Last year’s three Pac-12 powers — Utah, Washington and WSU — do not play a single Power 5 conference opponent this season. The league plays a combined total of 10 games against Power 5 foes. That’s absurd. No wonder tickets are often slow to move in Pac-12 cities.
One exception is Stanford, which takes on the big boys every season. This year, the Cardinal will play Notre Dame and Northwestern, as well as feared mid-major power Central Florida.
The rest of the league continues its wimps-are-us scheduling philosophy, which is especially true for the six schools perceived to be in the bottom half of Pac-12 football. Here’s a look at the next five years of nonconference schedules for the Bottom Half, 2020-24:
Arizona. The Wildcats play Texas Tech, two games with Mississippi State and one with Kansas State. But they will play NAU three times in those five years. It sounds like an Arizona State basketball schedule.
ASU. The Sun Devils play just two Power 5 schools at home the next five years, Oklahoma State and Mississippi State, but have filled the home schedule with Southern Utah (twice), NAU, Eastern Michigan, UNLV, Texas State and Wyoming.
Cal. The Bears play TCU and Auburn at home over the next five years but have stocked up with neighbors UC Davis (twice), Cal Poly, Sacramento State and San Jose State.
Colorado. The Buffaloes are the most bold of the Pac-12’s bottom tier, scheduling eight Power 5 teams the next five seasons, including a home-and-home with Nebraska.
Oregon State. The Beavers aren’t ready for prime time; their strongest nonconference foe the next five years is Purdue.
Washington State. The Cougars have a home-and-home with Wisconsin but otherwise don’t take on much more than Houston, Utah State and BYU.
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