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Conference Preview: PAC 12 North

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Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Washington v Alabama Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Hey everyone! Sorry for the three week absence. As some of you may know, I’ve been all over the country recently. After finishing up my internship in Chicago three weeks back, I moved back down to Auburn, got married in Huntsville (wooo!), went on our honeymoon to NYC and DC, and moved my wife and I into our home in Auburn. Suffice to say, I’ve had a hard time finding the time to write in my schedule. But now, we are just two weeks out from game week, and I’ve still got 5 conferences to discuss with y’all. I hope you’re ready, because I’m planning on having a new division to talk about every day for the next two weeks.

Today, let’s talk about one of my favorite divisions: the PAC-12 North. As an Auburn fan in 2017, why should you care at all about six teams in the Pacific northwest? Besides the fact that this division provides games almost every weekend that are a ton of fun around the midnight hour (a la Mountain West), several of these teams have immediate connections to your Tigers. Let’s take a look.

Cal Golden Bears

A lot of fanfare came with Cal and Auburn scheduling a home and home in 2014 for 2019 and 2020. Auburn doesn’t have much history at all with the PAC-12 North, so this was a nice surprise and a fun road trip opportunity for a lot of fans. The series has since been pushed to 2023-24, which works for me, because I don’t think I would be able to afford going to Berkeley a year after graduation. For something a little more relevant to than games 6-7 years away, the Golden Bears play much-maligned SEC West division mate Ole Miss in week 3 this year. Oh, and did I mention it’s a 10:30 ET kickoff? Yeah, expect some of that late night madness I was talking about.

Oregon Ducks

Oh, Duckies. Auburn has quite a bit of recent history with Oregon, between the 2010 National Championship game and the scheduled rematch in Dallas for the 2019 opener. There’s also the way that the two teams will likely be linked together forever in CFB history, what with being the innovators/populizers of the high-flying, no-huddle, spread offenses of the early 21st century. With Oregon seemingly starting over with Willie Taggart this year, it might be worth keeping an eye on them to see how they build towards 2019. Taggart has a history of tearing programs to the studs before building the program he wants, so I don’t really expect too much out of Eugene this year.

Tostitos BCS National Championship Game - Media Day
As long as we have a quarterback by then, we’ll be okay. Maybe this guy?
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Oregon State Beavers

Not much to see here for Auburn fans, except for the fact that they play their first game on August 26th, just two weeks from now. As weak and small as the slate is for that weekend, one of the best games may be Oregon State at Colorado State. I’m just excited for football, y’all. NFL Preseason doesn’t cut it.

Stanford Cardinal

College football! In Australia! In two weeks! Stanford and Rice go down under to Sydney for this year’s Sydney Cup, and I couldn’t be more excited for a blowout. Stanford almost surely will beat up on Rice here, but again, college football in two weeks!

Washington Huskies

The Huskies are once again favorites to go to the college football playoff, but they are also our opening weekend opponent next year in Atlanta. Whatever they do this season, expect to see a lot of their game film this next offseason.

Washington State Cougars

Wazzu holds a special place in my heart. Aside from the fact that they have been one of the premiere #Pac12AfterDark teams of the last few years, when they came to Auburn to open up the 2013 season, I got to go to my first Auburn football game as a student. Auburn ended up winning 31-24, and the magical season was underway. Wazzu might not be good enough to win the division this season, but expect them to make some noise upsetting someone this year. They host USC on a Thursday night, and yeah, I’ll be watching all of that. Worst case, we’ll get gifs like these...

H/T Jeff Collier