The Pac-12, like many conferences, has been a champion's trial on the road. Teams at the top of the league have struggled to run the road gauntlet, and the worst teams have sold their home-court advantage at a heavy price.
The traditional Pac-10 round robin, which was a true 18-game league schedule with home and road games against every school, changed in 2011 with the addition of Colorado and Utah. That means that each season, every team will get spared either a home or road sequence against one pairing of schools.
For UCLA this season, they will get the Utes and Buffaloes on the road, but will not get either school at home. Utah has a weak team, but will be hard in that ambush zone in Salt Lake City. Colorado is a good team and will be a force to overcome in Boulder. These games could be keys and UCLA should win both.
The Bruins have traditionally struggled in the Bay Area against Stanford and Cal, in Eugene against Oregon and in Seattle for those sea side Huskies. Some of the Bruins' best two- and three-loss seasons have included losses in the Pacific Northwest. Tucson, too, has been hostile to the L.A. kids and will be again this season with Arizona the conference favorites.
UCLA's chances to win the conference will be built off the cornerstones of road success. If the Bruins get territorial and vicious outside of Los Angeles, their shot at a March feast will be within range.