2016 Pac-12 football schedules: Which teams have the toughest slates? Which ones have the easiest? Check out the ranking of all the Pac-12 schedules.
Ranked in order from easiest Pac-12 football schedule to the hardest.
There’s no arguing with the start with the first four games in Arizona including the opener against BYU and the Pac-12 start against Washington. The Wildcats don’t have to play Oregon, but the get Washington and Stanford from the North – at least those two are at home. The big battles against USC, Stanford and Arizona State are all in Tucson.
The Bruins have a nasty start to the year at Texas A&M, and they’ll have to fight through a road trip to BYU, but most of the tough Pac-12 games are at home. Going to Arizona State, Washington State, Colorado and Cal is about as easy an away run as it gets, with Stanford and USC both coming to the Rose Bowl.
10. Oregon State
Even with non-conference games against Minnesota and Boise State, the overall schedule isn’t all that bad with no USC from the South and the Civil War against Oregon at home. The tough part is a stretch of three road games in four weeks against Washington, Stanford and UCLA – and there’s the problem – but everything else is manageable.
The Holy War against BYU is the one decent non-conference game, and the Utes get a major break facing Cal and Oregon State from the North – even if those two games are on the road. Washington and Oregon aren’t going to be easy, but at least those are in Salt Lake City, as is the showdown with USC. There’s a run, though, of three road games in four including UCLA and Arizona State.
Rutgers, Idaho and Portland State. It doesn’t get squishier-soft than that in non-conference play, but the Huskies get the payback to start the Pac-12 season. At Arizona, Stanford and at Oregon won’t necessarily be a make-or-break run, but with those three, and the rest of the schedule just isn’t that bad, even with USC to play from the South and the Apple Cup against Washington State on the road.
7. Washington State
The Cougars have to go on the road to play Boise State, and start out the Pac-12 season against Oregon, at Stanford and UCLA, but there’s even more fun right after with road games at Arizona State and Oregon State. The break? It’s November, with three home games in the final four against Arizona, Cal, at Colorado and the Apple Cup against Washington.
6. Arizona State
The non-conference slate isn’t all that bad against Northern Arizona, Texas Tech, and at UTSA to kick things off, and kicking off the Pac-12 portion isn’t all that bad against Cal. And then the fun starts with a road game at USC. Throw in the road dates at Oregon, Washington and Arizona – with those three all coming in the final four games – and the schedule’s a challenge.
The Bears have to travel around the world to start out the year against Hawaii, and follow it up with a brutal date at San Diego State and one of the nation’s best defenses. Follow that up with Texas, at Arizona State, and Utah, and the first half’s a fight. The Bears have to play both USC and UCLA, getting the Trojans on the road. On the plus side, the Oregon and Stanford games are in Berkeley.
It’ll be an emotional September starting out with the rivalry date against Colorado State along with road games at Michigan and Oregon. If that wasn’t challenging enough, there’s a trip to USC in early October. The second half isn’t all that bad with four of the last six games at home, but with a trip to Stanford.
It’s like the schedule doesn’t quite let up. Starting out against Kansas State won’t be easy, and following it up against USC, at UCLA, and at Washington makes it one of the toughest Septembers anyone has to deal with. Going to Notre Dame will hardly be a breeze, but the big killer is the road game at Oregon before taking the ride up the road to face Cal.
Having to go to Nebraska after facing Virginia is hardly unmanageable, but it’ll be a challenge. On the plus side, the Ducks get the two big North games against Stanford and Washington at home, but they’ve got to go to Washington State and have four of their last six and three of their last four games at home. Closing out at USC, Stanford, at Utah and Oregon State is going to make it a fight of a November.
The Trojans start out the regular season against Alabama and finish it up with at UCLA and Notre Dame. In between is no picnic, starting out the conference schedule on the road at Stanford and Utah. Not only does USC get the Cardinal from the North, but it deals with Oregon and a road trip to Washington. Yay.