Colorado football coach Karl Dorrell doesn’t care who the Buffs play this week.
He just wants an opponent.
“Anything and everything can happen,” Dorrell told reporters Monday.
CU is searching for a new Saturday foe after the Pac-12 announced Sunday that Arizona State would not play its upcoming game at Folsom Field after a significant number of positive COVID-19 tests left ASU unable to field the minimum number of required scholarship players. So, where do the Buffs go from here?
The most logical and optimistic solution is capitalizing on the cancelation of another Pac-12 game by playing the team unaffected by coronavirus. The exact scenario led to the UCLA-California game on Sunday after Utah and ASU were unable to play their respective games due to COVID-19.
“We saw what happened to the UCLA-Cal game late in the week that they got an announcement they were playing,” Dorrell said. “That might happen (to us) at some point and time during the week. So, we are on high alert for anything and everything that could happen in this given week. It’s kind of the nature of this year. It’s a year where everything can change day-to-day. We’re not going to bat an eye to it.”
Should CU find itself without an opponent by late this week, the program is willing to play outside the Pac-12 — if the conference allows for it. For now, that scenario appears unlikely.
Andrew Walker, Pac-12 head of communications, told The Denver Post in a statement Monday afternoon: “Our Pac-12 CEO Group previously approved a conference-only football schedule and that remains the case at this time.”
However, Dorrell confirmed Monday that the idea is “being discussed right now” by upper levels of CU leadership to amend the Pac-12’s conference-only schedule, if necessary, to ensure the Buffs get on the football field.
“I know that there is a possibility that might happen,” Dorrell said. “I’m not sure if the conference is willing to do that. … I know (CU athletic director) Rick George is going to be exploring every option he has at our disposal to see what happens. I actually expressed that with the team, too. We could possibly be playing someone out of conference this week and we’ve got to be ready at a moment’s notice.”
The Buffs (2-0) will be short on preparation time if another conference matchup materializes. Dorrell expects the unexpected.
“I’ve looked at all the (Pac-12) teams and have kind of a pre-preliminary scouting plan for all of our conference members,” Dorrell said. “It wouldn’t be a tremendously hard thing for us to shift gears to do. … It would be harder if you tried to play someone out of conference that you don’t have much familiarity with. That’s the harder scenario to get that type of game scheduled.”