Rating the 2013 Non-Conference Slate: Pac-12

Next up, a conference that apparently knows how numbers work, the Pac-12.

  1. Arizona State (1.75 legit, 1 FCS): Sacramento State, Wisconsin, N-Notre Dame. A solid schedule for a team that’s hoping to make a splash this year. Of course, that goes both ways, as they could very easily go 1-2 against this schedule.
  2. California (1.5, 1): Northwestern, Portland State, Ohio State. A solid schedule for Cal, but not one that does them any favors in terms of getting out of the 3-9 hole from last year. That said, the fact that they managed to get two Big Ten teams at home is something of an accomplishment.
  3. Michie Stadium, West Point, NY
  4. California-Los Angeles (1, 0): Nevada, @Nebraska, New Mexico State. Nevada led off last year with a win over a Cal school, and honestly I wouldn’t count them out here. I would almost be willing to bet that will be a more interesting game than the Nebraska game, all things considered.
  5. Stanford (1, 0): San Jose State, @Army, Notre Dame. Not much to write home about here, though that away game at Army is actually at Army’s home stadium, which seems unusual to me. The pictures on Wikipedia make it look pretty nice, that’s for sure.
  6. Oregon (0.75, 1): Nicholls State, @Virginia, Tennessee. I suspect that these games were initially supposed to be a little more high profile than they currently are. But let’s also think on the amusing difference between the fan cultures of Tennessee (their fight song is literally about moonshining and other hillbilly activities) and Virginia (one of their fight songs is based on “Auld Lang Syne”). Given the proclivity of West Coast types to just lump the entire area south of the Mason-Dixon line into “the South”, any fans who make the trip should be expecting a slightly different atmosphere in Charlottesville than in Knoxville. 
  7. Washington (0.75, 1): Boise State, N-Illinois, Idaho State. One of the things I look forward to at PAX every year is when Washington or Wazzou have a game that weekend in Seattle, and so fans decide to take advantage of the holiday weekend to check out downtown, only to find it full of nerds. Actually, I’d think most Washington fans probably wouldn’t go downtown (given the school is in a different neighborhood), but Boise fans… yeah, definitely looking forward to a lot of confused people in blue and orange t-shirts. Oh, yeah, the schedule: well, Boise’s probably a better team than Illinois, so it will be U-Dub’s major chance to make a statement in the out-of-conference schedule.
  8. Washington State (0.5, 1): @Auburn, Southern Utah, Idaho. I suspect it’s mainly because both of the teams were awful last year, but I feel like it should be a bigger deal that Mike Leach and Gus Malzhan will be facing off in a football game this year. Expect points. Lots of points. (Which, given how bad the offense was last year, may be like “24” for Auburn, but still.)
  9. Southern California (0, 0): @Hawaii, Boston College, Utah State. Utah State might be the most interesting team on this schedule, so I will use this as likely my last chance to remind everyone that the last regulation game of football played by the University of Southern California was a loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.
  10. Utah (0, 1): Utah State, Weber State, @Brigham Young. Playing all three of your in-state rivals? I’m down with that. The problem for Utah, as a fledging Pac-12 team, is that it’s very possible they won’t will all these games. Also, the real burning question is: will Utah students prematurely run onto the field at an away game?
  11. Oregon State (0, 1): Eastern Washington, Hawaii, @San Diego State. I think I did a pretty decent job on the first nine teams, unfortunately I’m just drawing a blank on anything remotely interesting to say about this schedule. I’ve probably worn out the “odd field color” jokes already, which is a shame because Colorado also plays Central Arkansas.
  12. Colorado (0, 1): N-Colorado State, Central Arkansas, Fresno State. It hasn’t been a good couple of years of collegiate football in the state of Colorado, and, well, I’m not sure I like the Buffs chances against Fresno.
  13. Arizona (0, 1.5): Northern Arizona, @Nevada-Las Vegas, Texas-San Antonio. UTSA is the “half” team on that count, but otherwise this is a pretty standard awful Arizona schedule.