Big Game to October in 2012?

I wonder what Sean Cattouse was thinking as he just lay there helpless to stop Luck in last year's Big Game.

Remember this?  Where I stressed about how Stanford may never again play USC with the students on campus because of the Notre Dame game, the California schools insisting on playing each other, Stanford and Cal refusing to play Big Game on Thanksgiving weekend, and the Pac-12 prohibiting non-conference games outside of the first three weeks of the season (save for Stanford and USC's Notre Dame games)?

It seems that Larry Scott and Kevin Weiberg (deputy commissioner of the conference) have come up with a solution.  And it's more odious than anything I could have come up with.  In essence, the possibility of Stanford playing a Thursday night game and Big Game in October next season are much more likely than they were 24 hours ago.

Jon Wilner over at his blog on the Mercury News today revealed that he spoke to Weiberg about the conference schedule for next year, which is currently being created and set to be revealed within the next few weeks.

In his conversation, Weiberg revealed some new details:
"Given the complexities of the scheduling," Pac-12 deputy commissioner Kevin Weiberg told me today, "we can’t commit to having the rivalry games stay on Thanksgiving week or the weekend before Thanksgiving."

That's a twist that I thought wasn't possible back when I wrote about how the conference's Three Weeks Rule essentially forced Stanford into its (second) biggest rivalry game in September before classes start.

But that's alright.  Moving Big Game one week earlier can't be that bad for one year, right?

Depending on the number of Saturdays in the fall, Weiberg said, there may be some years in which all six rivalry games can be scheduled for late November.

But 2012 is not one of them: At least one will move, and multiple sources said the Big Game is a distinct possibility.

..."It doesn’t all fit together in a neat and tidy package, so that all the rivalries can be slotted in the final two weeks," Weiberg said.

"Our preference is to keep them as (late) as we can. But it’s very likely that at least one will have to move up."

Hmm, that doesn't sound like it'll happen only one year.  Why is this happening?  The decision about which game to move is based partially on the Notre Dame games against Stanford and USC and some schools (i.e. the Bay Area) refusing to play their rivalry game Thanksgiving weekend.

That is all bad news.  Really bad news.  Not only does it mean that Big Game could be moved up, but USC-UCLA could end up moving as well, and given the amount of people ready to march on UCLA Athletics with torches and pitchforks at the moment, we may very well see a veritable bloodbath in the press if both California rivalries are disturbed from their usual spots.

Of course, if it means that USC-Stanford and UCLA-Cal are played as alternative season's ending rivalry games, then that may be a compromise.  But who knows how the four schools treat this.  For the record, I blame this on Notre Dame's insistence on playing their season closer in California.  If they were willing to fit Stanford and USC in the first four weeks of the season, then I'm pretty sure that none of this schedule havoc (or the uproar that it's bound to cause) would be happening now.

Whether we like it or not, though, it sounds like Big Game is moving up in the schedule, and if Wilner's blog is correct, it could move to October.  So what say you?  How do you feel about moving up Big Game to so that there are potentially more than two conference opponents after Cal? 

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