Pac-12 announces early 2022 football schedule
July 14, 2022
The Pac-12 recently announced their early season kickoff times for the first three weeks of the college football season and overall, it is a very attractive schedule for the conference. The UCLA Bruins will play three afternoon games in the first three weeks, with all three games being televised on the Pac-12 Network. Eight of the twelve Bruins games this season will be home games at the Rose Bowl.
The USC Trojans will open in Week 1 with the Rice Owls at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, in an afternoon game that will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. In Week 2, the Trojans will travel to Palo Alto to take on the Stanford Cardinal, in a 4:30 pm game on ABC, and the following week the Trojans will return home to battle the Fresno State Bulldogs in a game that will start at 7:30 pm and will be televised on FOX.
The Pac-12 will have nine games televised on OTA Networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC) in the first three weeks. Only the Big Ten conference with 11 OTA games in the first three weeks will have more. Free over-the-air TV is one of the best ways to watch college football without cable and it is important for a college football conference to have games available on OTA Networks.
Below is the list of early season games in the Pac-12. Only the Pac-12 Network games for UCLA and USC are in the list. The list contains all OTA Network games, plus the cable games on ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, CBSSN for the first three weeks:
Week 1 Friday, September 2
TCU at Colorado - 7:00pm, ESPN
Saturday, September 3
Bowling Green at UCLA 11:30am, P12N
Arizona at San Diego State -12:30pm, CBS
Oregon vs. Georgia (in Atlanta, GA) - 12:30pm, ABC
Rice at USC - 3:00pm, P12N
Utah at Florida - 4:00pm, ESPN
Boise State at Oregon State - 7:30pm, ESPN
Kent State at Washington - 7:30pm, FS1
Week 2, Saturday September 10
Colorado at Air Force - 12:30pm, CBS
Washington State at Wisconsin - 12:30pm, FOX
Alabama State at UCLA -2:00pm , P12N
Arizona State at Oklahoma State - 4:30pm, ESPN2
USC at Stanford - 4:30pm, ABC
Oregon State at Fresno State - 7:30pm, CBSSN
Mississippi State at Arizona - 8:00pm, FS1
Week 3, Saturday September 17
South Alabama at UCLA 11:00am, P12N
California at Notre Dame - 11:30am, NBC
BYU at Oregon -12:30pm, FOX
Colorado at Minnesota- 12:30pm, ESPN2
Michigan State at Washington - 4:30pm, ABC
San Diego State at Utah - 7:00pm, ESPN2
Fresno State at USC - 7:30pm, FOX
North Dakota State at Arizona -8:00pm, FS1
The Oregon Ducks open the season in Atlanta against the defending national champions, the Georgia Bulldogs, in the Chick-fil-a Kickoff Game. While the game is considered a neutral site game, the Bulldogs will clearly have the homefield advantage. Oregon will be paid $4.5 million for appearing in the game, plus will receive two, complimentary 20-person suites, and will be allotted 6,052 tickets to sell, worth a value of $1.275 million.
The defending Pac-12 champions Utah Utes will open the season in Gainesville, Florida against the Florida Gators of the SEC. The game will be televised on ESPN. The Pac-12 will have two games on CBS in the first two weeks of the season. The Arizona Wildcats will battle the San Diego State Aztecs on CBS in Week 1, and in Week 2 the Colorado Buffaloes will take a bus trip to Colorado Springs, to take on the Air Force Falcons on CBS.
In Week 2, the Washington State Cougars will travel to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers, in a game televised on FOX. The game will give many fans their first opportunity to see Cougar quarterback Cameron Ward, who played last season at the University of Incarnate Word, tossing 47 touchdown passes for 4,648 yards. Ward is considered a possible first round pick in the 2023 NFL draft.
In Week 3, the Cal Bears will travel to South Bend, Indiana, in a matchup with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Cal will receive $1.9 million for playing at Notre Dame, their first appearance ever at Notre Dame. The game will be televised on NBC. The Michigan State Spartans will travel to Seattle in Week 3 to challenge the Washington Huskies, in a game on ABC. The game will start at 4:30pm.
The BYU Cougars will travel to Eugene, Oregon in Week 3 to battle the Ducks, in a game that will be televised on FOX. The Cougars went 5-0 against the Pac-12 last season and the Pac-12 conference will be looking to the Ducks to end that winning streak. This game will kickoff at 12:30 pm.
The Pac-12 media contract expires on June 30, 2024. The Pac-12 owns 100% of the Pac-12 Network and is the only conference that owns 100% of their media rights. Their contracts with ESPN and FOX will be up for bid, as will the Pac-12 Network contract.
The Pac-12 currently collects about $250 million annually from ESPN and FOX for their Tier 1 media rights. That number should increase significantly, with the whole media package being bid out to everyone. The Pac-12 will need to improve access to the OTA Networks, which should help in getting more games in prime time around the country. If the TV ratings are good for the first three weeks of the season, that should help with contract negotiations, which will likely start after the season is over.