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Now the work is on for the West Coast to try and bring the Pac-12 back to the bash.
But it’s not with the same fervour and passion that convinced the Big Ten to overturn its original decision.
The Big Ten saw its players, their parents and the coaches kick up a lot of fuss over the conference’s opt-out last month. Letters and rallies and protests put a ton of pressure on the powers-that-be to follow suit with the three Power Five conferences — the ACC, the SEC and the Big 12 — which all forged ahead with a delayed schedule despite the health scares surrounding the schools.
The Pac-12 authorities, however, aren’t feeling the same heat, with politicians in both Oregon and California having put up hurdles in their hope to get back on the field.
Or at least, that was the appearance even as late as Wednesday when Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said, “Our universities in California and Oregon do not have approval from the state or local public health officials to start contact practice.”
But that was met by politicians responding that they will not stand in the way of the conference returning to action, even if health protocols in those states prohibit programs from practising in cohorts larger than 12 (although that clearly hasn’t been the case for California’s three NFL teams, which are a full-go).
So, suddenly, there’s momentum for a Pac-12 return.
Why so late in the game?
It’s because people don’t eat, breath and sleep football on the West Coast like they do in Texas or Tulsa or Tuscaloosa, Ala.