Oregon, USC Favorites With Pac-12 Football To Start Nov. 6
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The Pac-12 has announced it will play football in 2020 with a seven-game schedule starting on Nov. 6, and Oregon (+220), USC (+250) and Washington (+280) are the college football betting favorites to win the conference, according to BetMGM. Oregon won the Pac-12 championship last season.
The decision, revealed late Thursday, is a reversal from the move taken on Aug. 11 to suspend all sports until 2021 because of concerns from the coronavirus pandemic.
"This has been the result of what we said back in August — that we'd follow the science, follow the data, follow the advice from our medical experts and that we know how badly our student-athletes want to compete, as student-athletes for the Pac-12, but that we would only do so when we felt that we could do so safely," Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a news release.
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Pac-12, Mountain West Follow Big Ten's Lead
The Big Ten changed its position on playing in 2020 and will return to football Oct. 24. The SEC begins its conference play on Saturday.
In a similar move, the Mountain West Conference also reversed its decision not to play football and announced Thursday it would have an eight-game season starting the weekend of Oct. 24.
The Pac-12 championship game is scheduled for Dec. 18, the conference said. The full schedule is set to be released within a week. Football teams will play the other five teams in their respective division, plus one divisional cross-over game before the title game. The teams that do not qualify for the Pac-12 title game will play an additional conference game against a team in their opposite division on that same weekend.
Pac-12, Mountain West Teams Will Get Playoff Consideration
In the Pac-12, no fans will be in attendance at any games. Teams can begin practice immediately as long it occurs within local and state public health guidelines. The Mountain West title game is scheduled for Dec. 19, a day before the College Football Playoff selections. Teams from both conferences will be eligible for selection by the playoff committee.
The Pac-12 CEO Group cited “concerns about testing capabilities across all Pac-12 universities, the prevalence of the virus in Pac-12 communities and nationally, and concerns related to possible cardiac concerns potentially associated with COVID-19” when it voted to suspend play in August. The reversal Thursday was based upon updated recommendations noting “material improvements in each of these three areas, along with updated state and local public health guidance.”
Pac-12 men's and women's basketball can begin Nov. 25. Other winter sports will start on schedule with their respective NCAA seasons.