With the coronavirus jeopardizing college football in 2020, the Pac-12 and its coaches back an NCAA-mandated uniform start to the season. A big part of this would also include playing just a conference schedule.
What the Pac-12 coaches are saying
USC Head Coach Clay Helton dives into this possibility. He says the Pac-12 and the NCAA are discussing every option but notes that having unity among the schools goes a long way.
One of the main barriers to this proposal is that each state is affected differently. With the season scheduled to start around Labor Day weekend, teams would need six-weeks of preparation starting in mid-July. This hurts a number of Pac-12 schools as a Los Angeles County health official said their stay-at-home order is expected to run through July.
Another challenge some coaches see is that campuses still aren’t open. Stanford Head Coach David Shaw says this poses a threat to the timetable of starting the season as well as a challenge for recruiting.
One coach who this pandemic has been especially interesting for is Washington State’s new head coach, Nick Rolovich. This is because he barely had time to get acquainted with his team, in comparison to many other Pac-12 coaches.
Rolovich says he’s using this time to build on personal relationships with his team and coaching staff. He also talks about how he’d like to play football this season, even without fans.
The Rest of college football
Despite the Pac-12 backing a uniform start date, it looks like that won’t be happening. Yesterday, the NCAA said there will not be a uniform start to the season if there is one. Instead, it will be up to state officials and university presidents.
Like the Pac-12, many other conferences are committed to playing a season but understand some things are out of their control. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey added that the season will be decided upon player safety and not finances.