The Pac-12 has announced the 2018 Pac-12 football schedule, at least the dates. Kickoff times as we know will be set much later, and there might be a little shifting of non-conference dates, especially those on opening weekend. But for the most part, we now know who will be playing where, and at least on what day.
As such, we certainly don’t know about the number of night games, but there is good news conference wide, especially compared with some of the debacles we have seen this season and last.
Gone are the Friday night road trips for teams coming off a Saturday road game, something that’s bitten all 3 of the conference’s teams that were until that point in the hunt for the College Football Playoffs.
And largely gone are the Thursday night games, which have been nightmares on most campuses, and unmitigated disasters logistically and attendance wise in most cases.
There are at this point, only 2 Thursday games, and one is a first week non-conference game, the season opener at Utah against Weber State, from just up the road a few minutes.
The only conference contest on a Thursday is Stanford at Arizona State on Oct. 18.
No one has a season with their bye in the first or last week either, meaning 12 straight games, a problem mostly caused by the Notre Dame effect. Next year, the Holy War will send BYU up to Utah on the last Saturday of November. The Utes and Colorado will play their game the weekend before, which is when the USC-UCLA game and the Stanford-Cal game will also be played.
For Oregon State, the schedule is well balanced, with 2 home games and 2 road games in each month. And the bye comes exactly midway in the season, on October 13.
The Beavers also avoid any weeknight games, playing only on Saturdays until the Civil War, which, along with the Apple Cup, will be played (probably as a TV double-header) on November 23, the Friday following Thanksgiving. That’s worked well in the past.
Oregon State opens (for now; conversations about the Beavers buying their way out of this no-return loss continue, but might depend on what the new coaching staff winds up costing) at Ohio State on Sept. 1.
The Beavers’ home opener, and their only home non-conference contest, comes the following week, against Southern Utah, who visited Oregon to open this season. This is the date originally scheduled for the return game at Reser with Minnesota, which was moved up to this season.
Oregon State concludes their non-conference schedule with a visit to Nevada on Sept. 15.
In an unusual twist, the back to back late season games this season against the Arizona schools remain a back to back pair, but become the beginning of the conference campaign next September. Oregon State will host Arizona on Sept. 22, and visit Arizona State a week later (that will be a night game, we can be sure.) The Sun Devils still get a late November visit to Oregon, with a game in Eugene Nov. 17.
October opens with a visit from Washington State on Oct. 6., and following the bye, the Beavers also host California, on Oct. 20. That means it will be 28 days since the last road trip when Oregon State visits Colorado on Oct. 27.
November will likely be the toughest month of the season, and starts with a November 3 visit from USC. The next 2 weeks will be the only back to back roadies of the season, with trips to Stanford to kick off Veterans’ Day weekend on Oct. 10, and then Seattle the following week, as the rivalry game with the Huskies comes in the second to last week of the season on Nov. 17.
And as noted, the Civil War will be in Reser the following Friday.
(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)