Colorado football: Pac-12 reveals game cancellation and tiebreaker policies

With every announcement from the Pac-12, we get one step closer to Colorado football. Its most recent announcement on Oct. 19 revealed the updated game cancellation and tie-breaker policies for the 2020 season.

The 2020 Pac-12 football season is scheduled to start on Saturday, Nov. 7 and will feature a seven-game conference-only schedule. A Pac-12 Championship game will take place between the winners of the North and South divisions the weekend of Dec. 18-19, along with a full slate of games for all other teams.

Game Cancellation

A minimum of at least 53 scholarship players will be required to be available to participate in order to play a football game, including seven offensive linemen, one quarterback, and four defensive linemen that will each be required for both teams. Each team must provide a complete roster by position to the conference office prior to the start of the season. Each team will also have the option to play a game with fewer than the required 53 scholarship players or the minimum number of position players listed above if it elects to do so, otherwise, the game would be rescheduled or canceled altogether.

Additionally, a game will be considered for cancellation or a reschedule in the event of the following COVID-19 related impacts:

  • Inability to isolate new positive cases within a team or athletic department or to quarantine high-risk contacts.
  • Unavailability or inability to perform testing as provided by the Pac-12 medical guidelines.
  • Campus-wide or local community transmission rates that are considered unsafe by local public health officials.
  • Inability to perform adequate contact tracing consistent with governmental requirements.
  • Local public health officials of the home team state that there is an inability for the hospital infrastructure to accommodate a surge.


In order for a team to be considered in a divisional tiebreak scenario, the team must at most play one fewer conference game than the average number of conference games played by all conference teams, which will be rounded up and down at .50. For example, if the average number of conference games played in the 2020 season is 5.35, a value of five when rounded down, Colorado would be eligible to win the South if they played four conference games.

The winner of each division will be determined by the best winning percentage within the conference, or by head-to-head results in the event of an unbalanced schedule.

The following procedures will determine the Pac-12 Championship game representatives:

  • Head-to-head results
  • Record in games played within the division
  • Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in all games played within the Conference), proceeding through the division
  • Record in common Conference games
  • Team with the highest College Football Playoff (CFP) ranking
  • Cumulative winning percentage of each tied team’s Conference opponents
  • Highest ranking by SportSource Analytics (Team Rating Score metric) following the last weekend of regular-season games
  • Coin toss

The same procedure will be applied in the event of a multiple team tie, to which the two team tie procedure would then follow to finally break the tie-breaker.

The home team in the Pac-12 Championship game shall be determined by the overall record in all conference games. In the event of a tie, the following procedures will be applied to determine who shall host:

  • Head-to-head competition, if applicable
  • Record against the next highest-placed common opponent in the Conference (based on recording all games played within the Conference) proceeding through the Conference
  • Record in common Conference games
  • Team with the highest College Football Playoff (CFP) ranking
  • Highest ranking by SportSource Analytics following the last weekend of regular-season games
  • Coin toss

Colorado football will begin the season at home against the UCLA Bruins on Nov. 7.

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