Athlon's expert panel debates the Pac-12 game they will miss the most in 2020
The Pac-12's 2020 college football season for the fall has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the conference may pursue a spring season, the rosters could look different and alter how we view some teams and games. The Pac-12 had several intriguing matchups slated in non-conference play, including Ohio State-Oregon, Michigan at Washington and USC vs. Alabama in Arlington, Texas. In conference action, Washington-Oregon, USC-Oregon, Arizona State-USC and USC-Utah were all top matchups for the 2020 slate.
With the Pac-12 announcement of a canceled season, our experts at Athlon Sports discuss which game they will miss watching the most this fall:
Pac-12 Football: Which Game Will You Miss the Most This Fall 2020
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
The Ohio State-Oregon non-conference showdown had massive playoff implications and was easily one of the best games of the year. But since the non-conference portion of the schedule was chopped a while back, let's stick to conference games and pick USC at Oregon. The matchup that was slated for Nov. 7 in Autzen Stadium was likely an early preview of the Pac-12 Championship Game. The Ducks boasted one of the top defenses in college football, including a standout secondary and edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. With quarterback Kedon Slovis and one of the nation's top receiving corps in place, USC's offense against Oregon's defense was a must-see battle in the Pac-12. Additionally, once the conference moved to only league matchups for 2020, this game might've decided which team had homefield advantage in the Pac-12 title game.
Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)
Ohio State coming to Autzen Stadium would have been awesome, but I'm also bummed we won't see the Oregon host USC either. A potential Pac-12 Championship Game preview, this game would have highlighted the classic head-to-head battle of the Trojans' offense led by sophomore quarterback Kedon Slovis and their deep, talented wide receiver corps against the Ducks' athletic and experienced defense headlined by game-wrecking defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux. This is the type of game that could have done wonders for the Pac-12's national reputation.
Ben Weinrib (@benweinrib)
Give me Arizona State at USC, which would have pit the conference's two best quarterbacks, Kedon Slovis and Jayden Daniels, who are both true sophomores. This game likely would have determined the Pac-12 South, although the Trojans' matchup at Utah the following Friday would've been worth monitoring as well. Clay Helton would have needed a big season to keep his job, and this would have been just the game to prove it. Or was Herm Edwards ready to establish himself as a premier Pac-12 coach?
Eric Sorenson (@Stitch_Head)
Ohio State at Oregon is the easy choice, and I’m sure most everyone else will have this same answer. But can you imagine how electric Autzen Stadium would have been? It’s also one of those Saturdays that would've started really early in the morning for diehards with ESPN’s Gameday being on campus. And then the game being played in the cool mist of the Northwest, among one of the loudest venues in college football. It was going to be a big test to see if the Ducks were a playoff-ready team in 2020, seeing as they actually might’ve had a contending-worthy defense that was full of seniors. Can you imagine watching Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields try to maneuver out of the grips of Ducks defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux? This one was going to be special.