The entire Pac-12 conference aligned at Sony Pictures in Culver City on Friday to meet and discuss the upcoming developments for the 2013-2014 Pac-12 season.
One of the many points that was discussed on the afternoon was the growing popularity of the conference, and the schedules these teams are embarking upon leading up to the Pac-12 Championship in December.The conference is placing an emphasis on testing the waters in the non-conference portion, beginning by scheduling good contests at home and on the road.
“It’s a point of pride that our teams not only host these games; they go on the road and play at neutral site venues against top‑quality opponents,” said the Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott.
With contests against Notre Dame, LSU, Tennessee, Oklahoma State and Boise State over the years, the Pac-12 has never been afraid to face the toughest competition. These challenging battles over the years are just part of the the competitive picture the conference is trying to paint.
“The Pac‑12 is going to be on everyone’s radar with some of the nation’s most dangerous running backs, college football’s most electrifying receivers, proven quarterbacks and athletic defenses,” Scott announced as part of his opening address on Media Day.
Having run a conference that has sat amongst the bottom of the ranks in recent years, Commissioner Scott quickly dispelled the rumors surrounding a bad reputation. He pointed to an outstanding non-conference schedule and strong quarterback play to lead the conference forward.
“We have one of the strongest non-conference schedules in the nation,” Scott gladly defended. “This season, we play 15 non-conference games against bowl teams from last season, and four from BCS games.”
This season the Pac-12 has another loaded slate in the non-conference, with an excellent schedule on September 14th, featuring four games against bowl-eligible teams from last season.
- UCLA at Nebraska- 12 PM ET (ABC)
- Boston College at USC- TBD (PAC 12)
- Washington at Illinois- 6 PM ET (BTN)
- Tennessee at Oregon- 3:30 PM ET
- Ohio State at California- 7 PM ET (FOX)
- Wisconsin at Arizona State- 10:30 PM ET
For The University of Southern California, the Trojans just recently signed their extensions for non-conference slates, with series against Texas, Notre Dame and BYU.
This season, USC will not only face Boston College but also Utah State, Hawaii and Notre Dame, all at the Coliseum. Next season, the Trojans will drop Hawaii from the schedule but will add Fresno State, a strong Mountain West Conference squad coached by Tim DeRuyter. This will be the first time the Trojans have squared off against the Bulldogs since playing them as nation’s No. 1 team back in 2005.
In a time where scheduling a docket loaded with “Little Sisters of the Poor” will be heavily punished with the new College Football playoff, creating a more challenging non-conference slate will only help the Pac-12.
Interestingly enough, the 100th Edition of the Rose Bowl will host the annual New Year’s Day thriller and the National Championship Game.
The 2013 schedule also features six games on five Thursday night dates, including key division games between UCLA at Utah on Oct. 3, Arizona at USC on Oct. 10, and Oregon at Stanford on that day as well. Although these Thursday night games are against one another, playing more games on primetime scheduling will only help promote the conference brand.
“We love it from a standpoint of pride and I believe it moves us into position as we move forward [into] the college playoffs,” Scott said of non-conference games.
The Trojans will now prepare for the first of their home-and-home series against Hawaii on August 29th, kicking off the college football season.