It was only a matter of time before the Pac-12 canceled non-conference athletics for the fall semester. The conference announced their decision on Friday and will specify exact start time details in the near future.
What this means for football is that if and when the season starts, teams will only play conference games. The Pac-12 is structured to have three non-conference games — all of which will be canceled — and nine conference games.
For the Colorado Buffaloes, that means their road games against Colorado State and Texas A&M are tabled, as well as their home opener against Fresno State. That was a very challenging and fun schedule. It’s also the last game of the Rocky Mountain Showdown series, and it was going to be CU’s first game playing in Ft. Collins since 1996.
With those games canceled, the Buffs would begin their season with a home game against Oregon, who will presumably be a top-10 ranked team. Conference-only schedules will be released on July 31, per the Pac-12. I’m not so sure if that will happen either, as there’s a strong chance football gets pushed back to the Spring.
The decision is obviously in light of COVID-19 pandemic, though I’m not sure what good it does to cancel three more games. Playing in Tucson doesn’t seem any more safe than playing in College Station, nor does it seem that much safer to have 9 games instead of 12. It’s still 70+ young men who aren’t getting paid to social distance.
Also, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott just tested positive for the virus, and it’s still very much a serious problem even if people are ignoring it. Just please wear a mask.