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The Pac-12 is expected to announce next week its plans for a 10-game conference-only football schedule that would begin in mid-September and would include a Dec. 4 conference championship game, the Mercury News reported Thursday.

The Mercury News report by Jon Wilner stated this:

"The official announcement, with weekly matchups, is expected no later than the end of next week."

As the report noted, it had appeared in recent weeks that the Pac-12 might not have a fall football season at all, given the spike in COVID-19 cases in California and Arizona, but the conference is forging ahead with plans for a fall season. At least for now.

All 10 of Cal's matchups and dates would be included in the schedule to be released next week.

The season reportedly would span a maximum of 14 weeks beginning in the middle of September, and this assumes some success in curtailing the rise in virus cases. The proposed schedule to be revealed next week would still require approval of the Pac-12 member presidents.

Here is the basic structure of the proposed schedule, as reported by the Mercury-News.

--A 10-game regular-season is proposed, with each team playing its division opponents and five crossover games. The conference also has nine-game schedules prepared if public health circumstances require it.

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--Season openers have been scheduled for Sept. 19. (Cal's first conference game was originally scheduled for Sept. 26 in Berkeley against Utah, but the new schedules presumably will be made from scratch.)

--Teams would not start the regular training camp until the middle of August. That would require approval from health agencies, and in Cal's case that would be the state of California, Alameda County and the City of Berkeley. This could be problematic because the situation in some regions of the Pac-12 footprint is very different from the situation in other Pac-12 areas.

--At least two bye weeks are built into the schedule. That would allow games to be rescheduled if they cannot be played on the designated date because of coronavirus limitations.

--The Pac-12 championship game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas could be played on any of three weekends. Friday, Dec. 4, was the original date set for the conference title game and it is still the primary option in the proposed schedule. However, the title game could be moved back to the weekend of Dec. 11-12 or even Dec. 18-19 if circumstanes cause regular-season games to be postponed and resheduled later in the season.

At the moment the semifinal games in the College Football Playoff are scheduled for January 1. The Pac-12 does not want to play its championship game after Dec. 19, because a later date might prevent its champion from being considered for one of the four spots in the national championhip playoff.

Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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