The Oregon Ducks may not have reached the Pac-12 Championship Game the way that they wanted to — but nevertheless, they’ll be playing for the crown on Friday night against the USC Trojans.
The Washington Huskies, after meeting with the Conference, will not have the requisite number of 53 scholarship student-athletes available for the meeting against USC as originally scheduled, and per a statement from the conference, the Ducks have replaced them as USC’s opponent.
The Pac-12 has, after consultation with Washington, made the decision to replace Washington with Oregon as the Pac-12 North Division team to face South Division champion USC in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game scheduled for Friday, December 18.
This decision was made under the Pac-12’s football game cancellation policy and Football Championship Game policy due to Washington neither having the minimum 53 scholarship student-athletes available for the game nor the minimum number of scholarship student-athletes at a position group, in each case as a result of a number of positive football student-athlete COVID-19 cases and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols.
Under Pac-12 Football Championship Game policy, the team with the next best record in the North Division, Oregon, will represent the North Division against South Division Champion USC.
What this does to Oregon’s originally-scheduled opponent in Colorado is yet to be determined but it was already their contingency plan as the Oregon vs Colorado game was scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on Saturday anyway. Colorado serves as the potential replacement opponent for USC if the Trojans are unable to field enough scholarship student-athletes.
The Ducks are currently tied with Stanford for most Pac-12 Championship Game victories as the Pac-12 North has historically dominated the Championship Game since it’s inception.
USC is the lone school from the South with a victory in the Pac-12 Championship Game and they’re making their third appearance in the title contest.
The game is scheduled to kickoff as scheduled at 5:00 pm on Friday.