Posted on January 30, 2023
The Pac-12 still sorely lacks the ability to punch with the big-time programs in college football on a regular basis.
Good news/bad news, the Conference lacks bluebloods on the schedule out-of-conference in 2023.
It’s a mix of games against teams from other power conferences, ones that are dangerous, but very beatable, along with some mid-majors.
So, it’s not the most exciting slate, but one that should be super competitive with hopefully a lot of Pac-12 teams coming out unscathed.
Here are what I think are the Top 12 games:
1. USC at Notre Dame
South Bend, IN
This midseason road game should be a major showdown and huge for the Trojans as they chase the CFP.
It should also be an interesting matchup as the Irish should be better on defense and the Trojans should still have an electric offense.
2. Florida at Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
The Utes get Florida to come up to Salt Lake City this time and have a chance for revenge.
The Gators won’t be ranked but it’s still a huge game for the Utes and the Conference and the Gators should be talented and tough again and improved in their second year under Billy Napier.
3. Oregon at Texas Tech
This one is especially interesting as former Duck QB starter Tyler Shough starts for the Red Raiders and Bo Nix gets his 2023 Heisman campaign started.
The Ducks can get themselves into the CFP conversation with a win but have the cards stacked against them if they lose.
4. Washington at Michigan State
East Lansing, MI
The Huskies should be favored, but it’s a tough road game and environment and the pressure will be huge.
5. Utah at Baylor
They head to Waco right after playing Florida for what should be a great matchup.
Like a lot of 2023 Pac-12 nonconference opponents, Baylor was a major disappointment in 2022 and this is a great chance for them to get a big win and get themselves ranked again.
6. Colorado at TCU
Fort Worth, TX
The line will heavily favor TCU but they lose a ton from 2022 and this could be a more interesting game than some think.
You never know. Either way will be interesting to see how Deion and Colorado start out.
7. Nebraska at Colorado
The environment should be one of the most exciting in college football in 2023 and the Buffs may have a distant chance to win against a Nebraska program that is still struggling and starting over with its own new coach.
8. Wisconsin at Washington State
Now the Badgers make an unheard-of power conference nonconference team taking a trip to Pullman, and with new coach Luke Fickell.
It’s a huge game for both teams and one that should be pretty even in a very fun environment in Pullman.
9. Oklahoma State at Arizona State
Oklahoma State is yet another program that should be solid, but not ranked and beatable for the Sun Devils.
This will be a great temperature check game early for the Dillingham Sun Devils.
10. Arizona at Mississippi State
It’s a huge challenge in SEC country and a chance for the Wildcats to make a statement and turn the corner, which I think they can do.
11. Auburn at Cal
This could be a tight game with a lot on the line for the Bears as they try to cling to staying solid in college football after a few years of slipping away.
12. Boise State at Washington
The Broncos are always a tough out and this could be a sneaky good game as UW gets started with a ton of pressure on their 2023 campaign.
Other Great Games
UCLA at San Diego State, September 9
San Diego State at Oregon State, September 16
Colorado vs. Colorado State, September 16
Fresno State at Arizona State, September 16
Coastal Carolina at UCLA, September 2
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