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Report: Big Ten Football Likely To Play 8-Game Slate; Is The Pac-12’s Return Next?

The Big Ten puts the Pac-12 as the last power conference still awaiting a decision.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 28 USC at Washington Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to a report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Big Ten Conference has approved a proposal for an eight-game football schedule beginning on October 17th, in a move that would see some of the top teams in the country in Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan returning to the gridiron this fall.

The decision, if true and enacted properly, would then put the Pac-12 Conference as the lone power-five group opting not to play this fall, with the ACC and Big 12 having already played contests and the SEC set to to start their 2020 campaign next weekend.

Yesterday, a report from ESPN’s Heather Dinich claimed that a “mid-to-late November” return date for the Pac-12 would be the “most aggressive” plan, considering the conference’s recent partnership with “Quidel Corporation, a manufacturer of FDA-approved rapid tests that will allow the league to test its student-athletes daily for the coronavirus”.

However, that leaves many logistical questions into how a Pac-12 football season would be able to occur at the same time as winter sports, as well as what form the season would take on. The Big Ten’s eight-game proposal fits a likely schedule from mid-October through November and into early December. The Pac-12 wouldn’t be able to adhere to that same time-frame, if beginning in “mid-to-late November”.

As we await confirmation of the Big Ten’s actual decision, the early news is that the Big Ten title game is expected to be played on December 19th, a day before the selection of the College Football Playoff. Questions would also be raised as to what sort of participation the Pac-12 would be able to have in bowl games and if they would be included in that same potential College Football Playoff conversation.