by Zach Reger | This is not a drill! The Utah Utes will be playing football this fall. The PAC-12 just announced that they are reversing their original ban on athletics which was until January 2021. This has been a bumpy ride for Utah Utes fans, but it seems like there is finally a light at the end of tunnel. It has been a hard couple weeks watching college football without the Utes, but that is coming to an end.
It seemed like things were moving in the right direction as the Big 10 just announced they will play football a week ago and with the SEC starting this weekend. The PAC-12 was the only Power 5 Conference that was not going to play until now. This new season is a result of the conference’s partnership with Quidel to ensure campuses can test for COVID-19 both effectively and quickly. So what will the 2020 season look like for Utah and the rest of the Pac-12?
It will be a seven-game season that will begin November 6. Five of those games will be against their PAC-12 division rivals. The Utes will play Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, and USC. If allowed, Utah will also play Colorado. It is worth noting that the County of Boulder, Colorado issued a ban on gatherings among university students. Colorado is continuing to work with public health officials, so that they will be able to play in early November.
The sixth game of the PAC-12 season will be against a team in the other division of the conference. It will be interesting to see who Utah will draw for this game. Will it be a team like Oregon, who beat Utah in the PAC-12 Championship a season ago? or will it be a team like Oregon State, who the Utes have beaten in their last 4 meetings? That PAC-12 North matchup will play a big factor in Utah’s 2020 season.
The seventh game will be the PAC-12 Championship. The top team from each division will face off for the PAC-12 title on December 18. The other 10 teams that do not make the championship game will still a play a seventh game. They will be matched up against a team from the opposite division. More than likely, they will play a team that they did not play earlier in the season but depending on the two teams that make the championship, they might have to play the same team twice. The full schedule will be released soon, according to the PAC-12.
As of now, no PAC-12 team will be eligible for the College Football Playoff due to the limited number of games played. That is not official yet, but it seems like they will not be eligible even if a team goes 7-0 in 2020. Also, no fans will be allowed at any PAC-12 game this season. Those are both negatives for the Utes and the PAC-12, but it is exciting that the Utes will be playing football this season.
To hear more about the new PAC-12 season and to hear about how the Utah Utes will match up against their 2020 opponents, listen to the #SwoopSaturday episodes on The Hive Sports podcasts. They are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Featured image via The Daily Utah Chronicle.