the biggest change, some rivalry dates have been moved from the end of the line to the front. Arizona-Arizona State and USC-UCLA will go down on Sept. 26. The conference put those games there reasoning that each side of those two games will have to abide by the same local restrictions, and therefore could move to Dec. 12 — a league-wide open date — or their shared open dates without disrupting anyone else.
View the full schedule below.
The Pac-12 typically plays a 9-game league schedule, meaning the conference added six games to get to 10 per team.
Games added to Pac-12 schedule in 2020:
Cal at Arizona
Stanford at ASU
Oregon State at Colorado
Oregon at Utah
Washington State at USC
UCLA at Washington
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) July 31, 2020
In another pandemic-induced change, the championship game will move back to a campus site, as it was from 2011-13 before moving to San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium in 2014. The game was slated to move to Las Vegas’s Allegiant Stadium this Dec. 5, but will instead slide back to 2021 and ’22.
In setting the Sept. 26 start date, Pac-12 presidents also established that member teams can move forward with 20-hour work weeks on Aug. 3 and begin traditional training camp activities on Aug. 17, subject to approval from local governments.
About that. Much like the Big Ten’s warning earlier today, commissioner Larry Scott cautioned that the schedule is written in pencil, not ink. Arranging the games is one thing, playing them is another.
“From the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been committed to prioritizing the health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to our athletic programs,” commissioner Larry Scott said. “The schedule and plans approved today and path to return to competition are subject to public health orders and will be taken in accordance with the health and well-being guidelines developed by our Pac-12 Medical Advisory Committee. The schedule and return to play plans provide for maximum flexibility and the best opportunity to play all fall sports in an environment that prioritizes safety. At the same time, we will continue to evaluate the best available science, data and advice of public health officials as we make decisions and any required adjustments going forward.”
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.