Scheduling remains issue in Pac-12
With Washington’s loss and the Pac-12’s chances of having a representative in the College Football Playoff all but eliminated, there’s been a lot of attention on the league’s scheduling and whether it hurts the teams it is meant to showcase.
Stanford upset the No. 9 Huskies 30-22 on Friday night, taking out the Pac-12’s last real shot at representation in the playoffs. The playoff has never included a two-loss team.
But this season every one of the conference’s teams has at least two losses. Yes, it could mean that play in the league is having a down year. But schedules have been a recurring theme throughout the season.
Friday night games have particularly come under scrutiny because three ranked teams — Washington, Washington State (at California) and USC (at Washington State) — all lost on a Friday night after a short week.
In fact, road teams are 0-4 on Friday nights after playing the previous Saturday.
Here’s one more thing to consider: Southern California will play 12 straight weeks this season without a bye, but will get the weekend off before the Pac-12 championship. Whatever team the Trojans face — Washington, Washington State or Stanford — will be coming off a short week.
USC clinched the Pac-12 South last weekend with a 38-24 victory over Colorado.
The league’s coaches admit there’s not much that can be done: Television drives scheduling.
By extension, the Pac-12’s TV deals provide national exposure.
But even the television factor has been criticized. The start of the game between Washington and Stanford — a showcase of the league’s top team against Heisman hopeful Bryce Love — was delayed and shifted to another channel because of the Camping World Truck Series.