Rating the 2014 Non-Conference State: Pac-12

The margins between these teams are pretty thin in terms of OOC schedule quality this year. Here’s my attempt at sorting them out.

  1. Southern California (1 legit, 0 FCS): Fresno State, @Boston College, Notre Dame. USC is number one here, even with the “yearly rivalry game caveat” from playing Notre Dame, mostly because I feel like Fresno State and Boston College combined are better than UVA and Memphis.
  2. California-Los Angeles (1, 0): @Virginia, Memphis, N-Texas. The neutral site game with Texas is cool, but Virginia and Memphis may do well to break 10 points combined against UCLA.
  3. Oregon (1, 1): South Dakota, Michigan State, Wyoming. In all honesty, the Oregon-Michigan State game is probably more intriguing than any single one of USC’s or UCLA’s games, but in those cases quantity and a lack of FCS opponents means I had to put them on top.
  4. Utah (1, 1): Idaho State, Fresno State, @Michigan. Utah can figure out how to play old MWC foe Fresno State (who might well beat them this year) but not Utah State and/or BYU? Then again, perhaps I’m speaking too soon, it looks like the Aggies will be back next year and then in 2016 through 2018 the Stormin’ Mormons will return.
  5. Stanford (1, 1): California-Davis, Army, @Notre Dame. In reality, Stanford and Arizona State’s schedules are pretty much a tie, though chances are going to South Bend is probably the slightly more difficult draw.
  6. Arizona State (1, 1): Weber State, @New Mexico, Notre Dame. Somehow, a game at New Mexico is not actually the Pac-12’s oddest road game of the year.
  7. California (0.75, 1): @Northwestern, Sacramento State, Brigham Young. If this game had been played a year earlier, Cal probably would’ve been put a little higher, but Northwestern falling apart after the loss to Ohio State last year also dropped their legit rating.
  8. Arizona (0, 0): Nevada-Las Vegas, @Texas-San Antonio, Nevada. The Wildcats usually don’t have a great schedule, so I suppose they deserve some kudos for not having any FCS teams. That said, UTSA just dropped the “transitional” tag, so they sort of got lucky there.
  9. Colorado (0, 0): N-Colorado State, @Massachusetts, Hawaii. I guess going on the road to UMass isn’t that great either, but good on the Minutemen for securing two home games against Power 5 teams.
  10. Washington State (0, 1): N-Rutgers, @Nevada, Portland State. I’ve just run out of things to say about teams playing odd road games at this point, though I admit I’m a little biased because I don’t think that playing Nevada is as “bad” as UTSA or UMass for some reason.
  11. Washington (0, 1): @Hawaii, Eastern Washington, Illinois. Inexplicable road game I’d like to see: someone playing on Eastern Washington’s blood-red turf. Alas. (It looks even “better” on TV, since the field usually just fills up the screen.)
  12. Oregon State (0, 1): Portland State, @Hawaii, San Diego State. Also, in case you’re wondering, Hawaii gets a pass from me since, hey, I’m not going to blame anyone for wanting to go on an expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.