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First Pac-12 schedule for Washington State released: A fan’s reaction
The Washington State Cougars are preparing for their first season in the new Pac-12 Conference.
With the additions of Colorado and Utah to the conference, this will be an even more competitive season than in the past. With the bump to 12 teams, it will also present the first Pac-12 Championship Game that the conference has ever seen.
The 2011 WSU Football schedule has been released, and there are some interesting games in the mix for the Cougars. They have to play all of the teams in their division, as well as four teams from the other side of the conference. Both Utah and Colorado have made it on to their schedule, with the only two Pac-12 opponents they won't face in 2011 consisting of USC and Arizona.
The 2011 WSU Football season will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 3 with a home game against Idaho State. Opening the year in Pullman should give Cougar fans a great shot to see how far this team has come in the off-season. With such a young team over the past two years, it has been challenging at times for the Cougars to score or make stops on defense. There were games late in the 2010 college football season where it seemed like WSU was close to turning a corner, but let's home it can make a huge step forward this year.
After three non-conference games against Idaho State, UNLV, and San Diego State to open the season, WSU gets its bye week to close out September. October kicks off the Pac-12 schedule, and from there on out it is a new opponent every week until the Apple Cup. Colorado will be the first Pac-12 opponent, with the game taking place down in Boulder on Oct. 1. Then the Cougars head to Los Angeles to take on the UCLA Bruins before returning home for their Pac-12 home opener. That game will be against Stanford, and will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15.
Two keys to the schedule that Cougars fans will want to remember are the two Seattle games. WSU will play against Oregon State at Qwest Field on Oct. 22, and then it will play the Apple Cup on Nov. 26 in Seattle, as well.
Hopefully, 2011 ends up being a great year for WSU football, and that the rebuilding of this team over the past two years really pays dividends. There will be a lot more attention focused on the conference with the national television contract, but WSU may have to earn its place on the national telecasts, because it has no featured games at this point.
Starting out hot and competing for the conference title could change all that.
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*Ryan is a former Washington State University student that bleeds crimson and gray. He has continued to be a die-hard Cougars supporter through the ups and downs of Cougar sports. Once a Coug; Always a Coug.
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