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Pac 12 Likely Means Buffs Play a California School At Least Once a Year

With Texas out of the picture, many are excited that Colorado will be in a league that doesn't feature the Big 12 South teams. Further, the potential Pac 12 conference would guarantee the Buffs will play a California team at least once every year, something that may not have been possible every year if the league expanded to 16 teams.

Playing a California team every year has plenty of benefits, most notably gaining in the share of California high school prospects who get to watch the Buffs on a weekly basis. The new Pac 12 television contract will also help more kids see the Buffs play in one of the best states for high school football. 23 of the 87 football players listed on today's roster consist of players from California so the Buffs certainly value recruiting in the state. Also, it is no secret that many Colorado alumni live on the west coast, especially California. According to Mike Bohn, 45% of the Colorado student base comes from out of state plus the University gains a larger alumni base in the Pac 10 states compared to the Big 12 states:

Bohn said CU's Western orientation makes it a good fit with the Pac-10. He said 45 percent of the incoming class each year at CU comes from out of state -- primarily California and Arizona.

"You start thinking about how each of those institutions in the Pac-10 partner with the University of Colorado."

He said there is 50,000 more alumni in the Pac-10 footprint than there is in the Big 12 footprint.

"We've hired a new director of the Alumni Association and this will be a great kickoff for her to be able to get started and really try to rally and galvanize our constituents that make up a great university."

Playing in front of a larger alumni base will hopefully have its benefits from a donor perspective.

So, let's say the Buffs are grouped in the following division within the Pac 12 conference (assuming Utah gets the invite):

North East Division South West Division
Colorado Buffaloes USC Trojans
Utah Utes UCLA Bruins
Oregon Ducks California Golden Bears
Oregon St. Beavers Stanford Cardinal
Washington Huskies Arizona Wildcats
Washington St. Cougars Arizona St. Sun Devils


Of course, this isn't set in stone but it has been the alignment used by most in predicting how the divisions would play out. I have also seen a scenario where California and Stanford would shift to the Northern part of the conference with Oregon State, Oregon, Washington and Washington State. Colorado and Utah would then be grouped with UCLA, USC and the Arizona schools.

Now the fun part looking at the potential future schedules in 2012 - 2015. 2012 is when the Pac 12 is expected to take form according to commissioner Larry Scott. I expect the Pac 12 scheduling to be similar to the way the old Big 12 ran it: play your division opponents once every year, alternating home and away. Then each team would play three members of the other division for two years, once home and once away.

Potential Schedule - 2012 through 2015 - Colorado Buffaloes
2012 Schedule 2013 Schedule
Colorado State (Denver) Colorado State (Denver)
at Minnesota Minnesota
at Fresno State Fresno State
Open - (currently Utah in Non-Conference) Open - (currently Utah in Non-Conference)
at Oregon State Oregon State
Oregon at Oregon
at Washington Washington
Washington State at Washington State
Arizona State at Arizona State
Utah at Utah

2014 Schedule 2015 Schedule
Colorado State (Denver) at Hawaii
Open Open - (currently Washington in Non-Conference)
Open - (currently Oregon in Non-Conference) Open
Hawaii Open
at California California
at Washington Washington
Oregon at Oregon
at Arizona Arizona
Stanford at Stanford
at Oregon State Oregon State
Washington State at Washington State
Utah at Utah


Even if Colorado is not in the Arizona, Arizona St., UCLA and USC division, Colorado will still play a California team every year. Colorado already had Washington, Utah and Oregon schedule in 2012 - 2015 so those games will need to be rescheduled with an out of conference game.

But tell me a potential 2013 schedule doesn't get you a little excited? Home games: USC, Oregon State, Fresno St. Bulldogs, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Washington and UCLA with a game against Colorado St. Rams in Denver.