Since the Pac-10 Conference became the Pac-12 Conference, the UCLA Bruins have played the Arizona Wildcats only once per season in four of eight seasons.
During that time, most Bruin fans have not been happy about this as they’ve felt that these basketball rivals should be playing twice per season.
The reason this has happened like this is because the 12-team conference has been playing an 18-game conference schedule. That meant that a team would only play four of the conference teams once per season.
Today, the Pac-12 Conference announced that it is going to move to a 20-game conference schedule, starting in 2020-21.
While still not ideal, it will mean that a team will either play nine of the other eleven conference teams twice and two teams just once, or that a team will play ten of the other eleven teams twice and skip a year against one team.
According to a Pac-12 press release, the additional conference games will be played “in the months of November and December with strong preference for weekend dates when students are on campus.”
In this aspect, the conference may have missed the obvious opportunity. Instead of playing a conference game in mid-November, the conference should really consider playing home-and-home rivalry games in the same week and placing the additional conference games in one of the weeks when a rivalry game would have been played under the old schedule.
This would allow schools to continue their non-conference slates unabated without having to worry about that early season conference game which one team may not be ready for quite yet.
Regardless of how this eventually shakes out, the rotation plan remains in place for 2019-20. This coming season, UCLA’s conference pairings will look like this:
Home: ARIZ, ASU, COLO, UCLA/USC, UTAH, WASH, WSU, CAL, STAN
Road: ARIZ, ASU, COLO, UCLA/USC, UTAH, WASH, WSU, ORE, OSU
In other UCLA basketball news, new head coach Mick Cronin’s staff grew a little bigger today when UCLA announced that Rod Palmer will join Cronin’s UCLA staff after spending last season at San Diego State and the previous eleven seasons at Long Beach State. Palmer played two seasons at UCLA in 1985-86 and 1986-87 before transferring to UC Irvine.
He joins Darren Savino who was previously named associate head coach. Savino worked with Cronin for nine seasons at Cincinnati and two seasons when Cronin was head coach at Murray State.