Pac-12 football returns, Colorado football still uncertain

colorado football

The football gods have answered our prayers because Colorado football is back, hopefully. On Sept. 24, the Pac-12 CEO group voted in favor of a 2020 fall football season, reversing its previous decision on Aug. 11 to postpone fall sports until January 2021. Week 1 games are planned to be scheduled for the week of Nov. 6.

All teams will play a seven-game regular season with a conference championship, currently scheduled for Dec. 18. If the Pac-12 follows its earlier revised 2020 schedule, the conference championship will be played on a campus site instead of at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Sadly, all games will be played without fans in attendance. All fall sports will follow the no-fans policy, which will be reviewed in January 2021.

The Pac-12 will be joining the rest of its Power 5 peers in playing a fall 2020 season. The end date of Dec. 18 will allow the conference champion to be considered for the College Football Playoff, whose rankings were scheduled to be released Dec. 20.

This news is incredible for all us Buff fans, but it also now places Colorado football in a state of confusion.

Earlier in the day on Thursday, Boulder County Public Health (BCHP) officials issued an order banning all gatherings for 18-to-22-year-old Boulder residents from Sep. 24 to Oct. 8 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in CU’s student body. Included in the new public health order was a stay-at-home order for 36 specific addresses, many of which were fraternity and sorority houses, throughout an area of Boulder known as “The Hill.”

CU athletic director Rick George said in a press release from the school they will continue to work with public health officials, and the football program will comply with the new public health order.

The order is essentially halting Colorado football from using its facilities for two weeks at the minimum. In previous weeks, CU had been practicing in helmets and shells on a limited basis.

On Sept. 3, the Pac-12 secured a deal with Quidel Corporation, a manufacturer of FDA-approved rapid tests that should allow that league to test student-athletes daily. This development was seen as a turning point for the conference, but it apparently will not help the Buffs get back on the field sooner.

BCHP executive director Jeff Zayach was asked by BuffZone if the daily, rapid test could allow CU student-athletes to be exempt from the order, to which he replied in a simple, “No,” via email. When asked about the possibility of Colorado football playing this fall, his response was less than enthusiastic.

“This will largely depend upon how well we as a community are able to stop the exponential growth of COVID-19 in our community,” Zayach said. “We are not yet able to stay if this will be possible.”

After the states of California and Oregon gave their blessings to practice and play football, it’s up to Colorado to see if all Pac-12 teams will compete this fall.

I personally like to think positively and do think it would be very difficult on CU if it was the lone Pac-12 school to not play, but the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment declared an outbreak at CU on Sept. 23. According to BCPH, there have been 1,392 “confirmed or probable positive cases of COVID-19” among CU students as of Sept. 22 since the semester started back on Aug. 24.

With all the COVID-19 hurdles that Colorado football will have to overcome, I’d like to say for sure that Ralphie and the rest of the Buffs will be stampeding onto the field on Saturdays, but it looks like it will be more wait and see for us Colorado football fans.

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