The Pac-12 just released its 2014 schedule, and there are certainly some marquee games on the slate. Here’s a look at the Pac-12 Games of the Year for 2014.
USC at Stanford, Sept. 6
An early season slugfest that could knock one of the teams out of the playoff picture early. Both are loaded with talent, but Stanford loses a lot up front, while USC loses much from its vaunted defense. The Trojans nipped the Cardinal in 2013, so David Shaw and Co. will be out for revenge.
UCLA at Arizona State, Sept. 25
Like USC, the Sun Devils lose a ton from that awesome defense. The Bruins, though, who’ve been infused with talent in the last two recruiting classes, suffer minimal losses and return a Heisman candidate in Brett Hundley. This game could ultimately decide the Pac-12 South, again, even though it’s in the season’s first month.
Oregon at UCLA, Oct. 11
Oregon has absolutely owned UCLA in recent years, but shifting to the Rose Bowl gives the Bruins their best chance at knocking off the mighty Ducks. One more year of Hundley vs. Marcus Mariota? This is prime-time football.
Stanford at Arizona State, Oct. 18
The Sun Devils struggled for three quarters against Stanford in 2013, then hit the afterburners and made it a game. Can ASU buckle down for all 60 minutes against what could turn into a pass-happy Cardinal attack?
Stanford at Oregon, Nov. 1
Stanford’s brutal road schedule – ASU, Oregon, UCLA, all away from the friendly confines – could force a step back. Of course, this will determine the Pac-12 North.
USC at UCLA, Nov. 22
UCLA has owned Los Angeles for two years now, which is a surprise, considering they barely paid rent to the Trojans over the previous decade-and-a-half. The first of back-to-back, playoff-deciding matchups for the Bruins.
Stanford at UCLA, Nov. 28
Will the Bruins have enough in the tank at the end of the year? Will the Cardinal? A favorable late-season schedule for Oregon means this game might not even matter for championship game hosting.
Arizona State at Arizona, Nov. 28
The second of two huge games on the schedule, Arizona has its chance for revenge in what could be an eight-win season for the Wildcats. Unless the rival Sun Devils have something to say about it.