EUGENE — Oregon could end up with a different 2021 schedule, according to Colorado athletic director Rick George, but sources at UO are unaware of such a schedule change and adamant the Ducks will still have seven home games.
George told The Daily Camera the Ducks will travel to Boulder to visit Colorado next season, rather than host the Buffaloes for three straight years.
Colorado was supposed to host Oregon at Folsom Field this season, but the Pac-12′s revised 10-game, conference-only schedule saw the site of this year’s game flip to Autzen Stadium, though the date remained Sept. 26, so that UO would have five home and five road games.
“It was best for the conference,” George said, per the Daily Camera. “I support it. Not happy about it, but I support it.”
The change would have Oregon scheduled for six home games and six road games in 2021. However, a UO spokesman and source with knowledge of UO’s scheduling each said the school is unaware of any changes to the 2021 Pac-12 schedule at this time and that even if the game with Colorado changes sites, the Ducks will still have seven home games next season.
A Pac-12 spokesman did not immediately reply to a request for confirmation of the schedule change.
The rest of Oregon’s 2021 schedule includes home games with Fresno State, Stony Brook, Arizona, Cal, Washington State and Oregon State and trips to Ohio State, Stanford, UCLA, Utah and Washington.
If the Colorado game is played in Boulder at George claims it will be, there isn’t an obvious other game to change for Oregon to still have seven home games that wouldn’t result in a domino effect through the conference.
As Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith previously stated, flipping the sites of the home-and-home series — which has to have the game at Autzen rescheduled after the Big Ten and Pac-12 each canceled nonconference games this season — is not possible as the Buckeyes have seven home games in 2021. Flipping sites of the Utah game would result in the Utes having just five home games and doing so with UCLA would result in the Bruins having six Pac-12 road games.
The last time Oregon had just six home games in a 12-game season was 2016.
If George’s claim is accurate, Colorado will end up with eight home games, though it’s discussing moving its game with Texas A&M to Empower Field at Mile High in Denver.
Asked if there could be more changes to the 2021 slate, George told the Daily Camera: “We are uncertain what the conference schedule will look like.”