The Pac-12 is “aiming” to start on Halloween, according to a new story from Jon Wilner of the Mercury News.
Due to the combination of wildfires causing poor air quality and incomplete (if nonetheless expected) agreement from California and Oregon state and local regulators on relaxing pandemic restrictions, Wilner notes that UCLA, USC, Cal, Stanford, Oregon, and Oregon State are behind Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, Washington, and Washington State. The teams that are ready could start at least a week before the teams that are not — November 7th may be a more attainable target for some or all of the California and Oregon schools.
While the conference isn’t slated to vote until this coming Thursday, this is now one of those things where you can see the wheels in motion for a return from afar. The rapid testing that will be readily available for these programs was not there yet when the Pac-12 and Big Ten canceled their seasons over a month ago.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how this all impacts the College Football Playoffs. The Pac-12 usually doesn’t make it in anyways, but they and the Big Ten look like they’ll be playing less games than the SEC, ACC, and Big 12.