15 Possible Games If There's No Pac-12 Season, Or If California Schools Don't Reopen

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15 Possible Games If There's No Pac-12 Season, Or If California Schools Don't Reopen

Pac-12

15 Possible Games If There's No Pac-12 Season, Or If California Schools Don't Reopen

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What might happen if the Pac-12 doesn’t play non-conference games – or doesn’t play football at all – and if the California schools don’t reopen this fall? Here are 15 ideas for college football matchups to fill the void.


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With the announcement by the California State University system that there likely won’t be in-person classes in the fall, and with the University of California system likely to do the same, what happens if the various schools decide the cancel all athletics and not have a college football season?

Or, what happens if the Pac-12 figures out a way for all the members to play, but decides to go with an 11-game conference-only schedule? What happens to all the big games against the big teams on the various slates?

All of a sudden, several athletic departments across the country will be scrambling to fill the holes – some are supposedly looking into filling out their schedules right now.

We already tried to come up with the idea of how the Pac-12 season might look if it played an 11-game schedule with only conference teams, but what happens to the schools on the non-conference schedule?

Let’s play the role of part athletic director and part matchmaker and come up with the best possible games if there’s no Pac-12 college football non-conference season and/or if all California schools choose not to have athletics if they conduct all of their classes on-line.

Let’s also start with a few massive assumptions.

1. The idea that there won’t be football if students aren’t back on campus holds. If everyone really tried to work the problem, it might be possible to test players, quarantine them in an athletic facility for a few months, have them take online courses like everyone else, and then play in a limited way. However, that all seems unlikely.

2. Other schools across the country are actually going to have students on campus and will play college football. That’s a massive leap – it’s not just going to be the California schools that put the kibosh on in-person classes in the fall. But let’s assume – for now – that it’s all-systems-go for everyone else.

3. This assumes that there either won’t be a Pac-12 football season, or there will be one with no non-conference games. All 15 of the potential matchups listed below take out the Pac-12 teams and also assumes the absence of Fresno State, San Diego State, and San Jose State. Those last three are Mountain West schools in the California State University System. UCLA and Cal are in the University of California system.

Got all of that?

Basically, here are 15 potential ideas for college football matchups if the Pac-12 and three California Mountain West schools end up not playing college football for the 2020 season.

Obviously not all of these can happen considering Alabama, for example, only has to potentially fill just one game on September 5th. These are possibilities to play around with.


Ohio State 2020 Preview in 60 seconds


15. Ohio State vs. Toledo (in Cleveland), Sept. 12

Current Scheduled Games
Ohio State at Washington, Sept. 12
San Diego State at Toledo, Sept. 12

Here’s the problem – the Pac-12ers don’t currently have any interesting non-conference games on September 12th other than the Ohio State date at Oregon. Houston would be available – no game against Washington State – and UNLV and Hawaii would be in play, but … nah. Toledo is supposed to host San Diego State. The Rockets and Buckeyes can meet in Cleveland for a nice money grab for both sides.

14. North Dakota State at TCU, Sept. 5

Current Scheduled Games
North Dakota State at Oregon, Sept. 5
TCU at Cal, Sept. 5

The main problem here – and the the NCAA might have to chill a bit if this matters when it comes to bowl eligibility – is that TCU will start the season with two games against FCS schools. It would kick things off against the Bison, and then play Prairie View A&M.

13. Hawaii at Notre Dame, Nov. 28

Current Scheduled Games
Hawaii at San Diego State, Nov. 28
Notre Dame at USC, Nov. 28

This is a no-brainer. Notre Dame avoids a road game – which might matter in a big way; more on that later on this list – and Hawaii has to fly a little further. The two last played in the 2008 Hawaii Bowl – a 49-21 Irish win – and it would be the fourth meeting all-time between the two. Notre Dame is 3-0.

12. BYU at Texas Tech, Sept. 19

Current Scheduled Games
BYU at Arizona State, Sept. 19
Arizona at Texas Tech, Sept. 19

This is easy. BYU’s plane would fly just a wee bit further east to Lubbock instead of Tempe. Texas Tech would happily take this deal with the Big 12 season kicking off the following week against Iowa State on the road. This would be the second all-time meeting between the two – BYU can finally get a shot at revenge for the 21-20 loss back in 1940.

11. BYU at Penn State, Sept. 19

Current Scheduled Games
BYU at Arizona State, Sept. 19
San Jose State at Penn State, Sept. 19

It would be the fourth meeting between the two schools – the last one a 30-17 BYU win in 1992 – and it might be the most likely of the September 19 options for Penn State. BYU was supposed to play a road game anyway, and the Nittany Lions aren’t going to be too keen to go on the road to play anyone. There would be a fight for the other possible Penn State matchups, like …

10. Texas Tech at Penn State, Sept. 19

Current Scheduled Games
Arizona at Texas Tech, Sept. 19
San Jose State at Penn State, Sept. 19

Neither team will want to give up a home game and later concessions would have to be made to the school that travels. Penn State will be coming off a trip to Virginia Tech and kicks off the Big Ten season the following week against Northwestern – no chance it’ll want to move for Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders play Alabama State the week before, but have to travel to Iowa State to start the Big 12 season the following week.

It would be the second meeting between the two – Penn State won 24-23 to kickoff the 1995 season.

9. BYU at Texas A&M, Sept. 19

Current Scheduled Games
BYU at Arizona State, Sept. 19
Colorado at Texas A&M, Sept. 19

BYU is going to be the most coveted team on this September 19th date because it’s simply swapping a road game for another road game. Texas A&M isn’t going to want to travel, and this makes it easy.

The two teams are 2-2 against each other with the last meeting a 41-37 Cougar win in the Pigskin Classic to start the 1996 season.

8. Texas Tech at Texas A&M, Sept. 19

Current Scheduled Games
Arizona at Texas Tech, Sept. 19
Colorado at Texas A&M, Sept. 19

The politics of getting this game going would be next to impossible, but the matchup would be a whole lot of fun.

The two former Big 12/Southwest Conference rivals first started playing in 1927 and last faced off in 2011 – a 45-40 Texas A&M win.

In a perfect world, these two meet in the middle and play in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, but 1) Texas A&M plays Arkansas there the following week and 2) no chance A&M travels to Lubbock with three of its following four games away from College Station, and 3) Texas Tech probably wouldn’t want to concede a home game to A&M.

7. North Dakota State at Michigan, Sept. 5

Current Scheduled Games
North Dakota State at Oregon, Sept. 5
Michigan at Washington, Sept. 5

Realistically, this is the most likely of all the North Dakota State possibilities on September 5th. Michigan not only doesn’t have any other games against FCS teams on the schedule, but it gets to exchange a road game at Washington for a home one.

Of course, against the defending FCS national champion Bison, be careful what you wish for.

6. TCU at Michigan, Sept. 5

Current Scheduled Games
TCU at Cal, Sept. 5
Michigan at Washington, Sept. 5

Which school would be cool with staying with a road game? It would be the first ever meeting between the two schools, and Michigan wouldn’t have any real beef traveling to Fort Worth considering it plays Ball State the following week. TCU has Prairie View A&M to follow, and then a week off – it would probably be the one to travel.

NEXT: Top 5 Schedule Possibilities If Pac-12 Teams Don’t Play Non-Conference Games

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