Power Ranking Non-Conference Schedules in the Pac-12 North
1. Oregon Ducks: Aug. 30, South Dakota Coyotes (4-8)*; Sept. 6, Michigan State Spartans (13-1); Sept. 13, Wyoming Cowboys (5-7).
Why: We’ll see a clash of titans in Week 2, but I know the whole world—including Michigan State—will be wishing that this was the 2013 edition of Sparty.
2. California Golden Bears: Aug. 30, Northwestern Wildcats (5-7); Sept. 6, Sacramento State Hornets (5-7)*; Nov. 29, BYU Cougars (8-5).
Why: Sonny Dykes is trying to rebuild Cal from the ground up, and a tough trip to Evanston in the season opener will show how much progress he made over the offseason.
3. Stanford Cardinal: Aug. 30, UC Davis Aggies (5-7)*; Sept. 13, Army Black Knights (3-9); Oct. 4, Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-4).
Why: I’ll personally be anxiously awaiting another goal line scenario like this, except this time maybe the refs will make the right call.
4. Oregon State Beavers: Aug. 30, Portland State Vikings (6-6)*; Sept. 6, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (1-11); Sept. 20, San Diego State Aztecs (8-5).
Why: Portland State and Hawaii should be gimmes, but SDSU could provide the Beavers with some issues.
5. Washington Huskies: Aug. 30, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (1-11); Sept. 6, Eastern Washington Eagles (12-3)*; Sept. 13, Illinois Fighting Illini (4-8).
Why: Quite honestly, Eastern Washington is going to be the Huskies’ most difficult non-conference challenge in 2014. Just ask Oregon State.
6. Washington State Cougars: Aug. 28, Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-7); Sept. 6, Nevada Wolf Pack (4-8); Sept. 13, Portland State Vikings (6-6)*.
Why: Nevada and Rutgers ranked 98th and 100th in team passing efficiency defense, respectively, so you can imagine that Mike Leach will be slobbering over these game plans.
*denotes FCS team
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