Calm down, Pac-12 fans. Just because the Big Ten has decided to get its football season started doesn’t mean we’ll be following suit here on the West Coast. How could we? With wildfires taking place up and down the Pacific coast, how on Earth could we even begin to think about fall sports coming back so soon.
Take the two conferences and place them side by side for comparison and the only similarity you’ll see is that both (as are all conferences, obviously) are having to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. But that’s where the similarities end. And that’s why a decision for one conference is in no way as easy to make in the other.
The states of California and Oregon each have their own government hoops to jump through just to be able to practice, in addition to any guidelines put in place by the Pac-12 or individual university. As if dealing with organizational guidelines wasn’t hard enough, half of the conference members must get permission from state officials. If you’re familiar with any sort of government process, you know this will present its own challenges and likely eat up a considerable amount of time.
But, let’s be completely honest with ourselves. The West Coast is burning at an alarming rate. The air quality in our region is ranking among the worst (if not THE worst) in the world. THE WORLD. Professional baseball games were postponed today due to the unhealthy air quality. Unlike the Big Ten members, the Pac-12 just isn’t in any position to start their sports again. It’s unfair to compare the two and demand the Pac-12 start football, just because the other conference voted in favor.
The risk is too great and the reward too small for the Pac-12 to push for a season to start sooner than recently decided. And, if a spring season isn’t possible, we must simply do without until next fall. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s the right prescription in this case.