Pac 10 play gets underway tomorrow, with each pair of geographic rivals playing each other in a three-game series (Washington and UCLA are treated as paired rivals, as Washington State and USC don’t have teams).
Washington vs. UCLA is the marquee match-up, as the Huskies are a consensus No. 1 in the two major national polls, whereas the Bruins are a consensus No. 5. Arizona (No. 2/3) vs. ASU (No. 7/10) is also big, whereas Stanford-Cal, with each team on the outskirts of the Top Ten, isn’t bad either.
The conference’s weekly press release contains extensive information on the teams and match-ups.
One thing I noticed is that the Pac 10 apparently has changed its travel format. For example, all three ASU-Arizona games this weekend are listed as being in Tempe, whereas in previous years, there would be a 2/1 split between the two campuses. Similarly, all three Stanford-Cal games are in Palo Alto, and all three OSU-Oregon games are in Corvallis. I can understand avoiding a geographic split with UCLA and Washington, as the distance is hardly drivable, but the other changes seem harder to grasp. I posted a message on the discussion boards at Ultimate College Softball to see if anyone knew more about the Pac 10 travel situation. One person has suggested the changes reflect a cost-saving move.