Don't tell the pollsters east of the Rockies, but no collegiate football conference in America rivals the schedule format of our premier Left Coast league. The Pac10 plays a full round robin slate, the only one in Division I. This leaves room for members to schedule only three non-Confernece matchups, with the exception of USC, which has a quartet of games with 'outside' foes @Hawaii, Virginia, @Minnesota and Notre Dame as the Trojans' final regular season tilt.
UCLA has potentially the toughest schedule of all...playing at Kansas State and Texas, and hosting Houston. Ricky Newheisel's lads are good bets to go 0-4 at season's start, since they face a veteran Stanford team in the Bruins' second game.
Oregon State travels to loaded Boise State, hosts Louisville and travels to Texas to challenge the TCU Horned Frogs, who failed to lose a game last season. Washington also has scheduled a very tough trio, going to BYU and hosting Syracuse and Nebraska. Easest non-league fracases are probably a blessing for Arizona State and beleaguered Dennis Erickson, with a pair of lower division games at home versus Portland State and Northern Arizona.
Oregon's trip to Tennessee is the only out-of-league barrier for the Ducks, who will host Portland State and New Mexico. Woeful Washingtnon State fortunately plays host to IAA Montana State, but travel to SMU and Oklahoma State. Cal starts off easy, hosting IAA CalDavis and Colorado, and traveling to Nevada. Arizona goes to Toledo, hosts IAA The Citadel, but then entertains Big Ten power Iowa.
ThePac10 intra-league battles should favor the Ducks, despite their off-season squad embarassments, with USC and Stanford their chief contenders. Oregon State is searching for a new quarterback (as are the Ducks), but national television is betting on the December Civil War in Corvallis to be the game for the January Rose Bowl honors.
We submit that, overall, Pac10 pigskin play will be rivaled next season only by the members of the Southeaster Conference, whoe administrators gave us the BCS histrionics and whose fans orchestrate the nation's most uproarious tailgate celebrations.
Tune into this space next month for a report on spring practice outcomes at UO, OSU and Portland State.