Approximately half of the Pac-12 is interested in some 9 a.m. kickoffs for 2020
The early time slot for Pac-12 games has already been tabled for the 2019 sesaon
Approximately half of the 12 teams in the Pac-12 are interested in playing games in the 9 a.m. PT window next season, sources tell CBS Sports.
The Pac-12 announced at last month's media day that it had held preliminary discussions about playing games as early as 9 a.m. (noon ET) to carve out better exposure for the conference.
The idea has been tabled for this season. However, the SportsBusiness Journal reported Tuesday that multiple games could be coming in 2020, and they could be marketed as special events if it is not widely adopted throughout the league.
Ten of the 12 Pac-12 schools reside at least part of the year in the Pacific Time Zone. The other two are Utah and Colorado, which would be playing games in that window at 10 a.m. MT.
The Pac-12 has gone 15 years without a national championship in football. It has placed a team in the College Football Playoff in only two of the event's first five years. The early start was first suggested this offseason by the San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner as a way for the conference to gain more attention.
CBS traditionally owns the 3:30 p.m. ET window with the SEC. The Big 12 and Big Ten have noon windows on Fox and ESPN.
Critics of the proposed 9 a.m. PT starts have said playing games that early would impact attendance and add a further burden to players who would theoretically have a pregame meal at 5 a.m.
Washington coach Chris Petersen and Washington State coach Mike Leach have said publicly they are against early starts. Coaches who practice in the morning -- UCLA's Chip Kelly is among them -- might be in favor.
"It's all about where your football coach stands on it," said one source within the league. "[But] just dismissing it in a two-minute conversation is dumb."
When contacted by CBS Sports, the Pac-12 responded through a spokesman with the following statement: "The Pac-12 continues to have exploratory discussions with Fox on the possibility of trialing a limited number of early morning kickoffs that could provide a national platform for additional Pac-12 games. While there is interest from some schools in this exploration, further discussions with school stakeholders is necessary and the earliest any trial would take place at this stage would be in 2020. Any trial would be a decision to be made by the participating schools."
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