The sudden momentum and good vibes being generated by the Colorado football team might have to simmer on the sideline for a week.
Less than 24 hours after the Buffaloes improved to 2-0 with a 35-32 win at Stanford, the Pac-12 Conference on Sunday announced the cancellation of the Buffs’ home date scheduled for Saturday night against Arizona State.
ASU did not play this weekend after a COVID-19 outbreak within its program forced the cancellation of the Sun Devils’ game against Cal. That outbreak included a positive test for head coach Herm Edwards. After opening the season with a late loss at USC, Arizona State, one of the preseason favorites to compete for the South Division title, is facing at least two full weekends on the sideline before potentially resuming its schedule on Nov. 28 against Utah.
On Sunday, the Pac-12 released the following statement:
“The Pac-12 has, after consultation with Arizona State University, canceled the Arizona State at Colorado football game scheduled for November 21. This decision was made under the Pac-12’s football game cancellation policy due to Arizona State not having the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game 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 conference policy, the game will be declared a no contest.
“The cancellation of this game is very disappointing to our student-athletes and our fans. While all of us want to see our football student-athletes on the field competing, our number one priority must continue to be the health and safety of all those connected to Pac-12 football programs.”
As for the Buffs, the cancellation does not necessarily mean the Buffs will be idle this upcoming week.
Given the Utah at UCLA game also was canceled for this weekend, the Pac-12 quickly pivoted on Friday and scheduled a Sunday showdown between Cal and UCLA, which the Bruins won 34-10. If another game across the league is canceled — a distinct possibility, since two games have been canceled in each of the first two weeks so far — CU could get paired with another foe, either at home or on the road.
CU’s next scheduled game is Nov. 28 at Southern California. The Trojans are scheduled to play Utah on Saturday. If the Utes, who have had both games canceled so far due to their own COVID-19 problems, are unable to play this week, the Pac-12 could move the CU at USC game to this coming Saturday. That would open up the weekend of Nov. 28 for the ASU at CU and USC at Utah games to be rescheduled.
“We will look at any and all options about us being able to play this weekend,” CU athletic director Rick George said. “It’s too early right now to gauge everything, the conference did pair UCLA and Cal today on very short notice, so we’ll have to see what transpires day-to-day around the league.”
Before this season, the Buffs previously had only two games canceled—a date against Fresno State on Sept. 14, 2013, that was wiped out by floods, and a game against Washington State on Sept. 15, 2001, that was erased by the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
CU first-year head coach Karl Dorrell has guided his Buffs through the chaos of 2020 with an even-keeled hand that has spilled over to CU’s focused effort through the first two games. Now the upstart Buffs have a new challenge to overcome.
“We’ve been real fortunate about keeping our players healthy through camp and so far during the first couple of weeks,” Dorrell said. “We have known all along that this has been a real possibility and it’s something that is out of our control. It’s literally a week-by-week deal and we’ll continue to move forward.”