Rating the 2011 Non-Conference Slate: Pac-12

As per usual, the Pacific 12 leads the land in terms of scheduling out-of-conference teams. Somewhat bizarrely, though, they elected to keep the 9 game conference schedule despite now having 12 teams. I like having 9 conference games when that means the conference will play a full round-robin, but otherwise I’m not sure it makes sense. Yes, it produces more meaningful games, but otherwise there’s not a meaningful upside.

  1. Southern California (1.5 legit, 0 DI-AA): Minnesota, Syracuse, @Notre Dame. USC always plays pretty decent OOC schedules, but this is about as low as you can currently go and say you schedule three BCS conference teams short of scheduling Vanderbilt and Duke.
  2. Oregon State (1.5, 1): Sacramento State, @Wisconsin, Brigham Young. Nonetheless, the three BCS teams are sufficient to beat out Oregon State’s Wisconsin and BYU combo, though playing a DI-AA team certainly doesn’t help.
  3. Stanford (1.25, 0): San Jose State, @Duke, Notre Dame. Well, they have Notre Dame on the schedule. In reality, their ticket to the national title game will probably be decided when they play Oregon.
  4. Colorado (1.5, 0): @Hawaii, California, N-Colorado State, @Ohio State. Yes, that’s four non-conference games due to the Hawaii rule. Oh yeah, there’s also that bizarre already scheduled Cal game that is now a non-conference conference game. Strangeness all around. Remember, though I show the raw “legit” score this ranking is actually based on the average, which means the extra OOC game is accounted for (and hence why they rank below Stanford).
  5. California-Los Angeles (1, 0): @Houston, San Jose State, Texas. This may actually be pretty tough for UCLA. Considering their defensive woes Case Keenum could well break the NCAA passing record in this game alone.
  6. Oregon (1, 1): N-Louisiana State, Nevada, Missouri State. Oregon-LSU has to be one of the top intersectional matchups of the year. Yes, there’s also UGA-Boise State. That game, though, will lack Oregon’s frenetic offensive pace up against the “they have no idea what the hell they’re doing” pace of Les Miles and co.
  7. Washington (1, 1): Eastern Washington, Hawaii, @Nebraska. Washington’s prospects in the return trip to Lincoln look, shall we say, dim.
  8. Arizona State (1, 1): California-Davis, Missouri, @Illinois. Funny how, in a year where Missouri and Illinois stop their renewed series, Arizona State manages to play both. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.
  9. Utah (1, 1): Montana State, @Brigham Young, @Pittsburgh. Utah will try to earn its newfound major conference cred by beating the team that arguably launched it to where it is today, Pitt.
  10. Arizona (1, 1): Northern Arizona, @Oklahoma State, Louisiana-Lafayette. I can’t think of anything funny to say about this schedule, so moving on.
  11. California (0.25, 1): N-Fresno State, @Colorado, Presbyterian. Again, yes, that Colorado game is not a Pac-12 game. Whoops! Also, Presbyterian is located in Clinton, South Carolina, which is a heck of a long way from Berkeley in more ways than just distance, I would suspect.
  12. Washington State (0, 1): Idaho State, Nevada-Las Vegas, @San Diego State. Well, there’s at least one win on this schedule for Paul Wulff and Co.

Next up, the SEC, and followed by a quick wrap-up.