Blog Entry

Pac-10 schedule breakdown

Posted on: April 20, 2010 4:47 pm

The best thing about the Pac-10 is that it plays a true round-robin with only three, usually strong, non-conference games.

The worst thing about the Pac-10 is that is plays a true round-robin with only three, usually strong, non-conference games.

Ask the coaches.

While the Pac-10 produces a "true" champion, there are plenty of reasons to question the scheduling philosophy. The unbalanced schedule means nine conference games. Half of the league is playing four conference home games and five away games. That puts more pressure on getting just the right mix of three non-conference games. Six Pac-10 teams will be playing I-AA teams this season. Arizona State is playing two. USC gets a 13th game this season by playing in Hawaii and is still playing seven road games.

That means there are plenty of land mines out there for the contenders and a chance for the Pac-10 to drop off the national title radar this season. Even with the loss of Jeremiah Masoli, Oregon will be favored. The Ducks, though, still have to travel to USC and Oregon State as well as Tennessee in the non-conference.

If the Pac-10 expands -- a decision is coming soon -- it probably will have to abandon the round-robin scheduling format.  It might not be such a bad thing to add a winnable non-conference game and drop a conference game that could ruin your season.

Game of the year:  (non-conference) Notre Dame at USC, Nov. 27. There are other tasty games (UCLA at Texas, Oregon State at Boise, Oregon State vs. TCU in Arlington, Texas), but it's never bad to go with tradition.

Neither the Irish nor the Trojans will likely be favored to win any championships this season. That's hardly the point. There's a new coach on each side in this game for the first time since 1941 (Sam Barry and Frank Leahy). USC's current winning streak over Notre Dame (eight) is a game more than Lane Kiffin has won (seven as a college coach).  Brian Kelly tries to  bring the zone read option to a program that is searching for an identity.

Heismans are won and souls are crushed in this game. You have to watch.


Game of the year: (conference)  Oregon at Oregon State, Dec. 4. The Civil War reached new heights last season when the Ducks were featured on a Thursday night in their road to the Rose Bowl. It's hard to describe the intensity in this game but when it makes an impression on the Big Ten commissioner who know it's special.

"The games that were regional became national," said Delany speaking about the BCS has been able to highlight certain games. "Once they got me to watch Oregon-Oregon State, they got me to watch other games."

Team on the spot:  Arizona State. Three years ago the Sun Devils actually won a share of the Pac-10. Since then, they are 9-15. Only six of those victories have come against BCS conference schools. Dennis Erickson's star has faded fast. No one is expecting the Sun Devils to do much this season. With two I-AAs on the schedule (Portland State and Northern Arizona), a bowl is a must isn't it?

Toughest non-conference schedule:
UCLA. It's all about momentum. In his third season, Rick Neuheisel has to have it. By the first week of October he could lose it.

An 0-4 start is a definite possibility. There are no breathers in the non-non which is broken up by an early conference opener in the second week against Stanford at the Rose Bowl.

I dare any team to try this September schedule in consecutive weeks:

Sept. 4 -- at Kansas State. The improving Wildcats came within a game of winning the Big 12 North last season. Under Bill Snyder at this point they are capable of beating anyone outside the top 10. UCLA needs to mature in a hurry on offense. If it doesn't in this game, it could be another lost season.

Sept. 11 -- Stanford.  This was supposed to be an off field before it got switched for television. (Stanford was originally scheduled for Oct. 16) At least the Bruins get the Cardinal at home before (perhaps) the Pac-10's best quarterback, Andrew Luck, can get on a roll.

Sept. 18 -- Houston. This is the real WTF? Houston beat Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Mississippi State on its way to a 10-win season last year. Case Keenum sure as heck isn't going to be intimidated by the Rose Bowl. This is a pick-'em at best, a Houston victory if Keenum heats up. This is the beginning of a two for one and gives the Bruins some face time in Texas, but wedged in where it is ... tough, tough, tough.

Sept. 25 -- at Texas. More face time in Texas but this is not the game you need at this time. Mack Brown has promised that the offense will become more physical this season. The Bruins better muscle up on D coming off meetings with Luck and Keenum.

Easiest non-conference schedule: Arizona State. As mentioned, Portland State and Northern Arizona kick off the season. That means the Sun Devils will have to win seven this season to go to a bowl game. It can count only one I-AA against bowl eligibility.

Reality sets in the next week at Wisconsin.





