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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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March 21, 2008 3:24 PM

Ranking the schedules

Posted by Bob Condotta

A post a few weeks ago elicited a spirited discussion about non-conference scheduling.

So I thought I'd list the non-conference schedules for all the Pac-10 teams this fall and rank them in order of toughness.

1, USC
at Virginia
Ohio State
Notre Dame

Comment --- Trojans always play a tough schedule and this one is no different. Virginia not expected to be as good as last year but that's still a tough trip, and the others need no explaining.

2, WASHINGTON
BYU
Oklahoma
Notre Dame

Comment --- I put USC ahead of UW mostly because Trojans have to go on the road for one game while UW gets to stay home for all three. Second straight year UW will have one of its best home schedules ever. In the rankings for both USC and UW here I'm assuming Notre Dame makes somewhat of a return to its old self.

3, CAL
at Michigan State
at Maryland
Colorado State

Comment --- Only Pac-10 team playing two road games at BCS schools.

4, OREGON STATE
at Penn State
Hawaii
at Utah

Comment --- Hawaii will be a shell of the team it was last season. Trip to Penn State continues OSU's attempts to upgrade its schedule. Two road trips makes it a little tougher than UCLA's.

5, UCLA
Fresno State
Tennessee
at BYU

Comment --- Nothing easy there but at least two are at home.

6, STANFORD
at TCU
San Jose State
at Notre Dame

Comment --- Harder than it looks remembering that TCU won at Stanford last year and San Jose State is a rival game that's always intense.

7, OREGON
Utah State
at Purdue
Boise State

Comment --- A good chance for a 3-0 non-conference season there.

8, WASHINGTON STATE
Oklahoma State (in Seattle)
at Baylor
Portland State
at Hawaii

Comment --- OSU a middle-of-the-pack Big 12 team and Baylor will be picked last. Any game at Hawaii is dicey but without Brennan, those receivers and a new coach, Warriors won't be what they were.

9, ARIZONA STATE
Northern Arizona
UNLV
Georgia

Comment --- Georgia a marquee early-season non-conference game but other two are easy wins.

10, ARIZONA
Idaho
Toledo
at New Mexico

Comment --- New Mexico won in Tucson last year so that's no gimme, but the other two should be.

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