The 2017-18 PAC 12 Schedule pairings were announced today. Unlike last season where UCLA had a tough unbalanced schedule this year UCLA has a relatively easy PAC 12 schedule.
Two things jump out. UCLA starts with Washington and Washington State at home. This is really the easy possible start for the conference. This is helpful because these games will be played over winter break with a smaller than usual contingent of students. It will give UCLA an easy start to the season against a perennially bad Washington State and a Washington team coming off an awful season and with a new coach.
Compare this to last season when UCLA started out with the final four bound Oregon on the road. This is a nice break and allows UCLA to start the PAC 12 2-0 without really breaking a sweat. This should help, at least a little, an inexperienced UCLA team.
Second UCLA only plays preseason PAC 12 favorite Arizona once. Last season, the unbalanced schedule hurt UCLA’s chances to win the PAC 12 because while UCLA played Oregon and Arizona twice, Oregon and Arizona only played each other once. That bad break in schedule hurt UCLA’s chances to win the PAC 12.
While the game against Arizona is on the road (where UCLA beat Arizona last year), the fact Oregon and Arizona play each other twice and UCLA only plays Arizona once, gives us a leg up on Oregon.
So this season the schedule gives UCLA a small break. I hope the Bruins take advantage.