North Dakota announced Tuesday that it will play Washington in football for the first time Sept. 15, 2018.
Washington athletic director Scott Woodward has often said the Huskies want to follow an A-B-C philosophy when scheduling non-conference opponents. North Dakota, which joined the Big Sky Conference last season, would definitely qualify as the “C” portion of the schedule for a Pac-12 school.
In 2013, Washington essentially has an A-C-C schedule. Facing Boise State in the home opener would be the A portion, but playing Illinois (2-10 last year) at Soldier Field and Idaho State (1-10) at home should qualify as lower-level opponents.
The Huskies may have to revamp how they schedule non-conference games once the College Football Playoff begins. According to Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, there will be a large emphasis on strength of schedule. Washington will benefit from what should annually be a potent conference, but the same can be said for the SEC. The non-conference scheduling may end up being a difference. Playing North Dakota could become a negative difference-maker.