Pac-12 Announces Return Date
The Pac-12 announced today that it will allow athletes to return to campus for voluntary workouts beginning on July 15. Each university must decide for itself what an appropriate date is to bring its athletes back, but a huge hurdle has been cleared for those concerned the Pac-12 may not play football on time this season. This announcement comes less than a week after the SEC announced it would allow its athletes back on campus beginning June 8.
The Pac-12 has three significant out-of-conference matchups in the first week of the season, Southern Cal is scheduled to play Alabama, Cal Berkely is scheduled against TCU and Oregon State will take on Oklahoma State.
The SEC will be allowed to start June 8, a week prior to the Pac-12's decision about its athletes. This spells good news for the Crimson Tide's matchup with the Trojans in Arlington, Texas on September 5.
There was prior speculation that Alabama would pivot and attempt to play TCU if the Pac-12 was unable to play football on time. The conference decision to allow athletes back on campuses allows enough time for the Pac-12 to prepare for games as originally scheduled.
Both Alabama and Southern Cal's athletic director have remained on message stating that their intended plan is to play the contest as originally scheduled.
The matchup will be the second time the two universities have met to kick off a season in five years. The 2016 opener saw the Crimson Tide win 52-6 and began the reign of freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts was 6/11 for 118 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, he also rushed nine times for 32 yards and two touchdowns.