Despite the pandemic, the Pac-12 has made a decision on the Pac-12 Football Championship and it involves the best in the Pac-12 North vs the best in the Pac-12 South.
It was late on Saturday night when news came that Oregon would be left out of the Pac-12 Championship despite not having the opportunity to play for the way in due to the coronavirus pandemic and Washington cancelling the game late last week. Regardless of feelings from fans, a decision had to be made.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott laid it out simply, “In a football season that has thrown unprecedented challenges and adversity at our football teams and student-athletes, USC and Washington have performed at the highest levels and earned their places in the 2020 Pac-12 Football Championship Game as the Pac-12 South and North Champions.”
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While he is correct, it still feels wrong. No delay, no chance to put Oregon vs Washington this week. No option other than on paper to know what might have been for the Ducks and Huskies in 2020. Oh well.
I do realize that Oregon really has no seat at the table when it comes to the Pac-12 Championship this year. They did lose two games, but they had a chance to right the ship with a win over Washington. Saturday did not go as planned for Colorado either.
The Buffaloes were beaten at home by Utah on a frosty field in Boulder. Colorado fell 38-21 in part from Utah Wide Receiver Brenden Rice who had a punt return for a touchdown as well as a catch off a bubble screen for a 61-yard score. USC finished off UCLA in a game that saw the Bruins have a double-digit lead. The Trojans came storming back in the second half to take the win and the Pac-12 South.
Oregon Football may still has a chance to make the Pac-12 Title Game on Friday. There will be some schedule shuffling to make it happen, if necessary. If the Washington Huskies are unable to play, again due to not having the minimum 53 players available due to the pandemic, then the Oregon Ducks would have the opportunity to play for the title. If for the same reason, USC was unable to play, then Colorado would be given the chance as well according to the Oregonian.
It was announced early Sunday that Oregon will face Colorado in a ‘third place’ game on Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum at 6 pm Pacific time. If either USC or Washington is not able to go, it will be easier to swap if all four teams are playing in the same place.
USC and Washington will meet Friday at Los Angeles Coliseum at 5 pm Pacific Time on FOX for the 2020 Pac-12 Championship.