The Pac-12 is joining the rest of the Power Five for fall football.
A week after the Big Ten reversed course on postponing the 2020 season because of the coronavirus, the Pac-12 is following suit, the conference announced Thursday. Teams with “necessary state and local health approvals” are set begin a seven-game season on Nov. 6 after voting to play. The conference’s schedule will be released “in the coming days” and no fans will be allowed at games taking place on campuses.
The Pac-12 championship game will be played Dec. 18, and the conference says teams will be eligible to be selected for the College Football Playoff.
Just like the Big Ten, the Pac-12 cited “consistent access to sufficient testing” in announcing its decision.
“From the beginning of this crisis, our focus has been on following the science, data and counsel of our public health and infectious disease experts,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “Our agreement with Quidel to provide daily rapid-results testing has been a game-changer in enabling us to move forward with confidence that we can create a safe environment for our student-athletes while giving them the opportunity to pursue their dreams. At the same time, we will continue to monitor health conditions and data and be ready to adjust as required in the name of the health of all.”
The men’s and women’s basketball seasons can begin on Nov. 25. Other winter sports including wrestling, women’s gymnastics and men’s and women’s swimming and diving will also be permitted to return.
The Big Ten is set to begin play the weekend of Oct. 24. The SEC, ACC and Big 12 forged ahead, and now all Power Five conferences are set to play football in 2020.