The Pac-12 has set a 10-game, conference-only fall schedule for football, including moving the USC-UCLA rivalry game to the first weekend of play in late September instead of its traditional closing weekend.
The Pac-12 schedule will begin on Saturday, Sept. 26, the conference announced Friday. Besides USC-UCLA, the other traditional rivalry game being moved is Arizona-Arizona State, which also will be held on the first weekend.
“We realize at the moment, those are real hot spots, and the requisite authorities and approvals are not there yet,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said of California and Arizona. “By putting them the first week, in the event that these teams in each of those two markets winds up not being possible, they become very easy to reschedule. Each of those could reschedule into the bye week on the calendar a few weeks later, or the December week that we left. We’re going in eyes wide open.”
Each Pac-12 team will play five home and five road games, with the conference championship played on Dec. 18 or 19 at the home stadium of one of the participants. The title game originally was set for the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, but now will be bumped to 2021 for that venue.
Games missed on the schedule can be made up in teams’ bye weeks or in Week 12 (Dec. 12).
The Pac-12 is one of several NCAA conferences doing in-conference-only games. The Big Ten, SEC and ACC have said they will do that as well.
“We recognize that the best-laid plans may not come to fruition,” said Scott, “whether being able to start on the 26th, play a complement of a minimum number of games we feel would be required for a College Football Playoff, and we may start but not be able to finish, and then we will have to adjust. We’ll have to adjust with a spring piece, either to finish or to start, maybe delay dates for a playoff if it’s still possible. There are many, many scenarios still on the table, but we felt it’s critical at this point to be able to give some clarity in our plan.”