The Pac-12 has begun to discuss return-to-play plans, with the “most aggressive” of the plans entailing a November return. Could the Bruins actually return to the field in 2020?
For the past month, Pac-12 football fans have come to the reality that there will be no football in 2020.
However, as conferences such as the SEC, ACC, and Big-12 are beginning to return to the field with little problems early on, the Pac-12 has begun to craft plans to return to the field before 2021.
ESPN reported that the Pac-12’s “most aggressive” plan is to return to playing football by mid-to-late November. That would meant that teams would return to organized practices by October, with a likely shortened conference play season coming about six weeks later.
Rumors of the Pac-12 looking into returning to play picked up speed when it was announced that the conference would invest in rapid-response COVID-19 tests, a “game changer”, as quoted by commissioner Larry Scott.
Is a return to the field actually realistic? In all honesty, no.
The Big 10 has been the most proactive of the conferences that have cancelled fall seasons in attempting to return, but little traction has been made, and the conference has fallen under heavy scrunity for their failed attempts.
While the Pac-12 has taken more of a research-first approach, a lot needs to happen before the teams return to the field.
Even after a real plan is formulated, all twelve teams must vote to return, which could be the real problem.
Teams like UCLA experienced several problems during the summer, and with many Pac-12 schools, such as the Bruins and USC, not returning to campus at all for the fall semester, playing football is a really tough sell.
Unless all twelve teams and their athletic directors show a real desire to play, a return to playing football, at least this fall, is incredibly unrealistic.