Fresno State-Colorado game canceled, university loses $600,000 and potentially more

Fresno State’s new head coach Kalen DeBoer signed 12 recruits this offseason, bringing in a class that ranked No. 3 in terms of average rating per recruit. (Armando Carreno/The Collegian)

Fresno State football’s Sept. 12 matchup against the Colorado Buffaloes will not be taking place as the PAC-12 Conference announced on Friday they will only have a conference-only football schedule due to concerns surrounding the pandemic.

The PAC-12 becomes the second FBS conference to announce a conference-only fall athletics schedule with a vote coming Friday morning. 

“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our number one priority,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. “Our decisions have and will be guided by science and data, and based upon the trends and indicators over the past days, it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities.”

This season’s matchup would have been the seventh meeting between the schools, with Colorado holding a 4-2 all-time record against the Bulldogs. Fresno State’s two wins came with some help from the Carr brothers (David and Derek), winning 24-22 in 2001 and 69-14 in 2012.

Following the 2012 season, both teams were set to face one another until that game was interrupted by a “100-year flood.”

If the decision of conference-only schedules continues across the nation, Fresno State’s away game at SEC opponent Texas A&M may soon be in jeopardy. The SEC has yet to decide on how to handle the 2020 football season, but may be waiting for other Power Five conferences to make their decisions.

With the cancellation of the Colorado matchup, Fresno State will be reportedly losing $600,000. If the Texas A&M game is cancelled, they will be losing an additional $1.3 million.

The Mountain West has yet to decide whether they will play fall 2020 sports in general or if they will have a conference-only schedule for fall sports.

MW Commissioner Craig Thompson did release a statement regarding the fall 2020 sports campaign on Friday.

“As has been the case since the onset of the pandemic, we are fully engaged with our membership and advisors on a nearly daily basis exploring the myriad of potential scenarios around returning to competition,” Thompson said. “We were aware of this possibility and will continue to evaluate the appropriate decisions and the proper timing going forward. The safety, health, and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, staff members and campuses remain our top priority.”

The season opener against Idaho State and the Oct. 17 matchup against New Mexico State could be in jeopardy if the MW decides to follow suit and hold conference-only games.

Fresno State has yet to make a decision on whether sports will take place in fall 2020, but the plan laid out by the university in June opens the door for sports on campus to take place.

The last update on athletics was included in the June 26 plan stating: ”Fresno State Athletics is working on a detailed working document in accordance with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), American College Health Association (ACHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to ensure the safety of our student-athletes and our athletics staff.”

“The final plan for fall 2020 sports practices and competitions is pending further guidance from the Governor’s Office, the California Department of Public Health, the Mountain West Conference and the CSU Chancellor’s Office. The campus expects a decision later this summer.”

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