Oregon Football

Your Move Pac-12

September 16, 2020

As expected, the Big-10 just left Oregon alone on the island. And honestly, in this case, it takes more than two to tango.

The rest of college football (the power 5) have moved on with a season of some kind. The Big-10 and Pac-12 decided to jump in together to ‘be first’ announcing a postponed college season. The SEC, ACC and Big-12 thumbed their nose at the idea and moved forward. 

Let’s call a spade a spade here, the Pac-12, my favorite conference in college football, is in trouble. Revenues are down. National respect is down. The conference’s image is WAY down. 

And it’s unfortunate that something as controversial as playing during the Pandemic is a deal-breaker, but here we are. 

Yesterday mid-morning I wrote about the Pac-12 being forced to make a decision. We knew the Big-10 jumped ship and had a plan in place to play. (Official announcement pending) I’m fairly confident it didn’t take all that much effort really. Big-10 opens up dialogue with coaches, AD’s and university presidents, everyone holds a quick vote, a plan is put in place. I mean Ryan Day’s tweet was on Sept. 10 and here we are Sept. 16 with an official announcement of a proposed season. 

If you struggle with math, that’s 6 days, less than one full week. And really we knew this was coming three days ago.

Let me preface what I’m about to say with this: the only way it can be salvaged for the Pac-12 is if they are competing with the other four conferences for a CFB championship. It doesn’t matter if it’s got an asterisk in the record books. If you aren’t competing with them, then what’s the point?

With that in mind, here are my immediate steps for Limo Larry to get this trainwreck off the tracks.

1. Take an immediate vote from university representatives on playing this season. When I say immediate, I mean like today, in the next hour. Before Noon.

2. While you are working on step 1, place calls/emails to Oregon and California governors (Kate Brown and Gavin Newsom) urging them to consider allowing CFB to return in their states. (Keep the political talk out of this please)

3. After you’ve delegated steps 1 and 2, adopt a schedule and an outline to return and what the season would look like. Conference only, 8 games. At this point, you might have to just skip a conference championship game. It could be worse. 

4. Set a start date for October 31. That is 6 weeks from this Saturday. In my opinion, you can not start any later than that and expect to be included with the other conferences. I understand this is aggressive, but drastic times. (Drastic measures) (In case you didn’t know how it went)

5. Vote should be done by now, announce a return to football, today. (Tomorrow at the latest) Announce you will start the season Oct. 31. (Make it look like you actually had a plan for this even though you didn’t.)

6. Circle back on the governors you asked for permission and apologize for announcing a season start date. (Easier to ask forgiveness than permission) Get them signed off. Have them announce it as well. (So they look good too) Back to planning.

7. The SEC, ACC and Big-12 end their seasons Dec. 5. They all have at least circled Dec. 19 as conference championship weekend. So you need to finalize your schedule and be in line with that. The B1G did an 8+1 model. Play 8 games, last week is based on seeding. 1 plays 1, 2 plays 2 from each division. 

If it’s me, here’s what I do. Start Oct. 31, play 8 games. No conference championship. That puts you at Dec. 19 with the rest of the conferences. You could likely extend it one week to Dec. 26 and still get in, but you really start messing with Christmas, etc. and it could get exponentially more difficult. Which is the last thing you need right now. Single division, off you go.

8. Get everyone back to campus and tested ASAP. The ‘rapid testing’ the Pac-12 recently announced as a game-changer helps. But at this point it should not be what keeps the Pac-12 from moving forward. Even when Oregon was having voluntary workouts and weekly testing this Summer, the results were back in 24-36 hours. Which means you can resume football workouts (with Governor’s permission) while those rapid testing machines and tests arrive by the end of the month. 

That’s it. That’s the plan. A plan I spent about 20 minutes coming up with on my couch in my living room. I trust the Pac-12 has far better minds than my own at work. I trust they too can come up with a solution that safely brings football back to the Pac-12 footprint. 

However, none of that matters, including the game-changing rapid testing, unless a plan of any kind is put into motion TODAY.

Larry Scott, you’re officially on the clock.

Tags: Football, Oregon
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