The Pac-10 has released their 2007 football schedule, which you can take a look at here. Two things jumped out at me (besides the fact that Oregon State has only 10 games scheduled):
- First, I noted yesterday that Cal and Stanford had pushed back their rivalry game to December, and it now looks as though the rest of the Pac has done the same. Wazzu will play at UDub the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the rest of the rivalry games will happen on December 1, meaning that everyone gets a bye, and everyone but the Washington schools gets two (I’m sure neither Washington school wanted to play a football game in Seattle in December). This should serve to give the Pac-10 further exposure on the last week of the season (when most conferences are playing their championship games), as I’m sure the conference loved the attention that last year’s USC-UCLA game brought. Judging by their wholesale embrace of the move, I think it’s a reasonable assumption that this sort of scheduling philosophy will be standard practice for the foreseeable future.
- Secondly, on November 15, Oregon will play at Arizona, and on November 22 (Thanksgiving), USC will play at Arizona State. Note that these are both Thursday games, which is something I don’t recall the Pac-10 ever doing before. Sure, Pac-10 teams have played on Thursday night before (I remember Cal playing on a Thursday at Utah a couple years ago, and at New Mexico State the next year), but never at home, and never in a conference game. Well, it appears that the success the Big East has had with its prime-time Thursday matchups (undefeated West Virginia @ undefeated Louisville, and undefeated Louisville @ undefeated Rutgers the next week) has proven to be enough for the Pac-10 to change it’s ways. Sure, the games can be harder to get to for some fans, and can cause the traveling team to miss even more classes, but college football has never concerned itself with how much class the student-athletes might miss. No word as to whether these games will be on ESPN (as is standard for Thursday nights) or Fox Sports Net (who holds the contract for broadcasting Pac-10 games, and might be making a move against the Worldwide Leader).