Pac-12 continues unusual scheduling trends in 2020, may change course on non-conference games
The Pac-12 conference has had one of the more unusual scheduling rollouts of the season. The conference was the final Power 5 league to resume play this season, but Cal and UCLA, for example, played on Sunday morning after only moving the game within two days.
The date became available after both the Golden Bears’ and Bruins’ previously scheduled games were canceled. Neither of the teams’ opponents – Arizona State for Cal, Utah for UCLA – were able to play because of COVID-19 protocols.
But now comes the news from The Mercury News that the league is looking at non-conference games again after the administrators barred that type of scheduling.
The league’s athletic directors agreed this week to allow non-conference games if a league matchup is canceled because of COVID-19 issues, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the discussions, Jon Wilner reported.
However, the change requires approval from the presidents and chancellors, who had previously banned non-conference games for the 2020 season.The presidents discussed the issue on Tuesday, sources said, but it is not known whether a vote was taken.
The ability to play non-conference games would help fill vacancies if an odd number of teams are healthy enough to compete in a given week.
The amount paid for a non-conference game might vary, but it would be substantial for athletic departments feeling the impact of the shortened season and no ticket sales.
“We want maximum flexibility for our schools,” said a source, who added that the athletic directors were unified on the matter. “The group was very supportive.”