These are the can't-miss games of what will be a different-yet-exciting season
The Pac-12 released its second revamped 2020 college football schedule on Saturday morning, setting the stage for an six-game, conference-only slate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference also is planning for a unique lineup of games on Dec. 19, where every team outside of the two division champions will play a crossover opponent to add a seventh Pac-12 matchup for all 12 programs. The Pac-12's 2020 season officially begins on Saturday, Nov. 7 and continues with scheduled games until Dec. 12.
Here are the best matchups each week of the revamped 2020 Pac-12 football season.
Pac-12 Football: Best Game Every Week of the Proposed 2020 Schedule
Week 1 of the Pac-12 Schedule (Saturday, Nov. 7)
Arizona State at USC
The Pac-12 is starting its 2020 slate with a bang. The Sun Devils and Trojans are slated to meet on Nov. 7 at 9 a.m. PT in what could be the game that decides the winner of the South Division. This matchup also features two of the nation’s top young quarterbacks in Jayden Daniels (Arizona State) and Kedon Slovis (USC). USC has won four out of the last five in this series.
Next Up: Washington at Cal; Stanford at Oregon
Week 2 (Nov. 13-14)
California at Arizona State
Both teams have huge matchups in the first weekend of action, so we should have a good idea of where these teams are going into this showdown on Nov. 14. Arizona State upset California 24-17 in Berkeley last season and this meeting features an intriguing battle between quarterback Jayden Daniels against California’s defense. The Golden Bears held teams to just 21.9 points a game last fall and received a boost when cornerback Cam Bynum opted back into the season. The last five meetings between these two teams have been decided by 10 points or less.
Next Up: Oregon at Washington State; Utah at UCLA
Week 3 (Nov. 20-21)
USC at Utah
Chip Kelly’s meeting against his old team (Oregon) is interesting, but the USC-Utah showdown should play a key role in shaping the South Division. These two teams have alternated wins and losses over the last six meetings, with four of those decided by seven points or less. The Utes are breaking in a new quarterback (likely Jake Bentley) but return a strong foundation at receiver and along the offensive line. Even though coach Kyle Whittingham’s defense brings back just two starters, expect Utah to quickly find the right mix on this side of the ball. However, a rebuilt secondary figures to be under attack from USC quarterback Kedon Slovis and a deep group of receivers.
Next Up: Washington State at Stanford; California at Oregon State; UCLA at Oregon
Week 4 (Nov. 27-28)
Washington at Washington State (Friday, Nov. 27)
The Nov. 27-28 weekend features rivalry matchups for the Pac-12 North teams. Utah at Arizona State is a crucial game for the Pac-12 South pecking order, but it’s hard to ignore the rivalry aspect in our selection. The Apple Cup features two new coaches in Jimmy Lake (Washington) and Nick Rolovich (Washington State) and a fun battle between a high-powered offense against one of the nation’s top defenses. Under former coach Chris Petersen, the Huskies won all six matchups against the Cougars. Can Lake continue that streak?
Next Up: Stanford at Cal, Utah at Arizona State; Oregon at Oregon State
Week 5 (Dec. 4-5)
Oregon at California
The Ducks are the favorite to win the Pac-12 North, but this trip to Berkeley could loom large in the division title race. A healthy year from quarterback Chase Garbers is a boost to a California offense that averaged only 21.2 points a game last season. The strength of coach Justin Wilcox’s team remains a defense that held teams to just 21.9 points a contest in 2019. Oregon’s secondary was hit hard by opt outs, but the defense is still among the best in the conference. New play-caller Joe Moorhead will have a first-time quarterback (Tyler Shough) and five new offensive line starters to build the Ducks’ offense around in 2020.
Next Up: Washington State at USC; UCLA at Arizona State; Stanford at Washington
Week 6 (Dec. 11-12)
Washington at Oregon
The Dec. 11-12 weekend features rivalry games in the Pac-12 South, but the must-see matchup from the sixth week of games from this conference is in the Pacific Northwest. The Ducks defeated Washington 35-31 last season in Seattle, so revenge will be on the mind for new coach Jimmy Lake. The Huskies feature one of the Pac-12’s top defenses, which figures to challenge a revamped Oregon offensive line and new quarterback. Washington’s offense also is a question mark with a new play-caller (John Donovan) and uncertainty at quarterback. This matchup is likely to figure prominently into sorting out the Pac-12 North pecking order.
Next Up: Arizona State at Arizona; USC at UCLA; California at Washington State