The 2012 Pac-12 football schedules have arrived. WSU will not play USC or Arizona this year, but everything else appears to be business as usual except for Apple Cup weekend.
If you're planning to have Thanksgiving with the family, do Black Friday shopping and attend the Apple Cup, something will have to give because the game is that Friday, the 23rd, in Pullman. When I was in school (listen to me sound all creaky, and I'm not even 30 yet), the Apple Cup was the Saturday before Thanksgiving break. We could stay in town an extra night or two for the game and then head home for vacation. And yet, students now must cut their break short to get back for the Apple Cup. It seems silly to me, but I'm not the one making up the schedule. If I were, I wouldn't have changed what was working just fine.
The Cougars open their first season under coach Mike Leach on Sept. 1 at BYU. It will be their first of two trips to the state of Utah this year - they will visit the Utes on Nov. 3. Their nonconference schedule also includes Eastern Washington and UNLV before Pac-12 play begins against Colorado on Sept. 22 in Pullman. Also, the Cougars will play in Seattle this year, but not against UW - they will face Oregon on Sept. 29 at CenturyLink Field.
Here's WSU's schedule:
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Sept. 1 - at BYU
Sept. 8 - vs. Eastern Washington
Sept. 15 - at UNLV
Sept. 22 - vs. Colorado
Sept. 29 - vs. Oregon (in Seattle)
Oct. 6 - at Oregon State
Oct. 13 - vs. California
Oct. 27 - at Stanford
Nov. 3 - at Utah
Nov. 10 - vs. UCLA
Nov. 17 - at Arizona State
Nov. 23 (Friday) - vs. Washington
As for Washington, the Huskies will have a few nontraditional game days. They are scheduled to face Stanford on Thursday, Sept. 27, at CenturyLink Field, where all Husky home games will be held this year. Besides the Apple Cup, the Huskies will have one other Friday game, Nov. 2 at California. The first half of their season provides several tough tests in LSU (Sept. 8 in Baton Rouge, La.), Stanford, Oregon (Oct. 6 in Eugene) and USC (Oct. 13 at home).
Here's UW's slate (no UCLA or Arizona State for the Huskies in 2012):
Sept. 1 - vs. San Diego State
Sept. 8 - at LSU
Sept. 15 - vs. Portland State
Sept. 27 (Thursday) - vs. Stanford
Oct. 6 - at Oregon
Oct. 13 - vs. USC
Oct. 20 - at Arizona
Oct. 27 - vs. Oregon State
Nov. 2 (Friday) - at California
Nov. 10 - vs. Utah
Nov. 17 - at Colorado
Nov. 23 (Friday) - at Washington State
TV channels and times will be announced later this year, but remember, there's a Pac-12 network forthcoming. Hopefully, we'll soon learn more details of how this will work.