Some notes on the schedule

The Pac-10's 2010 schedule will once again feature the nation's toughest nonconference slate, as well as games on Thursday and Friday.

And, once again, most of those nonconference games are on the road.

The season opens with USC's visit to Hawaii on Sept. 2, a Thursday night game on ESPN, but the first weekend includes four tough road tests.

Saturday, Sept. 4

  • UCLA at Kansas State

  • Oregon State vs. TCU (Cowboys Stadium)

  • Washington at Brigham Young

  • Washington State at Oklahoma State

Other tough nonconference road games: Oregon at Tennessee (9/11), Arizona State at Wisconsin (9/18), USC at Minnesota (9/18), Oregon State at Boise State (9/25), Stanford at Notre Dame (9/25), UCLA at Texas (9/25).

As for nonconference home games: Iowa at Arizona (9/18), Colorado at California (9/11), Virginia at USC (9/11), Syracuse at Washington (9/11), Louisville at Oregon State (9/18), Wake Forest at Stanford (9/18), Houston at UCLA (9/18) and Nebraska at Washington (9/18).

The first weekend of all Pac-10 games is Oct. 2, but Stanford visits UCLA on Sept. 11 for the first conference game of the season.

A quick thought: After USC played perhaps the nation's toughest schedule in 2009, things dial back in 2010. No nonconference foe figures to be ranked in the preseason, and the Trojans will play host to Oregon, California and Notre Dame. While three of the first four games are on the road, each is manageable and, from Oct. 2 until the end of the season, there are no consecutive road games.

Oregon, the Pac-10 front-runner, plays at Tennessee, at USC, at California and at Oregon State.