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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Pac-12: Breaking down the 2013 football schedule

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The only mystery regarding Thursday's release of the 2013 Pac-12 football schedule was when the games would be played, because everybody's nonconference games and the rotation of conference opponents were already set.

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Even so, there's some news here, and having the full context in front of us opens the way for some observations:

-- The Pac-12 is not afraid to use Thursday for showcase games. The prime example is Oregon at Stanford, Nov. 7.

-- The way the calendar falls this year, the regular season includes 14 weekends. As a result, nine Pac-12 schools will have two byes each. The exceptions are Arizona State and Stanford, which open the season Sept. 7, and California, which concludes the season Nov. 23.

– The Big Game between Cal and Stanford is Nov. 23; the other five rivalry games are booked Nov. 29 and 30, the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

-- Nobody's nonconference schedule jumps out as the toughest. Stanford barely gets the award, hosting San Jose State and Notre Dame and visiting Army. Arizona State deserves mention, even with an FSC opponent. That's because Sacramento State has beaten a Pac-12 school each of the past two seasons. The Sun Devils also host Wisconsin and play Notre Dame at Arlington, Texas.

-- The easiest nonconference schedule is definitely Arizona's. The Wildcats host Northern Arizona and Texas-San Antonio and visit UNLV.

-- The toughest conference schedule is Utah's, mostly because of the order of opponents. The Utes don't get to play Washington State and Colorado until the final two weeks, meaning their first seven league games are very challenging. It helps that the Utes' first three league games (Oregon State, UCLA and Stanford) are at home, but all of those will be difficult.

-- The easiest conference schedule belongs to Oregon State. The Beavers skip UCLA and Arizona in the rotation; Washington State and Cal are among their road opponents.

-- Maybe the biggest scheduling twist is the Pac-12's championship game moving from Friday to Saturday, Dec. 7. </

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Wildcats gear up for Cal
» UA football: Former SDSU QB commits to Arizona
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Pueblo turns to ex-UA standouts for coaching help
» UA football: My AP Top 25 ballot

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Anderson, Graham donate to stadium project
» Confident Bercovici takes over as starting QB
» Boivin: Move a good sign for ASU athletics
» ASU QB Kelly expected to miss 1-2 games

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Oakland Soldiers set tone for college basketball recruiting in Bay Area
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Cal-Colorado game set for 1 p.m. kickoff
» Local sports digest: Stanford sweeps Santa Clara

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado coached to avoid coin-toss glitches, MacIntyre says
» Colorado's MacIntyre gratified Buffs practiced hard Monday
» CU Buffs tackle Jeromy Irwin might play vs. Hawaii after concussion
» Colorado holds heads high after 38-24 loss to No. 16 Arizona State

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» Oregon Ducks release 2014-2015 men's basketball schedule
» Walter Thurmond, New York Giants CB, out for season with torn pectoral muscle
» Marcus Mariota takes a golf break, then starts preparing for Washington State Cougars (video)

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» OSU men's basketball: Tinkle says positive steps being made
» Spencer to become new AD at Evansville
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans
» Beavers promote McCoy to assistant athletic director for equipment operations

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Local sports digest: Stanford's Maverick McNealy ties for medalist honors
» Local sports digest: Stanford sweeps Santa Clara
» Stanford sweeps Santa Clara

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Marcus Peters back with Huskies after sitting out one game
» Washington begins Pac-12 play at California
» Video: UW's Chris Petersen on Marcus Peters, Cyler Miles, Georgia State and more
» UW quarterback Cyler Miles was 'honored' to be named team captain against Illinois

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» WSU men's basketball schedule revealed
» Video: Cyrus Coen, Dom Williams and Toni Pole
» Video: Mike Leach during Monday press conference
» Cougars must make the most of every opportunity



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