USATodaySports/Lee

How tough is Cougs’ 2016 schedule?

THE GENERAL CONSENSUS headed into the football season is that there’s less separation between Pac-12 teams than in quite some time – so strength of schedule could be the biggest factor in determining who plays for the title. Jon Wilner of the Mercury News recently ranked the slates of the Pac-12 teams, taking into account not only non-conference matchups but home and road conference opponents.

Wilner tabbed the Cougs’ schedule as the eighth-easiest in the Pac-12:

Washington State: Mulled the Cougars’ ranking relative to Arizona State and UCLA and ended up with them in the middle. They play Boise State and Stanford on the road, but USC isn’t on the schedule and most of the toughest games are in Pullman (i.e., UCLA, Oregon and UW). Put another way: For a rising program hoping to make a run at the North title, the schedule could be worse.

Wilner also noted the rankings reflect his view that the North is the tougher of the two divisions.

Wilner’s schedule rankings, from easiest to toughest:

12. Utah
11. Arizona
10. Washington
9. UCLA
8. Washington State
7. Arizona State
6. Oregon State
5. Cal
4. Oregon
3. Colorado
2. Stanford
1. USC

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Wilner’s SOS differs quite a bit from ESPN’s.  ESPN’s Pac-12 SOS rankings, from easiest to toughest:

12. Washington
11. Arizona
10. Washington State
9. ASU
8. Colorado
7. Oregon
6. Utah
5. Oregon State
4. Stanford
3. UCLA
2. Cal
1. UCLA

WSU 2016 Football Schedule


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