Oregon Ducks

With Ducks-Huskies cancelled, here's how the Pac-12 can make things right

Oregon Ducks
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Two days ahead of the de-facto Pac-12 North Championship game between Oregon and Washington, the December 12th matchup was cancelled. The Huskies are unable to field a roster with the minimum 53 scholarship players because of COVID-19 protocols. 

[RELATED]: Oregon Ducks vs. Washington Huskies cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols

And just like that, the Washington Huskies are Pac-12 North Champions despite never playing away from Seattle all season. Now, if the Huskies can field a team next week, it will play the Pac-12 South Champion for the Pac-12 Championship. 

But is that how it should be?

No.

And it's up to Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott to make things right.

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Originally, the Pac-12 schedule was released to play out the full season before the College Football Playoff teams were selected. But there's little-to-no chance a Pac-12 team will even be in playoff consideration, with No. 15 USC having the highest ranking in the conference. 

So, if the playoff is out of the question, then why can't the Pac-12 extend the season a week to ensure the conference claims a rightful champion? 

Perhaps a week will permit Washington to get a roster with enough scholarship players to play next week on December 18th or 19th at Autzen Stadium, allowing Oregon to play its way to the Pac-12 Championship as well. 

 

But would this mean the Pac-12 South Champ would get an unfair bye week? No. 

All week Pac-12 fans have wanted Colorado and USC, the two remaining undefeated teams to meet in the Pac-12 Championship to decide who the conference's best team truly is. Their originally scheduled game was canceled due to USC's COVID-19 results. 

As it stands now, if both teams win this weekend, USC will win the Pac-12 South from winning one more conference game than Colorado, but that's not fair to the Buffaloes. 

If Larry Scott decides delay the Pac-12 Championship one weekend, and move Washington-Oregon plus Colorado-USC to next week, everyone wins.

The Pac-12 Championship is currently scheduled for Friday, December 18th to get more viewers as the lone game on. Why wouldn't that logic extend to playing on Christmas one week later? The Pac-12 would likely get better viewership with this strategy. 

Also, this shift allows other Pac-12 teams to make up cancelled games or schedule new ones, increasing league revenue. 

It's win-win for every member of the conference and creative enough to work, which means Larry Scott will mess it up.

But one can hope? 

Unprecedented times calls for unprecedented measures to be taken. 

Now, will they do it?