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Thursday, January 10, 2013
Pac-12 schedule notes, analysis

By Ted Miller

The Pac-12 released its official 2013 schedule Thursday, and as usual some teams have a tough road ahead of them.

First, there's California, which plays Northwestern and Ohio State in its nonconference schedule, and then faces Oregon, Stanford, Oregon State, UCLA, USC and Washington. All of those teams could be ranked in the preseason, and Ohio State, Oregon and Stanford could all be in the top five.

Then there's Arizona State, which plays Wisconsin and Notre Dame (Cowboys Stadium) in its nonconference schedule. The good news for the Sun Devils is missing Oregon.

At this point, with Stanford and Oregon again expected to lead the conference, the red-letter date is then Thursday, Nov. 7, when the Ducks visit Stanford. It's hard to imagine that game won't have major conference and national implications.

With rivalry games, there's some good news. They all will be played over the last two weeks of the season. Further, the Pac- 12 Championship Game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 7, instead of a Friday night, as it has been the previous two years. It also will be on ESPN or ABC, instead of Fox.

Hits and misses area always important. We previously published the schedule rotation here. But here are the highlights:
And here are some more notes on the schedule: