Washington's Jimmy Lake in favor of 9 AM kickoffs

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On Wednesday, 12 head coaches around the Pac-12 Conference met with members of the media over Zoom.

Each had 25 minutes for a question-and-answer session ahead of training camps beginning around the conference beginning on Friday, October 9. After the conference voted to postpone fall sports in 2020, the Pac-12 is the last Power-5 conference to vote and approve a plan to play football in 2020. 

This will be a six-game season (5 divisional opponents and one crossover followed by the conference championship on Dec. 18) starting on November 6-7. There will be no fans in attendance.

An interesting topic of discussion has been brought up throughout this process. We know the dates and the schedule, but the time of kickoffs has yet to be determined. 

Will the Pac-12 begin planning for 9 a.m. (PT) kickoffs?

Washington first-year head coach Jimmy Lake thinks so.

Lake’s main point of view here is the east coast bias in college football. 

“I see a lot of positives in it. I used to live on the east coast and it is hard to watch west coast games because the times are just so different. We’re fortunate on the west coast, we get to watch every game at a decent time and at a decent hour. And so, I don’t mind the 9 AM games at all. 

I think they’ll be great, I think they’ll be great for the Pac-12, they’ll be great for the east coast — media and fans and the other football coaches across the country. They’ll be able to watch what an exciting and talented conference the Pac-12 is. So I’m excited about it.

Washington head coach Jimmy Lake

Sure, it would bring more east coast eyes to west coast college football, but here’s why 9 a.m. (PT) kickoffs don’t make sense: Before taking the field for a game, an approximate schedule consists of team meetings, team meal, walkthroughs, last minute film session, now daily COVID testing and getting to the field approximately two hours before kickoff. Now, imagine doing all that before 9 AM. 


No thanks.

Both Rob Mullens (Oregon Athletic Director) and Scott Barnes (Oregon State Athletic Director) have said that should the Pac-12 Conference re-think its stance on early kickoffs, expect the Ducks and Beavs to pass that up. 

“I don’t think the University of Oregon is going to be raising our hand for 9 AM kickoff,” said Mullens

The Pac-12 already has a #Pac12AfterDark “special” with a 7:30 p.m. (PT) kickoff time slot, which means 10:30 p.m. on the east coast. So, already not ideal. An earlier kickoff may bring more attention for the fans and national media, but for the players sake, breakfast ball may not be the best idea.

Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast here.