The Pac-12 has released the 2011 football schedule, which to me at least, makes the whole expansion feel real. Here's Oregon's set schedule for next season, with some more thoughts after the jump.
Saturday, Sept. 3 - Oregon vs. LSU
Saturday, Sept. 10 - Nevada at Oregon
Saturday, Sept. 17 - Oregon (game to be scheduled)
Saturday, Sept. 24 - Oregon at Arizona
Saturday, Oct. 1 - BYE
Thursday, Oct. 6 - California at Oregon
Saturday, Oct. 15 - Arizona State at Oregon
Saturday, Oct. 22 - Oregon at Colorado
Saturday, Oct. 29 - Washington State at Oregon
Saturday, Nov. 5 - Oregon at Washington
Saturday, Nov. 12 - Oregon at Stanford
Saturday, Nov. 19 - USC at Oregon
Saturday, Nov. 26 - Oregon State at Oregon
Saturday, Dec. 3 - Pac-12 Championship Game
My initial thoughts, get ready for more games and less time off with the new schedule. Now that the Pac-12 has a championship game, all teams will have one less bye week during the season. It will make it that much more difficult for a team to finish unbeaten, and I now understand why SEC teams schedule a cupcake game in November.
In terms of the overall schedule, Oregon has to go to Arizona, but hosts USC, and also gets a road trip to Boulder, and get the typical Pac-12 North games. The schedule will definitely not be easy, but the Ducks seem to have a pretty good balance for home and road games. However, the Ducks will have no cupcakes. Oregon will get thrown into the fire early, and get few breaks throughout the season.
It's sure to be full of excitement, with little time off this season. It'll be tough, but I'm enjoying the Pac-12 already. Our conference will be treated to great games every single weekend.