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Updates include Pac-12 going conference-only in 2020; Buckeyes-Ducks football game off; Chris Miller back at West Linn; Mariners 2021 slate announced

PMG FILE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Autzen Stadium would have hosted one of the biggest games in its history on September 12. But Ohio State will not be coming to Eugene in 2020 as Big Ten cancels non-conference games because of COVID-19. No Buckeyes at Ducks — The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday that it would only play conference games during the fall.

That meant the scheduled visit September 12 to Eugene by Ohio State for a marquee football contest would not happen. It also meant Michigan's September 5 game at Washington would not happen.

The Ducks were slated to play Washington, Stanford, USC and Arizona State in football at home — all expected to be tough opponents — if the Pac-12 season does actually happen, or barring schedule changes.

Oregon's 2021 home schedule is boring by comparison. Fresno State and Stony Brook are the scheduled nonconference games, with Oregon State, Washington State, Cal, Arizona and Colorado slated to play at Oregon.

Barring adjustments — certainly possible given the impact of the coronavirus on athletic department budgets — it isn't until 2024 visits from Texas Tech and Boise State that the Ducks will have an intriguing nonconference home game.

• Miller returns to West Linn — In a version of football musical chairs, Chris Miller is back where he started.

The former West Linn High coach is the new West Linn High football coach, a decision that leaves Franklin searching for its next coach just over a month ahead of the scheduled start of practices.

On Wednesday, West Linn High announced that Miller will return to the position he left at the end of last season when Miller took a job as offensive coordinator with the Houston team in the XFL. After the XFL stopped operations, Miller was hired in May as the new Franklin High coach.

Keanon Lowe was hired to replace Miller at West Linn, but left that job to become an offensive assistant coach for Chip Kelly at UCLA.

A former Oregon Ducks and NFL quarterback, Miller told the OSAA website that his comfort level at West Linn contributed to his decision. Miller said he had many calls and texts from West Linn players and parents asking him to return.

Miller coached the past six seasons at West Linn, posting a 60-16 record and winning the Class 6A state title in 2016.

• Valentine leaving WPU — Jared Valentine has stepped down as the men's basketball coach at Warner Pacific University after nine seasons.

The Knights went 183-106 under Valentine. A Warner Pacific alum, Valentine played two seasons for the Knights (1999-2001) while his father Bart Valentine was guiding the program.

In announcing Valentine's departure, athletic director Mike Wilson said he would name an interim coach and begin a national search for a the next coach.

The announcement from Warner Pacific indicated that Valentine is leaving to become a school administrator in Portland, but did not name the school.

• Mariners schedule — As Seattle prepares for the 60-game 2020 season, which for the Mariners will start July 24 at Houston, the 2021 schedule was announced Thursday.

Seattle will play its first six games at home in 2021, beginning April 21 against the San Francisco Giants.

This season's 60-game schedule will be played at major league stadiums without fans. The Mariners first game at T-Mobile Park is slated for July 31 against Oakland.

The M's announced that Marco Gonzales will pitch the opener at Houston.

All of the Mariners games will be shown on Root Sports NW.


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