Pac-12 votes to play 7-game schedule, to start in November


The only FBS conference that's not playing this fall is the Mid-American Conference, though that could change on Friday.

Men's and women's basketball season will begin November 25 with schedules released in the future. The conference title game will be played on December 19.

Notre Dame (2-0) opened the season with two home games and held several players out of last week's victory against South Florida without explanation. Teams will play seven conference games in seven weeks, a blitz Arizona State coach Herm Edwards on Thursday night compared to basketball's March Madness. The second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth-place teams will play the corresponding teams in the opposite division.

The move comes on the same day the Pac-12 announced the return of fall football as well as plans for basketball and other winter sports. An official schedule was not announced Thursday.

"This has been the result of what we said back in August - that we'd follow the science, follow the data, follow the advice from our medical experts", Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said, "and that we know how badly our student-athletes want to compete, as student-athletes for the Pac-12, but that we would only do so when we felt that we could do so safely". "We knew COVID would present challenges throughout the season, and we'll always put student-athlete health and safety at the forefront of our decision making". The school said health officials in the state had moved Provo from low to moderate COVID-19 risks, which prompted the switch to no fans for Saturday's game against Troy and the October 2 game against Louisiana Tech. But the governors of both states said earlier in the month that they wouldn't stand in the way of the start of a football season.

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Every Power Five conference is planning to play football in the fall of 2020.

The Pac-12's eligibility has not yet been confirmed, according to ESPN, but the league reportedly isn't concerned about issue. Instead of postponing and moving games around the calendar, games would likely be canceled.

When does the Pac-12 football season start?

Are Pac-12 teams allowed in the College Football Playoff?

Conventional, reasoned thinking says no, but Scott says yes. "There is no minimum number of games, and I think we're all very humbly going into the season realizing there could be disruptions along the way".

For what it's worth, the NCAA limit on games played this season is set at 27, which would include one multi-team event involving eight teams.