Since: Nov 6, 2008
Posted on: April 23, 2010 2:41 pm

Pac-10 schedule breakdown


Nice, completely ignore the fact that ASU now needs wins and you think your gonna get better by beefing up your schedule. The PAC-10 especially USC HAD to beef up their OOC because your conference sucked and USC knew they couldn't get by with playing 1-AA opponents. Thats great if you get beat by a good team but that doesn't always help you, win, get to a good bowl game, and then beef up the schedule. Take a look, OSU v. Georgia, Neb. v. Vtech, OU v. Miami......and quite a few don't know what the hell your talking about. Look at KSU for example Snyder didn't get to where he is by scheduling Ohio St., FSU, or Notre Dame right off the bat, you gotta build up to it, or your in a big game getting your ass handed to you on National T.V. and that doesn't lure recruits

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 23, 2010 11:31 am

Pac-10 schedule breakdown

I think that the Pac10 does overall a pretty good job of scheduling - one, there is a true champion from the conference because everyone plays each other; out of conference by necessity, they play both equal strength BCS and also give the 'little guys" (such as Boise St and Utah) a "shot" to prove themselves in home and home series.

So quit bagging on the Pac10 and their scheduling (especially you SEC Homers).    I respect the scheduling which most of the conference does perform but not all (ASU being a good 2010 example but previously had Georgia and LSU on the schedule).

UCLA has a slightly tougher schedule- @Texas with their reloaded talent (although they may not be cohesive yet) is the toughest.    K-State is pretty tough and Snyder's second season so expect them to replace Mizzou at the North contender to Nebraska but the North is still woefully weak compared to the Big12 South.    Houston loses some offensive linemen and receivers so not the same 10 game winning team.    Please don't go overboard on SOS for UCLA as they have one tough, one push, and one should win.

Oregon St at Boise returning 33 pivotal players and 20 starters?   For them, this is a push and for Boise, one of their few marquee matchups so they can over focus on this game; and is a make or break to their season.   TCU will be down as they will be replacing 2 DT's and LB that are being drafted this weekend.   Yes, they return talent, but is secondary talent (for Texas).   TCU is not as hard up as Baylor but they are not on the same field as OU or Texas yet.

Also-stop with the Boise beating OU mantra as proof they belong in the same breadth EVERY season.    Remember a little beat down between the hedges against Georgia?   Nope, that's been pushed out of the BSU collective memory.    TCU did beat OU in Norman, great victory over an OU team that was down that year, but the last meeting?   35-10 in OU's favor.   Seems we again have selective memory for the MWC/WAC collective memory.   TCU also was touted a few years ago as potential BCS buster and took a trip to Austin only to limp back to Ft Worth so beaten up they struggled to an 8-5 season.

And-propping Hawaii and Virginia as bonafide competition?   Come on-we are talking about USC and having the pick of top California talent (which is on par with top Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio talent).    If USC struggles against anyone but Notre Dame, then the Pac10 homers are automatically downgrading the current state of California talent which the best team in California (USC) has supposedly recruited - which then means that it is horribly coached and/or over-hyped.

We'll actually see around week 7 or 8; but please use arguments that don't turn back on themselves or use selective facts.   Bottom line is football is about very young men in the most heighten state of emotional state playing a game which comes down to match-ups, coaching, effective clock management, and that intangible of luck.   

Since: Mar 26, 2008
Posted on: April 23, 2010 11:13 am

Pac-10 schedule breakdown

Especially after the arrival of new head coach D.E., Ariz. St. started employing weaselly, Big 12 South/SEC East Chicken Shlit non-conf. scheduling practices.  Whatever former Ariz. State head coach Dirk Koetter's shortcomings were, he had stones and his athletic administration was still scheduling strong, high-caliber ooc opponents.  Coach Erickson's trying to do the weaselly SEC-thing--pad your won-loss record with wins over cupcake opponents.  Sadly, the whole Pac-10, actually, is gradually copying the Big 12/SEC's chicken shlit ways, hence, we'll soon have a stupid, watered-down mega-conference and then our out-west teams will stop taking on quality ooc opponents.  As a CFB fan, I detest mega-conferences and conference championship games.

Since: Nov 6, 2008
Posted on: April 22, 2010 5:57 pm

Pac-10 schedule breakdown

First of all study up before you lump every team in a conference as a ducker, the Huskers play at least one marqee team every year AAND we're still riding out the scheduling in place from Peterson (old AD) and Callahan<----cussword. Trust me when I say that Osborn and Pelini will play anyone anywhere anytime. Seriously though.....have you all forgotten who Bill Snyder is, he only took a sub 110 ranked team and then consistently put them in the top 20 for 10 years Bowden, Osborn, Paterno, and many other coaches acknowledge that as one of the greatest turn arounds in don't discount a team like that because of what you perceive. Last, all these schedules look like suicide now but lets see where these teams are 5 weeks in before you go crowning a team as a legit contender.

