Pac-12 drops nonconference football games this fall

Big 12 is reportedly eyeing late July for decision on fall sports	
				Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 has become the second major conference to shift to a conference-only fall schedule amid growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said the priority is keeping student-athletes safe, and that the conference's decisions "have and will be guided by science and date" and that due to increased positive tests across the country in recent days, "it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities".

Another small step toward canceling the fall sports calendar.


Besides the Big Ten and Pac-12, the three other Power Five conferences - the Big 12, ACC and SEC - have yet to release any official statements regarding their schedule for the upcoming season.

Oregon and Oregon State football had several non-conference games, including marquee matchups with Ohio State and Oklahoma State respectively, along with several pay games that included Hawaii and Portland State.

Like Hawaii, BYU now isn't scheduled to play its first game until October because its first four games, two against Big Ten teams and two more against Pac-12 teams, are now gone. Bowling Green was playing Ohio State and IL this season in non-conference games before the Big Ten's announcement.

If the game is to be made up, the first season in which that is possible would be 2029. Right now, the Big Ten and the Pac-12 are the only Division-I conferences to announce canceling non-conferences games. However, the US sees a second spike in coronavirus cases, and college football is still seven Saturdays away from starting. Some of those issues will be resolved if other conferences follow suit and also cancel out-of-conference games. The 2020 college football season is going into unprecedented waters.

If it's ultimately deemed unsafe to play college football this fall, some have pondered the concept of a spring model. This decision will impact the schedules for football, women's soccer and women's volleyball.

The Big Ten has announced a conference-only schedule thanks to the spread of COVID-19 - and for one Michigan Wolverines opponent they were slated to battle on the gridiron, that decision will be costly.

In the coming weeks, there should be more clarity surrounding college football in 2020 and whether Pac-12 schools will allow teams to add additional conference games to the nine-game schedules they now face - something that would conceivably help them make up the revenue forfeited by skipping nonconference games, even if games are played with limited or no fans. The Packers are proud to host such games at Lambeau Field and, with the community, experience the incredible atmosphere surrounding college football. Penn State won the women's championship in 2015.



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