Source: Pac-12, Big Ten cancel fall football seasons, will attempt to play in spring

The Pac-12 has canceled the fall football season, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports. The league is scheduled to make the announcement formal on Tuesday afternoon, continuing a day of seismic news in the sport.

The decision comes soon after the Big Ten announced that it was canceling its fall football season in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both leagues plan to attempt to play in the spring.

The Pac-12 decision was universally expected. The league has multiple teams that would have difficulty starting practice this week because of local government restrictions. The virus has been especially impactful in California and Arizona, which houses six of the 12 schools.

Of all the major conferences, the Pac-12 was viewed as the most likely to cancel the fall. The league was building sentiment toward this decision last week, but remained wary of being the first league to head in this direction. The Big Ten decision just a few hours earlier gave them the company they needed to head to the sidelines.

The Pac-12 decision marks the fourth FBS football conference to cancel college football this fall. Overall, 53 of the 130 programs in college football have cancelled their seasons.

The Pac-12 decision shifts the intrigue to the Big 12, which has a call tonight. The Big 12 is being viewed in college circles like Ohio or Florida in an election, as it has the power to dictate the future of the sport. 

A high ranking Big 12 official told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday afternoon that feeling remains that the league will attempt to play. “There’s an increasing sentiment that we’ll play,” the official said.

The decisions by the Big Ten and the Pac-12 also put an onus on the ACC and SEC, which have stated clearly this week that they’d like to attempt to navigate to the start of their seasons. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey pointed out on Twitter on Monday that the SEC “has been deliberate” since March in making decisions about the virus.

The ACC appears to be viewing things the same way. An ACC source told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday afternoon before the flurry of news: “We’re further away from pulling out now than we were a few days ago,” the source said. “I think we’re more steady in the boat in sticking with our plan. Given the conditions of COVID, we know that can change quickly.”

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