Last last.....seriously, BSU and TCU will have to move into a big conf. soon, then you'll see what its like to have to game plan for all 12 weeks of a season instead of 4 or 5. Baylor with Griffin III has a legit shot of beating any team in the Big 12 this year, save 2 teams CU and ISU i don't see the Big 12 being that big of a doormat, but like I said, wait until October.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: April 22, 2010 5:15 pm

Pac-10 schedule breakdown

USC: @Hawaii, Virginia, @Minnesota, Notre Dame

Not a single "scheduled win" between those teams. 

Huh?  Hawaii and UVA should be easy work for USC.  Really, the road trip to Minneapolis should not be all that tough either.  The only one that is tough to figure is ND, because we don't yet know what improvement Kelly will produce.  But based on recent history, that one should be a layup too.  Perilously close to all 4 being "scheduled wins".

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: April 22, 2010 2:13 pm

Pac-10 schedule breakdown

ASU is pathetic and their scheduling is really transparent. They have done this with their basketball since as far back as I can remember, in scheduling a slew of cupcakes to beef up their record before conference play. Usually, it doesn't even work, but the past two years it has. Their record, while beating nobody out of conference, had ASU fans whining they didn't get picked for the Tourney, only to see them lose the first round as a #1 seed in the NIT.

No surprise they are doing it in football too.

As for the rest of the PAC-10 (okay, minus the Cougars), should be a very interesting year.

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: April 22, 2010 10:42 am

Pac-10 schedule breakdown

ducks fans are paying you back for the 80's and early 90's...not a very friendly environment going to Husky Stadium.  Enjoy your 10th+ season in a row of mediocrity.  I know its tough remembering when you were good and relevant. 

Since: Mar 26, 2008
Posted on: April 22, 2010 9:06 am

Pac-10 schedule breakdown

All you guys are knowledgebable Pac-10 fans/west coast/west-of-the-Rockies cfb fans. 

However, tap the breaks on the 2010/2011 TCU hype. 

Big 12-biased Dodd's at least right about UCLA facing more, high quality, touch ooc opponents. 

I'm a diehard Pac-10 fan living in Ft. Worth and can tell you--both TCU and the Univ. of Houston will be down some in 2010/2011. 

TCU graduated their two defensive super stars and some other very experienced/excellent 3- and 4-year starters from last year's squad.  Even with a crappy qb, Orygyn St. should be favored to narrowly defeat TCU at JerryWorld in Arlington, Texas.

Dodd's wrong about Houston being such a tough out for UCLA--don't forget that another out-west/wide-open type of offensive football team with Calif. athletes and a west-of-the-Rockies, pass-first mentality--UTEP--SOUNDLY defeated Houston last year.  UCLA's Calif. athletes are a couple tiers above UTEP's.

Typically, UCLA acquits itself well in non-conf. games--even in defeat UCLA is often competitive--unlike the Univ. of Texas who got boatraced by UCLA 66-3 in '99 (and an overrated Ala. team was also blown out by UCLA).

Since: Nov 22, 2007
Posted on: April 22, 2010 1:48 am

Pac-10 schedule breakdown

OSU has the harder schedule, UT will be good but has too many questions on offense to really know how good they are.  Gilbert has one game under his belt and has basically no running game to support him.  I'm not even sure Texas is the best team of these six at the moment.  Houston is the second toughest game for UCLA but does anyone think that playing UH in the Rose Bowl is more difficult than TCU or Boise on the road.  As for KState or Louisville, you could go back two years ago to when Louisville beat KState, but unlike TCU or Boise, those two teams each have new coaches and new players so that would make it a push.

That means that:
@Boise vs. @Texas-slight edge to Boise
@TCU vs. Houston-TCU
UL vs. KState-push

I would give the nod to Oregon St. having the harder non-conference right now.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: April 22, 2010 12:20 am

Pac-10 schedule breakdown

OSU has a difficult OOC schedule, but 2 of the three opponents are tougher when you look at UCLA's schedule. 

Texas, K State(a) + Houston (h) > Boise St, TCU (a) + Louisville (h)

Texas is the best of the 6 teams, Boise TCU are 2,3.  So whichever team you think is more difficult to play on the road Boise or TCU is cancelled by the Texas road game.  Easily the other team left is a harder matchup then K State.  That leaves Houston and Louisville as home games.  This is a no brainer with a Senior Heisman  caliber QB, Houston is a much more difficult game then Louisville.  Why is this so hard to see?

No one is at all saying that OSU's schedule is soft, but looking at the three games collectively I give the edge to UCLA and see where DD is coming from. 

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