Will the Pac-12 Follow the Big Ten Again?

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Now that the Big Ten is finally, unanimously announcing a return to play today, the question becomes if the Pac-12 will follow suit. Remember, the Pac-12 used the Big Ten as their lead blocker in cancelling the season, as the two conferences moved in lock-step, and now we’ll have to see if the Pac-12 follows the Big Ten again.

On the positive side of the spectrum, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott was before the Big Ten in announcing a groundbreaking rapid testing program that could accelerate the return of sports. Earlier this week, USC players petitioned California governor Gavin Newsom to #LetUsPlay.

On the other hand, the Pac-12 region is not nearly as passionate about football as Big Ten country. Most of the Pac-12 states aren’t playing high school football this Fall.

There’s not a school like Ohio State that has the combination of historical pedigree, modern championship contention, fan base, university leadership, and state government backing to make credible threats.

Fires are ravaging up and down the west coast and some of their outdoor stadiums are borderline unplayable right now. We’re seeing those dilemmas with the MLB and NFL as we speak — Mariners-Giants was postponed on Tuesday due to poor air quality.

The Pac-12 returning in lockstep with the Big Ten could happen, but it’s far from a sure bet.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. If they don’t come back, it will set the league back years as others will poach top talent correctly pointing out that they are not a top tier league that supports their players. You have to be 300% sure of what you are doing if you go ahead and play if everyone else cancels or if you stay canceled while everyone else plays. What do you know that nobody else does? They will look like fools if they skip the season and playing in the winter/spring when all other leagues are finished is worthless.

  2. Starting to wonder if the pac-12 canceled to avoid having to address the ridiculous demands put forward by a group of pac-12 football players earlier this year. Then they’ll beg to be able to play and have no leverage. Maybe the big ten thought it would spread and decided to be proactive and cancel too. It’s unanimous this time, after all.

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