Pac-12 looks at possible morning kickoffs for some games

Posted at 6:47 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 22:00:39-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Pac-12 has heard plenty of criticism from fans and coaches about a third of games being played at night last year.

That has led Commissioner Larry Scott to possibly try a new scheduling approach this season.

Instead of "Pac-12 After Dark", welcome to "Breakfast with the Pac-12".

Scott said Fox and conference athletic directors are in preliminary talks about morning kickoffs for some games, which would put them in the network's key noon Eastern time slot. Any morning kickoffs, which would be at 9 a.m. Pacific and 10 a.m. Mountain, would be voluntary and not dictated by Fox.

"That would be new and somewhat out of the box, but I've tried to put everything on the table," Scott said. "I think there are some schools and markets that might respond positively."

Coaches are split about the possibility of a morning kickoff. Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said the sooner they can start, the better.

"We'd adjust. We've played those games before. It's been few and far between, but we've had those 10 a.m. kickoffs in the past. We'd jump at the chance for that," he said.

Stanford's David Shaw said he would be somewhat resistant.

"All the studies we've all read and conducted ourselves on our campus, our sleep studies, it is better for young people to perform athletically if they get a full night's sleep," Shaw said. "And I don't know that you can find any group of 18- to 22-year-old young people that are going to go to bed at 10 o'clock at night to get up at 6 o'clock in the morning to make sure they can perform athletically."