A closer look at WSU scheduling in Pac-12

SEVERAL OF THE future nonconference football games for Washington State already have been announced. But figuring out who the Cougars play in conference games is not quite as easy to decipher.

When the Pac-12 added Colorado and Utah beginning last season, it was announced that each team would have two conference byes every season. After playing a round-robin schedule from 2006-10, WSU did not play Arizona or USC last season. And they will miss those schools again this fall.

It was assumed by many that WSU and Washington, which misses Arizona State and UCLA, would then trade conference opponents in 2013-14.

Not so fast.

The Cougars and Huskies will each miss opposite rival universities again after next season, but it might not be the teams that many expect.

WSU media relations director Bill Stevens told CF.C on Wednesday that the latest schedule has the Cougars missing UCLA and Utah during the 2013-14 seasons.

Based on the structure of the Pac-12, which features North and South Divisions, WSU always will play California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and UW. But when the universities reached an agreement on the structure of the divisions, officials at the four California schools mandated that they maintain their rivalry games each year. Because of that arrangement, all four Northwest schools in the Pac-12 will not play UCLA or USC every season.

Stevens said the home-and-home rotation will continue with each two-year rotation. That means the Cougars will host Oregon State (CenturyLink Field) and Stanford in 2013.

But Stevens said the Pac-12 has not released where teams will play opponents from opposite divisions beyond next season. Yet if the scheduling pattern continues, WSU would host ASU and travel to Colorado in '13.

Stevens said the Cougars then will miss Colorado and USC in 2015-16 and UCLA and ASU the following two seasons.

As previously reported by CF.C, several nonconference opponents have been scheduled for upcoming seasons. WSU hosts Brigham Young in 2013, while playing at Auburn. Nevada is set to host the Cougars in 2014 with a return trip to Pullman in '17. As an extension of the two-for-one agreement with WSU playing in 2007 at Wisconsin, the Badgers will head to the Palouse in 2014 with the Cougars playing at Camp Randall the following season. WSU then has a home-and-home in 2017-18 against Boise State. The 2017 game will be in Boise. The MercuryNews newspaper also has reported that San Jose State will play in 2018 at Martin Stadium.

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