Toughest schedules for Washington, Cal

August, 28, 2012
8/28/12
6:15
PM ET
ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach looked at which teams have the toughest schedules in 2012, and two of his top 10 are from the Pac-12.

Schlabach ranks Washington No. 3 and California No. 10.

Here's what he says about Washington:
Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian might know his team's postseason fate after the first six weeks of the season. Between Sept. 8 and Oct. 13, the Huskies play four nationally ranked opponents: No. 3 LSU (road), No. 21 Stanford (home), No. 5 Oregon (road) and No. 1 USC (home). Then Washington plays four of its last six Pac-12 games on the road, including trips to Arizona and California.

And here are his thoughts on Cal:
If Cal coach Jeff Tedford is going to climb off the hot seat, the Bears might have to pull off an upset or two this season. Along with a difficult Pac-12 slate, the Bears play nonconference games against Nevada this Saturday and at Ohio State on Sept. 15. After playing the Buckeyes, the Bears open their Pac-12 schedule at No. 1 USC on Sept. 22. At least Cal gets to face No. 21 Stanford and No. 5 Oregon at home.

I think you could throw Arizona in there. It plays Oregon, Stanford and Washington in its North Division crossover games as well as a nonconference contest with Oklahoma State.

USC's schedule also is no cakewalk. It plays Oregon, Stanford and Washington in North Division crossover games, as well as California, and it's on the road at Utah. The Trojans miss Oregon State and Washington State. As far as the nonconference slate, it plays Hawaii, at Syracuse and Notre Dame.

Ted Miller | email

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