Huskies will Open with Stanford, Close with USC in New Football Schedule
The University of Washington football team will open the season on Sept. 26 against the Stanford Cardinal at Husky Stadium, in the first of 10 games in new scheduling created to deal with the pandemic, the league announced on Friday.
In order, the Huskies will host the Cardinal and Arizona in consecutive weeks, travel to California, take a league-wide bye on Oct. 17, host Oregon State, play at Oregon, host Colorado, play at Utah, host UCLA and close the season at WSU and USC. Another bye is set for Dec. 5 should games get postponed earlier.
The Pac-12 championship game is scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 18-19 on a campus site, with Las Vegas' new Allegiant Stadium hosting the game thereafter beginning in 2021.
The UW has two Friday games within three weeks, meeting Colorado in Husky Stadium on Nov. 7 and the Cougars in Pullman on Nov. 27.
Teams will open training camp on Aug. 17 or at a later date, enabling 25 practices.
"This is hopefully once in a lifetime situation that we hope we never have to deal with again," Stanford coach David Shaw said.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said the bowl games and college playoff system have been preserved. He noted that most conferences are following this model, with schedules of 10 or 11 games, conference only.
"We're going in eyes wide open," Scott said. "We're contemplating that everyone can't start Sept. 26."
Scott said the league will defer to public health officials whether fans can attend Pac-12 games.
He added, that depending who can and can't play, teams might pick up a conference game nationwide.
The league is also faced with players opting out, similar to other sports, to maintain their health or protect their professional career possibilities.
Stanford's Shaw spoke for the league in saying players wouldn't be penalized should they choose not to play.
Yet there is much more involved -- depending on virus spikes, how much will anyone get to play?
The commissioner added that the league has tried to formulate protocol for all schools for sanitizing locker rooms and for players wearing protective masks.
"We are cautiously optimistic," Scott said. "There are elements out of our control that will have a lot of influence. What's happening in our communities? What will happen when thousands of students come back to campus."
The tentative Husky schedule is as follows:
Saturday, Sept. 26 -- Stanford
Saturday, Oct. 3 -- Arizona
Saturday, Oct. 10 -- at California
Saturday, Oct. 17 -- bye
Saturday, Oct. 24 -- Oregon State
Saturday, Oct. 31 -- at Oregon
Friday, Nov. 6 -- Colorado
Saturday, Nov. 14 -- at Utah
Saturday, Nov. 21 -- UCLA
Friday, Nov. 27 -- at WSU
Saturday, Dec. 5 -- at USC
Saturday, Dec. 12 -- bye
Friday/Saturday, Dec. 18-19 -- Pac-12 championship game
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