Pac-12 Conference Approves Non-Conference Games
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Pac-12 Conference voted to approve the addition of non-conference football games in the 2020 season.
A day earlier, Jon Wilner of The Mercury News reported that the Pac-12 had reversed course on its original plan and would now allow teams to play non-conference opponents pending a vote.
On Thursday, November 19, Pac-12 officials voted to allow the addition of non-conference games to be scheduled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Pac-12 is committed to maintaining maximum flexibility to provide our football student-athletes with an opportunity to compete, while continuing to ensure that health and safety remains our number one priority,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement.
UPDATE: Flexibility to schedule non-conference football games approved for #Pac12FB.
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) November 19, 2020
Criteria for adding a non-conference football game
The Pac-12 announced that the following criteria “be met in order for a non-conference football opponent to be scheduled” by a member of the conference:
- “All Pac-12 testing and related protocols must be adhered to by the non-conference opponent;
- The non-conference game will in all cases be a home game for the Pac-12 team, broadcast by a Pac-12 television partner; and
- If a Pac-12 opponent becomes available by the end of day Thursday in any given week, the Conference game must be played in lieu of any non-conference game.”
BREAKING: @pac12 to allow non-conference opponents.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) November 18, 2020
The Pac-12’s current 2020 schedule has teams playing seven games in seven weeks, leaving no option to reschedule canceled games, causing canceled games to be ruled “no contest”.
The University of Utah football team hasn’t yet played a game because their first two games – against Arizona and UCLA – have been canceled due to COVID-19.
The Utes hope to take the field this Saturday in Salt Lake City against USC.
Kickoff is slated for Saturday at 8:30 p.m. MT and both head coaches are optimistic about the game taking place.
The Pac-12’s move could potentially benefit a team like the BYU Cougars, who have some open weeks left on their schedule.
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