Today was a pretty big day in the Pac-12, as the league unveiled the reshuffled schedule to accommodate for a 10 game schedule, five home/away, for each member. The rumor was Utah was going to open with Oregon in the new schedule, well Oregon is on the schedule, but they are slated to be the finale at Rice-Eccles.
Here’s the full schedule:
September 26th: @ Washington State
October 3rd: @ Colorado
October 10th: vs. Oregon State
October 16th: @ UCLA
October 24th: BYE
October 31st: vs. Arizona
November 7th: @ ASU
November 14th: vs. Washington
November 21st: @ Cal
November 27th: vs. USC
December 5th: vs. Oregon
Obviously, this 2020 shakedown on how this is setup is not really ideal for anyone, and frankly, there is some expectation that some games may need to be moved due to the virus. The full conference schedule is below, but with rivalry games like USC/UCLA, ASU/U of A and some others being bumped to the first week or two of the season, shows the conference thinks that they may need to try to get those games done, or be able to move them as soon as possible.
As for Utah’s schedule, it’s tough to open the schedule on the road in back to back weeks, but that means the back end of the scheduled is home loaded, with three major marquee opponents with UW, USC and Oregon in three of the last four weeks. Ultimately, with some much unknown right now, including the conference allowing players to opt out of the season, and if infections happen within teams, I’m not sure what to make of this schedule on a game by game basis. I know it’s a cool looking schedule having just Pac-12 teams on there, and makes for a very interesting sprint to a Pac-12 title game. I’m also curious what kind of learnings may come out of this unusual setup, and what may be applied to the future. This is going to be a wild ride, and hopefully one we see finish with a champion, and one that is done safely for all involved.
Here’s the official release from the Utah SID, including Mark Harlans thoughts, and his statement that season ticket holders should hear more soon on how that may go.
Below that is the full conference schedule.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Pac-12 Conference on Friday announced a new 10-game league football schedule that begins Sept. 26 and includes five home and five road games for each team. The schedule was developed to provide maximum flexibility and to prioritize the health and safety of all involved, through extensive consultation with the Pac-12’s Medical Advisory Committee.
The opponents include all nine originally slated for each school from the existing schedule rotation that formed the schedule released in January, plus one new opponent. For the two-time defending South Division champion Utes the additional opponent is Oregon.
The schedule is arranged for games to be played over an 11-week period with a bye week for each team. Games that are unable to be played on their scheduled date can be made up in their bye weeks or in Week 12 (Dec. 12). The Pac-12 Football Championship Game is scheduled for either December 18 or 19.
Utah’s new 2020 football schedule begins with back-to-back road games, Saturday, Sept. 26 at Washington State and Saturday, Oct. 3 at Colorado. The home opener is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 10 vs. Oregon State at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Other home games are slated for Saturday, Oct. 31 vs. Arizona, Saturday, Nov. 14 vs. Washington, Friday, Nov. 27 vs. USC and Saturday, Dec. 5 vs. Oregon.
Remaining road games are scheduled for Friday, Oct. 10 at UCLA, Saturday, Nov. 7 at Arizona State and Saturday, Nov. 21 at California. Kickoff times and television designations will be announced at a later date.
“This is an exciting announcement as we continue to plan for fall sports seasons while taking all precautions for doing so in a safe and healthy manner,” said Director of Athletics Mark Harlan. “I am particularly excited for our student-athletes and coaches in our fall sports who now have dates to plan for. We, and they, know we must also remain flexible as we go forward.”
For the 2020 football season, important guidelines with regard to stadium capacity and the ticket allotment process are still being finalized, and information will be sent soon to season ticket holders.
“We are in close consultation with University, state and local officials, and through those discussions we anticipate a reduced capacity at Rice-Eccles Stadium this season because of physical distancing requirements,” Harlan said. “Every effort is being made to provide the safest experience possible for fans attending games, and for all involved. Season ticket holders will receive information soon to provide details on the ticketing and seating approach for the 2020 season, and the various options they may choose.”
The Pac-12 also today designated Aug. 17 as the date on which programs may begin fall camp.