PAC-12 football set to kickoff in November
Kierrla Yates, Staff Writer
NCAA Division I college football has started its season across the nation. Pacific-12 Conference (PAC-12) Football will begin its 2020 season in just a few days. On Oct. 3rd, PAC-12 released their schedule for 2020 which shared that the season will begin on Nov. 7th and end the weekend of Dec. 18th.
Each team will be playing only seven games, all of which will be against other teams in the PAC-12 conference. PAC-12 has explained that each team will play five divisional games, one non-divisional game, and one final game in week seven. There will be a PAC-12 Football Championship Game in week seven following the rest of the teams playing their final games that last weekend.
According to the PAC-12 official website all north division rivalry games will take place in week four and all south division rivalry games will take place in week six. The crossover (non-divisional) games are Arizona at Washington, Cal at Arizona State, Colorado at Stanford, Oregon State at Utah, UCLA at Oregon, and Washington State at USC. PAC-12 coordinators worked hard to create a schedule that made an even balance of home and away games for each of the teams and will be following the PAC-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee to keep the athletes safe and healthy.
Let us turn attention towards the starting line-up of games for week one. The 2020 Season will be kicked off with ASU v. USC, Arizona v. Utah, UCLA v. Colorado, Stanford v. Oregon, WSU v. Oregon State and Washington v. Cali. Last Season, Oregon and Utah finished their seasons in the top rank for their divisions followed by Cali., USC, Washington, and Arizona State. Oregon finished with the best overall of 12-2 while Utah finished the season at 11-3.
Athlon Sports ranks Oregon, California, and Washington to take the top three positions in the North Division, while predicting USC, Arizona State, and Utah to take top three in the South Division. Last year, Oregon succeeded under their unstoppable offense, however this year, Athlon sports claims their newfound defense will carry them to the top. This year Oregon has replaced four starters on their offensive line-up as well as replacing their quarterback Justin Herbert, who is now the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers. It could take time to develop their new offensive to their previous high-powered level, therefore while the offense is catching up to speed, the defense will have to pick up the slack.
For the last two years, Utah has taken the title of the Southern Division champion, but Athlon is placing USC in that position for 2020. This year, Utah has a challenging schedule, and it will be much more challenging to pull the lead if their defense continues to underplay this year. USC this year, can see themselves taking the number one spot with their development of their quarterback Kedon Slovis and the nation’s top receiving team. California, according to Athlon, only has a small advantage over Washington this year. California has eight returning starters for defense. However, Washington’s and Oregon’s powerful offenses could take the win. Arizona State can prove to be an additional threat towards Utah and USC with the talented quarterback Jayden Daniels leading his team. It’s difficult to say exactly how teams will play because of everything that has happened this year, but one thing is for certain, the players are glad to be back.