The Pac-12 released its football schedule for the 2017 season today, and you’ll never guess which two Pac-12 North opponents the Huskies are playing back-to-back.
Huskies open 2017 season at Rutgers. Apple Cup is a Saturday. Pac-12 opener at Colorado. pic.twitter.com/6jSb6qmKTf— Christian Caple (@ChristianCaple) January 18, 2017
That’s right: For the fifth time in six seasons, the Dawgs will play Oregon and Stanford — the only two teams other than Washington, it bears noting, to win Pac-12 conference championships — in consecutive contests. While Oregon took a clear step backward in 2016, new head coach Willie Taggart and his Avengers-like assembly of all-star assistant coaches figures to have the Ducks back into the thick of the conference race sooner rather than later.
It also seems worth mentioning that Washington’s conference schedule is played predominately on the road early in the season, and at home in the season’s final weeks. Of particular note is that the Huskies play four home games in the 29 days between Oct. 28 and Nov. 25.
Some other observations:
- If the Huskies are again fortunate enough to insert themselves into the College Football Playoff discussion, be prepared to again hear from national pundits that WASHINGTON AIN’T PLAYED NOBODY, PAAAWL. The non-conference schedule of at Rutgers, versus Montana and versus Fresno State is far from impressive, though the game against the Bulldogs will be intriguing if for no other reason than the presence of new head coach Jeff Tedford, who was a consultant on Washington’s staff last season.
- Washington kicks off Pac-12 play in a late September matchup of the conference’s defending divisional champs, as the Huskies travel to Boulder to take on the University of Colorado. That game figures to be an early measuring stick of how both programs have fared in replacing some of the players who propelled them to last year’s title game.
- My early read on the season’s most difficult three-game schedule is versus Oregon, at Stanford and versus Utah. The fact that two of those three games are played in Seattle seems to be a striking advantage for the Dawgs.
- The Apple Cup will finally be played on a Saturday, after four of the last five were played on a Friday. To that I say, hallelujah.
- Does the Pac-12 favor a successful USC? Of course the Pac-12 favors a successful USC.