We have not yet bid adieu to the 2011 college football season. Being forward-thinking as we are, though, the time has arrived to gaze into our crystal ball.
Today, with the Pac-12 releasing its 2012 football schedule, we present you with what, in our option, will be the top 10 Pac-12 games to come.
Arkansas State at Oregon – Sept. 1 (Honorable mention)
Can Guz Malzahn make a splash in his first game at Arkansas State? Defeating Oregon would suffice.
Washington State at BYU – Sept. 1 (Honorable mention)
The Triumphant return of Mike Leach.
Notre Dame at USC – Nov. 24 (Honorable Mention)
Assuming Notre Dame continues to improve and USC is at – or near – the top of the rankings on Nov. 24th, this is a game everyone will want to watch.
Washington at LSU – Sept. 8 (Honorable mention)
Considering LSU may be the defending national champions, this game gets an out-of-conference mention.
California at Ohio State – Sept. 15 (Honorable Mention)
The theme of new coaches inside the Pac-12 will be a story line in this game as well; Urban Meyer with his first out-of-conference test.
No. 10: Oregon at Arizona State – Oct. 18
Let’s get real: The only folks who will be openly pulling for an Arizona State win will be Oregon State and Arizona State fans. Otherwise, most college football fans will hope for a thrashing of Todd Graham.
No. 9 Washington State at Arizona State – Nov. 17
Leach versus Graham: perceived good versus perceived evil.
No. 8 Arizona State at Arizona – Nov. 23
Two new coaches – Rich Rod versus Todd Graham – and in-state rivals. This one could see sparks.
No. 7 Oregon at California – Nov. 10
California, a mostly young squad, will hope to exact some revenge for its 43-15 demolishing at the hands of Oregon.
No. 6 California at USC – Sept. 22
2011 was the year of RGIII and Luck; 2012 will be the year of Barkley. Don’t miss any of what could be a Heisman run for Barkley, while USC goes on the Crystal Ball Run.
No. 5 Washington at Washington State – Nov. 23
Maybe I am partial, who knows. One thing I do know is that Mike Leach has pieces in Wazzou that could, potentially, make the Cougar offense very exciting, very soon. Rivalry games, too, are always fun.
No. 4 Oregon at Washington State – Sept. 29
I am interested to see what stratagem Mike Leach concocts against the Oregon defense. This game could give us a lot of points and not a great deal of defense.
No. 3 Stanford at Oregon – Nov. 17
The Luck-less-Cardinal versus an, again, loaded Ducks squad. To me, this game will be the ultimate test to see how well Stanford has been able to reload; I think it will be. [Assuming, of course, the Cardinal has not been toppled by then.]
No. 2 Pac-12 Football Championship Game – Nov. 30
Following the putrid UCLA Bruins falling ass-backwards into the Pac-12 Championship in 2011, this game cannot get here soon enough for the league.
No. 1 Oregon at USC – Nov. 3
This game, essentially, is for the Pac-12 Championship. Both teams will be top-notch, and this potentially could be a top-five match-up.