4. The Pac-12 doesn’t leave home all that often
Every once in a while the complaint will come across that the Pac-12 has to travel to find good matchups. That wasn’t necessarily the case last year with six games in the Eastern or Central time zones – not counting the dates at Hawaii.
This year, a whole lot of big-name teams are coming to Pac-12 schools – more on that up next – and there aren’t a whole slew of trips for the conference outside of its comfort zone.
Again, forgetting Hawaii – UCLA goes there on September 5th, but gets a week off to enjoy the trip – just six Pac-12 teams games are outside of the Pacific or Mountain time zones.
That might seem like a lot – especially considering the SEC doesn’t like to travel at all – but it’s not that bad. Most of the Power Five programs are in the EST and CST – that’s where the games are.
USC has to play Alabama in Arlington, Texas, but that’s technically a neutral site game. That means four Pac-12 games are true road dates that might screw up the internal clocks, and three of them are Central.
Colorado has to go to College Station to play Texas A&M, Arizona goes to Lubbock to face Texas Tech, and Oregon State plays Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
Stanford’s game in South Bend against Notre Dame in the Eastern time zone, and that’s about as close as you can get geographically to Central.
In other words, it’s a long-winded way of saying the non-conference road trips aren’t that bad.