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As of now, college football is still on in the Pac-12 for the 2020 season. We may soon know in what form, as the league reportedly is set to announce a 10-game schedule by the end of next week.
That would be one more game than the Arizona Wildcats currently have on tap for this fall after the Pac-12 nixed non-conference play earlier this month. But who will that team be, and where will it fit into the existing schedule?
If only it were as easy as plugging in an extra game and calling it a day.
Per Brett McMurphy of Stadium, Arizona would play Cal as its 10th game. This game would presumably be on the road since the Wildcats already have five home games on the slate, but that’s where the first roadblock to an easy schedule adjustment comes in.
Cal also has five scheduled Pac-12 home games, so in order for the Wildcats to go to Berkeley it would require taking one of the Bears’ home games and putting it on the road, but then that would potentially create an unbalanced home/road split for other Pac-12 teams.
Odds are Arizona’s five home opponents will be adjusted, with only ASU a lock to remain the same, so instead of a complete flip of last year’s Pac-12 schedule the Wildcats could end up hosting Colorado, Oregon State, UCLA or Washington for a second year in a row. That also means they could be making consecutive trips to Oregon, Stanford, USC or Utah.
The order of Arizona’s games also figures to get jumbled beyond when the 10th opponent would get added in. The reported Pac-12 schedule would call for multiple “flex” weeks that could be used to make up games that get postponed because one or the other team suffered a coronavirus outbreak, something that may push the conference title game past its current Dec. 4 state.
Bottom line: only the location and date for the Territorial Cup (Nov. 28) figures to remain the same when it comes to Arizona’s 2020 football schedule. And that’s assuming a season actually gets played, which right now is no certainty.