Oregon Ducks

Pac-12 Football planning on starting Nov. 7, waiting on approval

Oregon Ducks

*** This article has been updated on Friday, September 18 at 6:10 PM (PT).

As momentum grows for a Pac-12 college football season, the conference doesn't plan to make any rash decisions.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott told Dan Patrick that he wasn't "expecting a vote today" Friday morning ahead of the conference officials meeting that day to discuss the possibility of a fall college football season. 

“I’m not going to push for one today,” said Scott. “This has been a rapidly developing series of events. ... We need to give the folks that lead our campuses a chance to digest all this, take into account everything going on on their campuses.”

The all-conference season was suspended to 2021 back on August 11th, which mirrored the Big Ten's decision on the same day. However, this week, the Big Ten voted to move the season up to October so the conference can remain eligible for the College Football Playoff. 

With a newly announced partnership with Quidel Corporation to allow for rapid testing of COVID-19 and pressure from the players, the Pac-12 began discussions to move up its season as well to not be the sole Power-5 conference not playing college football.

On Wednesday evening, Scott told ESPN the best case scenario is late October or early November start to the Pac-12 football season.


Then on Thursday, Jon Wilner of The Mercury News reported that the league is targeting Oct. 31 for its first week of games.

[RELATED]: Pac-12 football aiming for the season to start on Halloween

“If we’re going to move forward, it’s going to depend on how quickly we can get back to practice — six weeks would be from Monday (to be ready for a Halloween time start), but we’re only getting these rapid tests next week, so I think that would be the most ambitious, maybe a week or two too quick for us. But somewhere in that zip code is where we would be playing if we’re playing,” Scott told Patrick Friday morning.

The Pac-12 is expected to begin its season in early November. 

Oregon has told its players to report to campus on September 20 with training beginning a week later. Meanwhile, other Pac-12 coaches such as Oregon State's Jonathan Smith have stated they need six weeks of full-contact practice before playing games. 

If that's the case, and the six-week training period is implemented, then the Pac-12 college football season could begin as soon as November 7, speculatively speaking, two months ahead of the tentatively scheduled January 1, 2021 timeline. 

Later on Friday, Bruce Feldman reported that much of the discussion was indeed about that proposed start date of November 7. It is now up to the Pac-12 Presidents to vote to approve the plan moving forward.

At 6:00 p.m. PT Friday, the Pac-12 released a statement announcing they "plan to reconvene this coming Thursday, September 24 to make a decision regarding possible return prior to January 1st."

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon football coach Mario Cristobal]