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Ohio State, Michigan Could Reportedly Play In 9 A.M. Pac-12 Game In 2020

A member of Cals football team stretching next to a Pac-12 football logo.

BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 10: A member of the California Golden Bears warms up prior to facing the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on September 10, 2011 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Earlier this summer, news broke that the Pac-12 was considering experimenting with 9 a.m. ET kickoffs. Now, we may have an idea of when it might happen.

This season is too soon to utilize the early kickoffs, but according to a new report from John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, 2020 is when 9 a.m. start times could become reality.

Even better, Ourand says the first morning contest could involve a marquee non-conference matchup between the Pac-12 and Big Ten. There are two games that fit that description in the first two weeks of the 2020 season.

One involves Ohio State, while the other includes Michigan.

The most likely matchups next season could involve non-conference games that include Big Ten schools that already would have been established in that window this season. Washington hosts Michigan in Week 1 in 2020, while Oregon hosts Ohio State in Week 2. I would expect Fox to push for one of those matchups to be the Pac-12’s first 9:00am local time kickoff.

If the conferences agree in the next few months to slot one of those games into the 9 a.m. hour, it will give schools and fans plenty of time to prepare. However, there are still some downsides.

You'd potentially be ruining an attractive matchup playing it at such an odd hour, and if the team that loses that game winds up missing the College Football Playoff as a result, there will be griping.

You can count Washington State head coach Mike Leach as someone who is not a fan of playing that early in the day.

"Do ANY West Coast fans actually think that it is a good idea to have 9am games?" he tweeted back in July.