We aren’t even to the first weekend of the 2020 Pac-12 football season and the first football game has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
Just announced on Thursday, the Washington Huskies and Cal Golden Bears are no longer playing this Saturday. The game has been declared a no contest after positive cases of COVID-19 and the Bears inability to have a minimum number of scholarship players available.
According to the Cal football team, “Earlier this week, a member of the Cal football program tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first positive test within the Cal football program since the start of daily testing at the beginning of October.”
Head coach Justin Wilcox and Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton agreed that Cal could not field a competitive team given the number of student-athletes affected.
"It is very disappointing that we will not be opening our 2020 season this Saturday night against Washington," Wilcox said. "My heart goes out first and foremost to all of our players who have been through so much since the pandemic began and worked so hard under difficult circumstances to prepare themselves to play. They have done so well following the protocols that have been put in place, but as we are finding out first-hand, playing football during 2020 is a fragile situation."
HOW THIS IMPACTS OREGON/OREGON STATE
We knew this could be a possibility with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This is a scenario that bites the Pac-12 being there are only seven games in conference play this season with no room for error. Unfortunately, it happened. Something as small as one positive test can cancel a game.
With this game being cancelled, that’s one less game to lose for Washington and Cal meaning Oregon or Oregon State would likely have to beat both these teams to win the North and make the College Football Playoff. Both Cal and Washington are North Division schools along with Oregon and Oregon State.
Cal was projected to be a top contender in the Pac-12 North, so this loss hurts for that program.
The Oregon State Beavers will face Washington (in what will hopefully be the Huskies first game of the season) in Seattle on November 14. The Huskies will now have an extra few days of prep for the Beavers. Oregon State will then host the Cal Bears the following week in Corvallis on November 21.
Oregon will be at Cal on December 5 and then host Washington on December 12.