Pac-12 presidents will meet on Thursday to decide whether it will reverse its initial decision and hold a fall football season, sources told Sports Illustrated‘s Pat Forde.
Under the considered scheduling model, the conference is debating holding a six- or seven-game season. If it chooses to play seven games, the season would likely open on Oct. 31. However, the Pac-12 could push the season’s start back to Nov. 7 if it chooses to play only six games. The conference’s title game would be held on Dec. 19, the same day the Big Ten’s is planned for, reports Forde.
On Aug. 11, the Pac-12 announced it would postpone a fall football season amid concerns over COVID-19. The decision came just hours after the Big Ten reached the same decision, and both conferences said they would attempt to hold their football seasons in spring 2021.
However, the Big Ten voted last week to change its initial decision and start a shortened season on the weekend of Oct. 23–24.
Following the announcement, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said that the conference is not yet ready to play since its universities do not have approval from public health officials to begin contact practice.
Local governments are “more willing to work with schools now,” reports Forde, but rapid COVID-19 testing remains an important factor in the Pac-12’s return this fall.
While there was plenty of buzz leading up to the Big Ten’s vote, league administrators have been noticeably quiet in recent days. One source told Forde that the Pac-12 is “trying to avoid ‘a Big Ten situation’ where member schools are leaking premature and/or incorrect information and complicating the process.”
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