Pac-12 Conference Permits Non-Conference Football Games

Conference will prioritize in-league matches but allow non-conference match-ups on schedules

Non-conference football match-ups may be coming soon to the Pac-12 Conference.

The Pac-12 CEO Group, the collection of the chancellors and presidents of the Pac-12 Conference’s member-universities, approved the “flexibility” to schedule non-conference football games Thursday.

“The Pac-12 is committed to maintaining maximum flexibility to provide our football student-athletes with an opportunity to compete while continuing to ensure that health and safety remain our number one priority,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a prepared statement.

Football teams from other conferences must meet the Pac-12 Conference’s testing and protocols intended to limit the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The Pac-12 Conference will always be the home team, and a Pac-12 opponent will have priority over an out-of-conference opponent if available by end-of-day Thursday in any given week.

Since the Pac-12 Conference started its football season on Nov. 7, five games have been canceled and declared a no-contest:

  • Arizona at Utah, originally scheduled for Nov. 7

  • Washington at California, originally scheduled for Nov. 7

  • California at Arizona State, originally scheduled for Nov. 14

  • Utah at UCLA, originally scheduled for Nov. 14

  • Arizona State at Colorado, originally scheduled for Nov. 21

The California Golden Bears and UCLA Bruins managed to schedule a last-minute game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., in which the Golden Bears lost, 10-34.

But other Pac-12 members have not been as lucky, especially with an abbreviated and tight football season this year.

It may be difficult for Pac-12 teams to find a new non-conference opponent willing to travel on short notice, but the conference deserves credit for trying.