On Monday evening, the Pac-12 announced their schedule for the 2014-2015 conference season, which comes just about three weeks before practices can officially begin.
And, once again, the Pac-12 does not do us any favors by only schedule Arizona and UCLA once, just as they did last season. You’d think that a conference on the west coast — one that struggles to capture the attention of east coast fans thanks to late-night tips and a league network that isn’t carried on every cable provider — would want to have the two most recognizable and nationally significant programs square off twice in a season, but them’s the breaks I guess. They’ll play twice next season, as the Pac-12 is using a two-year rotation in their scheduling.
None of the six schools expected to finish in the top half of the conference — Arizona, UCLA, Utah, Colorado, Stanford, Cal — were given particularly difficult schedules. The Mountain schools only play the Bay Area schools one, and those games at Utah and Colorado, respectively. UCLA probably has the most difficult schedule of those six as they have to play a home-and-away against the Mountain schools and the Bay Area schools and then travel to Tucson for the only matchup with the Wildcats.
The Pac-12 Networks have done well to get every league game on television, but it’s created a bit of an issue with the schedule. Instead of having all the league games getting played on Thursday nights and Saturdays, there are a number of games being played on Wednesday and Sunday. This is a problem because it means that there are going to be times where a team has to take two long flights during the week. By my count, there are three instances this season with a Wednesday-Sunday road week:
- California at the SoCal schools.
- Washington at the Oregon schools. The Huskies also have one stretch where, in six days time, they play at Washington State, at USC and at UCLA.
- Washington State at the SoCal schools.