Pac-12 Announces Conference-Only Schedule With Sept. 26 Start

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The Pac-12 released its 10-game conference-only schedule for the 2020 football season Friday.

The new schedule will start on Sept. 26, four weeks after the season was originally set to open with Hawaii facing Arizona in a non-conference game on Aug. 29.

The conference plans to start Week 1 with an aggressive schedule, including matchups between USC vs. UCLA, Arizona State vs. Arizona and Washington vs. Stanford. All three games were originally scheduled for November. The Pac-12 will also give schools the option to delay the start of the season by a week if needed. 

Each team will play five home games and five road games. Any games that are unable to be played on their scheduled date can be made up in their bye weeks or in Week 12 (Dec. 12). The conference championship game is now slated for Dec. 18 or 19 and will be held in a home-hosted model instead of in Las Vegas.

Training camps can start as early as August 17, and all cases are subject to allowance by public health orders and medical advice. The full 2020 conference schedule can be found here.

"From the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been committed to prioritizing the health and safety of our student athletes and all those connected to our athletic programs," Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement

"The schedule and plans approved today and path to return to competition are subject to public health orders and will be taken in accordance with the health and well-being guidelines developed by our Pac-12 Medical Advisory Committee. The schedule and return to play plans provide for maximum flexibility and the best opportunity to play all fall sports in an environment that prioritizes safety. At the same time, we will continue to evaluate the best available science, data and advice of public health officials as we make decisions and any required adjustments going forward."

The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach reports the conference pushed back the start of the season to "try to buy more time for the California and Arizona schools." Both states have recorded a high number of cases during the coronavirus pandemic, leading many colleges to decide to hold classes online this fall. 

The Pac-12 first announced in mid-July that it would adopt a conference-only schedule in fall 2020 for several sports, including football, men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Big Ten and SEC will follow the same format, while the ACC will play an 11-game schedule with 10 conference games and one non-conference game.