McLaughlin: Big Nonconference Pac-12 Football Games

It's time to start thinking about games to watch out for prior to Conference play

Posted on June 6, 2022

  By Spencer McLaughlin of Locked on Pac-12 for SuperWest Sports

With Week 1 of the 2022 College Football season less than 100 days away, it’s time for Pac-12 fans to start thinking about which games to watch out for prior to the start of Pac-12 play.

Pac-12Utah and Oregon’s SEC matchups with Florida and Georgia, respectively, are the conference’s biggest games that will likely catch the most eyeballs in the non-conference schedule.

But beyond those two Week 1 games, there’s a bevy of opportunities for Pac-12 teams to pick up high-quality wins before entering the conference slate.

On today’s episode of Locked On Pac-12, I go beyond the Week 1 schedule of non-Pac 12 games to highlight more notable out-of-conference matchups.

Among today’s featured matchups are Washington State @ Wisconsin, Arizona State @ Oklahoma State and Arizona playing host to former WSU coach Mike Leach and Mississippi State.

People shouldn’t sleep on Oregon State’s non-conference opponents just because they don’t feature a Power-5 opponent—they have the potential to make an early-season statement if they can beat both Boise St and Fresno State.

Arizona football Pac-12Also on today’s show, I provide my latest coaching grade/evaluation of the Pac-12 football coaches featuring Arizona’s Jedd Fisch. Despite a 1-11 record in his first season as the Wildcats’ head coach, Fisch has done some things right and has a higher grade than one might expect after nearly going winless in his first campaign.

The recruiting has so far been his strongest area, while his game management/scheme has certainly been his weakest, even after one year in which he took over a program that had lost 12 straight games. Meanwhile, his staff hires have been somewhere in the middle of those two categories, and they have plenty to prove in 2022.

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—More from Spencer McLaughlin—