Utes will play one more Pac-12 game next week, but who against and where is still a mystery
Next week’s Pac-12 schedule remains up in the air. The Pac-12 championship game is set for Dec. 18, with the other schools scheduled to play Dec. 19, with matchups to be announced this weekend
Like the rest of the college football world, Utah has learned to be ready for anything in 2020.
Just since early November, the Utes have had two games canceled. Later, they had the Arizona State game switched from Saturday to Sunday before that contest was also canceled. Ultimately, Utah played at Washington that weekend.
Then on Wednesday, the Pac-12 announced that Utah’s game against Colorado, originally scheduled for Friday night, was moved back about 14 hours to Saturday morning (10 a.m. MST, Fox).
The Utes-Buffaloes game replaces the Ohio State-Michigan Big Noon kickoff slot and provides Utah, Colorado and the Pac-12 with increased exposure.
Meanwhile, next week’s Pac-12 schedule remains up in the air.
The Pac-12 championship game is set for Dec. 18, while the other schools are scheduled to play Dec. 19, with matchups to be announced this weekend.
So who, and where, will the Utes play?
“We will know who and where on Sunday,” Utah athletic director Mark Harlan wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
When asked about the issue Tuesday, coach Kyle Whittingham stressed that he is more concerned about this upcoming game against Colorado.
“According to our administration, we might know as early as Saturday night. At the latest hopefully Sunday because we’ve got to start getting ready for somebody,” he said. “But as coaches, we don’t pay any attention to that because we don’t care at this point. It’s all Colorado. We can’t look past that even if we knew who the opponent was. But once this game is over with, the sooner we know, the better, obviously. I suspect and hope that we’ll all know by no later than Sunday morning. We’ll see.”
Originally, the Pac-12 announced the final weekend would feature crossover games between teams from the Pac-12 South against teams from the Pac-12 North.
But lately, there has been speculation the league may allow intradivision matchups, like the Washington-Washington State rivalry game, which was canceled.
At this point, Utah has played more opponents from the North Division (Washington and Oregon State) than foes from the South Division (USC).
Whittingham said he didn’t have any indication that Utah would host a game that weekend.
“No indication whatsoever. I haven’t paid one bit of attention to it. I’m thankful that my AD hasn’t pestered me with it because I wouldn’t listen to him anyway right now,” he said. “We’ve got laser focus on the Buffaloes. Whatever happens next week, happens. We don’t really care if we’re home or away, where we play, who we play. Just tell us what situation is and we’ll react accordingly.”
“It’s been great to be able to get on the field. There was a period of time when we didn’t know if we were going to have a season. To be able to get games in and play and get reps for our new guys has been invaluable.” — Kyle Whittingham
Despite the fact it’s been far from ideal with all of the stops and starts in this shortened season, Whitttingham is grateful his team has had an opportunity to play.
“It’s been great to be able to get on the field. There was a period of time when we didn’t know if we were going to have a season,” he said. “To be able to get games in and play and get reps for our new guys has been invaluable.”
Whittingham hasn’t looked at this strange campaign as an exhibition season ahead of the 2021 campaign.
“I don’t know if we can look at it completely as a prep or prelude into next year because obviously it has value and you’re trying to get into the conference championship and a bowl game,” he said. “It is different. But to say it’s like spring ball with a scrimmage against another team every week to get ready for next year, that’s not the case. But it certainly is a different feel and a whole different environment and set of circumstances. It’s all uncharted territory.”