Last Thursday the Pac-12 Presidents unanimously voted for a seven-game conference football schedule beginning November 6th and conclude with a Conference Championship game on December 18th. That is the good news for players, coaches, and fans. Although fans will not be allowed to attend the games at the present moment. The hope is fans will be allowed to attend games sooner than later. Hope is good but not certain in these unprecedented times. So how do teams go from post quarantine to Saturday game Day?
EQUAL COMPETITION MEANS EVERYONE STARTS AT THE SAME TIME
The Pac-12 Presidents concurred with the NCAA’s Oversight Committee recommendation for each conference to have a six-week ramp-up period. Sounds good on paper but not realistic. The Conference announced the postponement of all athletic activities on August 11th. Since then some teams have had limited interactions while other teams none at all. Thursday’s announcement allows for a 20 hour built up of athletic activities. Again, great on paper not realistic. State officials get to make the last decision regarding athletic activities.
FOR HUSKIES TESTING THEN COMPETITION
The Huskies football team according to head coach Jimmy Lake during his weekly radio show on 950KJR will begin practicing this Tuesday. Before that can happen all players will undergo Covid-19 testing using the Quidel Corp rapid testing protocols. The Conference and Quidel entered into a partnership on September 3rd
PLAYERS HAVE TO PROVE THEMSELVES
During the radio Show, Lake stressed that his players have been preparing to play and now have the opportunity to prove themselves. The loss of outside linebacker Joe Tryon and defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike to the NFL creates that opportunity. The other gaping hole from last season is at quarterback.
WHO WILL BE BEHIND CENTER
Once they are cleared to practice four players will be vying for the starting quarterback position. Redshirt freshman Dylan Morris, redshirt sophomore Jacob Sirmon, true freshman Ethan Garbers, and graduate student Kevin Thomson. With just six weeks of prep time and a new Offensive Coordinator, John Donovan time is of the essence.
“Those guys need to get out here and get some practice, which we’ve done. But now we need to get the pajamas off, get some pads on, get a helmet on. They need some blitzers coming at them. They need to be able to read the coverages and dink and dunk out of the way and fire the ball, and that’s what we’re excited to see in the next five-and-a-half to six weeks — who’s going to develop and who’s going to be leading the University of Washington out of that tunnel for the first game.”