With the shortened season scheduled to begin in two weeks and coronavirus present in every campus community, the Pac-12 announced Monday player participation thresholds for competition and revealed the tiebreaker scenarios for determining division champions and host of the conference title game.

It doesn’t get any more 2020.

Teams must have at least 53 scholarship players available each week, or a game could be declared a no contest or be postponed.

The minimum includes specifics for three positions:

Each team must have at least seven offensive linemen, one quarterback and four defensive linemen.

If the number of healthy players drops below the Pac-12 thresholds, which mirror those in place in the SEC and Big 12, the school has the option to play:

“The impacted institution has the option to play the game with fewer than the 53 scholarship players or fewer than the minimum number of position players listed above if it elects to do so. Otherwise, upon approval by the Commissioner, the game would be rescheduled or declared a no contest.”

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According to the conference, other events would prompt a cancellation or postponement:

— Inability to isolate new positive cases within a team or athletic department or to quarantine high-risk contacts.

— Unavailability or inability to perform testing as provided by the Pac-12 medical guidelines.

— Campus-wide or local community transmission rates that are considered unsafe by local public health officials.

— Inability to perform adequate contact tracing consistent with governmental requirements.

— Local public health officials of the home team state that there is an inability for the hospital infrastructure to accommodate a surge.

The tiebreakers for crowning division champions are complicated and depend, in part, on the number of games played by the tied teams compared to the total number played across the conference.


Per the Pac-12:

“For example, if the average number of conference games played in the 2020 season is 5.25 (value of 5 when rounded down), a team would be eligible to win their Division if that team played 4 conference games.”

In the event of an unequal number of games played, teams would be considered tied if they have the same number of losses and are within one victory of each other.

In other words, a 4-1 team would be considered tied with a 5-1 team.

The top tiebreaker elements are:

1) Head-to-head results
2) Record in games played within the division
3) Record against the next highest placed team in the division (based on record in all games played within the Conference), proceeding through the division
4) Record in common Conference games
5) Team with the highest College Football Playoff (CFP) ranking

The Pac-12 championship game on Dec. 18 will be played on the campus of the higher seed. (The move to Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas has been delayed by a year.)

The team with the best record will host.

In the event the division winners have the same record, the following rules apply:

1) Head-to-head competition, if applicable
2) Record against the next highest-placed common opponent in the Conference (based on recording all games played within the Conference) proceeding through the Conference
3) Record in common Conference games
4) Team with the highest College Football Playoff (CFP) ranking
5) Highest ranking by SportSource Analytics following the last weekend of regular-season games
6) Coin toss

Given how 2020 has gone, somebody should get the coin polished.