- A prop wager covering which Power Five FBS football conference will be the first to cancel the Fall season has the PAC-12 as +150 favorites to do so
- Are they the best bet? Do the Big 12 (+250), ACC (+300), Big Ten (+400) or SEC (+500) offer better value?
- See our pick for which conference will choose health over revenue within the story below
The commissioner of the PAC-12 insists that he remains cautiously optimistic that there will be a college football season in 2020.
In an interview with the San Jose Mercury-News, Larry Scott was also admitting that the spike in COVID-19 cases across the USA in areas where the economy has seen significant reopening may affect a change in people’s outlook on whether there will be a college football season this fall.
There seems to be a similar debate ongoing with the sportsbooks. A current prop on offer is asking which of the Power Five football conferences will be the first to shut down their season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PAC-12 is listed as the +150 favorite in this wager, and perhaps there’s merit to that argument.
Odds on First FBS Conference to Cancel Fall Football
Odds taken July 9th
The Big 12 (+200) is the second betting choice in this prop, followed by the ACC (+300).
Tell someone in California that there isn’t going to college football this fall and they’ll probably shrug and go surfing. Share the same message with an Oregonian and they’ll just pack some trail mix and go for a hike.
On the other hand, you go ahead and try to tell folks in Texas, Alabama or Michigan that college football is going on hiatus and . . . well, we saw how they stormed state legislatures with their rage and automatic weapons when they couldn’t get a haircut.
Cut That Ivy
The Ivy League set the tone this week. They announced that all fall sports were being canceled. There won’t be any sports played at Ivy League schools before 2021.
“With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk, consistent with the policies that each of our schools is adopting as part of its reopening plans this fall,” the Ivy League Council said in a statement.
Ivy League was ahead of the game when it canceled it’s basketball tournaments.
Now the league won’t have any sports until at least Jan. 1.
Maybe other leagues should pay attention. They are pretty smart over there.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) July 8, 2020
When COVID-19 initially landed in the USA last March, the Ivy League was also ahead of the curve. They were the first conference to opt to shut down their men’s basketball conference championship tournament.
ACC Lighting Up
North Carolina is the latest ACC school to see COVID-19 infect their football preparations. After testing 429 members of the school’s athletic department, including coaches and players, 37 tests came back positive.
The Tar Heels paused voluntary player-run football workouts for at least a week and those affected are being quarantined for 14 days.
— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) July 8, 2020
Earlier, Clemson also saw 37 positive tests result when the defending ACC champions and College Football Playoff finalists began preparations for the 2020 season.
Harbaugh Says Play On
Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh came out strongly against science and in favor of football this week. The Wolverines head coach insists that people should just accept that COVID-19 is another factor society must deal with and that we should all just get on with life.
Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh pushes for college football season, even if it has to be altered pic.twitter.com/PxcdAH0X1m
— Michigan_Crazies 〽️ (@CraziesMichigan) July 8, 2020
Meanwhile, COVID-19 did what Harbaugh’s team has never proven capable of doing – it shut down Ohio State football.
The Buckeyes called a pause to all voluntary workouts for school athletics after a number of positive tests were confirmed. The school would not reveal how many positive tests there were.
Friday Night Lights Out
There was huge news out of Texas this week. State high school officials strongly speculated that high school football in that state could be shut down due to COVID-19. The virus has spiked in the state and last month, 12 Texas Longhorns football players tested positive.
wow the Dallas School Superintendent just told @GarrettHaake he's pretty sure there will be no Texas high school football this year
— Jake Lahut (@JakeLahut) July 9, 2020
If Texas can shut down high school football, that might not bode well for the chances of there being football played in the Big 12 this season.
SEC Full Speed Ahead
According to several sources, the athletic directors of SEC schools haven’t even discussed the notion of not kicking off the football season on schedule.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey told the Rich Eisen Show that sometime in late July is when the league will take into consideration whether starting the season on time is a viable option.
— LSU (@LSU) July 3, 2020
Last month, quarantining of at least 30 players from defending national champions LSU were the result of positive tests for COVID-19.
A Likely Outcome
The PAC-12 does seem to be the one conference among the Power Five with a firm grounding in reality. There’s been speculation that they are considering a conference-only schedule for football.
Arizona University president Robert Robbins recently indicated that if COVID-19 continues to trend upward in their state, he’d be reluctant to open college campuses in the fall.
Stanford University announced Wednesday the reduction of varsity athletics programs and staffing. https://t.co/hvZWxzEMRM
— Stanford Athletics (@GoStanford) July 8, 2020
Scott noted that he discusses these issues with other Power Five commissioners almost daily. All avenues are under consideration, from playing as scheduled, to a delay in the season, to moving the season to the spring.
In any conference shutdown wager, the PAC-12 is going to be a solid best bet to be first. But if you want to roll the dice for value, consider the Big 12.
Pick: PAC-12 (+150)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.