PAC-12's “Most-Aggressive” Return Date Not Until Mid or Late November

By Kevin Harrish on September 15, 2020 at 2:04 pm
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

If the Big Ten plays this fall and reinserts itself into College Football Playoff consideration, it's looking like the Pac-12 won't be joining them.

According to a report from ESPN's Heather Dinich, the Pac-12's "most aggressive" return plan won't have athletes returning to action until mid-to-late November, even despite a new testing initiative commissioner Larry Scott says called a "game-changer."

The new tests can deliver results in as early as 15 minutes, Scott said, but that can only do so much to expedite the conference's return as local ordinances in the area still prohibit organized team activities.

Public health officials in the states of California and Oregon still have not cleared schools to resume contact practices – much less games – and the league's presidents and chancellors wouldn't consider a vote to return until that status changes, according to Dinich.

Scott said last week he was "hopeful" the conference would be able to return to play before the initial Jan. 1 postponement date, but said the Pac-12 will need six weeks of prep time before beginning the football season.

If the Pac-12 is unable to return until November and the Big Ten moves ahead with a plan to resume earlier in October, that eliminates any chance of the conference aligning their plans, as Scott had hoped.

It also means the Pac-12 would be the only Power Five conference not competing for the College Football Playoff this season.

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