Washington football’s final game of the regular season is canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the facility
Washington football fans are going to have to wait another year before Jimmy Lake makes his head coaching debut against the Oregon Ducks. The game was officially declared a no-contest on Thursday afternoon after enough positive tests and contact tracing ruled out enough scholarship players for Saturday’s matchup in Eugene.
This seems to be the matchup that the players have really been looking forward to all season, and it must be a demoralizing feeling to have their biggest rivalry game canceled. On top of that, Oregon fans have started to swirl conspiracy theories on Twitter that the Huskies are faking these COVID cases because, with this cancelation, Washington is crowned the Pac-12 North champions due to tiebreakers and their winning percentage… on one condition, all other games in the conference get played this weekend, says the school’s athletic director Jen Cohen.
The issue is, this now puts next Friday’s Pac-12 championship game in jeopardy. If Lake and his staff follow the new minimum CDC recommendations for contact tracing, which is seven days if a person tests negative and shows no symptoms, there’s a possibility next Friday’s game could take place. However, that’s probably an unlikely scenario, as Lake stated on his Wednesday radio show that it’s unlikely his team would be cleared by local medical professionals in time for that game.
The best alternative for including the Huskies in the Pac-12 championship are moving the game so they can make sure all their players are healthy. Another option that seems to be the more likely direction for the Pac-12 (assuming both teams win this weekend) is a matchup between the two undefeated teams in the Pac-12 South, Colorado and USC if Fox isn’t willing to reschedule.
The final option to consider is that the Apple Cup could end up being played! If the Pac-12 decides to move forward with a matchup of undefeated teams, the Huskies and Cougars could renew their in-state rivalry during this odd season.
It’s hard to project at this time what the next move for Washington, and the Pac-12 is going to be, but 2020 is the year of unpredictability. Things can change at a moment’s notice, and this situation is no different.