Will the Pac-12 follow?
Never say never. Just ask the Big Ten Conference, which announced Wednesday it will play football this fall after previously cancelling the season a month ago.
The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) adopted significant medical protocols and has voted unanimously to resume the football season starting the weekend of October 23-24, 2020: https://t.co/b5yHShGb1D
— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) September 16, 2020
The Big Ten was the first major conference to cancel fall sports back in early August, with the Pac-12 following suit shortly after (though it canceled all competition through the end of 2020). But since then the league has been under major scrutiny for its decision-making process, which did not include revealing what the initial vote to cancel was—turns out it was 11-3—or what information it used to form its decision.
Better medical information and testing options contributed to the choice to have another vote, as did heavy pressure from the Nebraska and Ohio State contingencies, two of the three schools (along with Iowa) not to initially vote in favor of cancellation.
During the hiatus, though, numerous Big Ten football programs have had to “pause” activities due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
With the Big Ten set to return it leaves the Pac-12, Mid-American and Mountain West as the only FBS conferences not playing this fall.
The Pac-12 could still come back before 2020 is over, but that hinges on two things: getting the rapid COVID-19 testing equipment and tests it contracted with Quibel Corporation for—those are supposed to be at every Pac-12 school by the end of September—and statewide health restrictions in California and Oregon are eased.
As it stands, the six Pac-12 schools in those states are not able to practice because contact sports aren’t allowed there.