The Pac-12 Conference will play football this year. According to CBS Sports, the Pac-12 CEO Group unanimously voted to allow the conference to play football this year. The move comes a little over a month after the Pac-12 deciding to postpone football this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pac-12 will play a seven-game season starting on Friday, Nov. 6 with the conference championship game set for Friday, Dec. 18. This will be one day before the scheduled ACC, SEC, and Big Ten Championship. The Big 12 Championship is set for Dec. 12. The Big Ten recently announced it's playing football this fall after originally postponing the season back in August. The Big Ten will start playing on the weekend of Oct. 22-24. The Big 12 and ACC just got their seasons started, and the SEC will kick off its season on Saturday.
One of the biggest challenges the Pac-12 conference has faced is the health restrictions in California and Oregon. Some teams haven't been able to practice because some areas have been prohibited from having gatherings larger than 12 people. Additionally, some teams haven't been able to practice because of the air quality conditions due to the fires on the West Coast.
With the Pac-12 playing football this year, all five Power Five conferences will have a fall 2020 season, which didn't seem like that would be the case nearly two months ago. The next step is how will the College Football Playoff be set since these conferences are playing shorter schedules as well as not playing out-of-conference opponents.
"We're going to follow whatever protocol the management committee determines," CFP executive director Bill Hancock said to CBS Sports. "The conferences set their schedules, and the committee bases its judgement on the schedules. It is premature to talk about much of this because no one knows how many games any team is going to play this season."
Since the Pac-12 is playing a much shorter schedule than the other conferences, getting a team into the CFP might be a little more challenging than a team from the SEC or ACC that is playing 10 games. Furthermore, it's possible that the Pac-12 won't be eligible for the CFP because of the late start and the shortened season.