Rating the 2015 Non-Conference Slate: Pac-12

I guess I’m not surprised that the conference with a 3-way tie for first and a 4-way tie for second was the Pac-12. Or, at least, I probably shouldn’t be.

As a reminder, my tie breakers are the number of FCS teams played followed by my subjective judgement of “strength”.

  1. Utah (1 legit, 0 FCS): Michigan, Utah State, @Fresno State. I can dig this schedule. You get a home date with newly-Harbaugh’ed Michigan, and you try to withstand Fresno attempting to  extract revenge for a blowout loss last year.
  2. Stanford (1, 0): @Northwestern, Central Florida, Notre Dame. They don’t get any “legit” credit for the Wildcats, but this is still solid.
  3. Southern California (1, 0): Arkansas State, Idaho, @Notre Dame. Entirely buoyed by the visit to South Bend. Loses the tiebreaker to Stanford thanks to the Cardinal’s trip to Evanston.
  4. Oregon (1, 1): Eastern Washington, @Michigan State, Georgia State. Oregon-Michigan State should be great again, and is something we’re really looking forward to.
  5. Oregon State (1, 1): Weber State, @Michigan, San Jose State. It’s been a down few years for the Beavers, but two wins in the non-conference slate should help them back to a bowl.
  6. Arizona State (1, 1): N-Texas A&M, Cal Poly, New Mexico. I really struggled with how to do Cal Poly’s name, since my thing is typing out the full name of schools. Unfortunately, the only acceptable forms for Cal Poly are: Cal Poly, California Polytechnic State University, and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. So I went with Cal Poly.
  7. California (1, 1): Grambling State, San Diego State, @Texas. Of course Cal manages to schedule a road game to the only Texas city that resembles Berkeley in any way, shape, or form.
  8. California-Los Angeles (0.5, 0): Virginia, @Nevada-Las Vegas, Brigham Young. Between UVA and BYU and no FCS teams, this schedule feels like it should rate better, but alas, it does not.
  9. Washington (0.5, 1): @Boise State, Sacramento State, Utah State. This is the first visit by a Pac-10/12 team to Boise since Oregon State lost there in 2010, though what I was really hoping to say in this space was that it was the first such visit since the Puchin’ LaGarrette Blount game in 2009, but alas.
  10. Washington State (0, 1): Portland State, @Rutgers, Wyoming. The visit to Piscataway seems random, but I’ll take it. Also watch out for the Wyoming uniform watch later this year.
  11. Arizona (0, 1): Texas-San Antonio, @Nevada, Northern Arizona. I started thinking that my angle for this might be Arizona being brought low with a Rece Davis “You don’t just walk in to Chris Ault Field at Mackay Stadium…” and then I remembered he’s not hosting College Football Final anymore. Alas.
  12. Colorado (0, 1): @Hawaii, Massachusetts, N-Colorado State, Nicholls State. No, Colorado, terrible teams are supposed to use that Hawaii away game at the end of the season so it’s like a bowl game! Sheesh. They did at least use it to schedule an extra game, though.