Tomorrow, it will be four months since the Rose Bowl. It’ll also be four months until the 2013 season’s first Saturday of games on August 31st. In celebration of the halfway point, let’s take a quick and early look at the full schedule in the Pac-12. Click on the image above to check out the full helmet schedule via FBSchedules.com.
Arizona: With Northern Arizona, UNLV and Texas-San Antonio, the Wildcats have a non-conference schedule that the SEC would be jealous of. They do host Oregon though, and they always play the Ducks tough in Tucson.
Arizona State: It’s easy to point out that the Sun Devils are historically masters of the second half tail-off, but this year looks to be very different for the Pac-12 South contenders. Wisconsin, Stanford, USC and ND in four straight weeks starting in Week 2? Have fun with that, Todd Graham.
Colorado: Colorado and Central Arkansas to start the season? You know what that means: a potential three-game winning streak for the Buffs dating back to last season.
UCLA: Everyone will love them in the preseason, and with Brett Hundley and Anthony Barr coming back, the Bruins are easy to pick as Pac-12 South front runners. But all things considered, that road schedule is ridiculous and history isn’t on their side. UCLA hasn’t won at Stanford since 2007, Oregon since 2004, Arizona since 2003 and USC since 1997. Oh, and in three games since 2007, they’ve been outscored 129 to 12 in games played in the state of Utah.
USC: There’s two games to circle on USC’s schedule: Week 2 vs. Washington State and the annual Notre Dame game. The Trojans will break-in plenty of new faces in the secondary against Mike Leach’s air raid, which has to cause some concern for Clancy Pendergast. That said, if Troy can beat the Cougars and split the Arizonas, they could be 5-1 going into South Bend, which would be exactly where USC wants to be.
Utah: The Utes play all three in-state rivals and it would be neat for Kyle Wittingham’s bunch to get a Beehive State sweep. But really, it won’t matter, because they could have six straight Pac-12 losses on deck with UCLA, Stanford, Arizona, USC, ASU and Oregon in succession.
Cal: The Bears continue to showcase their new digs on the Hayward Fault by hosting not one, but two Big Ten teams, in Northwestern and Ohio State. Sonny Dykes has a brutal schedule, but for an exciting offense with little expectations to win right away, their schedule featuring three preseason Top 5 teams gives them an opportunity to gain some experience.
Oregon: You have to love seeing an SEC team go to Autzen, as the Tennessee Volunteers head to Eugene in Week 3. And yes, Oregon will murder them and be 8-0 going into Stanford, creating the biggest Pac-12 game in the history of the world…on a Thursday night.
Oregon State: The Beavers started 2012 by going 7-0. They may have lost Markus Wheaton and Jordan Poyer, but given their schedule, they’re bound to do it again. The downside though, is that they will be the underdogs in all five games to close the season. Then again, they haven’t lost to USC in Corvallis since Fog Bowl II in 2004.
Stanford: With a ton of returning starters including possibly the best Pac-12 quarterback not named Mariota, the Cardinal should be a top five team to start the season. They’ll be favored in their first eight games and should they make it through unscathed, they’ll be 8-0 and bring a 16-game winning streak into that Thursday night tilt with Oregon in Palo Alto. For the love of football, may it happen.
Washington: Steve Sarkisian’s Huskies open New Husky Stadium with a LAs Vegas Bowl rematch against Boise State. If Keith Price can get revenge on the Broncos in Seattle, it would go a long way in him re-establishing himself as a top quarterback. And Washington will need him to be, with a road schedule that includes trips to Stanford, ASU, UCLA and Oregon State.
Washington State: This is probably the most favorable schedule they could possibly get, considering that they have Oregon and Stanford in their division. The Cougars get USC in Week 2 when the Trojans are still building their secondary, and then they two weeks to prepare for ASU and UA later in the season. Not bad.
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