The Pac-12 released its 2013 football schedule on Thursday, highlighted by a Thursday night rematch between Oregon and Stanford in Palo Alto on Nov. 7. The teams have taken turns eliminating the other from national title contention over the past two seasons, the most recent a 17-14 overtime win by the Cardinal in Autzen Stadium last Nov. 17. The season culminates with the third annual Pac-12 Championship Game in Dec. 7. Let’s look at some notes, highlights and analysis from Thursday’s release.
*All four California teams will again play each other.
*After two years of pairing the Oregon schools with the Arizona schools and the Washington schools with Colorado and Utah, the conference has switched pairings in 2013. Oregon and Oregon State will play both Colorado and Utah, while Washington and Washington State will play both Arizona and Arizona State.
*All six rivalry games will take place over the final two weeks of the season, including five on Nov. 29 or 30. California and Stanford will play “The Big Game” on Nov. 23 in Palo Alto.
*Washington State and USC will play the first conference game of the season, Sept. 7 in Los Angeles.
*Sept. 14 features four marquee non-conference games: Wisconsin at Arizona State, Tennessee at Oregon, Ohio State at California and UCLA at Nebraska.
*All teams will have two bye weeks, except for USC, Stanford and California. USC will play 13 games over 14 weeks because they have a game at Hawaii. California does not play on Nov. 30 and Stanford does not open until Sept. 7 versus San Jose State.
*Eight conference games on Thursday and Friday are scheduled, with two of those coming the day after Thanksgiving (Oregon State at Oregon, Washington State at Washington).
*Four games will be part of the Thursday night ESPN package (UCLA at Utah—Oct. 3, Arizona at USC—Oct. 10, Arizona State at Oregon State—Oct. 31, Oregon at Stanford—Nov. 7). All teams will have a bye week prior to their respective Thursday games.
*Both Stanford and USC will again play Notre Dame. The Trojans visit South Bend on Oct. 19 and the Cardinal host the Irish on Nov. 30. Arizona State begins a series with Notre Dame, as well, as the two teams will meet at Cowboys Stadium on Oct. 5.
*Utah plays both Stanford and Oregon for the first time as a Pac-12 member after missing both teams in 2011 and 2012.
*UCLA plays at Stanford and at Oregon in back-to-back weeks on Oct. 19 and Oct. 26.
*Stanford will play all four of its “rivalry” games in November: Oregon (Nov. 7), at USC (Nov. 16), California (Nov. 23) and Notre Dame (Nov. 30).
Top 10 Conference Games
1. Oregon at Stanford, Nov. 7 (Thursday)
2. UCLA at USC, Nov. 30
3. Stanford at USC, Nov. 16
4. Oregon State at Oregon, Nov. 29
5. UCLA at Stanford, Oct. 19
6. USC at Arizona State, Sept. 28
7. Oregon at Washington, Oct. 12
8. UCLA at Oregon, Oct. 26
9. Stanford at Oregon State, Oct. 26
10. Arizona State at Stanford, Sept. 21
Top 10 Non-Conference Games
1. Notre Dame at Stanford, Nov. 30
2. Ohio State at California, Sept. 14
3. USC at Notre Dame, Oct. 19
4. UCLA at Nebraska, Sept. 14
5. Arizona State vs. Notre Dame (Cowboys Stadium), Oct. 5
6. Boise State at Washington, Aug. 31
7. Wisconsin at Arizona State, Sept. 14
8. Tennessee at Oregon, Sept. 14
9. Utah State at USC, Sept. 21
10. Utah at BYU, Sept. 21
Toughest Three-Game Stretches
California: Ohio State (Sept. 14), at Oregon (Sept. 28), Washington State (Oct. 5)
Oregon: UCLA (Oct. 26), at Stanford (Nov. 7), Utah (Nov. 16)
Oregon State: at Arizona State (Nov. 16), Washington (Nov. 23) at Oregon (Nov. 29)
Stanford: UCLA (Oct. 19), at Oregon State (Oct. 26), Oregon (Nov. 7)
Washington: at Stanford (Oct. 5), Oregon (Oct. 12), at Arizona State (Oct. 19)
Washington State: Oregon State (Oct. 12), at Oregon (Oct. 19), Arizona State (Oct. 31)
Arizona: Washington State (Nov. 16), Oregon (Nov. 23), at Arizona State (Nov. 30)
Arizona State: at Stanford (Sept. 21), USC (Sept. 28), vs. Notre Dame (Oct. 5)
Colorado: at Oregon State (Sept. 28), Oregon (Oct. 5), at Arizona State (Oct. 12)
UCLA: California (Oct. 12), at Stanford (Oct. 19), at Oregon (Oct. 26)
USC: at Oregon State (Nov. 1), at California (Nov. 9), Stanford (Nov. 16)
Utah: Stanford (Oct. 12), at Arizona (Oct. 19), at USC (Oct. 26)