Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Friday he's confident the conference will start playing football no later than January after the start of the season was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Scott explained during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show (via Stadium's Brett McMurphy) the conference hasn't ruled out playing before the end of 2020.
"I've got a high degree of confidence that we'll be playing [football] in January," he said. "It's possible we could play sooner."
The comments come one day after the Pac-12 announced a partnership with the Quidel Corporation to create a program for daily testing of student-athletes in "close-contact sports." The testing machines, which can produce rapid results, will be delivered to Pac-12 schools by the end of September.
A statement from Scott was included in the announcement.
"This is a major step toward the safe resumption of Pac-12 sport competitions," he said. "The availability of a reliable test that can be administered daily, with almost immediate results, addresses one of the key concerns that was expressed by our medical advisory committee, as well as by student-athletes, coaches and others."
In August, the Pac-12 confirmed its initial intention to postpone all sports, including football and basketball, until at least Jan. 1 because of COVID-19.
It's now possible the conference will reverse course from that decision.
CBS Sports' Matt Norlander reported Wednesday the oversight committees for men's and women's college basketball agreed on a Nov. 25 target date for the start of the season, and one source noted the Pac-12 "could probably work with that" based on the latest developments.
The Pac-12 and Big Ten postponed the football season while the ACC, Big 12 and SEC proceeded with plans to play in the fall with schedules featuring limited or no nonconference games.
Big Ten plans remain uncertain, with CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd reporting rumors about a potential Oct. 10 start for football are unfounded.
Meanwhile, if either conference shifts the season until the spring, it could conflict with the NFL offseason calendar, which includes the 2021 draft beginning April 29.