We know that Oregon Football will not face the Washington Huskies this weekend to battle for the Pac-12 North title, but there are options for the Conference of Champions to consider ahead of next week and the Pac-12 Championship Game.
UPDATE: Pac-12 Makes Decision on Championship Game
The Oregon Ducks manage to get through almost the entire COVID-19 free season before the pandemic strikes just before their final game against rival Washington. It was a game that if Oregon won, would have seen two season losses wiped away as the Ducks were able to get to the Pac-12 Championship with a chance to play for an opportunity at perhaps the Fiesta Bowl.
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As it stands, the Pac-12 is still looking into how to handle not only this weekend after the game was cancelled, but next week as well. With the game between the Ducks and Huskies being declared a no contest, Washington has won the Pac-12 North crown for 2020 simply by having a better record at 3-1 than Oregon at 3-2. The Huskies also played all of their games at home this season. Since Oregon did not have an opportunity against the Huskies, Larry Scott has a decision to make.
Do you allow Washington to play for the Pac-12 Championship or do you defer to the second-place team since there was not a 1 vs 2 matchup in the Pac-12 North on the regular season that would have decided the division or do you improvise and do something else completely? The reason the game did not happen for this weekend is that Washington did not have enough eligible players due to COVID-19 protocols.
The Pac-12 Championship is set for next week and the quarantine rule in the state of Washington may see the Huskies in a worse spot than they are right now. The numbers at the practice facility for the Huskies had two days of being shut down, and likely a third today due to the pandemic. If Washington can’t play next week, the wise and right decision would be to defer to the Ducks for the Championship.
Now, another question. The game would typically be played in Santa Clara at Levi’s Stadium. However COVID-19 protocols there have already moved the San Francisco 49ers out of their home stadium for the foreseeable future. They played earlier this week in Arizona against the Buffalo Bills.
So to sum things up, are the Oregon Ducks even an option, who would they face, and where will the game be played?
Currently, there are two ‘undefeated’ teams in the Pac-12 South. Both USC and Colorado do not have a loss, however, COVID-19 protocols have cancelled some games for both teams. It is possible for the Pac-12 to snub the Ducks and pit the Trojans and Buffaloes against each other for a very slim chance at getting a spot in the College Football Playoff of both win their games this weekend.
Colorado faces Utah on Saturday at 9 am on FOX. USC goes up against UCLA and Chip Kelly later in the day at 4:30 pm Pacific Time on ABC.
Oregon does have one more game to make a good impression set for December 19th. Right now, we are still awaiting word on who they will face.
In a season that happened despite the pandemic. A season that could have been postponed to the spring which was an option at one point. A season that has seen teams work with each other to ensure games are played, in some cases on a Sunday, there has to be a resolution. Heck, they could even push things back a few weeks to ensure a spot for the Huskies.
We should have a resolution to part of this mess by the end of the upcoming weekend.
Despite the pandemic, Oregon Football gained some valuable experience in 2020. They are among the youngest teams in the country. The results of the Pac-12 North are not their fault, the asterisk next to Washington in the record books for 2020 should resonate for a while.
In the end, the decision may not be the right one, but I think Oregon fans will be able to take solace in the fact that they got to see this team play as we look forward to better things in 2021.