Pac-10′s top 10 non-conference football games of 2010by Anthony Gimino on Jan. 05, 2010, under Sports
The Pac-10 released its 2010 football schedule on Monday, including a couple of special TV games for Arizona — Friday, Nov. 26, at Oregon and Thursday, Dec. 2, vs. Arizona State.
There are still two games unaccounted for on the official Pac-10 release, although one of them is expected to be a blockbuster of an opening-week game — Oregon State vs. TCU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Later in September, the Beavers play at Boise State. Yep, TCU and Boise State … the two teams that just played in the Fiesta Bowl. How’s that for a cool non-conference schedule?
In fact, as usual, the Pac-10′s out-of-conference schedule is full of intriguing games.
It kicks off with USC at Hawaii on Thursday, Sept. 2. OK, that in itself isn’t that all that interesting, but it’s worth pointing out because it’s an extra non-conference game. The NCAA allows teams that play at Hawaii to play 13 regular-season games.
So, the Pac-10 will play 31 non-conference games next season, only one of which — an ASU non-conference game — that is TBA. Six of those games will be against lower-division foes, including The Citadel at Arizona on Sept. 11, but there is plenty of meat on the bone.
Here is one opinion on the league’s top 10 non-conference games:
1. Oregon State at Boise State, Sept. 25
The Broncos are 49-4 in the past four years and lose just two senior starters from the team that just finished the season 14-0.
2. UCLA at Texas, Sept. 25
The last time these teams met in Austin it was the “Rout 66″ game as the Bruins won 66-3 in 1997. To the surprise of nobody at Arizona, Texas coach John Mackovic was fired after that season.
3. Oregon at Tennessee, Sept. 11
The Ducks will be rid of LeGarrette Blount, and the Vols don’t have anybody named Terrelle Pryor.
4. Oregon State at TCU, Sept. 4 (Arlington, Texas)
If the Beavers have their usual slow start to the season, it will be an unhappy home-state homecoming for OSU stars James and Jacquizz Rodgers.
5. Nebraska at Washington, Sept. 18
Arizona did its part to convince the Cornhuskers that the Pac-10 is soft. You’re welcome, Huskies.
6. Notre Dame at USC, Nov. 27
New Irish coach Brian Kelly couldn’t possibly be as bad against USC as Charlie Weis was.
7. Iowa at Arizona, Sept. 18
Nick Foles gets to start at quarterback this time as Wildcats try to avenge 27-17 loss in Iowa City.
8. Washington at BYU, Sept. 4
Jake Locker returned for his senior season at Washington. Max Hall is done at BYU. Big quarterback edge to the Huskies.
9. Stanford at Notre Dame, Sept. 25
The Cardinal beat the Irish 45-38 late in the 2009 season, but won’t have RB Toby Gerhart around to save the day. (Still, Stanford will be a much tougher team than Notre Dame.)
10. Houston at UCLA, Sept. 18
If Houston QB Case Keenum doesn’t turn pro, it will be interesting to see how the Bruins stop the Cougars offense after losing DT Brian Price, LB Reggie Carter, CB Alterraun Verner and others.
ARIZONA’S 2010 SCHEDULE
Sept. 4 — at Toledo
Sept. 11 — vs. The Citadel
Sept. 18 — vs. Iowa
Oct. 2 — vs. Cal
Oct. 9 — vs. Oregon State
Oct. 16 — at Washington State
Oct. 23 — vs. Washington
Oct. 30 — at UCLA
Nov. 6 — at Stanford
Nov. 13 — vs. USC
Nov. 26 (Friday) — at Oregon
Dec. 2 (Thursday) — vs. Arizona State