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Ranking the 2016 Pac-12 football schedules: USC faces toughest slate in Pac-12

USC and Colorado face the toughest schedules in the Pac-12 this year.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We took an earlier look at the Pac-12's non-conference schedules, now let's rank the Pac-12's overall schedules from top to bottom.

12. Utah - They score by missing Stanford. They also score by getting Arizona, USC, Oregon and Washington at home on top of a softer non-conference schedule.

11. Arizona - The Wildcats get Stanford, but at least they get them at home and avoid Oregon from the North. They have very soft non-conference schedule that is basically just a home game against BYU and get USC and The Territorial Cup at home.

10. Arizona State - The key for the Sun Devils have a friendly schedule is a relatively soft non-conference schedule highlighted with a home game against Texas Tech. In-conference, they avoid Stanford and get UCLA and Utah at home. They do get Oregon, USC, Washington and the Territorial Cup on the road, but missing Stanford is huge.

9. Washington - Having an amazingly soft non-conference slate where they never leave home is a nice start for the Huskies followed up by getting avoiding UCLA, also getting USC and Arizona State at home from the South. They have Oregon and Washington State on the road, but do get Stanford at home.

8. Oregon - The Ducks have a mid-conference non-conference slate with a road trip to Nebraska and a decent in-conference slate. They get Stanford and Washington at home in the North and avoid UCLA, but have to go to USC and Utah in the South.

7. Washington State - The Cougars have a solid non-conference challenge at Boise State and a solid in-conference schedule. They get Oregon and Washington at home, but have to go at Stanford in the North.  They avoid USC and Utah from the South and get Arizona and UCLA at home.

6. Cal - The Bears open with a tough non-conference slate that features Texas in Berkeley and a road trip at San Diego State. They have a nice draw in the North, getting Oregon, Stanford and Washington at home, but a tough one in the South getting both LA schools, Arizona State on the road and not getting Arizona and Colorado, the South's weakest teams.

5. Oregon State - The Beavers kick off with a sneaky tough non-conference slate that has them at Minnesota and at home against Boise State. In the North, they have to play at Stanford and Washington, but get Oregon and Washington State at home and avoid Arizona State  and USC.

4. UCLA - The Bruins have a nasty non-conference schedule with games at Texas A&M and BYU and their in-conference schedule isn't much lighter. Being an LA school, they get Stanford every year, but do have a nice draw in avoiding Oregon and Washington though an October road trip to Washington State won't be fun.

3. Stanford - The Cardinal follow up an opener against Kansas State with a brutal five-game stretch that has them facing off with the LA schools then the Washington schools followed immediately by a road trip to Notre Dame. They also have a stretch in October and November where they are on the road for three of four games which closes with road games against Oregon and Cal. Brutal.

2. Colorado - Poor Buffs. Their schedule doesn't do them any favors in a make-or-break year for Mike MacIntyre. They face Colorado State in Denver and play at Michigan in non-conference and then have a tough in-conference schedule. They draw Oregon and Stanford from the North, both on the road. Only three of their first eight games are at home and those road games are Michigan, Oregon, USC and Stanford. Ouch.

1. USC - The Trojans will have earned it if they can finish the season as Pac-12 champs. They face a scary non-conference schedule that opens with them against Alabama in the Jerry Dome and closes with them hosting Notre Dame. They follow up their Alabama opener with Utah State at home but then have to travel to Stanford and Utah. They close with a murderers row in November, Oregon, at Washington, at UCLA and at home against Notre Dame.