As the football season enters November, we’ve got a pretty clear idea what each Pac-12 team is about. So that makes it easier to project who caught some luck and who didn’t in the league scheduling process.
There’s a vast middle class in the Pac-12, and thus, for probably half the teams or more, there’s no real benefit or detriment to the twosome they’re missing on the schedule. But a handful of teams are making out or taking it on the chin.
My take, from the most fortunate to the least:
1. Utah: Stanford, Oregon. The Utes have had it good two straight years, since Oregon is virtually an automatic loss and Stanford has been consistently ranked.
2. UCLA: Washington, Oregon. Any year you’re not playing the Ducks is a good year.
3. Washington State: USC, Arizona. Cougars would have struggled to keep up with USC’s receivers, and would have been hard-pressed to score with Arizona.
4. Washington: UCLA, Arizona State. Here’s where it begins to get really debatable. But the Bruins and Sun Devils have combined for 11 wins and either would be a test for Washington.
5. Arizona State: Washington, Stanford. Sun Devils, though, could trouble Stanford with their quickness.
6. USC: WSU, OSU. Just the mention of the Beavers sends shudders down some spines at USC.
7. Stanford: Utah, Arizona State. Utah offense wouldn’t stand to put up much against Stanford defense.
8. Colorado: Oregon State, Cal. Not to be cruel, but in this case, does it matter?
9. Oregon: Utah, UCLA. Let’s face it, the Ducks would be favored by three touchdowns-plus against either.
10. Oregon State: Colorado, USC. Any team missing the Buffs is missing out.
11. Cal: Arizona, Colorado. And this is a year the Bears needed help.
12. Arizona: Washington State, Cal. ‘Cats missed two North bottom-feeders.