Pac-12 Football TV Schedule Planner for September

Oregon at Michigan State highlights a loaded first month of Pac-12 action.

The Pac-12 Conference released kickoff times and broadcast information for most of the league's first month of games, and the docket features numerous marquee games that could help shape the national college football landscape in 2015.

 

Related: Pac-12 Football 2015 Predictions

 

For those wanting a head start on programming the DVR or planning viewing parties, consider the following your primer for the must-see Pac-12 action in the 2015 season's first three weeks. 

 

WEEK 1

 

Thursday, Sept. 3

 

Can't-Miss Game: Michigan at Utah, 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 

 

A new era in Michigan football begins the first night of the 2015 Football Bowl Subdivision season, as Jim Harbaugh returns to Pac-12 country—albeit against a program that joined the conference after his departure from Stanford. 

 

Utah carved out its niche as a Pac-12 member in 2014, breaking through with a nine-win season and ranking in the final Associated Press Top 25. The Utes have designs on a conference championship in 2015, and head coach Kyle Whittingham said running back Devontae Booker is a Heisman Trophy contender. The national spotlight will shine on Booker from the outset thanks to the interest this matchup will attract. 

 

One of Utah's nine wins last season came in a 26-10 decision over Michigan at the Big House. 

 

Also on: UTSA at Arizona, 10 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Colorado at Hawaii, 1 a.m. ET Sept. 4 on CBS Sports Network

 

Friday, Sept. 4

 

Can't-Miss Game: Washington at Boise State, 10:15 p.m. ET on ESPN 

 

Washington head coach Chris Petersen makes his return to Boise State, the program he helped put on the map.

 

Expect emotions to run high when the Huskies clash with a team featuring dozens of players Petersen recruited, facing a coach in Bryan Harsin that Petersen knows well. Harsin was a Boise State assistant from 2001 through 2010, and offensive coordinator from 2006 on. 

 

Harsin's first season as Boise State head coach ended with a crescendo. The Broncos beat Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl for the program's third win in that prestigious bowl. Returning a tremendous defense, including one of the nation's best secondaries, Boise State could spoil Petersen's homecoming. Washington struggled to find its offensive identity in 2014, and heads into 2015 with unanswered questions at quarterback. 

 

Also on: Weber State at Oregon State, 8 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks

 

Saturday, Sept. 5

 

Can't-Miss Game: Arizona State vs. Texas A&M (in Houston), Time and TV TBA  

 

The clamor for more contests pitting SEC opponents against the Pac-12 is answered with this neutral-in-name-only clash between Arizona State and Texas A&M. 

 

Arizona State head coach Todd Graham scheduling this game is part of a strategic move to build more of a presence in the Lone Star State, an area rich in recruiting talent that the native Texan Graham is eager to drive to Tempe. A strong showing against Texas A&M can go a long way to Sparky planting his pitchfork in the state. 

 

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and Arizona State coordinator Mike Norvell are two of the game's great offensive minds. With both teams bringing talent-laden offenses led by gun-slinging quarterbacks Kyle Allen (Texas A&M) and Mike Bercovici (Arizona State), 100 combined points are not out of the realm of possibility. 

 

Also on: Portland State at Washington State, 2 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Virginia at UCLA, 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox; Grambling at Cal, 5 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Eastern Washington at Oregon, 8 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Arkansas State at USC, 11 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Stanford at Northwestern, Time and TV TBA

 

WEEK 2

 

Friday, Sept. 11

 

Can't-Miss Game: Utah State at Utah, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN 2 

 

Utah last faced in-state counterpart Utah State in the 2013 season, when Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton nearly spoiled the party for the Utes with 399 total yards of offense and three touchdowns. 

Keeton, Utah State's dual-threat playmaker, is back after missing most of the 2014 campaign with a knee injury and should be eager to make up for lost time. With Keeton leading the Aggie offense, Utah State's defense could pose the Utes trouble on the opposite end. 

Utah State has ranked No. 12 or better nationally in scoring defense each of the last three seasons. 

 

Saturday, Sept. 12

 

Can't-Miss Game: Oregon at Michigan State, 8 p.m. ET on ABC 

 

Arguably the best non-conference game of the 2015 season, Michigan State gets its rematch with reigning national runner-up Oregon in East Lansing. Both the Spartans and Ducks should factor into the College Football Playoff race in the coming season, but the winner in this Week 2 tilt has an undeniable, early inside track. 

 

Oregon rallied from a first-half deficit in last year's meeting at Autzen Stadium, deluging Michigan State with 28 consecutive second-half points en route to a 46-27 win. The Ducks won't have Marcus Mariota captaining the offense this time around, but the Spartans no longer have Pat Narduzzi, now head coach at Pittsburgh, overseeing the defense. 

 

Expect ESPN's "College Gameday" to be in East Lansing for the proceedings. 

 

Also on: Sacramento State at Washington, 2 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; UMass at Colorado, 2 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; San Diego State at Cal, 5 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Arizona at Nevada, 7 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network; Idaho at USC, 8 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; UCF at Stanford, 10:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1; UCLA at UNLV, 10:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network; Cal Poly at Michigan

 

WEEK 3

 

Saturday, Sept. 19

 

Can't-Miss Game: Stanford at USC, 8 p.m. ET on ABC 

 

In-state rivals Stanford and USC have played for almost a century, but only in the last decade has this become one of the conference's more intriguing rivalries. The first indicator of its rise was Stanford's historic upset win at the Coliseum in 2007, followed two years later by the postgame confrontation between coaches Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll. 

 

In more recent years, Stanford-USC contests have simply been great games, with the winner every year since 2010 escaping by eight points or fewer. Each of the last three contests were decided by a field goal's margin. 

 

USC holds a two-game win streak after Stanford took five of six from 2007 through 2012. The Trojans' 2013 win in the Coliseum doomed Stanford's hope for a BCS Championship Game berth. 

 

Despite taking the loss last September at home, the always-stout Stanford defense forced USC's Heisman-contending quarterback Cody Kessler into his worst game statistically of the 2014 campaign. 

 

Also on: New Mexico at Arizona State (Friday, Sept. 18), 10 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Georgia State at Oregon, 2 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks; Utah State at Washington, 5 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Colorado vs. Colorado State (in Denver), 7 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network; Cal at Texas, 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox; San Jose State at Oregon State, 8 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Wyoming at Washington State, 8:30 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks; Utah at Fresno State, 10:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network; BYU at UCLA, 10:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1; Northern Arizona at Arizona, 11 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Networks

 

— Written by Kyle Kensing, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a sportswriter in Southern California. Kensing is publisher of CFBHuddle.com. Follow him on Twitter @kensing45.

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