Rating the 2017 Non-Conference Slate: Pac-12

Okay, moving on to the West Coast, let’s talk the Pac-12.

  1. Stanford (1 legit, 0 FCS): N-Rice, @San Diego State, Notre Dame. This was a tough decision. I have, elsewhere, docked teams for having a team that they play every year, but as you can see from going down the list there’s just not much here this year for the Pac-12. Also, San Diego State should be pretty good again this year, and Rice is still technically better than a FCS school.
  2. Oregon (1, 1): Southern Utah, Nebraska, @Wyoming. Still, though, you could consider the Ducks tied for first. A good inter-sectional game and a road trip to Laramie? I’m down.
  3. California (1, 1): @North Carolina, Weber State, Mississippi. You could even make an argument for Cal, which has the only schedule with two other Power 5 teams on. But then you consider that, well, it’s Cal and you start thinking about their defense that is likely to remain a raging inferno this year (not in a good way).
  4. California-Los Angeles (0.75, 0): Texas A&M, Hawaii, @Memphis. I guess we’re just going to have to get used to these wacky road games, because even considering the vagaries of scheduling other FBS teams these days why in the world would UCLA ever go cross-country to play Memphis?
  5. Southern California (0.75, 1): Stephen F. Austin, North Texas, @Texas Christian. USC usually is the team here with a tough OOC schedule, but instead this year I guess they decided to see if they could go 3-0 against the state of Texas. At least it’s thematic!
  6. Washington State (0.5, 1): Montana State, Boise State, Nevada. If the past two years have taught us anything, Wazzou could very well go 2-1 against this slate in just about any possible combination.
  7. Arizona (0.25, 1): Northern Arizona, Houston, @Texas-El Paso. Both ‘zonas figure to be miserable this year, and the misery could get ramped up real quick-like for the Bearcats. Depending on this shakes out, it could be a race to see which of their coaches makes it out of September.
  8. Oregon State (0.25, 1): @Colorado State, Portland State, Minnesota. I could try to pretend that I don’t know the result of that Oregon State-Colorado State game, but I don’t think it was really that much of a surprise, and it’s hard to take anything away from it as this is still the rebuild phase for the Beavers. That said, the rest of this schedule may not help.
  9. Arizona State (0, 0): New Mexico State, San Diego State, @Texas Tech. Folks have tried to set Arizona State-Texas Tech as a sort of “who’s gonna get fired?” Bowl, 2017 edition, and maybe that’s the case, but the real test for the Sun Devils might be the San Diego State game. That, and Todd Graham isn’t exactly known for letting the situation get to him before he gets out of the situation…
  10. Utah (0, 1): North Dakota, @Brigham Young, San Jose State. The Holy War is back on the schedule, so that’s good. The rest of it? Eh.
  11. Washington (0, 1): @Rutgers, Montana, Fresno State. We’re still scratching our heads at the “@Rutgers” part there, especially since it’s not going to do UDub any favors if they’re on the edge of the playoffs.
  12. Colorado (0, 1): N-Colorado State, Texas State, Northern Colorado. I keep having to remember that Texas State is FBS now and it’s been several years since that happened. Ask me about trying to remember which conference Maryland is in some time…

All right, we’re trying to truck though these to finish before the season proper starts, so expect the SEC right on the heels of this one!