Pac-12 football fans may see their favorite teams play later this year, after all.
Amid rumors that the Big Ten could kick off on or around Oct. 17, ESPN's Heather Dinich reported on Monday that the Pac-12 will not start its conference season until "mid-to-late November" at the earliest.
Both the Big Ten and Pac-12 postponed football and other fall sports due to the coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 11. The Pac-12 added that sports would remain idle through at least the end of the year.
However, the Pac-12 announced on Sept. 3 that it had partnered with Quidel Corp. for daily coronavirus testing that provides rapid results. It's believed student-athletes, coaches and other personnel needed to kick off a football season would be covered under the conference's testing program.
The Big 12 is utilizing similar testing.
As Dinich noted, programs in Oregon and California are not cleared to resume contact practices due to state health and safety guidelines. The conference could request teams practice up to six weeks before they're permitted to play games.
It's unknown if Pac-12 teams would be eligible for the College Football Playoff if the conference begins play before December. The NCAA likely would have to alter its schedule that includes the championship game occurring on Jan. 11 to include Pac-12 schools in a playoff bracket.